Does Your Necktie Seem Crooked? Have Trouble Fixing it?

At some point in our lives, we will have to dress nicely whether it is for a job, school, or special occasions like weddings. We typically wear a full suit, put on some dress shoes, and yes, even putting on a tie. It may not feel like the most comfortable thing, but it sure helps make you look presentable and professional though.

We may have been forced to put on professional clothing for high school graduations or a relative’s wedding whom you barely know. We were able to get away with dressing up halfheartedly. However, when it came to interviews for a professional school or an important job, suddenly…things started to shift.

We wonder if we have the best clothes on and have they been tailored correctly? Do the shoes and belt match in color? Is the haircut neat and tidy? Is that knot on our necktie tied correctly and straight? Wait a minute…

Then it kind of hits you. The knot is actually NOT straight. In fact, it is quite crooked. So you keep squeezing the knot to try to mold it into the nice perfect triangle shape for that interview but it just does not seem to cooperate with you. Perhaps it is the knot itself? In fact, it IS the knot.

The Best (and Safest) Knot for a Necktie

When I tied my first necktie, I used the “simple knot” which, as it sounds, is really simple. Although it is easy, the knot tends to always be crooked. In addition, the tie was also too long for me.

Over the years, I experimented with different types of knots and I found the “Windsor knot” to be one of the most balanced and safest one of the different variations. There is the half, double (full), or triple Windsor versions of it. Here is a video of how to tie those knots:

How to Tie a Half, Full (Double), and Triple Windsor Knot Video

Since I am a fairly short person and the tongue of the necktie needs to be at about the belt level (a pretty good standard for a tie), I need to tie the double Windsor knot. A good rule of thumb would be for shorter folks, the triple Windsor may be more suitable whereas for the taller folks, the half Windsor may be more appropriate. This also depends on the total length of the necktie. Some brands are just quite short overall.

Also, if you are not too familiar with the anatomy/parts of a tie, here is a page that goes into detail of it all.

Anatomy of a Necktie

Ideal Goals When Wearing a Necktie

When you need to wear a necktie, here are some things you want to keep in mind.

  • You want an even/symmetrical knot (especially for professional/formal meetings)
  • The length of the tongue (front main strip of necktie) should be at about the belt level, not too above or below it
  • In terms of color, go for the neutral colors (black, gray, blue)
  • In terms of pattern, go for solid color or light stripes
  • Avoid novelty ties when possible (the ones with VERY fancy designs/pictures on it)
  • Optional: You can use a tie clip to keep the tie from shifting around if you happen to be wearing a suit jacket or when moving around a lot.

If you don’t have any neckties, you can always purchase some here.

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases)

Caring for Necktie When Not in Use

When you are done for the day, you won’t be needing your tie anymore. But at the same time, you probably do not want to completely undo the knot. You already spent like half an hour or so trying to create the knot as well as finding the right length.

The good news is…there is a method to keep your necktie like that still WITHOUT having to undo the whole thing. It is actually quite similar to the concept of zipper ties.

With zipper ties, you never have to tie the knot since it is already pre-made. To put it on, you hold the strap where the collar is in one hand and then with the other, while holding onto the knot, you pull down. The necktie becomes unzipped and big enough for your head to fit through. Put the tie on, and pull on the tail (the back/smaller part of necktie) to fasten the knot. Pretty convenient. Here is a video of it:

Zipper Tie Video

Personally, I prefer the old-fashioned neckties. It just feels more official, a lot like riding a bike without the training wheels.

So, taking that zipper tie concept and applying it with regular ties, (and assuming you have your tie on still), hold down on the knot and pull down. The collar becomes large enough to take off the necktie and you are done. The next time you need to put on the tie? Same thing like the zipper tie concept. You put on the tie and pull on the tail (minor/smaller part of tie) while pushing the knot up until the collar fits around your neck. Adjust it a little and done.

Additional Tips for Necktie Care

When you take off the necktie, you might not want to leave it in that “large looped” state. What happens is that whichever spot of the necktie is fed into the knot, it will leave wrinkles. It is something that can’t be avoided. BUT, you CAN control where the wrinkles form! It would be better if they formed in the section that could be hidden underneath the collar of your shirt as opposed to the part that hangs from your neck. You will still have a nice, fresh looking tie every time (minus the part under the shirt collar)

So what do you do to form wrinkles in that location? When you take off the necktie, you want to pull on the tail of the necktie until you have a loop that is smaller than your neck. I usually keep my loop about the size of a tennis ball. Then I just hang it somewhere until further use. That’s it! The section of the tie that is stuck in the knot is the part that becomes wrinkled.

Now let’s say you forget to do this entire step. If those wrinkles happen to appear on a “visible to others” section of the necktie, you can always iron or steam that section until the wrinkles disappear. It might not disappear all the way, but it is still better than nothing.

Remember to check the tag which indicates what material the necktie is made of before ironing. (You do not need to check for steaming)

  • For silk and polyester ties – Use cool iron settings
  • Wool ties – Use medium-hot settings
  • Cotton and linen ties – Use hot settings

Summary

Having to wear a necktie for the first time is not very convenient. Trying to find the best knot, keeping it as straight as possible, finding the right length…it takes A LOT of work and A LOT of patience. Therefore, after creating the best knot and finding the right length for your necktie, why take it apart?

