If you take a step back, the whole idea of neckties seems pretty silly. It’s a piece of cloth that men tie around their necks. It doesn’t seem to have any rhyme or reason, and men sometimes use this pretense to avoid wearing one.
Men in ancient times, from Rome to China to Egypt, couldn’t resist tying a piece of cloth around their necks. And it was the cravats worn by the Croatian mercenaries of the 30 Years War that really transformed the tie into a popular and widespread accessory. So while we may never be able to know the reason why, it’s indisputable that men have always felt a little manlier with something slung around their throat. There’s just something about neckties that make a man look powerful, assertive, and put together.
There is definitely an art to creating and picking out a proper necktie. A necktie can say a lot about you and convey your personality to others. When picking out a tie, consider the following factors to ensure you make a good purchase.
This guide is based upon personal preference, but may be used as your personal reference. For the larger man, I understand that finding a tie may be a difficult task, but if in need of one, visit the Long Tie Shop.
- A Tie Is the First Thing People Notice
“Nice tie!” That’s always what people say. Their eyes can’t help but go there. So while you do want a tie that looks great all on its own, remember, it shouldn’t be a novelty piece. It’s meant to speak to the rest of your outfit, not stand apart from or clash with it.
- Length Matters
Whether you’re six feet four or five feet six, the tip of the tie should hit right at your beltline— not three inches below it, not two inches above it. That is, unless you’re doing the whole short-suit thing. And then, yes, let the tie hang tight above the navel.
- And So Does Width
As many woman do, I prefer a skinny tie over a wide one. I buy my husband ties that are about two and a quarter to two and three-quarter inches at its widest point. Much wider than that and you start to look like a congressman. This thinner width works both at the office and on the town, syncing up with any modern-cut suit.
- Keep It Solid
I love a vibrantly striped repp tie or a boldly patterned club tie. But you’re not going to see much in the way of dizzying paisleys or loud wallpaper prints. I’m not into ties as conversation pieces. A tie should anchor an outfit, reaching for solid or subtly patterned ties. They ground a busy shirt like a plaid or a gingham, and they stand strong against a crisp white or pale pink. They’re fail-safe
- The Essential Can’t-Go-Wrong Tie Wardrobe
I’m not saying you shouldn’t own more than five ties, but if you owned only these, you’d be set for every outfit and every occasion.
See photo above: From left to right:
In the middle of winter, you’ll want a tie to pair with your heavier-weight suits.
For formalwear occasions, for a gray suit with a white shirt, or for a leather or jean jacket. Exceptionally versatile.
Like a polka-dot, but much smarter and more subtle.
Any tie with a repeating logo. Once just for the Ivy League set, now for anyone with serious style.
Still a Capitol Hill staple, but now cut skinny for the cool kids, too.
- Get All Accu-Weathery and Match Your Tie to the Seasons
You should think of your tie as a way to fit in with the seasons, like wearing white jeans in the summer. So if you’re sporting a khaki or seersucker suit, pair it with a cotton tie. And come fall, if you’re wearing tweed or flannel, reach for a woolly tie. Tiemakers these days are offering a ton of options on both sides of the seasonal spectrum. These ties provide instant personality without feeling gimmicky.
- The Cheat Sheet:
Slim down. If you want a modern look, go for a tie that’s about two and a half inches wide.
- The tip of your tie should reach exactly to your beltline.
• The four-in-hand is the only tie knot you need to know. It goes with every shirt and suit.
• If patterns and colors confuse you, don’t sweat it. A solid dark tie with a white or light-color shirt is a can’t-miss combo.
• Buy a slim black silk knit tie and wear it with everything you own.
• Match your ties to your suiting fabrics— cotton ties with cotton suits in summer, wool ties with wool suits in winter.
• It’s official: Bow ties are back, whether you want to wear one with your tux or with your cardigan. Buy one and learn to tie it.