How to Tie the Perfect Tie… Every Time


Neckties can be cool when they’re not lopsided. ((c) fresh pesh)

His name was the “Egyptian magician.”

Well, that was his nickname, anyway. He lived down the hall from me my sophomore year of high school and delighted in laughing at my mangled attempts at wearing neckties.

I didn’t realize he was laughing at my ties until he decided to offer me one of his secrets. “Step inside,” he offered and waved a hand towards the mirror in his closet.

I never had a name for the solid gold me gave me–a method for tying the perfect tie every time–until two days ago. Here I am in humid North Carolina for a once-a-decade family reunion, and the dress code is–as luck would have it–strict southern gentleman: suit and tie after 6pm. “Nice Windsor knot,” my dad remarked two nights ago, and, thrilled to finally have a name for this technique, I now pass on what I learned 15 years ago.

Ladies, I encourage you to pay attention.

If you pass this on to any man who hasn’t found it–whether boyfriend, father, son, or stranger–they will love you forever.

So without further ado, I offer the little-known Windsor knot or, in homage to my friend whose name I cannot remember, “The Egyptian magician knot.” Enjoy…


Other Updates and News:

-The free Google Adwords credit for 4HWW readers expires in two weeks! If you haven’t tried out this $25 credit (for which I receive no commission or compensation), I recommend you take it for a test drive before time runs out. Just log into the reader-only section here and the link is second from the bottom.

-A reminder not to take the 4HWW too literally. “The 4-Daughter Workweek” by John Jantsch.

Posted on: August 15, 2007.

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97 comments on “How to Tie the Perfect Tie… Every Time

  1. Thanks for the video. I’m experiencing “Tie Karma” – I was a programmer for 20 years and recently (Jan!) quit my job and switched careers (to personal productivity consulting). Dressing like a slob has caught up with me, and I now have to (in fact *enjoy*) dressing up for business.

    That said, I still find I have to try a few times with most of my ties before I get the length perfect. This is because I have a variety of fabrics and lengths, and each one requires a different starting point.

    However, I really liked your tip about getting it square. I like my tie to look perfect, my pant creases to be razor-sharp, etc.


  2. “Assuming prices remained the same, would you rather… Make $50,000 in a world where everyone makes $25,000 / Make $100,000 in a world where everyone makes $200,000″

    What kind of question is that? If everyone makes $200,000, prices wouldn’t be the same.

    Unless prices were artificially controlled. Does the latter choice imply we’d all be living in a communist state? It’s kind of a misleading way to ask the question. (As expected, most people wouldn’t.)


  3. I always thought that was the double Windsor knot…

    My high school required both guys and gals to wear ties, so I’m actually pretty swell at it!


  4. Nice. I’m a fan of the double windsor knot, as it creates balance because both corners are even. It’s also easier to get the fashionable fold in the tie with the double windsor.


  5. Very good. I’m tired of the slob look myself and I think a lot of guys are starting to agree and starting to wear suits ans ties again.


  6. Tim, thank you so much for this post.

    I’m a single mom and my son attends a private school that requires wearing ties on certain days. He’s outgrown clip ties and I’ve never found anyone who could sit down and show me, let alone teach him, how to tie a correct knot.

    I let him watch your little video and he had it down perfectly after the second try. He’s so excited to show off his new little “life talent” he’s just busting with pride. Thank you from him and another thank you from me!



  7. Another reason not to wear a tie – bacteria and other nasty stuff:

    “LONDON — British hospitals are banning neckties, long sleeves and jewellery in an effort to stop the spread of deadly hospital-born infections, new rules published Monday stipulate.

    Hospital dress codes typically urge doctors to look professional, which, for male practitioners, has usually meant wearing a tie. But as concern over hospital-born infections has intensified, doctors are taking a closer look at their clothing.

    “Ties are rarely laundered but worn daily,� the Department of Health said in a statement. “They perform no beneficial function in patient care and have been shown to be colonized by pathogens.�

    The new regulations would mean an end to doctors’ traditional white coats, Health Secretary Alan Johnson said. Fake nails, jewellery and watches, which the department warned could harbour germs, are also out.”


  8. Timmy!

    I loved the tie…I have been struggling with this impossible knot forever, but no longer.

    Thanks Tim for putting that out there.

    Also liked the pen thing too.


  9. Thanks so much for this! I’ve been trying to figure it out for ages, and none of the other online tutorials show it well enough. I went to a few sites that had diagrams, but they didn’t explain it well enough. I needed this knot for some school events, and it’s really going to be great! Thanks again!


  10. Just want to send a quick thank you. I’ve seen countless videos, tutorials, etc… and have been trying to get the Windsor right for years. Thanks to you, I can finally tie a perfect Windsor every time. God Bless.


  11. I like the way you explained how to tie the tie.. Very helpful. I have been trying to figure out how to do this method for some time.


  12. But how do I get the dimples??? And is one dimple or two in fashion? I like the double dimples but will settle for learning how to get one perfect one. Thank you!


    • sorry, dude, but that’s not 2 seconds, because at least with my apparently outdated dryer, the t-shirts do not come out laying perfectly flat on a table…. by the time you have it spread out perfectly flat, most other techniques are moving on to the 2nd or third shirt, before you ever get to your 2 second ‘trick’…..


  13. So I doubt you see posts this far back, but my dad he couldn’t even describe the look on my face when I saw this video for the first time. It is amazing how something so simple works every time. As someone has to put on a tie about every other day (unfortunately), this might be the most useful tip I will receive this year.


  14. When i was kid i learnt once how to tie a good tie and still i remember those moves of my fingers and still im very good with doing this. and most of the time my friends asks me to make a perfect tie for them. Its just work of fingers and lips.


  15. Only comment I would like to add is that a dimple in the middle of the tie is the finishing touch- right where the main part of the tie comes through the knot, it should form a sort of channel in the center.

    For a shorter tie, simply start the skinny, back end higher up on your shirt. If it gets too short to tuck into the tie when the knot is done, simply tuck it into your shirt.