A guide to the history, style and instructions on how to add the Pratt-Shelby necktie knot to your menswear collection.
The Pratt Shelby is a variation of the Windsor knot. It begins with the tie seams facing outward and produces a symmetrical, triangular knot.
The Pratt Shelby is the “youngest” of the four classic tie knots. The story goes that Jerry Pratt, a former U.S. Commerce Department employee, came to news anchor Don Shelby’s telecast one day. The 92-year-old Pratt refused to leave until he was able to fix Shelby’s tie. Shelby at first humored Pratt, allowing him to retie his necktie. But when Shelby tried it himself, he was amazed by how easily the dimple was formed without any fuss. From then on, the tie knot became a stylish fixture of Shelby’s newscasts.
A Closer Look at the Pratt Shelby Knot
The Pratt-Shelby is a variation of both the Windsor knot and the lesser known Nicky knot. It begins with the tie seams facing outward and produces a symmetrical, triangular knot. The Pratt Shelby produces a medium sized-between the four in hand and the Windsor. It uses less of the tie fabric than the full Windsor, yet produces a knot that can easily be mistaken for it.
How to Tie the Pratt-Shelby knot
Step One: Flip the tie upside down. The Pratt Shelby actually starts with the seam facing outward.
Step Two: Cross the wide part of the tie under the narrow end. Make a loop as if you were tying a Half Windsor.
Step Three: Bring the wide end of the tie over the loop, forming the triangle.
Step Four: Finish the knot by slipping the wide part of the tie through the triangular loop. Fix the dimple according to your preference.
How to Tie a Shelby Knot | Art of Manliness
When to Wear the Pratt Shelby
Because of the similarities to the Windsor, the Pratt Shelby can be worn in nearly any type of semi-formal to formal affair. Business, cocktails, weddings-this knot is at home at each and every one. Since the Pratt Shelby has a medium sized knot, it works well for men with moderately sized faces. For some men, the Windsor would dwarf their faces, yet the Pratt Shelby compliments their proportions.
Due to the Pratt Shelby’s size, it fits well with button down and spread collars. The knot doesn’t dominate these collar types as the Windsor would. In conclusion the Pratt Shelby is a nice, classic necktie knot that would be wise for the stylish man to experiment with.