Traditional neckties are long and slender, but many men are searching for something different in terms of neckwear. Big, puffy knots have a vintage feel that lends distinction and elegance. The look recalls the cravat, a staple of men's fashion in Victorian and Edwardian times. The cravat is a wide, scarf-like neckpiece usually tied in a large visible knot---it's still available today in men's speciality stores. To create similar large-knot looks with modern neckwear, you'll need a wide tie or a cravat and a spread-collar shirt that accommodates the size of the knot.
This classic knot is loose and casual---like looping a scarf beneath your shirt. Because of its looseness, you can customise the amount of puffiness you get by leaving the knot loose or by pulling it tight. The method is the same used to tie a knot in your shoelaces. The wider the tie, the easier it is to puff up the fabric for a large knot. Both ends of the tie should hang down loosely, tucked beneath your shirt.
This knot is traditionally tied with a cravat, but you can try it with a wide necktie or even a knit scarf. It's called a "ruche" because the finished look consists of a large, scrunched knot. It is constructed by looping the longer end of a tie over and underneath the shorter end, pulling the longer end up through the knot and then down over the shorter end through the knot again. Because of the width of the fabric, the extra fabric scrunches up to make a puffy knot instead of lying smooth. The wide ends of the tie hang down, one beneath the other, just like a traditional necktie. The knot itself should be somewhat loose.
The width of this knot can be puffed up as much as you like, or tightened for a more traditional look. Because it is wide, it's a good visual contrast for men with long faces. Its basic construction involves creating a knot by looping the wide end of a tie over and through the narrow end twice, then pulling the wide end through the knot and tightening it as desired.
Italian-Style Wrapped Knot
Hollywood stars like Puff Daddy have been known to mix up their looks with extra-large tie knots. The look is unfamiliar to many men in America, but this style traces its origin back to Italy. To create the look, you need an extra-long tie; although these are readily available in Italy, they're harder to come by on this side of the Atlantic. The tie is created with extra length so you can wrap it around the knot at least three times. The knot becomes big and puffy, looking more like a ruche knot than a traditional tie knot.
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