It might sound like a follow-up song to Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” but 18 Ways to Tie a Necktie is actually an indispensable chart that guarantees you won’t be the oddball at the next business meeting. Indeed, you might think that rocking the no-tie look is a mark of personal expression, but the truth is that everyone in the room knows you have no clue how to tie a necktie. And if you’re planning on going with a clip-on, make sure it’s a good one because clip-on ties are kind of like wigs in that they only get the job done when no one can tell and most of the time, people can tell.
Needless to say, a well-presented necktie is standard in every gentleman’s attire. The tying of one is an age-old tradition passed down by fathers to their sons, and in its historical development saw 18 different methods emerge, which was probably about 16 more than you were anticipating. This infographic lays it all out for you so that hopefully the proud tradition of wearing a tie might continue on, and that every man henceforth looks as dapper as the last. Use the chart if you don’t know how to tie a necktie, or use the chart if you do know how to tie a necktie but you’re interested in changing up your method. What’s important is that you find the approach that works best for you so that you can become one of those necktie ninjas who doesn’t spend twenty minutes in front of the mirror trying to get the length right.
For the beginners out there (i.e. those who don’t know how to tie a necktie), we’d say stick with the full windsor or half windsor knots–two classic approaches that will never fail you once you’ve learned them. After all, no one argues with a classic look or a classic method alike. In other words: no one is judging you or presuming that you don’t know how to tie a necktie.
However, for those of you who scoff at the windsor as mere child’s play–saying it’s basically the kindergarten equivalent of knot tying–by all means step up your game. That’s right, you go right ahead and tackle one of the more difficult or lesser-known methods to prove just how far you’ve come along. If there are any other necktie ninjas at the next business meeting, trust us they’ll notice and respect that you are a master of your necktie domain.