How to Tie a Double Windsor Necktie: Expert Tips for 2023

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how to tie a double windsor necktie

1. The History Behind the Double Windsor Necktie Knot

The Origin of the Windsor Knot

The Windsor knot, also known as the Full Windsor or Double Windsor, is a popular necktie knot that is known for its wide and symmetrical shape. It was named after the Duke of Windsor, King Edward VIII, who popularized this knot in the 1930s. The Duke had a preference for larger tie knots and used the technique to create a distinctive and elegant look.

The Evolution of the Double Windsor Knot

While the original Windsor knot was already a large knot, it was further modified to create an even more substantial and symmetrical knot – hence the term “Double” or “Full” Windsor. This modification involved an additional loop around the narrow end of the tie before completing the knot.

The Double Windsor quickly gained popularity due to its sophisticated appearance and ability to create a balanced and formal look. It became particularly favored by businessmen, politicians, and those seeking a classic and polished style.

2. The Classic and Elegant Choice: Why the Double Windsor Knot?

The Double Windsor knot is often considered one of the most elegant choices when it comes to necktie knots. Its symmetrical shape creates a sense of balance and formality that complements various dress codes and occasions.

This knot is especially suitable for formal events such as weddings, business meetings, or other important occasions where you want to make a strong impression. It exudes confidence, professionalism, and attention to detail.

Furthermore, the wide triangular shape of the Double Windsor provides a visually appealing contrast against your shirt collar and lapels. It adds depth and dimension to your overall attire while showcasing your sartorial knowledge.

3. Common Materials Used for a Double Windsor Necktie

When it comes to the materials used for a Double Windsor necktie, there are several options available. The choice of fabric can greatly impact the overall look and feel of the tie.


Silk is one of the most popular choices for neckties, including those tied in a Double Windsor knot. It offers a luxurious and smooth texture that drapes well. Silk ties are versatile and can be worn for both formal and semi-formal occasions.


Cotton ties are another common choice for a Double Windsor knot. They have a more casual and relaxed appearance compared to silk, making them suitable for less formal events or when you want to achieve a more laid-back look.


Wool ties are ideal for colder seasons or when you want to add texture to your outfit. They provide warmth and have a distinctively cozy feel. Woolen ties can be paired with tweed suits or other textured fabrics for a sophisticated ensemble.

Other materials such as linen, polyester, or blends may also be used for Double Windsor neckties, depending on personal preference and desired aesthetic.

4. How Collar Size Affects Tying a Double Windsor Knot

Understanding the Impact of Collar Size

The size of your collar can greatly affect how well you are able to tie a Double Windsor knot. A collar that is too small may make it difficult to properly fold and manipulate the fabric, resulting in a messy or uneven knot. On the other hand, a collar that is too large may cause the knot to appear disproportionate or loose. It is important to consider your collar size when attempting to tie a Double Windsor knot for a polished and professional look.

Tips for Different Collar Sizes

– For smaller collars: If you have a smaller collar, it is recommended to use a thinner tie as it will be easier to work with. Additionally, make sure to adjust the length of the tie accordingly so that it does not hang too low or appear disproportionate.
– For larger collars: When dealing with larger collars, opt for wider ties as they will help fill up the space and create a balanced knot. Take extra care when folding and tightening the knot to ensure it looks neat and symmetrical.

5. Step-by-Step Guide: How to Tie a Double Windsor Necktie Knot

Tying a Double Windsor knot may seem daunting at first, but with practice and following these step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to master this classic necktie knot in no time:

Step 1: Start with the wide end on your right side and the narrow end on your left side.

Begin by crossing the wide end over the narrow end.

Step 2: Bring the wide end up through the loop between your collar and necktie.

Pass the wide end through this loop from underneath.

Step 3: Bring the wide end down and to the right.

Cross the wide end over the narrow end once again.

Step 4: Bring the wide end up through the loop between your collar and necktie.

Pass the wide end through this loop from underneath, just like in Step 2.

Step 5: Pull the wide end down through the knot in front.

Gently tighten the knot by pulling on both ends of the tie. Adjust it until it is symmetrical and reaches your desired tightness.

Step 6: Adjust and straighten your collar.

Make sure your collar is properly aligned and adjust it as needed for a polished look.

6. Tips and Tricks for Achieving a Perfect, Symmetrical Double Windsor Knot

Achieving a perfect, symmetrical Double Windsor knot requires attention to detail and practice. Here are some tips and tricks to help you achieve that polished look:

– Use a mirror: When tying a Double Windsor knot, use a mirror to check for symmetry. This will allow you to make any necessary adjustments before finalizing the knot.
– Practice makes perfect: Don’t be discouraged if your first attempts at tying a Double Windsor knot don’t turn out perfectly. Keep practicing, and with time, you’ll become more skilled at creating an even and balanced knot.
– Invest in quality ties: Quality ties made from silk or other high-quality materials tend to hold their shape better, making it easier to achieve a symmetrical knot.
– Pay attention to proportions: Ensure that both ends of your tie are of equal length before starting to tie the knot. This will help maintain symmetry throughout the process.
– Take your time: Rushing through tying a Double Windsor knot can lead to mistakes or an uneven appearance. Take your time, follow each step carefully, and adjust as needed to achieve the desired result.

