How To Tie A Windsor Knot

How To Tie A Full / Double Windsor Knot & What Not To Do

The Windsor Knot is one of the most popular tie knots, yet it is often confused with the Half- Windsor knot and hence also known as the Double Windsor or Full Windsor. In today’s video, I am going to show you how to tie the Windsor knot properly, what tie to use & what not to use, what shirt collars it works with as well as the history of the knot.

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Welcome back to our series about tie knots! In this video, I’m going to show you how to tie the Windsor knot.

In the late 20s, the Prince of Wales was one of the most popular, most stylish and most photographed men in the world. He decided to wear big tie knots and so the term Windsor knot appeared and stood for a big tie knot. Interestingly, the Duke of Windsor actually never wore this knot as he said in his biography; A Family Album which is very interesting because it talks a lot about his clothes.

Let me read you the quote, ” The so-called Windsor knot in the tie was adopted in America at a later date. It was, I believe, regulation wear for G.I.s during the war when American college boys adopted it too. But in fact,I was in no way responsible for this. The knot to which the Americans gave my name was a double knot in a narrow tie – a ‘slim jim’ as it was sometimes called. It is true that I myself have always preferred a large knot as looking better than a small one, so during the nineteen-twenties I devised, in conclave with Mr. Sandford, a tie always of the broad variety which was reinforced by an extra thickness of material to produce this effect. As far as I know, this particular fashion has never been followed in America or elsewhere.”

Real Ancient Madder Silk Tie in Blue with Reg & Buff Paisley Handmade by Fort Belvedere

Real Ancient Madder Silk Tie in Blue with Reg & Buff Paisley Handmade by Fort Belvedere

So as you can see, the Duke of Windsor created the size of the tie knot with the interlining and with the fabrics he used, not with the knot. This is just another proof that it’s not just the knot, it’s the tie, the silk, the interlining and it all plays together in the size and the look of the knot. That being said, In terms of size the Windsor knot is one of the biggest tie knots out there at the same time, it’s also very popular but what’s important to understand is that in order to tie a Windsor knot, you should A. get a tie that’s longer B. it should be thinner simply because it’s such a big knot. So here, you see me wearing a very thin madder silk tie by Fort Belvedere with paisleys and the knot is still rather big. I think it’s very popular because of its symmetry although personally, I’m a huge fan of it. Nevertheless, here is how you tie it.

You want the slim end on your right and the wide end on your left. The slim end should be about a hand and a half above the waistband. If you have a shorter tie, it needs to come up much further.  So you’ll have to experiment with it and see what works. Wide end goes from left to the right, up here and pinch it and take the bottom end, come through here and pull it through. And then you go to your left side, now’s the chance and move the long wide part around the right side, come up and go through the hole in the back and pull it down. So what’s happening here is you can see you have two knots, one, two. You pull it a little tight and bring the wide end to the left side and again up, pull it up and you see the knot forms. Like usual, bring the wide end through the knot, gently pull and if you want a dimple, you can pinch on top. pull it gently through.

If you like the look, pull it up and adjust. As you can see, this knot is very symmetrical and it’s very wide, forms this triangular shape and that’s why you want a wide cutaway spread collar to accommodate this knot with a classic or medium spread collars, you run into troubles because the collar is going to cover the edges which looks not very advantageous. You’re much better off with a four in hand knot or a kelvin or a Pratt knot rather than the full Windsor knot. Now, what happens if you use a thick tie?

Herringbone wool red & off white 3 Fold tie & light blue paisley silk pocket square - Handmade by Fort Belvedere

Herringbone wool red & off white 3 Fold tie & light blue paisley silk pocket square – Handmade by Fort Belvedere

I’ll show you. Here, I have a longer wool blend tie from Fort Belvedere with red herringbone. I’m going to do the same thing, I’ll tie the Windsor knot. Now this is what the Windsor knot looks like with a thick tie, it basically eats my face. Personally, I don’t like that look. If you like it, go for it but always bear in mind, full Windsor knots look better with a slim long tie. Oftentimes, I see shorter men wear a Windsor knot because the only way for them to get their long ties to the right length is to choose a bigger knot however, that looks awkward because they have smaller heads and big knots which just looks overwhelmingly wrong. Therefore, I created ties in three different sizes. Some for short men, some for normal men and some for tall men so everybody can wear the right tie knot and tie size that works best for their personality and the face rather than having to come up with a gigantic knot so you achieve the right length. So, if you’re a shorter man or taller or normal guy in terms of height, check out our shop and we have specific ties at specific lengths so you look your best.

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5 replies
  1. Frank Gadson says:

    Superb article great information I personally like the full Windsor knot but was not aware that the thickness of the tie itself mattered thanks so much for that input look forward to future informative articles!

  2. Nii Carl says:

    Thanks for the video. Very informative. I have learnt a lot on what type of collar to use to tie the knot.

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