Tying a Tie

My son just started an internship with our Congresswoman, Jackie Speier in Washington, DC. He arranged for housing and got himself settled there this week. This is the first job that he has where he needs to wear a suit and tie.

We were on zoom and I was walking him through how to tie a tie. Interestingly, the way I was taught by my mom and dad has no name. I looked through YouTube and could not find the exact way I do it. It’s close to The Pratt Knott or maybe the 4 in hand, I suppose. However, they all are different.

Some seem to start with back of the tie facing outwards. This is clearly insane. Why would you do that? It doesn’t make any sense to me. The back is not the part you want people seeing.

Anyway, here is a picture of the final result. I like how he matched the tie to the mask to the pocket kerchief. Very consistent. 🙂

Ready for First Day as Capital Hill Intern


Here is a video of my instructions along with written text. The background music is by Just Jared.

How to Tie a Tie by Glen Lipka
  1. Long end on right, skinny end on left. About 2-1 ratio, but depending on tie thickness and neck circumference, configuration will vary.
  2. Crisscross apple sauce. Put the fat end in front of the skinny end and switch hands. Now the left hand is holding the fat end.
  3. Up the back. You bring the fat end up the back (neck side) and bring it out front.
  4. Bring it around town. The skinny end stays pointing down. Wrap the fat end (starting towards your left) around the back, around the front, and and then to the back.
  5. Stuff it through. You bring the fat end up the back and then stuff it through the front of the knot pulling it down. (Don’t pull too hard)
  6. Adjust knot position. You pull the skinny end a little and it goes to your neck.
  7. Adjust knot tightness. Pull the fat end and the knot constricts.
  8. Smooth it out. Make sure there are no folds and the knot is symmetrical. Make sure the fat end goes down to your belt buckle. No more, no less.
  9. Put the skinny end into the holster. There is a loop on the back of the fat part of the tie. Put the skinny part through it.

Maybe I call it the “Bring it Around Town”. Although this part of the technique is common to several knots.

The surprising thing to me is how many different techniques there are. Half-Windsor, Full Windsor, Simple, Kelvin, Prince Albert, Pratt along with “adventurous” knots like the Eldredge, Van Wijk, Trinity, and the Balthus. There is even one called Murrel where the back comes through in the front rather than the back. Insane!

Look at this wacky thing.

The Eldredge Knot

There are all sorts of creative people out there. Someone experimented with ties for weeks or months until they came up with this weird knot. In this case, The Eldredge Knot was invented by Jeffrey Eldredge (A systems administrator), who invented it in 2007. I love that creativity can come from anywhere.

If you find the exact name of the tie, let me know.


One response to “Tying a Tie”

  1. Jim Schibler Avatar
    Jim Schibler

    Awesome that your son is interning for the honorable Speier – she’s a legendary public servant. What a great opportunity.

    Re tie knots, I dislike the asymmetry of 4 in hand. Full Windsor is my go-to. Gotta look into that Eldredge – that’s impressive.

Whatya think?

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