Ever heard of it?
It’s quite modern!
One of those “hybrid” necktie knots (invented through a bit of math and science)…
If you combine:
- The size of a full Windsor
- The style of a four-in-hand
You get a unique type of knot – perfect for balancing full spread & cutaway collars.
So it’s definitely worth a try…
(especially if you’re buff or have a larger chest)
Keep on reading for the step-by-step instructions for tying the Grandchester knot.
The Grantchester knot is part of a family of “inside-out” knots – where the tie is initially draped around the collar with its seam (back side) exposed instead of hidden. The final stage conceals the seams of the ends by facing them toward each other, while the rest of the tie is covered by the collar.
The history of the name is unclear. Thomas Fink and Yong Mao have used the knot in their mathematical study on neckties, The 85 Ways to Tie a Tie. And like a number of necktie knots – the name could’ve come from a town in England near Cambridge, where Fink and Mao studied.
The Grantchester is a pretty large knot – similar to the Windsor in thickness but slightly shorter in height. It’s also notable for having the same asymmetrical shape as the four-in-hand.
So in this case, you’ll have to use a relatively thin necktie to keep it from getting too bulky. You’ll also want a tie that’s longer than the average necktie so as to provide more allowance (unless you’re a shorter guy).
Here’s a brief summary of the Grantchester knot and its use:
- Size: Large
- Symmetry: No
- Level of difficulty: Medium
- Formality: Business or social settings
- Recommended collars: Full spread collars, cutaway collars
- Most suitable for: Men with larger torsos
How To Tie A Tie: The Grantchester Knot – Step #1
Drape the necktie around your collar with the seam (back side) facing outward. The thick end should hang on your left side – and the thin end on your right.
This knot is tied using the thick end, so make sure that you hang its tip 4-5 inches lower than your desired finishing position.
How To Tie A Tie: The Grantchester Knot – Step #2
Using one hand – cross the thick end underneath the thin end, forming an X-shape below your chin.
How To Tie A Tie: The Grantchester Knot – Step #3
Wrap the thick end across the front of the thin end, going horizontally from right to left.
How To Tie A Tie: The Grantchester Knot – Step #4
Continue wrapping the thick end around – crossing now from left to right behind the thin end. You’ll end up making one complete loop around it.
How To Tie A Tie: The Grantchester Knot – Step #5
Keep wrapping the thick end around the thin end, making a second trip across the front from right to left. You should finish with the thick end pointing to your left – with its seam facing inward.
Use a finger to firmly hold the horizontal band you’ve just made across the front of the tie in place.
How To Tie A Tie: The Grantchester Knot – Step #6
Slip the thick end of the tie through the loop around your collar – going from underneath it. At this point, the thick end emerges with its seam facing outward.
How To Tie A Tie: The Grantchester Knot – Step #7
Flip the thick end down in front of the knot. You’re not passing it through the horizontal band across the front yet – just let it hang loosely for now. Keep using your finger to hold the band in place.
How To Tie A Tie: The Grantchester Knot – Step #8
Wrap the thick end behind the front of the knot, crossing from right to left. You should finish this step with the thick end on your left-hand side – with its seam facing outward.
How To Tie A Tie: The Grantchester Knot – Step #9
Keep wrapping the thick end around the front of the knot – this time crossing from left to right. The thick end should now be pointing to your right, with its seam facing inward.
This time, insert a finger underneath the new horizontal band you’ve just created in front. You’ll be passing the tie through it in a couple of steps.
How To Tie A Tie: The Grantchester Knot – Step #10
Bring the thick end through the loop around your collar – passing from underneath it. Point the tip downward to prepare it for the final stage.
How To Tie A Tie: The Grantchester Knot – Step #11
Feed the thick end downward through the horizontal band you created in Step #9. You should end up with the thick end pointing straight down – lying directly over the thin end – and held in place by the band.
Make sure that you pull the thick end all the way through and snug it down. Check that all the slack is out of the knot.
Finally, use your fingers to tease the corners of the knot out into an even shape. And then you’re all set!
The Grantchester Knot – Additional Reminders
• Adjust the tie by gripping the knot with one hand while pulling gently on the thin end with the other.
• The finished knot should be large, slightly slanted at the top, and snug against the collar. It looks best with a full or reasonably wide spread collar (while thicker ties may need a large cutaway spread).
• A properly tied Grantchester is a conservative knot. It works well for business and formal events. It’s also a great option if you’re comfortable with a four-in-hand but you need to use up some extra necktie length.