How To Tie The Pratt Shelby Knot-3870x1440

How To Tie A Pratt Knot a.k.a. Shelby Knot

The Pratt Knot, which is also known as Shelby Knot, is similar in size to a Half-Windsor, yet it is slightly asymmetrical thus providing a more unique look. Depending on your tie, you may see a horizontal fold on top of the knot, which should be avoided.  If you see that in your tie, simply choose a different knot. Otherwise, the Pratt or Shelby Knot is a great addition to every man’s tie knot portfolio.

In today’s video, I will show you how to tie the knot as well as discuss its history and what shirt collars you should wear with it.


Welcome back to our series on how to tie a tie. Today I’m going to show you how to tie the Pratt knot which is also known as the Shelby knot.

The knot was first worn in the US during World War II and then an American named Jerry Pratt started wearing it exclusively in the late 50s, never really became popular until a man showed the knot in 1986 to the local news anchor Don Shelby. Three years afterwards, in 1989, Europe times picked up on it and the daily telegraph in England renamed it the Shelby knot being one of the first knots that was named after a person in a long time.

I’m wearing right now a Mohair wool blend tie from Fort Belvedere and you can see it’s a rather small knot but here is how you tie it. First, you start out with the tie seam side up and you want the slimmer end on your right hand and the wider end on your left hand. The length of the slimmer end is about one and a half hand width above your waistband. Okay, slim end goes over the wide end.

Now you take the bottom part, the wide end goes up, you always stay on the right and through a hole pulling it down. Now you get this little knot here and you want this to be tight. The next step is you take the wide end, bring it to your left like so, tighten it up a little bit and now from the back, you bring the wide end up, pull it up like so. Now the wide end goes through the knot and now you just pull it through, adjust it and pull it up.

You can see it forms a dimple automatically because you have that knot just on one side. Pull at the slim end, bring it up and adjust your knot. Voila! The Pratt AKA Shelby knot. The Pratt knot uses slightly less fabric than half Windsor or Windsor knot yet it gives you an interesting shape. It’s a little more symmetrical, you get the dimple automatically and you use a thick tie like this one here from Fort Belvedere, it automatically creates a big knot as you can see. This kind of a big knot only works with cutaway collars or really wide spread collars.

Don’t try wearing this with a classic collar because the collar ends will overlap with your knot here which does not look very nice. You definitely do not want to wear this kind of tie with a collar pin or collar bar, much rather go for an oriental or four in hand knot because this is simply too big.

If you like the look of this tie, you should definitely check out our shop where we carry all kinds of Fort Belvedere ties in unusual fabrics that stand out from the crowd.

Thank you and stay tuned for more how to tie your tie videos in the near future.


How To Tie A Pratt Knot a.k.a. Shelby Knot
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How To Tie A Pratt Knot a.k.a. Shelby Knot
Learn How To Tie A Pratt Knot a.k.a. Shelby Knot step-by-step with this video & find out when to wear and not to wear it.
Gentleman's Gazette
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1 reply
  1. Paul Pinkham says:

    Nicely done! One of my favorite knots, if the color is large enough to balance the size.

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