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The Windsor knot, also referred to as a Full Windsor or as a Double Windsor to distinguish it from the half-Windsor, is a method of tying a necktie. The Windsor knot, compared to other methods, produces a wide symmetrical triangular knot.
The knot is often thought to be named after the Duke of Windsor (King Edward VIII before his abdication). It is, however, likely that it was invented by his father, George V. The Duke preferred a wide knot and had his ties specially made with thicker cloth in order to produce a wider knot when tied with the conventional four-in-hand knot. The Windsor knot was invented to emulate the Duke's wide knot with ties made from normal thickness cloth.
The Windsor knot is especially suited for a spread or cutaway collar that can properly accommodate a larger knot. For correct wear the tie used for a Windsor knot should be about 4 centimetres or 1.6 inches longer than a conventional tie.
The Windsor knot is the only tie knot that is to be used by all personnel in the Royal Air Force and the Royal Air Force Cadets (ATC and CCF(RAF)) in the UK when wearing their black tie while in uniform. The Windsor knot is the tie knot used by the Canadian Forces, regardless of service.
When tied correctly the knot is tight and does not slip away from the collar during wear. It is very comfortable to wear, as the knot itself will hold the tie firmly in place while still keeping space between the collar and the neck.
The knot is symmetrical, well-balanced, and self-releasing (i.e., it can be undone entirely by pulling the tie's narrow end up through the knot). It is a large knot, which amply displays the fabric and design of the tie when wearing a closed jacket or coat, and helps keep the throat area warm during the colder winter months.
A large knot can distract attention away from the wearer's face; therefore, a Windsor best complements a strong square or round face, or those sporting facial hair.
James Bond never trusted a man who boasted a Windsor knot:
It was tied with a Windsor knot. Bond mistrusted anyone who tied his tie with a Windsor knot. It showed too much vanity. It was often the mark of a cad.
To tie the Windsor, place the tie around your neck and cross the broad end of the tie in front of the narrow end. Then fold the broad end behind the narrow end and push it up through the inside of the loop around your neck. The left and right sides of the narrow end, and the inside of the loop, now form a triangle. The third and fourth folds should complete one rotation around the outside of the knot. The fifth fold brings the broad end over the top of the knot from the front to the back. The sixth and seventh folds again complete one rotation around the knot. The eighth fold should again bring the broad end up over the top of the knot from behind; push the end down through the loop in front of the knot that you made with the seventh fold, work out any wrinkles, and pull the knot tight. If the tie is unbalanced, untie the knot and try again giving yourself more or less length to work with.
- Li Co Ri Lo Ci Ro Li Co T
Fink and Mao list the following as common variations on the Windsor:
- Li Co Li Ro Ci Lo Ri Co T (knot 32) (the "Persian Knot")
- Li Co Ri Lo Ci Lo Ri Co T (knot 33)
- Li Co Li Ro Ci Ro Li Co T (knot 35, shown as "the Windsor Knot" in the image immediately below).
This is a guide for a "softer" knot (in Fink and Mao's notation Li Ro Li Ro Ci Ro Li Co T, knot 26):
Removing the tie when it's almost done and working the knot with one's fingers, keeping all connections ultra-taut, ensures a perfect delta.
- Half-Windsor knot – a narrower knot which references the name, as it only brings up around the loop on one side rather than both.
- List of knots