Getting Creative With Your Tie Knot

Titles considered for this article: ‘Knot Just Any Old Tie!’, ‘Something Tie Die For!’, and ‘Matt Allinson Is The Bestest!’ – but then I thought “what am I, The Sun? Hell no, I’m at least Guardian standard, son!” so I just stuck with one that does exactly what it says on the tin. And everyone knows I’m the bestest anyway, right?

For a long time, the tie was often considered your anchor to the more boring aspects of your life. I’m talking work, meetings and school proms (seriously, most. boring. night. ever.) For numerous generations, success was often deemed achieved once you didn’t have to wear a tie to the office anymore, let alone a suit. But luckily, all of this has started to change.

For many people who have or are getting into this whole menswear gig, ties are making a sort of resurgence. Even guys who have absolutely no reason to wear a tie are starting to rock them every day. Hell, I’m wearing one right now and everyone knows the only requirements my job has is to sit in my pants and blog. This is probably where some cool kid would insert YOLO, right?

Anyway, the point is that the tie is probably the one and only essential masculine accessory a guy can wear regularly and completely change his look each time. Rather than having connotations of boredom, it now communicates creativity and self-expression through different colours, patterns and prints. It’s the difference between ‘I have to wear this to work’ and ‘I just want to wear a damn tie!’

But that shouldn’t be where it ends. As we all know, the way in which you wear an item of clothing is just as important as what item of clothing you wear. So, rather than just simply knotting up the same old way – four in hand or Windsor – let’s look at a few different ways to tie your tie, in order to let your inner self become more visible.

Alternative Tie Knot Techniques
  1. Make The Tail Longer: this one’s easy. Simply invert the front and back length. You can do this by making sure both ends are nearly the same length before you set about tying your knot. It can communicate the perfect amount of nonchalance in any look you’re going for.
  2. The Tuck in: this is probably more on the ‘fashion forward’ end of the spectrum for ties, so make sure you dress accordingly. I find this looks best when paired with a patterned fitted short sleeve shirt, dark neutral dress trousers and a ‘look at all the f*cks I give’ attitude. All you need to do is take your tie and tuck it into the space between your second and third button of your shirt.
  3. Pull It Out: or sometimes called twisting, this method was probably made most popular by Giovanni Agnelli and is the one that I do the most. All you have to do is pull out the tail and head from each other so they are side by side. This is easiest to do at the knot and done by twisting it, hence the name. This is best done with a thicker/wider tie and fuller knot, not this skinny hipster stuff. Looks perfect with a suit, suede shoes and a colourful pocket square – the perfect form of formal sprezzatura.
  4. Matchy Matchy: probably the simplest to pull off but the hardest to find, why not try having a tie that is made from exactly the same material as your suit? For example, when wearing a beefy grey flannel suit, opt for a tie made from a grey flannel/wool too. Probably easier for guys who go bespoke, but for those who are willing to put in the time hunting a tie down, this can add some real symmetry to your look.
  5. Unbuttoned: Step 1 – loosen the tie. Step 2 – Undo your shirt’s top button and collar buttons. Step 3 – Walk around like an absolute legend. Looks extra good if you undo your cuff buttons too, especially with a suit.
Tie Picks

First, here are some examples of matching your suit fabric to your tie material:

  • Reiss Hale GreyReiss Hale Grey
  • Drakes Slim Woven-cashmere TieDrakes Slim Woven-cashmere Tie
  • Ted Baker True – Semi Plain TieTed Baker True - Semi Plain Tie
  • Asos Slim Fit Suit Jacket In Navy TweedAsos Slim Fit Suit Jacket In Navy Tweed
  • Ted Baker Boucle Tweed Silk TieTed Baker Boucle Tweed Silk Tie
  • Tss Tie CollectionTss Tie Collection
  • Asos Slim Fit Linen Suit JacketAsos Slim Fit Linen Suit Jacket
  • Asos Slubby Textured TieAsos Slubby Textured Tie
  • Dunhill Striped Washed-linen And Silk-blend TieDunhill Striped Washed-linen And Silk-blend Tie
Spring/Summer Appropriate Ties
  • Asos Hessian Slim TieAsos Hessian Slim Tie
  • Topman Black Chambray TieTopman Black Chambray Tie
  • Alexander Olch Plaid Cotton TieAlexander Olch Plaid Cotton Tie
  • Dunhill Striped Linen And Silk-blend TieDunhill Striped Linen And Silk-blend Tie
  • Reiss Monroe Large Polka Dot Tie IndigoReiss Monroe Large Polka Dot Tie Indigo
  • Double Stripe Silk TieDouble Stripe Silk Tie
Autumn/Winter Appropriate Ties
  • Asos Herringbone TieAsos Herringbone Tie
  • Light Grey Plain Wool Tie Nick BronsonLight Grey Plain Wool Tie Nick Bronson
  • Ted Baker Woonar – Striped Wool TieTed Baker Woonar - Striped Wool Tie
  • Charvet Contrast-tip Knitted TieCharvet Contrast-tip Knitted Tie
  • Richard James Check Wool TieRichard James Check Wool Tie
  • Richard James Check Woven-cashmere TieRichard James Check Woven-cashmere Tie
Final Word

So there you have it guys, a few ways in which to add a bit more creativity and personal expression to the way you wear your tie. Figure out which way you like the most and it will quickly become your own personal trademark for everyone who meets you. Or just keep them guessing and mixing it up.

Oh, and one final word on bow ties. Yes, you can leave them untied BUT only at the end of the night after plenty of drinking, dancing and laughing AND you’re on your way home (or to a girl’s place). If you turn up somewhere already untied, you are the definition of ‘trying too hard’. And no one wants to be friends with that guy.

Matt Allinson