How can I tie a necktie so that it doesn't create the usual dimple just below the knot?
February 1, 2010 9:30 AM   Subscribe

How can I tie a necktie so that it doesn't create the usual dimple just below the knot? See Michael Bublé in this SNL photo or video from this weekend's Hamm and Bublé sketch. Contrast to John Hamm standing next to him with a dimple in his very similar tie. Is it the knot, the technique, the fabric, the tie width, something else?

All the tie knots I know create a dimple in the tie fabric just below the knot. This is normally a desirable thing and you try to optimize it. But I liked how Michael Bublé's shiny tie looked this weekend on SNL with no dimple with that less businessy, more evening wear suit he was wearing.

It was a narrow tie, so that could explain it in part, since there is less fabric to be bunched up. It was a smooth looking silk tie, as opposed to the kind that has a visible weave texture, so maybe it was thinner fabric overall, with even less to bunch up. But Jon Hamm's tie in that same sketch looked like similar fabric, if a little wider. So it seems like there may be a way to tie the same tie differently to get a dimple or not.

I tried sort of popping it out convex but that just created a crease or two at the edges of that area - the fabric's gotta go somewhere, at least in my knot, which in this case was a four-in-hand, which is what his looked like in the sketch.

Here's a different shot of Bublé in a tie with no dimple. But this time it looks like he's got some kind of wider Windsor knot instead of the narrower one in the sketch. How to?
posted by Askr to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I usually just kind of wrap the fabric of the tie around the inside part of the tie (that you pull down to tighten the tie) a bit, so instead of bunching in the middle, it is flat and rounded around the edges.
posted by Grither at 9:40 AM on February 1, 2010

I don't know how to tie ties since I don't wear them, but maybe it's this Half-Windsor Knot? In the demonstration video it looks like there isn't a dimple. Here's more instructions on how to tie one.
posted by pecknpah at 9:40 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

A properly tied half windsor has a dimple.
posted by JPD at 9:45 AM on February 1, 2010

I tie a half windsor, but when I cinch it up I'll put my thumb behind the knot, and sorta push forward (away from my chest) as I pull the tie snug. This bends the tie out smoothly under the knot, and there's no dimple.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:48 AM on February 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

There’s probably a specific knot for it, but in my experience it is pretty easy to get a dimple-less knot with a narrower tie. When you tie it, pay extra attention to the flat end and how the knot is made – you shouldn’t have a problem.
posted by Think_Long at 9:49 AM on February 1, 2010

I typically tie a Four in Hand knot and don't include a dimple. USUALLY it's a combination of technique and fabric.

I find silkier ties are easier to make the dimple (the fabric isn't as stiff), but all you'll need to do to be dimple-less is lightly "fold" the wide end as it comes down through the final loop (step 6 in the link). Note in the video around 2:30 how he keeps his finger in the center of the wide end to maintain the dimple? DON'T do that and you should be set.
posted by steeb2er at 9:49 AM on February 1, 2010

How about a double knot?
posted by pecknpah at 9:50 AM on February 1, 2010

You may be interested in the Encyclopedia of Tie Knots.
posted by dfan at 9:51 AM on February 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

I find that for me, the dimple is a function of where I tie the knot in the tie. This and cloth material will really determine if I get a dimple. I use a the pratt knot. If I tie the knot at the right spot on my tie, it dimples, otherwise, no dimple and the knot looks thin like the different shot you presented. Also, heavy woven silk is really easy for me to dimple, it takes the dimple nicely really no matter where I tie it. The thinner printed silk ties are the ones with the dimple problems.
posted by Carillon at 9:51 AM on February 1, 2010

A quick youtube search for "Merovingian" (guy from the 2nd and 3rd Matrix movies) should yield some interesting results. I believe it results in a dimple-less knot.

I'd check myself, but can't access YT at work.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 10:33 AM on February 1, 2010

My experience is the same as Carillon; I almost always tie a half-Windsor; sometimes dimpled, sometimes not.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:54 AM on February 1, 2010

To ensure a good dimple you have to push a little fold through while you tighten. To skip the dimple make the fabric smooth with a slight bend across the front (convex facing the mirror) and gently pull through without over tightening.
posted by caddis at 11:37 AM on February 1, 2010

A proper tie should have a dimple. But any tie knot, in my experience, can be made with or without the dimple; it just takes work. I'm usually going for the knot myself, but if you don't want it, just make the final move (through the loop) without the dimple.
posted by Busoni at 12:10 PM on February 1, 2010

Master the half windsor. It has more fabric than the four in hand so you can work the knot more and get the dimple-free presentation. I think the dimple looks good though.
posted by chairface at 12:33 PM on February 1, 2010

I hate the dimple, and think it looks stupid. Hence, I normally go with a half-windsor, which looks fine without a dimple and it's easy to prevent it from forming.
posted by spaltavian at 2:08 PM on February 1, 2010

When I want to wear a tie more casually (say, with a tweed sportcoat or under a sweater), I use a loosely-tied four-in-hand. I've been told it's very prep-school-ish, although it doesn't sound like that's the look you're shooting for.
posted by brozek at 3:56 PM on February 1, 2010

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