I am about 6 feet tall and prefer the windsor knot. I have noticed that the short end of my tie, once the knot is tied, is much shorter than the long end and cannot be placed in the little holder piece. So my the short end of my tie moves around a lot and is not held in place. It doesn’t look very good. I know some people tuck this piece into their shirts but this just doesn’t seen right to me. I also know that some people use a tie clip but with all due respect that just does not seem right for a 25 year-old. Do you have any other suggestions?
The gentleman above poses an interesting and not too-uncommon question. I have found that for most people, ties seems to be designed to only handle the four-in-hand when is comes to length. Anything else and they seem to run out of length in a flash – as is the case here.
I do know that some tie makers make longer ties, though they can be hard to find and there is no guarantee that one will even like the selection. Brooks Brothers, for example, has a special collection of extra long ties. When I am in a Windsor mood, I have only two ties that I know will work and still let me properly tuck the back blade into its holder.
When going for a Windsor, or even a half-Windsor, I prefer that my ties not be too bulky. Some men always want to see a chunky knot, but to me the full Windsor knot is itself already a bit hefty and I really don’t want to overdo the bulk factor. So, in my case at least all these preferences limit the actual tie options.
The loose Italian take on a Windsor
I’m also a little picky about the rear blade. With whatever knot I tie, I prefer that both the front and rear blade hang about even. It’s a balance issue for me – the lack of relatively equal tie halves, front and back, feels awkward, like I have a big knot around my neck and a lone flap of silk hanging off-center. I don’t like the feeling; it’s like I’m faking it.
Ultimately though, you have to work with what you have and in this case it probably means jury-rigging your ties. I agree that the tie bar option is not a good fit. If nothing else, it would probably sit up too high and look a bit odd. And I agree that in most cases a tie bar worn out of necessity (or even choice) looks more fashiony than classy on a 25 year-old.
If you want to see what a good Windsor knot looks like, take a gander at this recent New York Times piece on the always dapper NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. The Comish has a particular dedication to the Windsor knot and is also a surprising font of information when it comes to dressing with personal flair.
Ray Kelly ties one on, under the watchful gaze of T.R.
The easiest option might be to use a small safety pin and tack the errant short piece to the back of your tie. Or, if you’re game (or if your tailor is game) add a second keeper loop further up the tie positioned to always capture the rear blade.
To learn how to tie a Windsor knot, click here to view step-by-step instructions from Brook’s Southern cousin, Ben Silver.