Illustration by Damian
Growing up having to wear a tie as a daily uniform was never a fashion statement. I never paid much attention to the actual knot, I was more concerned about how I was going to integrate this additional sign of uniformity. Of course, during official gatherings, it had to be worn firmly close at the neck. So not wanting to look like a total geek, the common style was the knot that looked the most undone, known as the Four in Hand knot.
Years later, now in Paris, I avoided wearing ties as much as possible. Casual chic was in its heyday, and as grunge culture allowed for just t's, I got by just fine. But like all movements, the next is usually a reaction to the previous, and I found myself obsessed again with my childhood accessory. Thus started my quest for the perfect knot.
Of course, the answer commonly given was the dimpled Windsor.
Surely the Duke is an icon of gentlemanly chic, so how could you go wrong! Not!
Things have changed.
That perfect bulb of fabric, emanating from a crisp collar, looks silly. So if you're not a Duke or any sort of high aristocrat, it's a Don't. Plus getting that little dimple just right is not that simple.
Of courses there's always exceptions, with the thickness, width and fabric to think about. But with my current tie collection, the Windsor is not for them.
As a rule, your tie should sprout from a small knot forming a delicate curve from the neck to the shirt.
Plus the knot should be compact. Here's where you get boyscout points.
I don't want to say that's all, because it's not easy to look easy. That chic effortlessness takes practice.
And if you think that was easy, wait until you try bow ties.