Is that a merovingian?!?!?! Go tie one off correctly with this user-friendly flowchart from The Gentleman Racer. Image from © Getty Images/Jupiterimages/Thinkstock.

Here at ESM we have a tendency to spend a lot of time thinking about things like tie knots and proportion.

(Editor’s Note: Men’s tie knots and the proportion of those knots.  Pervs.)

We realize that many of you probably only know one or two knots by heart, and that some of you even keep your ties tied and just slide them on and off.

Shame on you if you’re in the latter group.

To take some of the pressure off the next time you’re putting silk to shirt we’ve come up with this handy flow chart that will help you decide whether you should go for a hipster-ish loose four-in-hand or a small, tidy Pratt.

Granted, a flowchart couldn’t possibly cover every single circumstance or knot, so this should not be taken as the gospel of gentlemanly knotting; rather, we’d have you think of this as a base line.

What you should take home from this is that you should be perfectly comfortable with tying a Half-Windsor, Pratt, or four-in-hand at the drop of a proverbial hat.

The Merovingian is completely optional.

Looks like a complex diagram from your college days? It isn't. Just make sure you don't end on "FAIL".


Stirling likes peak lapels, elegant weapons, rally cars, hats, and anything that could be associated with the phrase “British gentleman.” He spends his spare time practicing Taoist and Scottish martial arts, relaxing and dancing with his wife, playing the odd video game, and being ambushed by his cat.