Onassis Necktie Knot
The onassis knot
How to tie an Onassis Necktie Knot

This “knot” or rather, absence of knot, was first seen on the Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis in 1989. Not sure if he is the inventor, but he is certainly the innovator. I have seen several ways to tie it (well only two) one is the Full Windsor base and the other is a Four-in-Hand base. Both end the same way, and both end up looking the same. I prefer the Windsor variation for two reasons: it is a firmer knot, and will knot come loose on it’s own, and it creates a symmetrical knot so it’s easier to keep the top of the Onassis horizontal. But like I said, it hardly matters, start it whichever way feels more comfortable to you.

Knot Dossier

  • Difficulty: Low

    If you know the basics of how to tie a necktie, this is actually one move easier than the simplest of knots.

  • Fabric Consumption: Med

    It uses the same amount as the standard Full Windsor knot, maybe a bit less.

  • Symmetry: Very High

    This is probably as close as you can come to perfect symmetry. The knot is almost totally squared off, and then simply runs down your shirt. There should be no kinks in the symmetry, it’s perfect for maximizing the “put together” look.

  • Style: Patterns, Paisley, Stripes

    The absence of a knot brings full focus on the tie itself. The is THE KNOT for showcasing a nice tie. That is the reason this knot is wasted on plain solid ties. There is nothing to show off and the tie ends up looking boring. Keep this knot in your arsenal for when you get that one tie you want everyone to notice.

  • Vanue: Any

    Because the variation on this knot seems to go unnoticed so easily I feel that it is acceptable in all environments. Willie Mays actually wore this knot when he met Barack Obama and it was all over the internet. If you can meet the president in it, I think you can pretty much do whatever you want.

  • Tips

    • Awesome with vest
    • Great way to feature a cool tie pattern
    • Great way to feature a cool pin or clip
    • Good attention grabber
5 replies
  1. Lindsey Leavett-Brown
    Lindsey Leavett-Brown says:

    This goes back at least to the 1930s. Dr Goebbels wore this with a stickpin when wasn’t wearing an oriental knot. An image search will confirm this.

  2. Adam
    Adam says:

    A quick question for the author of this article, how could Aristotle Onassis have popularized this knot in 1989 if he died in France in 1975?

    • Kevin MacNutt
      Kevin MacNutt says:

      My guess is he popularized it in 1969, not 1989. Amusingly I first saw this knot worn by WKRP character Herb Tarlek who was known to be a loud, obnoxious dresser even by 70s standards.

  3. Jeff Hess
    Jeff Hess says:

    Good morning all,

    I was looking for this know this morning because one of my favorite teachers in Marietta, Ohio, Mr. Muscari, always wore his ties this way in the ’60s and ’70s. So, while Onassis may have made the knot famous, Mr. Muscari rocked the knot 30 years earlier.

    Do all you can to make today a better day,

    Jeff Hess
    Have Coffee Will Write


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