Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

All tied up: The Windsor knot or the four-in-hand?

franck camhi/Getty Images/iStockphoto

As you know, the Windsor knot was popularized by crypto-Nazi abdicator Edward VIII, but what are the merits of the Windsor versus the four-in-hand? Can you also explain the British penchant for extremely wide spread shirt collars? I find them appalling.

Okay, first, whether he was a Nazi or not, I rather admire Edward VIII for abdicating. But this has little to do with the value of spread collars. Style mavens often argue that a Windsor is necessary with a spread collar because the narrower four-in-hand leaves a few millimetres of tie visible as it snakes horizontally around the neck. But I am really not alarmed by that sight at all. I have inspected Prince Charles's tie and collar close up, in the flesh, and can report that he sports a widely spread collar and a narrow knot with a tiny end of horizontal tie exposed. That's the kind of rakishness that got the Duke of Windsor such sartorial sway. It's good enough for me.

Russell Smith's latest novel, Girl Crazy, was recently published. Have a fashion question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Licensing Options
Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Globe Newsletters

Get a summary of news of the day

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.