Much of men’s fashion is rather understated: neutral or muted tones, single colour suits, and sedate (though stylish) hair. A tie therefore presents an opportunity to add a bit of colour, texture or personality to an outfit, standing out while at the same time bringing an outfit together. With such ability, however, comes great responsibility.
There is a lot more to choosing a tie than simply the colour. The next time you’re facing the selection at the shop or you your wardrobe, consider the following elements. First and foremost, you need to get the width right. With the current fashion in suits and shirts being much more slim-line, ties are similarly getting thinner. Once reasonably fashionable, wide ties are now reserved for politicians, old real estate agents and Jim Carey in The Mask. Unless you’re really rocking the hipster look, you want it slim, not super-skinny – it’s all about balance.
Once you’ve settled on the right width and material, it’s time to get a bit more creative with colour and patterns. When choosing a colour or pattern, be sure that it complements or contracts with your outfit – but never clashes. A navy tie with tiny polka dots can bring interest to a black suit and a charcoal tie can bring definition to red and pink plaid shirt, so don’t be afraid to experiment, but if you flinch when you look in the mirror, bring it back a bit. The right weight, ie wool with wool suit. This in turn will also work in well with the seasons.
Once you’ve chosen the right tie, you’re only half way there – you still need to put it on in a fashionable manner:
• Knot – while there are plenty of tie knots about, the four-in-hand is a good go-to in any situation. Learn this one knot, learn it well, and it’ll serve you for years to come.
• Length – the tip should touch your belt line – and your beltline should sit on your hips, never below.
• Snugness – there’s now a little leeway as to how tight a tie should be around the neck. The not-quite-done up look can be very dashing and handsome – if done right. It’s not for work or weddings, but ideal for nights out with a slim black tie.