Comparison: Windsor vs. Half Windsor

When you think of a Tie Knot, the Windsor knot is normally what comes to mind.

Level of Expertise 2/5 Each

There is a nice long history on the Windsor Knot.  The quick and dirty is; The Duke of Windsor (or King Edward VIII) invented this tie knot, or possibly his father.  The Wikipedia is here if you’d like to read up on it.

Below is a side-by-side comparison of the two knots.  As you can see they are pretty similar, though I feel the (full) windsor is a bit more symmetrical.  The only difference, technically, is that there are only two more ‘moves’  to create the (full) windsor knot.  When you watch videos or see instructionals of the half-windsor knot, you’ll notice a couple missing steps. With the (full) Windsor, you would have to wrap the tie around a section one more time, then around the front.  This second wrap is what makes the tie more symmetrical.  By the way, when I say “(full)” I’m referring to the larger, “full” windsor knot and not the half-windsor.  Saying “Full-Windsor Knot” is a bit redundant.  The windsor knot is already the “Full” knot. whereas the half-windsor is an easier knot with a proper title.


The real comparison is not necessarily the way the knot is tied, nor how the knot looks – since they are almost identical – It’s actually more about the type of tie you use, what your body type is and what kind of suit, if any, you’re wearing.  As a general rule, large men shouldn’t wear skinny ties, and vice versa.  If you’ve ever heard of The Golden Number or Phi, you might have an eye for perfection and you might know proper proportion.  I won’t get into a lesson now, so read up on it here.

The Windsor Knot is to be used on a larger man with nice thick ties.  It is meant to be a large symmetrical knot.  Another good use for this knot is to hide unbuttoned top buttons.  If you find that you have a shirt collar that is too small and the top button chokes you, you can use this nice large tie knot to cover that up.  Just remember, you should be using a thicker tie, otherwise, you might as well use the half-windsor knot.  This knot is meant to be large.  Large guys, you should make sure to try to find an extra-long tie because this knot takes up a lot of fabric.

The Half-Widnsor knot is made for the sleek, tall, thinner or fit man.  It should be used with a medium to thin tie with a sleek fabric.  This knot is not meant to cover open top-buttons, though it can be used well on wide collar drapes, whereas the taller/thinner four-in-hand knot is used well with uptight collar drapes.

Either knot are great if you’re looking for the ‘classic’ triangular look.  Nothing too fancy here, but in normal circles, when done correctly, can help you gain the respect you need.

So depending on your body type and the type of tie, size DOES matter.

One thought on “Comparison: Windsor vs. Half Windsor

  1. The knot on the right is not a half windsor they are both full windsor from the way they look. A half-windsor is longer and narrow.

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