The four-in-hand knot is a method of tying a necktie. Also known as a simple knot or schoolboy knot, due to its simplicity and style. Some reports state that carriage drivers tied their reins with a four-in-hand knot, while others claim that the carriage drivers wore their scarves in the manner of a four-in-hand, but the most likely etymology is that members of the Four-in-Hand Club in London began to wear the neckwear, making it fashionable. The knot produced by this method is on the narrow side, slightly asymmetric, and appropriate for most, but not all occasions. For United States Navyuniforms that include a necktie, the four-in-hand knot is one of three prescribed options for tying the necktie, the other two being the half-Windsor and Windsor.
The four-in-hand knot is tied by placing the tie around the neck and crossing the broad end of the tie in front of the narrow end. The broad end is folded behind the narrow end and brought forward on the opposite side, passed across the front horizontally, folded behind the narrow end again, brought over the top of the knot from behind, tucked behind the horizontal pass, and the knot pulled snug. The knot is slid up the narrow end of the tie until snug against the collar.
In more utilitarian settings, the four-in-hand knot is known as the buntline hitch. It was used by sailors throughout the age of sail for the rigging of ships and remains a useful working knot today. Although topologically identical, when the knot is made in the manner used to fasten a flat necktie, it appears somewhat different from when tied in cylindrical cordage for load-bearing purposes.
A variant of the four-in-hand, with the long end of the tie passed back around and above the just-tied knot, was employed by Aristotle Onassis, who caused it to become briefly fashionable in some circles. Fink and Mao record this variant as Knot 2on; in shorthand notation, it is written Li Ro Li Co T Ri Co.