Many young men heading out on their own for the first time have never tied a tie themselves. If that’s you, I’d recommend the Half-Windsor as the first necktie knot you learn. While the Four-in-Hand is the easiest knot to tie, the Half-Windsor looks more symmetrical and formal, while being less bulky than the Full Windsor. It’s a very versatile knot, appropriate for all occasions, and goes well with nearly every collar type, except narrow collars.
Illustration by Ted Slampyak