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How To Tie A Tie: The Full Windsor Knot

Windsor Knot

The full windsor is the most difficult of the knots we’ve covered. You deserve a pat on the back for making it this far. But, while the windsor may take a bit longer to master than other knots, when tied correctly, the result is spectacular. 

In this video, I'm going to be showing you how to tie a tie into the full windsor knot. I've also included a step by step guide with pictures below. Once you master this knot, the four-in-hand will seem like a breeze!

  1. Once again, pick out a gorgeous tie. We know a thing or two about this step and have plenty of ties that fit that description. Our How to Match Your Tie with a Suit guide may be a helpful resource during this process too.
  2. Place the tie around your neck with the seam side against your body so the clean side is showing. Have the bigger end on your right and the smaller end on your left.
Windsor Knot Step 2
  1. Adjust the tie which is now around your neck so the small end has 5-9 inches of length giving the bigger end a couple of feet in length.
Windsor Knot Step 3
  1. Bring the bigger end over and to the left of the smaller end. Pinch the spot where the two ends intersect with your left hand.
Windsor Knot Step 4
  1. With your right hand, grab the now dangling bigger end and bring it up and through the gap between your neck and the point where you are still pinching. Now let the big end dangle over and to the left of the knot.
Windsor Knot Step 5a
Windsor Knot Step 5b
  1. Wrap it behind 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.
Windsor Knot Step 6
  1. Bring the big end of the tie up to your eye level.
Windsor Knot Step 7
  1. Run the big end down and through the gap which is between your neck and the point where you are still pinching. Let it dangle on the right side of the knot.
Windsor Knot Step 8a
Windsor Knot Step 8b
  1. Bring the big end up to eye level again.
Windsor Knot Step 9
  1. Run the big end over the knot going from right to left. Let it hang down on the left side of the knot.
Windsor Knot Step 10
  1. Run the big end over the knot going from right to left. Let it hang down on the left side of the knot.
Windsor Knot Step 11
  1. Run the big end down the wrap that you just created around the tie knot.
Windsor Knot Step 12
  1. 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.
Windsor Knot Step 13

Congratulations! You have now tied the full windsor! If you followed our tie tying guides in order, you now have four different dapper, and equally useful, tie knots in your repertoire. Get out there and start tying!

When Should I Wear A Windsor Knot?

The symmetrical, self-releasing full windsor is the most formal of the four common tie knots we’ve discussed.

For some, the large knot, which prominently displays the tie’s design and fabric, borders on ostentatious. Nonetheless, it remains a classic, though probably better suited for more formal events than for everyday wear. It’s also a popular choice in winter because the larger knot helps keep the neck warm.

The windsor is actually a very comfortable knot to wear. It’s a tight knot that will hold the tie in place and not allow it to slide away from the collar, but loose enough to still allow space between the neck and collar. It must be paired with a spread collar that can accommodate a larger knot.

As a large knot, it looks best on men with facial hair and/or strong square or round faces.

History Of The Windsor Knot

The full windsor takes its name from the Duke of Windsor. You see, the duke liked his tie knots wide. To achieve this effect, he had his ties specially made of thicker fabrics so they produced a wider knot when tied in the traditional four-in-hand manner. The windsor knot was developed to mimic this style and create a wider knot with a regular tie.

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