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Monday, August 18, 2014

The Double Four In Hand And The Old Bertie - How To Separate Yourself From The Pack

On the weekend I christened my child. As it was on a Sunday at midday I opted for a wide notched lapel navy blue suit which was cut and sewn by Leng Bespoke

As many of you might guess, I am not one to wear ties regularly, in fact, I hardly ever wear a tie, preferring to either have a bow tie for when I go out or to rely on an open necked shirt during the day.

I felt for this particular occasion that wearing a bow tie might send the wrong signal to the priest so I decided to wear an 8cm 50 Oz silk twill tie in light pink and that then got me scouring the web thinking about how I wished to tie it. 

Most gentlemen in Sydney don't experiment with their tie knots. In fact, the only two knots you tend to see are the four in hand and the full windsor. There is an art to tying your tie which has never really made it's way down under and so I trawled You Tube and did some reading and two knots stood out which I will talk about below.

1. The Double Four In Hand

According to some websites the double four in hand is currently having a resurgence because of it's popularity with Italian men who wear it with a certain panache that only an Italian can truly create. The double four in hand is as you would expect, simply taking the front blade of the tie around the rear blade twice instead of once before you slip the knot down through the centre. The thing is, there is a great deal of expertise you require to get it right and I would venture to say that I did not do the knot justice below but it is a reasonable first attempt. If you want to create the ideal knot, or the current 'soup du jour' version of it, you need to allow your fingers to expertly hold the fabric as it is being looped so that you create a generous knot. 

To see a great video on a double four in hand, click here:

2. The Old Bertie Knot

The Old Bertie is a famed knot because some say that whilst it appears to be extremely simple, it is in fact very difficult to master correctly. Once you have it down pat, some say that it makes a knot without peer. Those 'some' include Marc Guyot the famed and notable French tailor, and Hugo Jacomet, one of the most prolific tie wearers, of the revered blog Parisian Gentleman. The knot was said to have been created by "Old Bertie", the Duke of Windsor who later became King Edward VII . Although he was christened Albert Edward, he was affectionately known as Bertie to his family. He was the eldest son and second child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. King Edward VII reigned between 1901 and 1910 and should not be confused with King Edward VIII who abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson. Both Edwards VII and VIII have made significant contributions to menswear. 

The Old Bertie, on first glance, appears to be a half windsor but is actually not. The subtle difference is that the half windsor is wrapped around the rear blade to begin with whereas the Old Bertie is brought up through the V to form a knot before being flicked over to the left hand side and only then is it wrapped around the tie. Small difference, big impact. 


Although I would happily declare myself as a bow tie aficionado, I do not claim to be such a man when it comes to ties and for this reason I am happily rekindling myself to the art of the tie as there are many many more ways to tie a tie as opposed to a bow tie.

To see a half windsor tutorial , click here: 

To see an 'Old Bertie" knot tutorial - click here:


Not the best example, but the beauty of the rose like cylinder knot that forms from the double four-in-hand. 

1 comment:

  1. I have never heard of The Old Bertie, I shall have to try it out. My favorite knot is the Christenson, but you only get the full effect with certain ties. Also, a note to Nicholas: I just received my first LNP bowtie and it is absolutely gorgeous! I love it, and will definitely be picking up more. In fact, I have already purchased one for my friend's birthday, as he is a fellow bowtie lover. Keep up the good work!

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