The Windsor necktie knot is named after the Duke of Windsor, but did you know that he didn’t specifically use this knot? Instead, he would achieve a wide triangular knot by tying a four-in-hand knot with thick ties. This look was later copied by gents who admired his style, which is why it’s named in the Duke of Windsor’s honor.
Although the Windsor is sometimes called the Half-Windsor knot, we will refer to it as “the Windsor” in this post. It’s important to note that there is another variation called the Double Windsor knot (also called the Full Windsor knot). However, in this post, we will only be talking about the simple Windsor knot, which is characterized by its triangular shape and symmetrical knot with a dimple.
When to Choose a Windsor Knot
The Windsor is the go-to knot for formal events or when you just want to look confident and sophisticated. It’s appropriate for special occasions, such as weddings or celebrations. However, you may also use this knot for important business meetings or job interviews.
Of course, the Windsor isn’t just used to exude confidence or formality. It’s also strategically used by shorter gentlemen who struggle to get their ties to the right length. Since it loops around several times, it uses more of the material, which results in a shorter tie. Another benefit of this is that Windsor knots draw attention to a shorter gentlemen’s neck and shoulders, making them appear taller or broader.
That’s not to say you can’t wear a Windsor if you are tall. You’ll just have to make sure your tie is long enough. At PRIME, we sell long ties that solve this problem, but if you’re really in a pinch and don’t have a long tie, you can cover the bottom of your tie by wearing a waistcoat. Even so, it’s best to use a long tie so you have the ability to take off your waistcoat if you get hot.
As for materials, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. If you want the Windsor knot to look elegant, it’s crucial to use the right tie material. Silk ties are best since they aren’t too thick, are smart, and are very fashionable.
It’s also important to wear the right dress shirt with a Windsor knot. These knots take up more space than your average tie knot, meaning a regular collar won’t give you the space you need to showcase your perfectly symmetrical Windsor knot. We recommend using a spread collar, which you may also know as a French collar. These have wider collar points that angle outwards, and it is especially stylish along with a Windsor knot.
How to Tie a Windsor Knot
Learning how to tie a Windsor knot isn’t too difficult, even for beginners. With the help of these Windsor knot step-by-step instructions, you’ll be a pro in no time! We recommend doing it in front of the mirror since it makes it much easier to follow along.
We also have a Windsor knot video that can help you if you get stuck along the way.
1. Lay Tie Around Neck
First, place your necktie around your neck to that the end drapes over your shoulder. The wide end should be on your right-hand side, while the narrow end is on your left side.
Of course, if you are left-handed you should do the opposite to make things a bit easier—place the wide end of the tie on your left side and the small end on your right side.
Now, arrange the length so that the wide end is near your belly button and the narrow end is above your ribs.
2. Cross and Loop
With your tie in place, you’re ready to get started! First, you’ll need to form a neck loop by crossing the ends. Start by grabbing the wide end and crossing it over the more narrow end. Make sure to keep the overlapping point close to your shirt collar so your knot isn’t too loose.
Now your wide end should be on your left and your narrow end on your right (unless you’re left-handed).
Next, you’ll pull through the loop by moving the wide end of the necktie up through the bottom of the point where the sides overlap near your shirt collar. After pulling the wide end through the loop, let it hang over the top of the loop. It should be right-side up at this point.
3. Wrap and Loop
Now you’ll take the wide end (which is on your left side) and move it under the knot we made in the last step. If you’re right-handed, you should be using your left hand to keep the tie in place so it stays in against the underside of the knot.
At this point, the wider end is again on your right side and under the knot and narrow end of the tie. Next, we’ll loop again. Take the wide end across the right side of the loop and through the top before pulling it down. It should be upside down on your right-hand side.
The knot should also be looking pretty symmetrical at this point. If not, you should consider restarting from the beginning.
4. Fold and Loop
You’re almost there! Take the wide end, which is on your right side, and fold it across the front of the knot. Make sure to pull it tight to prevent wrinkles in the knot. Remember to use your left hand to keep everything in place and tight.
Next, we’ll loop the wide end through one more time. This secures the knot. Move the wide end through the bottom left side of the loop. Then pull it all the way through but don’t let it hang down yet.
5. Pull and Tighten
Our final step involves pulling the wide end of the tie through the front of the knot. Make sure it’s upside right before doing this. As you move it through the front of the knot, hold the narrow end with your other hand. Then, push the knot upward toward your collar and tighten the knot. You can also adjust the length if it isn’t quite right before you tighten your knot all the way.
Remember, the bottom of the tie should rest above your belt. If it’s too short, start over, this time with the narrow end shorter. On the other hand, if it’s too long, repeat this tutorial with the wide end shorter.
Explore PRIME Neckwear’s Fleet of Premium Neckties
We hope the Windsor knot step-by-step instructions in this article made it easy for you to learn how to create the perfect look! Remember to check out our other tie knot tutorials, such as how to tie a bow tie. And, if you want to take your look to the next level, browse our silk ties and men’s fashion accessories, such as pocket squares, tie bars, and lapel pins.