The St. Andrew knot is essentially a “convenience” knot with a little bulk to it.
It ties quickly, though not as quickly as the smallest knots, and is self-releasing, meaning that you can pull on the tail end of the knot to undo the whole thing.
Because the knot is slightly asymmetrical, some men prefer the Pratt/Shelby, or the substantially larger Windsor. For its size, however, the St. Andrew is the most convenient option, and remains popular, especially in the United Kingdom.
Formality: Business or social
Recommended Collars: Point collars, button-down collars
Saint Andrew Knot Step 1
Drape the necktie around your collar with the seam facing outward. The thick end should be hanging on your left, and the thin end on your right.
The St. Andrew is tied with the thick end, and uses a moderate amount cloth. Position the tip of the thick end between two to three inches lower than the desired finishing position.
Saint Andrew Knot Step 2
Cross the thick end horizontally beneath the thin end, making an X-shape under your chin.
Saint Andrew Knot Step 3
Bring the thick end horizontally across the front of the thin end.
You should complete this step with the thick end pointing toward your left, and the thin end hanging straight down.
Saint Andrew Knot Step 4
Continue looping the thick end around the thin end, passing it horizontally behind the back of the thin end from left to right.
You should complete this step with the thick end pointing toward your right, with the seam facing outward.
Saint Andrew Knot Step 5
Flip the thick end vertically up and over the front of the knot, then tuck it back downward behind the knot.
You should finish this step with the thick end pointing straight down, seam facing outward, directly behind the thin end.
Saint Andrew Knot Step 6
Bring the thick end out and to the left of the thick end. The seam should be facing outward. This will pull the vertical loop you made across the front of the knot in Step 5 down snug.
Saint Andrew Knot Step 7
Bring the thick end horizontally across the front of the knot from left to right, covering the vertical loop you made in Step 5. This will form a horizontal band across the front of the knot. Slip a finger through it — you’ll be using it again in the next step.
You should finish this step with the thick end pointed to your right, seam inward.
Saint Andrew Knot Step 8
Bring the thick end up behind the knot and tuck it through the horizontal loop you made in Step 7. At this point the shape of the knot is completed.
Saint Andrew Knot Step 9
Pull the thick end all the way through and tighten the knot by grasping it with one hand and pulling carefully on the thick end with the other.
To release the knot, just pull the narrow end up and out — the rest of the knot will fall apart without it. The St. Andrew Knot is a good, medium-sized knot suited for most faces and purposes. While not quite symmetrical, it is even enough to appear almost symmetrical unless seen up close.