What is the Four in Hand knot? When should you wear it? How do you tie it? Read this guide to find out!
The Four in Hand knot is one of the most popular knots you can wear. It’s usually the first knot most men learn when they start wearing ties.
It’s the simplest knot to learn. But it might not be your best option if you’re trying to look formal.
When to Use It
Four in Hand looks best when you’re wearing either point collar or button down collar shirts. It can be worn for formal occasions, but its asymmetric look makes it best suited for business casual outfits.
If you’re searching for a knot that’s easy to tie, then you should know that this happens to be one of the simplest knots you can learn.
The Four in Hand is the perfect knot if you want something subtle, discreet and under the radar.
The Four in Hand looks great on men with a narrow face and neck. It also complements short necks quite well, giving them the illusion of being longer.
Four in Hand knots also look good on thin or skinny ties.
When Not to Use It
If you’re going for a slick, polished look, then the asymmetric look of a Four in Hand knot will take some of the edge off your presence. So you might not want to go with it when you’re trying to look as sharp as you can.
Large men, and those with wide necks and faces should probably not wear this knot either because it’ll look too small on them.
Four in Hand vs. Windsor Knot
These are two of the most popular knots you can learn, but which one’s right for you?
Let’s look at this comparison to find out:
Four In Hand
- Better for men with small necks and faces
- Better suited for point collar and button down collar shirts
- Asymmetrical look = great for less formal occasions
- Perfect for a thin tie
- Easier to learn
- Better for men with wide necks and faces
- Better suited for spread collar shirts
- Symmetrical look = great for formal occasions
- Perfect for a thick tie
- More difficult to learn
How to tie the Four in Hand Knot
Drape the tie around the back of your neck. Adjust the narrow and wide ends of the tie such that the wider end hangs about 12 inches below the narrow end.
You may, however, have to adjust depending on your height.
Now take the wide end and lay it over the narrow end, near your neck.
Then take the wide end around the back of the narrow end.
Then wrap it across the front, but don’t pull the knot tight just yet. You can use your fingers to maintain a little space between the two blades.
Take that wide end and pull it through the back of the loop around your neck.
Then push it through the opening at the front of the loop around your neck (through the space you created with your fingers.
Pull the wide end through, then down, and tighten it by pulling on the wide end.
Holding the thin end, slide the knot up to your collar, then pull the wide end one more time to make sure the knot is tight.
Your Four in Hand knot is now complete.
To keep things looking prim and proper, push the narrow end of the tie through the loop behind the wide end.
When finished, your tie should hang around your belt line or slightly above it.
If it’s longer than that, reduce the initial distance between the wide and narrow end when you first drape them around your neck.
If it’s too short, increasing the gap should help.
Now you know how to tie a Four in Hand knot. It might take a few practice runs, especially if you only wear a tie every now and then.
It’s okay if you can’t always get it right on your first attempt. The important thing is, you have a go to tie knot that’s pretty easy to remember, so you’ll never forget how to tie your tie (or your friends’)!
Questions About the Four In Hand Tie Knot
Here are answers to some of the most common questions about the Four In Hand Knot:
Why is it called “four in hand” knot?
There was a carriage driving club in 19th century London called (circa 1856) the Four-in-Hand Driving Club. This club had a strict dress code for its members, who apparently started wearing neckties, helping to popularize this accessory.
How do you tie a four in hand knot?
It’s easy to tie a Four In Hand know. Simply use the instruction and photos outlined above!
What tie knot does the military use?
The United States military (Army and Navy) lets service members who wear ties as part of their uniforms choose between three knots: the Four In Hand, Half Windsor and Windsor.