When Jerry Pratt, an executive at the US Chamber of Commerce, walked into the Minneapolis WCCO TV station he had no idea he was going to create the next movement in necktie knots. All he really wanted to do was help his favorite news anchor, Don Shelby, tie a smaller more symmetrical knot in his necktie. Within a few years the necktie knot that Jerry Pratt showed Don Shelby would be the hottest thing in neckwear knots. It was also the first new necktie knot to be introduced in almost fifty years. The knot became known officially as the Pratt knot, AKA the Shelby knot. Either way we love the smaller size knot that you can get with the Pratt knot as it works great with neckwear made from thicker fabric like the neckties at Olaf Olsson.


Don Shelby was a former American news anchor on WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His work in investigative journalism has earned him an Emmy Award and two Peabody awards. Shelby started at WCCO-TV in 1978 as a news reporter and after a few years began assuming anchor responsibilities. He eventually assumed the role of primary anchor from Dave Moore. Shelby's work often spotlighted current issues, both local and national, and were considered to be rigorous investigative journalism. Shelby retired from television in November of 2010 with his final WCCO-TV newscast on November 22. Although Shelby had a noteworthy career in television news he is probably most well known for the necktie knot that bears his name.

Here is a great video, posted by King Brothers Clothiers, of Don Shelby showing you how to tie a perfect Shelby knot, AKA the Pratt knot:


One of the first things people notice when tying a Pratt knot is that the tie starts out reversed with the seams of the wide and narrow ends facing up. This gives the impression that the Pratt is a difficult knot to tie. But that is not really true, and most people find the Pratt knot much easier to tie than the Full Windsor. Every type of necktie knot creates it's own size, shape, and symmetry. The Pratt knot is similar in size to the Half Windsor, smaller than the Full Windsor, and larger than the Four-in-Hand knot. The shape of the Pratt knot has a pleasant v shape that is very symmetrical making it perfect for more formal occasions. Because of the way the Pratt knot is tied it naturally creates a centered dimple right below the knot. The smaller knot that the Pratt knot makes works well with thicker neckties like the thick, textured cotton that most of the Olaf Olsson neckties and batwing bowties are made with.


  1. Place the necktie around your neck with the tie seems up. Place the small end of the necktie over the big end using your thumb and index finger to hold the two sides together where they cross. Place the end of the small side of the necktie about 2” below your sternum.
  2. Go over and through with the big end of the necktie.
  3. Pull tight to make a tighter smaller knot.
  4. Bring the big end over the knot making sure to hold the knot tight.
  5. Bring the big end under and over the knot.
  6. Thread the big end through the knot. Tighten and adjust the knot as desired. And there it is the perfect Pratt Knot, AKA the Shelby Knot. 

How to tie a Pratt Knot, also known as a Shelby Knot.


The Cherry Shibori necktie tied in a perfect Pratt knot, AKA the Shelby knot.The Indigo Komon necktie tied in a sweet Pratt knot, AKA the Shelby knot.

Check out our Pinterest board on Pratt Knots.

February 19, 2017 — Olaf Olsson