Remember, practice and attention to detail are key when it comes to tying a perfect, symmetrical Double Windsor knot.

7. Alternative Necktie Knots to the Double Windsor

The Half Windsor Knot

The Half Windsor knot is a versatile alternative to the Double Windsor knot. It is slightly smaller and less bulky, making it suitable for both formal and semi-formal occasions. To tie a Half Windsor knot, start by crossing the wide end of the tie over the narrow end. Then bring the wide end up through the loop between your collar and the tie, and finally pass it down through the loop created in front. Adjust and tighten as needed.

The Four-in-Hand Knot

The Four-in-Hand knot is a classic and simple necktie knot that works well with most types of ties. It is asymmetrical and has a slightly narrower appearance compared to the Double Windsor knot. To tie a Four-in-Hand knot, begin by crossing the wide end over the narrow end. Then bring the wide end behind the narrow end, wrap it around once more, and pass it through the loop created in front. Adjust and tighten as desired.

Other Alternative Knots:

  • The Pratt Knot
  • The Kelvin Knot
  • The Oriental Knot

These are just a few examples of alternative necktie knots that can add variety to your wardrobe while still maintaining a polished look.

8. Occasions and Dress Codes Suitable for Wearing a Double Windsor Knot

When it comes to occasions where wearing a Double Windsor knot is appropriate, formal events such as weddings, black-tie affairs, or important business meetings come to mind. The Double Windsor exudes an air of elegance and sophistication that complements these dress codes perfectly.

For less formal occasions like cocktail parties or dinner dates, you can also opt for a Double Windsor knot if you want to make a strong style statement. However, it’s important to consider the overall dress code and ensure that your choice of tie knot aligns with the level of formality expected.

Black-Tie Dress Code

For black-tie events, pairing a Double Windsor knot with a classic tuxedo is a timeless choice. The symmetrical and substantial nature of the knot complements the formal attire, creating a polished and refined look.

Business Professional Dress Code

In business professional settings, where suits are the norm, the Double Windsor knot adds an extra touch of professionalism. It conveys confidence and attention to detail, making it suitable for important meetings or presentations.

Other Suitable Occasions:

  • Graduation ceremonies
  • Job interviews
  • Formal dinners

These occasions call for a more sophisticated appearance, and the Double Windsor knot helps achieve just that.

9. Optimal Length and Symmetry: How Long Should the Tie Be for a Double Windsor Knot?

The length of your tie plays a crucial role in achieving an optimal Double Windsor knot. Ideally, the tip of the wide end should reach just above your belt buckle when tied correctly. This ensures that there is enough length to create the desired symmetrical shape without appearing too short or too long.

To determine if your tie is at the right length for a Double Windsor knot, start by crossing the wide end over the narrow end as you would when tying the knot. Then bring it up through the loop between your collar and tie before passing it down through the front loop. If you find that there isn’t enough length to complete these steps comfortably, consider adjusting or choosing a different tie.

Tips for Achieving Optimal Length:

  • Choose ties that are designed for taller individuals if you are on the taller side.
  • Experiment with different tie lengths and adjust as needed to find the perfect fit.
  • Avoid excessively long or short ties, as they can disrupt the symmetry of the Double Windsor knot.

Remember, achieving the right length is essential for a well-executed Double Windsor knot.

10. Complementary Shirt and Suit Combinations for a Double Windsor Necktie

When it comes to pairing your Double Windsor knot with shirts and suits, there are several combinations that create a cohesive and stylish look.

Classic White Dress Shirt

A classic white dress shirt is a versatile option that pairs well with almost any suit color. When wearing a Double Windsor knot, opt for a crisp white shirt to create an elegant and timeless ensemble. The simplicity of the white shirt allows the knot to take center stage while maintaining a polished appearance.

Pale Blue or Light Pink Dress Shirt

For a touch of color, consider pairing your Double Windsor knot with a pale blue or light pink dress shirt. These subtle hues add depth and interest to your outfit without overpowering the overall look. They work particularly well when paired with navy or gray suits.

Suit Color Combinations:

  • Navy suit with a white dress shirt
  • Charcoal gray suit with a pale blue dress shirt
  • Light gray suit with a light pink dress shirt

These combinations strike the perfect balance between sophistication and style when wearing a Double Windsor necktie.

In conclusion, mastering the technique of tying a double Windsor necktie can elevate your style and confidence. By following the step-by-step instructions, you can achieve a sophisticated and polished look for any formal or professional occasion.

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