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Learn to Tie a Half Windsor Tie Knot The Easy Way with Oliver Wicks
The Half Windsor knot is considered one of the most popular, versatile tie knots in the world. For millions of well-dressed professionals across the globe, this is their daily go-to knot.
It’s easy to tie, delightful on the eye, and appropriate in nearly every circumstance, this is a tie knot that every man should know and consider as one of the two essential tie knots (the other being the Four-in-Hand). Luckily for you, the Oliver Wicks team has an easy, step-by-step guide for you to have the Fit That Suits You. You’ll soon be a master of this, and many other, classic tie knots. So let’s dive in.
The Half Windsor dates from the 1950s, and is heavily associated with the gray suits of the era. Not that it makes it dated or out of style! The Half Windsor has a classic elegance that can’t be beaten. It was created to slim down and simplify the heady Windsor knot. If you know how to tie that style already, you’ll recognize many of the steps of the Half Windsor.
It’s often recommended to start with the Half Windsor before learning the Windsor, however, as the Windsor is less versatile and a little bulky. The Half Windsor doesn’t have the flash of the Trinity or Eldredge knots, which is too much for professional environments, it has an easy, classic style that's hard to beat and can be used almost anywhere, from the boardwalk to boardroom.
One key aspect of the Half Windsor is that it has clean, sleek lines that scream ‘professional’. Obviously, this makes it a great knot choice in nearly any circumstance, but it’s especially appropriate in the business arena, and one of the tie knots we most recommend for young men starting out in the office. While it’s a little more complicated than the classic Four-in-Hand, it’s as easy to tie as the Double and something every man should know. If you only ever learn one knot, learn the Half Windsor!
The Half Windsor is a fantastic choice for gentlemen of all heights, but tall gentlemen in particular will appreciate that the knot doesn’t use up too much material, and so you’ll have plenty in reserve to ensure a suitable full length that maintains the proportions of your build..
Collar: The Half-Windsor is great with a medium spread collar. Point and button-down collars look magnificent, too.
Knot size: This is a medium-sized, even knot. It’s about 75% of the classic Windsor.
Symmetry: The Half-Windsor knot is symmetrical and balanced.
Best used: Fantastic daily knot for anyone, especially taller men.
Pair with: Honestly, anything. This is one of the most versatile tie knots you will ever learn. Wear it to weddings or take it to the office, and it will transition seamlessly with you. It does look fantastic on a clean business suit.
Without any more fuss, let’s get to it. Despite its simplicity, you may need to make and remake the knot a few times to get the hang of it. Don’t worry, practice makes perfect! You’ll soon wonder how you ever did without this staple of men’s tie knots in your day. We know it’s sometimes easier to visualize each step, so there’s this handy mirrored video for you to follow. Plus you can feel free to email the experts at Oliver Wicks with any questions, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ideally, this tie knot creates a tie that rests between the top and middle of your belt, or where your belt would be if you choose not to wear one. If you find it’s too long, you need to pull the narrower end a little longer during your tie prep. If it’s too short, the wider head needs to be lower when you start. It might take a few tries to work out your sweet spot, so try this tutorial on a day when you’re not rushing out the door.
Remember that you should pre-prepare to tie a tie by fastening your collar correctly, then ‘popping’, or raising, the actual stiff part of the collar. For the Half Windsor knot, drape the tie over your neck, seams down, and adjust it until the wide end is hanging lower than the narrow end, roughly in the area where you would like the tie to lay on your frame. This might take some trial and error. Make sure the skinny side is on your left, and the wide is on your right.
Cross the wide end of the tie over the narrow end.
Bring the wide end around behind the tail of the tie.
Then take the wide end over again and through the collar loop at your neck.
Wrap it over the front of the thin end.
Pull it under and through the same loop at your neck.
This has formed a loop at the front. Bring the wide end of the tie through the loop.
Now you will gently adjust the tightness of the tie by pulling on the wide head while holding the knot itself. Remember to go gently and slowly, as it’s easier to tighten a little more than to try and loosen it!
Dress it nicely. This means spending a few moments tweaking the knot so that it looks tidy (this important step applies to all tie knots). Try to smooth out any gaps, or even things up if it’s got a bit lopsided. For extra presentation points, practice the art of finishing with a subtle dimple in the base of the knot!
Yes, that’s it! Guide the knot up to your neck snugly and comfortably by holding the narrow tail and pushing the knot. Remember that many high-end ties have a ‘keeper loop’ at the back of the head, so you can tuck the tail neatly away. You can always stitch one in if it’s not already present, too.
The Half Windsor is an absolute classic tie knot and should be a staple of every man’s wardrobe. Paired with the Four-in-Hand, you will have a repertoire of timeless knots you can use anywhere. However, if you’re enjoying the world of men’s sartorial stylish dressing, you may soon find yourself getting bored with just these two. There’s at least 20, though probably more, ways to tie a tie and we have easy tutorials for some fantastic ones you can follow. Now that you have the Half Windsor mastered, why not challenge yourself and learn a few more?
Not sure what tie to pair with your knots, or how to pick the right one for an occasion? The Oliver Wicks team is always happy to help, so reach out today!
If you’re after a practical guide, with instructional videos, we’d suggest creating an account on our site (free of charge, with no purchase obligations). Here you’ll be able to access our measurement videos, which walk you through every step of measuring in an easy-to-follow process that can have you measured from head to toe in 15-minutes or less.