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How To Tie A Half Windsor Knot

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Knowing how to tie a Half Windsor Knot will form from a natural evolution in your tie game. While most of us start with a four-in-hand, the Half Windsor Knot allows you to dress the part for almost any occasion out there, whether its daily work, an important meeting, a presentation or your next wedding reception.

So you thought that rocking up in a suit and tie would give you a free pass. At the very least, it’d keep you at the table. So that you could subtly brag about your sense of dress with Johnny Depp, Kevin Hart & Charles Barkely, along with every other aspiring dapper gentleman. Ever. But seriously, unless you were rocking cargo pants and an oversized t-shirt, you’d be at ease only at the aforementioned table. So how do you ditch the giant ‘I don’t give a crap’ tattooed on your forehead and actually look the part with a suit and tie. It’s finally time for evolution, with respect to your sense of style. Good bye the four in hand knot (also known as the ‘I don’t really wanna be wearing a tie but I’m doing it anyway knot’) and welcome to the Half Windsor Knot.

Half Windsor Knot

The Half Windsor Knot, with The Dark Knot's Dorchester Foulard Burgundy Silk Tie.

The Half Windsor knot, as the name implies, is the natural precursor to its more formal cousin, The Full Windsor Knot. The Half Windsor Knot produces a neat, triangular, solid thick knot, whose thickness is about 75% of a Full Windsor (contrary to popular belief that it is half or 50% of the thickness of a Full Windsor). This is the ideal knot to opt for if you are looking to tie something that produces a level of elegance and formality without being overtly thick. Incidentally, it also requires less effort than a Full Windsor knot! Of important note is that if you are over 6’0 or close to 6’0 but of stocky frame, and your tie is not made for taller men, you are best off going with the Half Windsor.

A Full Windsor Knot, as the name implies, requires more fabric for the extra wrap around, and hence, if you are taller or broader shouldered, would typically require a longer length tie.

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s range of Extra Long Ties.

History Of The Half Windsor Knot

The Half Windsor Knot evolved from the Full Windsor. While it is widely believed that the Full Windsor Knot was named after The Duke Of Windsor, who used to tie thicker, triangular symmetrical knots, in reality, he achieved this look by tying four-in-hand knots with specially made wide and extra thick ties. The Half Windsor knot provides a symmetrical and solid triangular knot that works best with a spread collar.

Type Of Collar

A Half Windsor Knot is best worn with a medium or wide spread collar, given the thickness of the knot.  Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Half Windsor Knot does not take up half the space of a Full Windsor Knot, but rather approximately 75%, and so still creates an air of elegance around it. This knot especially suits slimmer men (and hence a slimmer neck) who are looking to increased perceived horizontal lines and reduce vertical lines. The purpose of one’s collar in relation to a slimmer facial structure is to reduce the emphasis on a narrower face by increasing perceived horizontal lines. In this case, a Half Windsor Knot is your ideal choice, as it will fill up your wider spread collar.

Consider The Occasion

The Half Windsor Knot is a highly versatile knot, that would look great at semi-formal, formal occasions and work. Because it is easier to tie than a Full Windsor Knot, but carries much of the same panache, it is an ideal year round tie knot. Looking to play the part, without dressing all out? Opt for the Half Windsor Knot.

How To Tie A Half Windsor Knot

  1. Begin with the wide end of the tie on your left hand side. Keep the wide end of the tie about 12 inches below the skinny end. Please note that a greater difference between the wide and skinny end is needed versus a four in hand knot, but less so than is required for a Full Windsor (the Half Windsor Knot uses less fabric to tie than a Full Windsor Knot, but more than a Four In Hand Knot).
  2. Cross the wide end of the necktie over the slimmer end.
  3. Bring the wider end of the tie under the loop.
  4. Bring the wide end of the tie over and through the loop, allowing the back end of the tie to fall through on your right hand.
  5. Bring the tie over the knot, from right to left, wrapping it over and under the knot.
  6. Bring the tie up through the loop.
  7. Slide the wide end of the tie through the knot.
  8. When sliding the wide end, create a dimple by forming a divot with your index finger and thumb with your left hand as you pull the wide end through with your right hand. This dimple in your necktie will have you looking incredibly sophisticated and dressed on point!
  9. Tighten and adjust the knot. You want to ensure that the tip of your tie reaches your belt buckle or the middle of your buckle (you do not want the tip of your tie crossing your waistline!). It is therefore imperative (as highlighted in the first step) that the appropriate amount of fabric from the wide end is hanging below your waist when you start the tie tying process.

Below is a detailed infographic presented by Men’s Style Expert Antonio Centeno of Real Men Real Style.

How To Tie A Half Windsor Knot

Here is a Half Windsor Knot tutorial by The Dark Knot’s founder, Rishi Chullani.

Please find below an excellent video by the dapper men over at Gentleman’s Lounge.

And that’s a wrap for this one. We hope that you have found this both enjoyable and informative!

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s range of Silk Ties that are ideal, with their thickness, for tying a Half Windsor knot.

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s range of Extra Long Ties for gentlemen who are 6’1 and over.

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