When it comes to classic haberdashery, ties are a part of every guy’s life.

Whether it’s to knock ‘em dead in the boardroom, impress on a first date, or suit up for a special occasion, ties play an essential role in men’s fashion. Wearing a tie seems simple enough, but there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Tying The Perfect Knot

There are several types of knots that you can use to stand out from the crowd. But before you can get adventurous, it’s important to start with the basics. The most widely used knot is The Half Windsor. It works well with traditional suiting. It’s a classic style that looks great with a spread collar. Not to mention, it’s a favorite of Tom Ford.

To tie a Half Windsor, follow these simple steps:

  • Flip up your shirt collar and slide the tie around your neck. Untied, the wide end should hang a bit lower than the narrow end.
  • Grab the wide end of your tie and cross it over the narrow end.
  • Push the wide end between your tie and your collar. Then let it drop back down.
  • Pull the wider end to the front. Then pull it over the loop that’s between your collar and your tie.
  • Wrap the wider end around the narrow one once more. Then slip it through the loop.
  • Hold the knot stable while you slide the wider end through, center it, and tighten it to your liking.

While other knots will require slight variations of these steps, learning the Half Windsor is a great foundation to master all of the other knots.

Other Popular Knot Types

The Full Windsor is meant for formal events. Typically, you’ll save this one for black tie affairs or weddings. It works best with a butterfly collar.

If you’re looking for something slimmer and easier to tie, the Four in Hand fits the bill. It works for most semi-formal and informal occasions. It gives you the aesthetic of a skinny tie without chasing after trend.

However, if the skinny tie is your thing, the Simple knot is the way to go. It’s very easy to tie and keeps the knot small. Just be sure to match the silhouette with a skinny suit.

For a little extra stylistic push at formal events, strap on a bow tie.

The Tie Bar

Tie bars are a subtle style detail that also help keep your tie from flapping in the wind. If you’re wearing one, be sure to fasten it to both your tie and the placket of your shirt. It should land between your third and fourth buttons. And it shouldn’t be longer than the width of your tie.

Common Mistakes To Avoid

Your tie should hit right at the middle of your belt buckle or even just at the top of it. Any shorter than this is too short. And vice versa, any longer is way too long. Concerning color, always choose something that complements your look. Brighten up dark suits with lighter colors, don’t wear patterns with patterns, and don’t match your tie color exactly to your suit.

These tips and tricks will ensure that you always look like a pro no matter where you are or which look you choose.