misterdonuts

Senior Member
It's a curious prejudice. There was an interesting recent poll about whether one looks down on those that wear a Windsor (or half Windsor) knot. I do not look down on people based on their tie knots but do have a preference, which happens to exclude the Windsor knot. I am unable to articulate exactly why I find the Windsor knot unattractive, regardless of the accompanying collar width or height. And, to be honest, I am not inclined to spend much time thinking about why I don't like it -- I just don't. However, the stereotyping of those that wear a Windsor knot, namely, that they are not trustworthy, intrigues me.

Would anyone know the origin(s) of this stereotype? :icon_scratch:
 

dfloyd

Advanced Member
The knot one ties in his ties depends....

upon the width/thickness of the tie and the collar spread, not some prejudice which exists only in one's mind. For example, my thick Robert Talbott ties must be tied with a FIH, my thinner, less heavy ties look best with a Shelby. Also, I use a windsor for the art deco ties which have a much thinner material. Fred Astair, the #1 icon for superlative dressing, used a windsor most of his life. He usually wore button down collars with a nice roll to them, and, of course, ties were thinner during his time until the seventies. How could anyone not have faith in Fred?
 

misterdonuts

Senior Member
dfloyd, many thanks for the swift feedback but I think it belongs in the other polling thread that I mentioned. My query is related but different, which is why I thought it appropriate to start a separate thread...:icon_smile_wink:
 

misterdonuts

Senior Member
Perhaps I was not clear enough in my original post that the said stereotype or prejudice is not something that I subscribe to or hold. For the avoidance of doubt, I am referring to a stereotype that seems to exist in the broader world, outside the four walls of my house.
 

Good Old Sledge

Senior Member
There are more passionate students of his on this board and I daresay someone will chime in, but didn't James Bond opine about the trustworthiness of folk with a given knot somewhere?
 

Leather man

Super Member
know what you mean

Not only have I heard of this prejudice, I share it! It is completely illogical and I do my best to ignore my feelings but whenever I see a man with a windsor knot my gut reaction is that he is untrustworthy. Its like he's a spive or a wide-boy but I have no idea why!:confused:
 

misterdonuts

Senior Member
Yes, it was mentioned by several people that Iam Fleming put those thoughts in 007's mind, but surely the author did not invent the prejudice. Or, did he?

Could it be that some thought that there is something dodgy about someone who, presumably, is attempting to approximate the Duke's style by using another method? I'm completely mystified. Similar to the stereotype that those who wear brown shoes cannot be trusted, which is another one that mystifies me...:confused:
 

Infrasonic

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Not only have I heard of this prejudice, I share it! It is completely illogical and I do my best to ignore my feelings but whenever I see a man with a windsor knot my gut reaction is that he is untrustworthy. Its like he's a spive or a wide-boy but I have no idea why!:confused:
I think with the over large "look at me" knots there is a n. riche connotation (e.g. premiership footballers in the UK, basketball and a.football players in the states) implying a lack of taste. Perhaps it's the ultra competitive environment that pushes the peacock tendency too far?

Although we keep hearing about Beckham getting into bespoke (Cleverly for shoes) so perhaps subtlelty will make a return.
:devil:

Windsor with a thin tie looks ok to me.
 

iammatt

Advanced Member
upon the width/thickness of the tie and the collar spread, not some prejudice which exists only in one's mind. For example, my thick Robert Talbott ties must be tied with a FIH, my thinner, less heavy ties look best with a Shelby. Also, I use a windsor for the art deco ties which have a much thinner material. Fred Astair, the #1 icon for superlative dressing, used a windsor most of his life. He usually wore button down collars with a nice roll to them, and, of course, ties were thinner during his time until the seventies. How could anyone not have faith in Fred?
Not necessarily. I prefer to tie the same knot each time and let the size of said knot be determined by the thickness and silk of the tie. To tie larger knots with more delicate or thinner silks looks a bit ridiculous to me.

As for Windsor or half Windsors, these are just terrible. I remember being excoriated by my father for wearing one when I was younger, and he was absolutely correct.
 
