When it comes to stepping up the look for guys, nothing nails it like a classic tie. But depending on where you’re headed, perfection shouldn’t always be the end goal. Of course, a formal wedding calls for impeccable and polished, but lately we’re loving the cool factor of something a bit more laid-back. The always-chic Italians even have a word for it. Sprezzatura is an Italian word coined in the 1500s and loosely defined as an ‘artful nonchalance, without apparent effort’.
To keep it fresh (and a little Italian!) this season, go for jeans and an unstructured blazer for dinner on the town. Finish the tie around the belt line, but rather than keeping the ends more even, let the narrow end drop slightly longer. Another option is to loosen the knot slightly or leave the front side a touch askew. A little bit of spontaneity is what can really separate the dress-by-numbers crowd from the style influencers. Remember to keep it effortless – the looseness is intentional! Capisce?
Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to tie the classic four-in-hand-knot. This beginner style is moderately sized and easy to tie – a perfect starter whether you’re new to the tie game or just looking for a refresher.
*Pro tip – make sure you button up the top button and lift the collar completely before beginning. But leave the shirt tuck-in for the end, as moving your arms around while you tie will pull it out unevenly.
Place the tie around your neck and position it so that the wide end drops about halfway past the narrow end. Cross the wide end of the tie over the narrow end.
Wrap the wide end behind the narrow end and bring it around across the front again (you will see the knot begin to take shape).
Bring the wide end around the back and up through the loop created in your neck. Then feed it down through the front of the knot hole.
Holding on to the narrow end of the tie, slide the tie knot up to tighten it snug against the collar.
*Pro tip - after the big end comes through the knot for the final time, managing the tie while pulling it through with a bit of a pinch is important to make the tiny dimple. After all, it’s all in the details.
Visit these retailers to shop the look:
Button-up shirt: American Eagle Outfitters, $39.95
Tie: Le Chateau, $25