Tie a tie: the full Windsor knot (Dabbler)
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Ever had problems tying your tie? Here's some detailed instructions to show you how to make the perfect knot?


HOW TO TIE A TIE: the full Windsor knot

A tie can make the difference between looking polished and just so-so. Today we’re going to be talking about one of the most distinguished knots: the full Windsor.

1- Start with the wide end of the tie to the right, about 12 inches or longer, then the narrow end on the left.

2- Cross the wide end over the narrow end to the left, bring the wide end around, and up through the loop.

3- Bring the wide end behind of the narrow end, up back through the loop and down the back, placing the wide end on the right, with the inside facing out.

4- Make a bridge, and then bring the wide end up, through the back, and then down through the knot in front.

5- Again, hold the front, pinching the wide end and do the knot and hold in the back narrow side as you slide it up towards the neck and shape the tie. This’ll create a nice dimple.

So the full Windsor is a wide triangular knot that works best with a spread collar shirt. A spread collar shirt is a wide collar shirt, and because of such a wide knot it needs to have that extra space. This also works best for a man who has a medium to large built or a wider face or a wider neck. It doesn’t work so well with somebody that has a smaller built.

So that’s the full Windsor. Next time we’re going to be talking about the pratt knot.


Notice that this lady pronounces her / e / (as in BELL) so open it is almost like a British / æ / (as in CAT).

TIE= this word may be a verb or a noun. As a verb, "to tie" means to secure something using a string. As a noun, "a tie" is what many men wear hanging from around their necks when they dress up to look elegant. So "to tie a tie" uses both senses in one sentence.

POLISHED= elegant, clean and smart.

SO-SO= not bad, but not well/good; not wrong but not correct. But it’s not something just between good and bad, the sense is more negative than positive.
- how are you today? - so-so (=not very well = a bit bad)

KNOT= the thing you create when you tie a rope or a string (or a tie in this video)

FULL= complete

1 INCH= it is about 2.5 centimetres. So 12 inches are about 30 cms.

LOOP= a curved or circular shape in something long.

BEHIND OF= this is one of the prepositions that may take OF in AmE but never in BrE.
(BrE) He’s behind the wall = (AmE) He’s behind of the wall

UP BACK THROUGH THE LOOP= oops, so many prepositions together! Never mind, it’s simple. UP shows the direction of the motion and THROUGH gives the idea that the upward movement must be done passing through the loop. BACK here is not a preposition, but a verb particle expressing that the action is repeated (=again). The verb is actually missing because we used it before, so it should be "bring back". The complete sentence, thus, would be (simplifying a bit): "bring back the wide end up through the loop"

DOWN THE BACK= here, BACK is used as a noun, not a particle, and it means the part of something that we can’t see because it’s behind (opposite of "the front").

WITH THE INSIDE FACING OUT= that means that the part of the tie which was "inside", that is, the back of the tie, must now be visible. For example, "to FACE south" is (more or less) to look in that direction (more strictly it means to be positioned towards that direction).

PINCH= to squeeze something between your thumb and first finger.

IN here is not a preposition (it’s not "in the back narrow side"), but a verb particle (it is "to hold in", which here means to take firmly with your hand/fingers)
BACK in this sentence is an adjective. "The back narrow side" means here "the narrow side, which is at the back, behind the wide side".

THIS’LL= note that when we have a contraction so that two consonants come together, we usually have to put a SCHWA in between to pronounce it. So here, between -S and LL we pronounce a Schwa (see the Phonetics sections if you don’t know the vowel).

DIMPLE= most of the times we refer to the little hollow (a kind of hole) that forms on some people’s face (to the sides of their mouth) when they smile, or the hollow that some people have on their chin. But we can also use this word (as here) to refer to any little hollow that is produced on a surface.

WORKS BEST= in this example, "looks best", gets the best appearance or impression.

BUILT= the width of your skeleton. He’s well-built means his skeleton is wide, so he has broad shoulders and wide hips. It doesn’t mean he’s fat.

THE PRATT KNOT= a different type of knot for a tie. It uses less length than the Windsor knot, and so is well suited to shorter ties.