I think the poster who said it was a bit 'nouveau riche' hit it on the head. It's always seemed to me a class thing - the long-established upper and upper-middle classes in Britain tend to wear FIH ties. Maybe it's a hangover from school days, when they would have had to wear a tie everyday, and, as a seven year-old learning to tie his tie, been taught the simplest knot known to man: the FIH.

As such, those wearing a suit with a Windsor knot are probably upwardly-mobile types who only started wearing ties in adulthood. Social climbing is frowned upon in the UK, though almost everyone does it, so maybe this is the origin of the prejudice Fleming (who went to Eton) articulates; A man who wears a Windsor knot is nouveau riche, a spiv, a social-climber etc. Either that, or foreign.
 

Andy

Site Creator/ Administrator
Staff member
There is a James Bond quote in either Dr. No or From Russia with Love about not trusting a man with a Windsor knot or that men wearing Windsor knots are cads. Robert Shaw was the man in question and turns out to be the bad guy.

I prefer a half-Windsor for the symmetry and squareness of the knot. So just half trust me! :icon_smile_big:
 

Rich

Super Member
In the UK the FIH is the knot preferred by the armed forces, the uniforms of expensive schools, the MCC, exclusive golf clubs, the landed gentry, etc. If you wear a Windsor knot you show you don't belong to any of these, i.e., that you are not a true gent and therefore not entirely trustworthy.
 

pt4u67

Honors Member
There is a James Bond quote in either Dr. No or From Russia with Love about not trusting a man with a Windsor knot or that men wearing Windsor knots are cads. Robert Shaw was the man in question and turns out to be the bad guy. :icon_smile_big:
That would have been From Russia with Love. Of course ordering red wine with fish should have been the dead give away.
 
Last edited:

laufer

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
I do not know what everybody on this board does for living but I cannot afford to have prejudice against anybody while I am on business. I meet a wide variety of people and it would quiet foolish to lose a contract or account just because I disliked the way somebody dressed. Or even worse base my judgment on some movie line and the stupid movie it was.
 

misterdonuts

Senior Member
I think the poster who said it was a bit 'nouveau riche' hit it on the head. It's always seemed to me a class thing - the long-established upper and upper-middle classes in Britain tend to wear FIH ties. Maybe it's a hangover from school days, when they would have had to wear a tie everyday, and, as a seven year-old learning to tie his tie, been taught the simplest knot known to man: the FIH.

As such, those wearing a suit with a Windsor knot are probably upwardly-mobile types who only started wearing ties in adulthood. Social climbing is frowned upon in the UK, though almost everyone does it, so maybe this is the origin of the prejudice Fleming (who went to Eton) articulates; A man who wears a Windsor knot is nouveau riche, a spiv, a social-climber etc. Either that, or foreign.
I knew the preference for FIH but cannot understand the prejudice against the windsor knot specifically, as opposed to all knots other than the FIH. Is this because the windsor was / is the preferred knot amongst the middle and lower classes? The theory is consistent with most other distinctive features separating the upper class and the rest in English society -- the tendency of, specifically, the middle class to overcompensate or overdo whatever it is that they feel is important in projecting their upwardly mobile status, such as the perpetually clean recent model BMW. The unnecessarily complex knot fits right into this tendency. Now that we are slicing and dicing this particular issue, it is starting to make a lot of sense. The upwardly-mobile-therefore-cannot-be-trusted theory is very persuasive.

Very good, guys!!
 

Orgetorix

Honors Member
I know a lot of guys who tie a Windsor just because it's the only knot they ever learned from their dads, and for all they know it's the only way to tie a tie. I don't see any reason to look down on them or distrust them, even if they choose a knot I don't personally prefer.
 

misterdonuts

Senior Member
It is also interesting to observe the way Americans have responded / reacted to this thread thus far. The cultural divide is quite considerable, it appears.
 
Your email address will not be publicly visible. We will only use it to contact you to confirm your post.

IMPORTANT: BEFORE POSTING PLEASE CHECK THE DATE OF THE LAST POST OF THIS THREAD. IF IT'S VERY OLD, PLEASE CONSIDER REGISTERING FIRST, AND STARTING A NEW THREAD ABOUT THIS TOPIC.