How to tie a tie: The four in hand tie knot

The four in hand necktie knot is one of the easiest tie knots to learn. For that reason it is also often called the “simple” tie knot. Even though it is a tie knot that is easy to tie, it is still a very fashionable and popular tie knot that looks especially great with a particular type of necktie design and pattern.

The four in hand knot carries a lot of tradition. It dates back to the 18th century, London. Of all the tie knots commonly used today it is the oldest one. British coachmen used to wear a scarf around their neck to protect themselves from the wind and rain. The typical British carriage used to drawn by four horses, and often times the coachmen had to wrap their scarf around their necks with only one hand while steering the carriage with the other. Hence, this tie knot got the name the “Four in Hand”. Its practicality combined with the good look made the FIH knot one of the most popular tie knots, and is still widely used today.

Matching the four in hand knot to your tie and shirt

The Four in Hand knot has a longish and slightly asymmetrical shape. It matches best with classic necktie designs such as British regimental striped ties. The Four in Hand knot also looks great with slightly more formal solid colored ties. Besides the type of tie, consider the shape of your shirts collar – more importantly the collar spread. The Four in hand knot is a smaller tie knot and is therefore better suited for dress shirts with a narrow collar spread, or button down collar.

The four in hand knot only requires one wrapping of the tie around the tie knot. Not only does this make the tie knot narrower, but it also has a slightly asymmetric look. Because tying a Four in Hand knot takes less of the tie’s material it is easier to tie the tie much longer. If you are tall and want to tie a regular sized tie, then this type of knot would work well. For tall men we do recommend extra long ties that are about 3” longer in length.

Since the four in hand knot is one of the tie knots using the least amount of fabric of the tie, it is often a preferred tie knot for taller people. If you are tall (above 6’3”), and want a more full-looking, and bigger necktie knot, such as the double Windsor, then extra long ties are recommended.

Instructions: How to tie a Four-in-Hand tie knot

tie a four in hand tie knot

  1. Flip up your shirt collar, close the top button, and take the tie around your neck so that the narrow end hangs down on your left side.
  2. Now, take the wider end with your right hand, place it over the narrow end, and wrap it around the back to the front of the tie.
  3. Take the broad end and wrap it behind the part of the tie that is on your right collar. Don’t tighten tie tie knot yet, but keep a little loop at the front of the tie knot.
  4. Take the wide end of the tie and pull it through the loop. While doing this hold the tie in place by holding the narrow part of the tie with your other hand. Keep a little tension on the narrow end of the tie.
  5. Tighten the knot, flip down your shirt collar, and adjust the tie knot so it is centered between your collars.

Four in Hand Knot Video

Even though the Four in Hand tie knot is considered a quite simple tie knot, it will take a little bit of practice. If you just can’t get the look you like, then try it with a different tie. Ties that are made from a very thin material are less suited for the Four in Hand tie knot. The knot will simply look too small, and when you tighten the knot, might look like you are choking on your tie. Instead pick a tie with slightly thicker inlay. Also great are woven silk ties. The fabric is a little thicker and gives the knots more fill and a better hold.

How to tie a tie: Learn how to tie a four in hand necktie knot. At cheap neckties we have very easy instructions with pictures on how to get the perfect tie knot. Learn how to tie a four in hand knot, a Windsor knot, and how to get a dimple in your tie knot.