If you’ve not yet mastered the four-in-hand knot, you should try this out the next time you wear a tie.

It’s a versatile knot and the perfect counterbalance to larger ones, such as the Windsor knot.

As a bonus, it’s the simplest way of knotting your tie, so if you can do any other tie knots, you can pull off this one.

How to Tie the Four-in-Hand Knot: Step-By-Step

Before grabbing your tie, flip up your dress shirt collar for a more manageable workspace.

Begin by draping your tie with the wide end over your right shoulder, with the narrow end on your left side.

how to tie the four-in-hand knot

Pull the wide end longer than the narrow end; it should be about 12 inches below the tip of the narrow end.

Place the Wide End Over the Narrow End

Four-in-hand knot step 1: wide end over the narrow end

Make an X by bringing the wide end across the narrow end of your tie so that it now points toward your left side.

Then, cross the two sides up near your collar line so that your knot will be tight.

Wrap Wide End Underneath the Narrow End

Four-in-hand knot step 2: wide end underneath the narrow end

Fold the top layer, the wide end, underneath the bottom piece of your tie, and continue wrapping the narrow end.

The result is that the wide end is still pointing toward the left, with the “wrong side” of the tie facing up.

Move the Wide End Across

Four-in-hand knot step 3: move the wide end across

Once more, cross the wide end over the narrow end.

The wide end of your tie is now pointing right, and the “right side” of the tie is showing.

Bring the Wide End Underneath the Knot

Four-in-hand knot step 4: wide end underneath the knot

Slide the wide end up through the loop around your neck, bringing the tip up from underneath.

Be cautious not to twist the tie while you do this; the “right side” should be facing you as you pull the tie through.

Move the End Through the Knot

Four-in-hand knot step 5: moving wide end through the knot

Insert the tip of the wide end down between the knot and the top layer of fabric across it.

Use your index finger to push the tie through, and pull it completely out of the bottom.

Once the wide end has been entirely pulled through the knot, hold the tie’s narrow end and slide the knot up to the top of your collar to tighten.

About the Four-in-Hand Knot

The four-in-hand knot is possibly the world’s oldest tie knot and is undoubtedly the most popular and easiest to do.

what is four-in-hand knot

We know that this tie knot style goes back centuries because even the terra cotta warrior statues in China sport this knot on their neck scarves.

However, the four-in-hand didn’t become a popular fashion statement until the 17th century.

Knotting your tie in this style results in a very compact knot. It’s small, narrow, and asymmetrical. This is a more casual way to wear your tie.

Where to Wear the Four-in-Hand Knot

Because this knot is so thin, it’s an excellent way to wear your tie when your dress shirt has a narrow spread or button-down collar.

when to tie four-in-hand knot

Unfortunately, you don’t have a lot of room for large tie knots with either of these dress shirt styles, so you should avoid larger knot styles.

This style will look good on you if you don’t have a broad face. That way, its size is proportional to your face size.

And because the knot sits directly under your chin, it’s important to have a knot that doesn’t make your face look overlarge.

Alexander Stoicoff

Author: Alexander Stoicoff

Hi, I’m Alex, and I’ve studied and specialized in styling in Rome. Through my writing, I want to help men dress well and learn the purpose and significance of suits and other formal attire. My final goal is to make men more confident in their wardrobe choice and life in general.