How to Nail the Perfect Tie Knot Every Time

It's all about nailing the always elusive dimple.

How to Nail the Perfect Tie Knot Every Time

It's all about nailing the always elusive dimple.

There are a lot of theories on how to tie a tie perfectly, but menswear experts everywhere agree: it needs to be snug, symmetrical, and always containing that elusive “dimple” indentation right underneath the middle of the knot.

The hardest part is always the latter, and some fashionistas might tell you it can only be done with a single type of knot (most prefer the Four-in-Hand). Others might say it requires a certain grade of fabric (silk is a general favorite). But the truth is, “you can form a perfect dimple in any tie using any knot,” says Michael Macko, vice president and men’s fashion director for Saks Fifth Avenue. “It’s all in how you pinch the fabric.”

So how do you pull it off? In short: How to tie a tie perfectly?

Whether you’re doing a Half Windsor, the Four-in-Hand, or a Simple Knot, the make-or-break moment for the dimple comes just after you’ve tied your knot but before you cinch it to your throat. (We’re assuming you know how to take it this far.)

When you reach that point, press your pointer finger into the center of the tie beneath the knot’s V-shape taper, and use your thumb and middle finger to pinch the fabric around it.

But here’s the trick: Continue pinching as you slide the knot to your collar. That should lock the dimple in place, but if it doesn’t, unravel the tie and begin again. Sure, your wife might call you obsessive-compulsive, “but it’s the little things, like the dimple in your tie and the shine on your shoes, that tell the world you take pride in your appearance,” says Macko. “That’s a pretty big payoff for so little additional effort.” And if you’re looking to spruce up your wardrobe, don’t miss the Definitive Style Rules for Men Over 40. 

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