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How To Tie A Tie: The Pratt Knot
The pratt is another basic, easy to master knot that is a great alternative to the four-in-hand if you’re looking for something a little different. The unique thing about the pratt knot is that you start the tying process with the tie inside out.
It’s at home in both formal and semi-formal settings, making the pratt truly a jack-of-all trades.
In this video, I'm going to be showing you how to tie a tie into the pratt knot. I've also included a step-by-step guide with pictures below. Once you master this knot, we can move on to How to Tie a Tie: The Half Windsor Knot.
How To Tie A Pratt Knot
Alright, now it’s time to step up to the plate and give it a try. Follow these steps closely and, at the very least, you should end up with something resembling a pratt knot.
- As always pick out a nice tie, no wearing ugly ties.
- Place the tie around your neck with the seam side showing and the clean side against your body. Have the bigger end on your right and the smaller end on your left.
- Adjust the tie which is now around your neck so the small end has 6-10 inches of length giving the bigger end a couple of feet in length.
- Bring the bigger end under and to the left of the smaller end. Pinch the spot where the two ends intersect with your right hand.
- With your left hand, grab the now dangling bigger end and bring it up and run it down through the middle gap leaving it dangling on the left side.
- Now, wrap it in front and over the tie knot (and your hand which is pinching the knot), going from left to right. The big end is now on the right side of the smaller end.
- Now go under, up and through the gap that is between your neck and the tie knot.
- Run the big end down the wrap that you just created around the tie knot.
- Finally, cinch the tie by pulling down on the big end of the tie while holding the knot in place, then move the knot up to your neck by pulling down on the small end of the tie while helping the knot up with your other hand.
See? That wasn’t so bad! The pratt isn’t the most demanding knot out there but, like anything, practice makes perfect. Once you’ve perfected the pratt you can move on to how to tie the half windsor knot.
When Should I Wear A Pratt Knot?
Pratt knots are versatile and appropriate for any number of occasions—from a casual cocktail outing to a more formal business meeting. It’s a relatively easy knot to master, which also makes it popular, especially with inexperienced tie wearers. Still, whether a rookie or an old pro, the pratt is one knot every man should have in their tool box.
The pratt method is a variation of both the Windsor knot and the lesser-known nicky. When tied correctly, it produces a symmetrical knot of medium thickness.
As a medium-sized knot, the pratt is particularly at home on men with moderately sized faces. It uses less length than other knots like the windsor, which makes it a good option for taller men or shorter ties.
The pratt also pairs nicely with just about any type of shirt collar, especially button down and spread collars.
History Of The Pratt Knot
The pratt knot’s history is a fairly recent one when compared to the longer histories of other knot types. The “invention” of the pratt is credited to US Chamber of Commerce employee Jerry Pratt. Pratt had been wearing the knot that now bears his name for some 20 years before it became popular in the 1980s.
Its breakthrough occurred when well-known TV news anchorman Don Shelby wore the knot on air. At first, he was mistakenly recognized as the knot’s creator, causing some to still refer to it as the shelby knot to this day.
In reality, a knot similar to the Pratt had been popular with Milanese tailors since the 1920s, mostly because it’s an easy knot to tie on a mannequin.