Originally Posted by sho'nuff
i may be one of the few that thinks the simple fih knot is the most authoritative look for a tie.
i find all the other knots like the windsor, et al are too dandyish to lend itself to authoritative looks. fih is most practical, slightly askew, manly, and a roll-up your sleeve sort of authoritative inclination.
I agree, but I wouldn't describe the windsor as "dandyish". I would say it's authoritarian in its inclination, yet fails as such - it tries too hard. It also appeals to men who don't understand the history of clothes and who associate the symmetricality of the windsor with greater correctness and formality, in spite of the fact that the four-in-hand is the original and proper way to tie a necktie. In a word, the windsor is vulgar.
However, I respect those who are able to tie it well (and can be bothered to do it) - I admire it on the rare occasions when it really looks good. It's definitely the trickiest knot to tie and coordinate elegantly.