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As you know, the Windsor knot was popularized by crypto-Nazi abdicator Edward VIII, but what are the merits of the Windsor versus the four-in-hand? Can you also explain the British penchant for extremely wide spread shirt collars? I find them appalling.

Okay, first, whether he was a Nazi or not, I rather admire Edward VIII for abdicating. But this has little to do with the value of spread collars. Style mavens often argue that a Windsor is necessary with a spread collar because the narrower four-in-hand leaves a few millimetres of tie visible as it snakes horizontally around the neck. But I am really not alarmed by that sight at all. I have inspected Prince Charles's tie and collar close up, in the flesh, and can report that he sports a widely spread collar and a narrow knot with a tiny end of horizontal tie exposed. That's the kind of rakishness that got the Duke of Windsor such sartorial sway. It's good enough for me.

Russell Smith's latest novel, Girl Crazy, was recently published. Have a fashion question? E-mail style@globeandmail.com.

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