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The Smart Woman's Cheat Sheet: 10 How-To Tricks

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Find out how to tie a tie, light a charcoal grill, order wine, and more with this guide to common "how do I do that?"situations.

1. How to Tie a Necktie

Life is full of mysteries, but between holding down a job and keeping track of who Nick Lachey may (or may not) be dating this week, you don't have a lot of free time to devote to mastering important, albeit elusive, life skills. That's why we've nailed down 10 common "How do I do that?" situations and asked the pros for advice -- so you can be an automatic expert.

The Four-Step Knot

Maybe he's nervous and has temporarily lost his fine motor skills. Maybe you like putting on the finishing touches. Regardless, the best knot is the simple four-in-hand -- especially with button-down collars.

  • Facing him, place the tie's wide end around the right side of his neck, letting it hang about 12 inches lower than the narrow end in front.
  • Cross the wide end over the narrow end and throw the long piece (still the wide end) underneath, around, and over.
  • Pull the wide end up through the loop at his neck and then bring it down through the knot in front.
  • Slide the knot upward to adjust length.

Bonus Tip: Every knot can use a dimple. Squeeze the tie just below the knot and allow a crease to form in the center. Then slide the knot upward and tighten.

Source: Arthur Jordan, a wardrobe consultant at LouisBoston, an upscale clothing store in Boston

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