The everlasting collar and tie knot debate

This has been going on since I first started visiting menswear forums, say about 2005, and probably even longer than that. My personal opinion is that the half-Windsor or Prince Albert (double wrapped four-in-hand) are the best options if you feel that you need a wider tie knot to fill up space in a spread collar. My even more personal opinion is that you don't need anything more than a four-in-hand and that the full Windsor knot is an aesthetic nightmare. Of course, that's a little dogmatic and doesn't help shorter guys with ties that are too long otherwise, but admittedly so are many of my preferences. I'd say if you can afford it, you should try to buy bespoke ties made for your height, favoured tie knot, and drape preference from a place like Sam Hober (whose prices are actually lower than that of many off the rack tie manufacturers). But I'm getting off track here.

Many American men tend to hold the view that a Windsor knot looks more aggressive and is thus preferable for business. Irrespective of proportions judging by how many I see mistakenly wearing one with a forward point collar. On the other side of the pond, a number of Englishmen feel the four-in-hand is a mere children's knot since it is the first you learn. Thus, they believe one should at least wear a half-Windsor. In between all this there are sartorially inclined men from all over the world who think that the four-in-hand is the end all be all. There's something to be said about its imperfection and the way it easily creates a dimple under the knot compared to the other choices. It just feels right, like a self-tied bow tie.

Arching the tie also helps in carrying the whole look off.

Ultimately, my opinion just comes down to the number of men I've seen who wear spread collars with four-in-hand knots and pull off the look very well. I'm aware that this mere blog post will never end the debate, but do your homework and decide for yourself.

Prince Charles is one of those men who proves that you don't have to stay on top of every trend to look great, including his choice of tie knot.
Ralph Fiennes, despite the "schoolboy" knot, still projects authority as Gareth Mallory in Skyfall.
Style icon, former Fiat president Gianni Agnelli rocking the spread collar and four-in-hand back in 1967.


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