Just follow the steps above for taking care of a necktie when not in use and save that until the next time you use it. You don’t quite need a zipper tie since you have essentially created your own. Hope this helps and saves you time!

Did you enjoy this life hack for tying more balanced knots for neckties and also how to care for them when not in use? Please leave a comment below!

18 thoughts on “Does Your Necktie Seem Crooked? Have Trouble Fixing it?”

  1. Ha, wow! Great piece of an article. I am translating it because I want my husband to read it and, of course, follow your instructions to prepare his best knot. So far, I’ve been learning how to do it for him …, and I think I miss some details that you share here. Thanks for this important article!

    Reply
    • Hello Dr. Gala! Thank you for your comment and also for learning how to do it for him. Glad to hear this article provided some missing details!

      Reply
  2. Interesting trick by leaving the knot on after using the necktie, I’ve always unfolded it all these while and tieing it back again in the morning before work is really irritating especially when you wake up a bit later than usual and the meeting’s in half an hour. Do you think the wrinkles will be permanent if we leave the knot on for longer than a week?

    Reply
    • Hello Riaz! It might not be fully permanent but it will be difficult to remove even with ironing and steaming. Perhaps if you leave flat heavy objects like books on top of the necktie (the section with wrinkles) for a long period of time and combined with many several ironing and steaming sessions, it might do the trick in removing the wrinkles. I think the wrinkles might already be very hard to remove even after a day or two. It really comes down to preference which is to either have a premade tie (with 2 wrinkled sections, but you can control where they form, and usually it’s the section that can be hidden within the knot and the collar area) or a nice, smooth tie but have to remake it every time whenever needed.

      Reply
  3. Excellent article about ties. Explaning how to use them, how to tie them, and the meaning of each. Half, Full, and Triple Windsor Ties. This means how many kots are done with the necktie. Also, some ties are kept after use, but sometimes (I would said most of the times) began to twist, like corded telephones.

    Reply
    • Hello there! Thank you for you comment. I have had that happened to me before where the entire necktie just coils up like corded telephones and that was because I pulled the tail end of the tie too hard and the outer, main knot just lost its entire form. The “mini knot” that was encased by the larger knot popped out. This tends to happen with my thinner, shorter ties and also not making sure the knot was tight and hard. Ideally the harder the knot, the more stable it is. When too soft, it has a tendency to fall apart.

      I think with more practice with the windsor knots, you will be able to tie it all snugly enough that the larger knot will maintain its shape. The key is to keep everything tight and firm for each twist and turn you make when forming the knot, pulling snugly as you make each loop. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  4. I’m really not a tie person, but with a nice suite it does leave you looking rather fly! But I do remember when I was younger and even now, I cannot tie a decent knot in a tie. Always ending up with the weirdest, crooked tie that I know attracted attention, but nobody said nothing. If it was really left up to me not being so concerning with the proper attire of the affair, I’d probably never where a tie. Not even to church!

    Reply
    • Hello there! I agree with you, ties are not the most comfortable piece of clothing to wear for most people. When the “formalness” of events are gone, my friends and I are the first to remove them. And yes you do look rather fly with them on. Hope this article is able to help you form nice straight ties now when you do have to wear them.

      Reply
  5. Hey Mike! Thanks for sharing this! I found it extremely helpful! I have a problem when it comes to Knotting a tie, I would get it right today and the next blue moon I am to wear a suit, i run back to YouTube to see a quick video. Well I am in luck today! I have bookmarked this already! I would try to practice this as much as possible

    Reply
    • Hello Rorodote! You are welcome. I had to watch YouTube videos a lot when wearing neckties was new to me. With enough practice, I am able to do it without the YouTube assistance. I am sure you will be able to reach that point one day too! 

      Reply
  6. I really like it when a man arranges himself to suit the situation, and on various business meetings or formal occasions, a tie is a must for a sleek look.
    Thanks for this great article Does Your Necktie Seem Crooked? Have Trouble Fixing it? with lots of interesting and useful tips, both on tying knots and on how to store when we put the tie down.
    Friendly greeting,
    Nina

    Reply
    • Hello there, Nina! Thank you for your comment! I agree that ties really give that sleek look. Glad to hear you found the article helpful.

      Reply
  7. Good day, I am pleased to come across this important piece of writing. Getting educative and informative information is crucial and may be a tip or addressing a problem we may have been struggling for long with. Different events or occasions require specific type of attire, and I have learned the ideal goals for  wearing a necktie from this article. Thank you so much once again

    Reply
    • Hello there! I am happy that you liked this article. Many times, I ran into the problem of finding things out way later and wishing someone had told me things sooner. I am hoping this site will do just that to help others who were looking for that.

      Reply
  8. I was just talking about this to my dad like two weeks ago. He works as a bartender and waiter so sometimes he is required to dress for the occasion if it involves important clients that are there doing businesses, and my dad has so much trouble with his tie. Every time he has to get my grandmother to help him and it never looks quite good if I’m being honest. I’m taking notes of this article so I can share them with him in hopes of helping him out in that area. 

    Reply
  9. Very Interesting article about wearing ties. You mentioned how ties are important in big Occasions and I have learnt a lot of ideas from your article.  I’m Aman who used to Ignore putting on ties and since I have got its importance, I will resume wearing ties. Thank you very much. 

    Reply
    • Hello there! Ties are definitely highly recommended for big occasions like weddings, interviews, etc. It just looks that much more professional if everything is straight and orderly.

      Reply

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