Tie Knots

One not to use and One Knot to use

Windsor Knots

The Duke of Windsor before the knot

All style is a matter of personal preference. However, to me there are things that look better, have certain panache, a meaning behind its use. The knot of a tie is a matter we take up today.

When I was a young school boy I attended a private Catholic school both grade school and high school. It seems like I wore a tie since kindergarten. My Dad, being a barber, wore a “barber coat” while cutting hair. He did, however, where a white shirt and tie everyday to work. Hat, coat, dress shoes and dress trousers. In those days there wasn’t casual work clothing. He got to work, took off the shirt and tie, put on the barber coat and was ready for work. When the day was done, he shaved, washed and put the shirt and tie back on to go home for dinner.  I used to watch him tie his tie. Confusing to me at first. He tied a Windsor knot. I learned the knot and tied it for my First Holy Communion picture.

tie knot

JFK Four-In-Hand

But as I grew older, other influences changed my choice of knots. Very influenced by some of my high school buddies whose fathers went to college in the east and the Kennedy crew and administration, I chose a four-in-hand knot. I wanted to emulate the look, be collegiate, Ivy League.

The symmetrical Windsor knot was thought to have been invented by the Duke of Windsor, Edward VIII. Most probably it was devised by his father George V. He liked the full knot to fill the space in his full open spread shirts. The Duke obviously popularized it and became attached to him.

The four-in-hand was considered a simple knot or school boy knot. Not as serious or intricate to tie. Research indicates that the knot could have been used by the carriage drivers on the horses’ reins and their own scarves when driving the carriage. There is even a club in London named for the knot.

tie kno

The Full Windsor

Whatever the origin, the four-in-hand became the knot of choice of the Ivy League class. Simple knot, tied not to neatly, not too seriously in keeping with the ideology of the WASP to make serious dressing, not so serious. Insouciance. Look like your’re not taking yourself to seriously. Sometimes the knot is askew in the tie space to exaggerate the look.

Presidential WASP knots.

This knot is preferred, the four-in-hand for ANY collar type. The Windsor is just so big and complicated looking like a fist under your chin. And that knot tied loosely looks even worse.

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