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Updated 07/16/2013


How to Tie a Full Windsor Knot

The Band’s Dress and Deportment Uniform Regulations state, “…the tie will be clean and tied in a standard full Windsor knot.”   So what is a full Windsor knot and how do you tie one?

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.  Other knots include the small knot, Pratt knot, and four-in-hand knot.

The knot is often thought to be named after the Duke of Windsor (King Edward VIII after 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 regular ties.

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 Windsor knot is especially suited for a spread or cutaway collar that can properly accommodate a larger knot. 

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." -From Russia with Love

To tie the Windsor knot, select a necktie of your choice and stand in front of a mirror. Then simply follow the steps below, or click here to watch a video:

1) Start with the wide end ("W") of your necktie on the right, extending about 12 inches below the narrow end ("N") on the left.
2) Then cross the wide end over the narrow end.
3) Bring the wide end up through the loop between the collar and your tie.
4) Then bring the wide end back down.
5) Pull the wide end underneath the narrow end and to the right, back through the loop and to the right again so that the wide end is inside out.
6) Bring the wide end across the front from right to left.
7) Then pull the wide end up through the loop again.
8) Bring the wide end down through the knot in front.
9) And, using both hands, tighten the knot carefully and draw it up to the collar.

Honestly, were’ not that particular which knot you tie.  But dress and deportment in a pipe band is important…they call it a uniform for a reason.