I often get asked by people if I wear ties because I have to and how to wear them.
My opinion on ties
I find it too bad that some people view neckties as a symbol of servitude.
Of course if one’s only interaction with neckties is to randomly grab one in the morning and tie it on (or worse, not even tie it!) because they think they don’t have a choice, it very unfortunate.
One should rather consider neckties for what they are – a scarf – and see it as an indispensable element of the lounge suit. Not because of social constraints but because neckties provide vertical structure, colours, textures & patterns that will bring balance to the whole outfit. It’s fluidity and asymmetry (both from the knot and from the blades) can also add some life to an attire.
How I wear neckties – The only two knots you need to know
I wear both ties & bow ties: ties at the office and when out in the town, bow ties when I work from home and at black tie events.
And for each of them, you only need to know one knot.
Why Less Is More When It Comes to Tying Your Tie
Friends often ask me if I know all the (crazy) knots that are out there: the Eldredge, the Van Wijk, the Trinity, the Murrel, the Balthus, etc.
Similarly, I’m asked about my opinion on the formality of each knot. Is the Double Windsor more formal than the Windsor? And where does the Half Windsor fit into that?
To all these questions, I answer with three words:
Less is more Four in Hand.
While the crazy knots can seem very impressive, they seldom look good in my opinion. Also, they are quite complicated and hard on the tie.
Regarding the infamous Windsors, they should first get a proper nomenclature and second lose some bulkiness.
There is beauty in simplicity and brevity is the soul of wit. For tie knots, it doesn’t get any simpler than the Four in Hand.
Here is I think the best video tutorial about tying a FIH:
It is explained by some of the most dapper gentlemen that I know of. They also present two variations: the Pratt/Albert knot and the Victorian knot, which are basically double FIH knots. They can be useful with thin ties or with very long ties.