What knot to wear - the right knot for the occasion

What knot to wear - the right knot for the occasion

A well-tailored suit is making you look dapper for every event you’re attending to, whether it is a wedding or formal event – but what would your suit be without the right tie to round up your look?
This, or in some cases a pocket square, is what makes the transition from smart to stylish.

Let’s go through the different options you have when it comes to ties, the different types, the knot variations.
With this in hand you’re prepared for just every occasion that you are invited or attending to.

The different types of ties

There are quite numerous varieties of ties one can wear with a custom-tailored suit. Here a short list of the most popular and commonly worn.

Bow tie – The bow tie is an old favourite and has been with us since the 17th century. Today, you can either purchase ‘freestyle’ bow ties where you must tie the bow yourself, ready tied varieties that attach to your collar using   band and clip-ons that dispense with the band altogether. Bow ties are considered more formal than standard neckties, and are best employed at weddings, dinner parties and formal drinks events.

Necktie – The necktie is the current most popular item to be worn with suits in both formal or more informal environments, although the history of the garment dates back to the early 17th century where it was first worn by Croatian mercenaries. Neckties can be worn in a number of different styles and tied in numerous ways, making them popular for work, business and social events.

Skinny – The skinny tie is a variation of the standard necktie, and first became popular during the mod years of the ‘50s and ‘60s. Skinny ties have narrower bands than the standard variety and rarely taper along the length. Skinny ties are suitable for informal occasions but not for more formal environments such as a wedding.

Cravat – The Cravat is a form of folded handkerchief, often fashioned in silk, worn around the neck of a tailored suit. Cravats have fluctuated in and out of fashion since first rising to prominence in 1660, enjoying a renaissance in Victorian England and again during the ‘60s. Through cravats aren’t often worn today, they can prove a stylish informal addition to a well-cut tailored suit.

The different knot types

For bow ties there basically is only one type of knot that you can knot. For neckties however, there are quite a lot of options when it comes to knot types, so we’ll again just mention the most common (and most used) choices.

Four-in-hand – The four-in-hand knot is the simplest of all the necktie knots to master – you may even have employed this technique during your school days! Make sure that you always centre the knot once you’re done and ensure that the knot is the right size: not too big, not too small.

Windsor – The Windsor is a more complex knot than many alternatives, but makes up for it by appearing elegant and sophisticated when executed correctly. A slightly more formal look than a four-in-hand knot, the Windsor knot should appear broader than its equivalent, forming a visible crease in the top of the tie itself.

Half Windsor – The half Windsor is known as the Windsor’s ‘little brother,’ and with good reason. Both easier to tie and producing a daintier knot than the Windsor, the half Windsor is ideal for ties of a lighter fabric.

When to wear which

There’s a know for every occasion, so let’s describe when to wear the four-in-hand, the windsor and the half windsor.

The four-in-hand knot

A common knot is the Four-in-Hand Knot, which is also the easiest. This knot is asymmetrical so it does not convey an overly formal appearance and due to its smaller and slightly elongated shape, it matches well on shirts with narrow spread collars or button down collar dress shirts. Typically, the four-in-hand knot goes best with skinny or medium-width ties and is usually preferred by tall men. Therefore, this knot is best for a dressy occasion that is not highly formal, such as parties or social outings.

The half Windsor knot

The second knot is the Half-Windsor Knot. The half-Windsor knot is a symmetrical knot that looks like an inverted triangle with the tip cut off that goes well on shirts with medium-width spread collars. Due to its versatility and requiring less of the tie-length for the knot, big and tall men prefer it on a regular basis. It is more formal than the four-in-hand knot and therefore worn on more formal events, such as job interviews and business meetings.

The full Windsor

The final knot is the Full-Windsor Knot. Full-Windsor knots go best with longer and wider ties. The shape of the full-Windsor is the same as that of the half-Windsor, but it is just larger than the half-Windsor. Since the full-Windsor is larger, it also appears highly formal and is usually worn with wide spread collar dress shirts and by men with larger necks. Full-Windsor knots go best at highly formal events, such as weddings or business meetings with highly important or powerful individuals.

Thanks to this brief guide you should now be an expert on ties – all you need now is a bespoke suit to match! Take a look at www.exclusivetailor.com for more information.

Look out for next weeks article, where we’ll describe which tie fits to the unique face type of different gents out there.