A Dapper Dude’s Guide to Wearing Ties [Guest Post]
Even if a tie is not part of your daily work attire, knowing how to properly wear this elegant accessory is simply a must for any man that is past his teens. When it comes to picking and wearing a tie, several things should be taken into consideration. Below I created a complete tie guide that will help you understand everything there is to know about wearing, matching, and tying your ties.
Choosing a Tie
Your choices are endless! In fact, men’s ties come in any imaginable color, design, fabric, width, and length – an abundance of choices that may be indeed a bit overwhelming. To make it a bit easier, here are the 10 most important ties you should own (put in order from most to least important).
1. The Solid Navy Tie
Not only is blue man’s favorite color, but it is also the perfect color for your ties. If you are out buying your first tie, then your best option would be one that is solid navy in color and is 3 to 3.25 inches in width (standard width). What’s great about the navy tie is the fact that it’s easily matched to almost any color and pattern. It will also look nice in any season and is suited for any occasion.
2. A Classic Striped Tie
Stripes are the most popular pattern for ties. Choose a classic striped tie showing no more than four colors which will make pairing it to shirts and suits just that much easier. The widths of the stripes are personal preference. Once again navy is one of the easiest colors to pair.
3. A Solid Black Tie
Every man needs a solid black tie in his wardrobe. It is a perfect piece for semi-formal occasions, it is an important part of funeral attire, and it can also be worn (in some occasions) in place of the formal bow tie.
4. A Burgundy Tie
The second most popular tie color is burgundy along with other darker reds. Ties featuring a shade of dark red pair exceptionally well with suits in gray, navy, and tan. Although suited for any season, ties in burgundy looks excellent during late summer and fall.
5. The Skinny Tie
The skinny tie, first made popular in the 1960s, has made its way back into men’s fashion. With the help of popular TV shows like Mad Men, the skinny tie has become a routine wardrobe staple for young, fashion forward men. Best are skinny ties in solid colors with a width of 1.75 to 2.5 inches.
6. Ties with Plaid Pattern
If you already got a few solid and striped ties in your collection, then adding some plaid to your wardrobe will be a perfect chance. The plaid tie is a bit more casual than the solid necktie. It is perfect if you are looking to add some new texture and design feature to your suit & tie look.
7. A Pastel Colored Tie
The pastel colored tie is the ideal choice for the sunny days. If the pink tie is a bit too feminine for your taste, then choose a light blue or mint-green one instead. Pair your pastel colored tie with a tan suit and you will have the perfect summer look.
8. The Black Bow Tie
Sooner or later any man will be invited to a “black tie” event – an occasion that requires you to dress up to the nines. The classic black tie look consists of tuxedo, pleated shirt, cummerbund or waistcoat, and the black bow tie. Opt for a self-tied bow tie as it is much classier than the tacky clip-ons that you used to wear at your high school prom more than a decade ago.
9. The Paisley Patterned Tie
You already own the solid, the striped, and the plaid patterned tie and want yet another design element for your rotation? Then the paisley tie is perfect. Keep in mind that the larger and brighter the pattern the less formal it will appear.
10. The Knitted Necktie
Especially popular in the fall and winter, knitted neckties are perfect for the tie aficionado that is looking for some change. Best are knitted ties in skinny width of about 2” to 2.5” featuring a flat tip.
Finding the Perfect Tie Knot
Just like there are many different types of neckties, there are many ways to tie them. In fact in his book titled “188 Facons de Nouer sa Cravatte“ did Davide Mosconi shows 188 different necktie knots – a number that is certainly overwhelming even for the most sophisticated tie aficionado. In reality you will be perfectly fine knowing two different ways to tie a tie. The first knot is the Four in Hand knot – a simple knot that is slightly asymmetric and narrow in shape. The second knot is the infamous Double Windsor – a knot that is much larger n size and triangular in shape.
Tie Tips for Big & Tall Men
If you fall out of the average height range, then tying your necktie might be a bit of a challenge. If you are tall and have a larger neck, then you will be best off shopping for XL sized ties (neckties that are 62”+ in length when untied). Another option is to tie a smaller tie knot that takes less of the tie’s length. The perfect choice here is the Four in Hand.
About the Author:
Hendrik Pohl is the owner and founder of Bows-N-Ties – an online retailer specializing in men’s fashion accessories. He is also the founder of Tie-a-Tie.net – the world’s #1 tie resource that has taught more than 10 Million men to tie their ties. When he is not managing his websites he writes for online fashion blogs and publications. His articles have been published on Huffington Post, ABC as well as NBC News, SFGate, Yahoo News, and many more.