How to Tie a Tie

Don’t you wish you could find already-tied ties, that you can simply Velcro around your shirt collar? Putting on a tie is considered a dreaded task for some men, but it really doesn’t have to be. Just follow these simple directions and you’ll know exactly how to tie a tie at the start of the day in no time.

Mix and match

The first step is making sure that your tie matches your shirt. This goes beyond knowing which color ties go with which color shirts; you don’t need to look like you’re auditioning to be the host of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. For a crash course on matching ties with shirts, just know that solid ties should be worn with “busy” shirts, and shirts that have patterns. On the other hand if you want to wear a funky tie to work, wear it with a solid shirt. Just remember not to mix patterns with patterns. That’s for those of you who have already mastered Fashion 101.

How to tie a tie

Don’t leave yourself less than 5-10 minutes to tie your tie. Give yourself enough time in the morning to properly tie and readjust it if it doesn’t look right.

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Use the help of a mirror to assist you in tying your tie. You’ll need a mirror to measure whether the tie is the right length and if it falls properly on your shirt.

Tie it up in 6 steps

Illustration of first step

Step 1

Button up your shirt all the way, including your collar. Flip up your collar and place the tie around your neck. You want the wide part of the tie to hang twice as low as the thin part. It should hang on the side of your dominant hand, depending on whether you’re right or left-handed.

Illustration of second step

Step 2

Take the wide end of the tie, and wrap it around the thin part once, a little bit below your neck. Think of the wide part as the longer part so the long end goes around the short end once.

Illustration of third step

Step 3

Once you wrap the wide end around the thin end, slip the wide end through the knot that has formed.

Illustration of fourth step

Step 4

Tuck the long, wide end through the knot.

Illustration of fifth step

Step 5

Pull on the thin end and the wide end, from below, to tighten the knot.

Illustration of sixth step

Step 6

Hold the thin end with your non-dominant hand, and with your dominant hand, slide the knot up to your neck. Be careful not to choke yourself in the process.

The wide end should hang lower than the thin end, covering the thin end. You don’t want the wide end to hang too low; a good rule of thumb for measuring a tie’s proper length is making sure the bottom tip of your tie touches the upper part of your belt (or your pants if you are wearing suspenders). Although this is the traditional length, it varies from country to country. Put your collar back down, and use the mirror to check if the tie and the knot look right.

Take it all off

When removing your tie, don’t pull the thin end through the knot to untie the tie. Remove the tie by doing these steps backwards, even if you’re in an extreme hurry to get undressed because you have company. Doing so will ruin the shape of the tie.

There you have it. Six easy steps on how to tie a tie. Until next time, don’t get all tied up in knots. With practice you should get the hang of it and wear it with a tailored suit.