Tie knots. I’ve written about The Small Knot, the Four-in-Hand, the Half Windsor, the Windsor knot, and the Shelby (or Pratt). There more to be learned if you want to be a serious aficionado. But if we cover the Prince Albert, we’ve hit the major knots in use today in the Western, tie-wearing world. In fact, of all the people who do know how to tie a tie, the vast majority reportedly use only a couple of these, with the Four-in-Hand listed as the most popular by many sites. Some sites that give instructions don’t even include all of the ones I’ve listed here. And most tie-wearers are not brandishing different knots for different purposes with thought and skill, as you and I—ninjas of the tie world—are.
If you don’t really care either way, then go for the Small knot or the Four-in-Hand and be done with it. But if you are into wielding tie knowledge like a true style master, than I’d say knowing these knots—and the Why and When of them—will elevate you from some gat@ who has to throw on a tie to please someone or fulfill a societal obligation and thus, ends up looking sort of frumpy or clerky or pained about the whole thing, to someone who can adapt his or her style to the moment, the shirt, the mood, and the social event and thus leave an impression.
Anyway, the Prince Albert.
The Prince Albert, like the Four-in-Hand, is a conical knot. Long, but even fuller than the Four-in-Hand. The Small Knot, the Four-in-Hand, and the Prince Albert are all basically the same knot, but each one steps up the plump until, at the Prince Albert, you are sporting an undeniably girthy and admittedly ostentatious knot. I’d say it works well in an example like the one shown here: where the colors of tie and shirt are already a bit bold—tho it certainly is not limited to such cases. (To be picky, I’d critique my own knot here by pointing out that the bottom should be horizontal, and mine is slightly slanted.)
The Prince Albert knot is great for long collared shirts and should probably only be used by those who have the confidence to carry such a look. Like the Windsor, it’s a showy knot. (I guess it’s no mistake that the Duke of Windsor is said to have made the latter popular, while the former is named after a Prince!)
Okay. Go forth! Impress the world with your fat, silken knot! Strut like the royalty you are!