Today’s Chit-Chat is on “How to pick the right tie?” Okay, men this blog is for you all. Ties come in a large variety of colors, design, fabric, and even cut. Because there are so many choices most men have difficulty making a decision when browsing the tie racks. While personal preference is important, there is more that goes into choosing the right tie. Below are three essential tips to help you choose the perfect tie.
The most important thing you should consider when choosing a necktie is proportion; that is, the length and width of the tie, and how they relate to a person’s size/build. There is nothing worse than seeing a short tie on a big/tall guy or a extra long tie on a short guy. If you are not sure of the length checkout this link Tie Length Calculator
Let’s chat a little bit about tie width. The bigger man typically looks better with regular width ties (3.25 to 3.75 inches) while shorter and/or thin men can add a trendy touch by wearing skinny ties (2 – 2.75 inches). Besides your build, the type of jacket you wear needs to complement your tie. As a good rule of thumb: The narrower a tie the narrower the lapels of the jacket should be.
Now, let’s chat about tying your tie in the right proportion. First, the tie should be tied to end near the center of your belt buckle. Second, the size of the tie knot should fill the gap between your collar – making larger tie knots (such as the Windsor) more suited for spread (aka cutaway) collars.
How to do a Windsor Knot
1. Start with the wide end of the tie on the right and the small end on the left. The tip of the small end should rest slightly above your belly-button (this will vary depending on your height and the length & thickness of your tie). Only move the active (wide) end.
2. Wide end over the small end to the left.
3. Up into the neck loop from underneath.
4. Down to the left.
5. Around the back of the small end to the right.
6. Up to the center, towards neck loop.
7. Through the neck loop and down to the right.
8. Across the front to the left.
9. Up into the neck loop from underneath.
10. Down through the loop you’ve just created in the front.
11. Tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end. Slide the knot up & adjust.
It’s important to realize that there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” color, as each ensemble and event dictates the need for certain color palettes. For example, a black tie event calls for just that (black tie), with other tie colors being off limits. Semi-formal “suit and tie” scenarios, on the other hand, offer up a great deal of other possibilities. As for the most popular colors; deep blues and reds are at the top of the list. These colors tend to represent professionalism and confidence, and are ideal for those who are trying to draw attention in their direction. If you are wanting a more casual approach to wearing a tie, you can experiment with practically any color to see whether or not it is a good fit for your outfit. Always strive to choose ties based upon seasonality; pastels and light colors in the spring/summer, rich earth tones in the fall/winter.
Once you have a thorough understanding of which colors to choose and when, you should move onto choosing the right pattern for your tie. There are a variety of different schools of thought regarding how to properly pair a patterned tie with an ensemble, but perhaps the most important thing to understand is that the pattern of your tie should not otherwise be present in the rest of your outfit (otherwise, clashing will almost always occur). For example, a striped shirt will look great with a dotted tie, yet not with a striped tie. Stick to semi-patterned ties at first, which are far easier to pair than those with loud patterns; thin/wide stripes, dots and checks are all excellent options. Of course, the simplest pattern of all is that of the solid-colored tie, which also happens to be the most versatile. If you feel as if a pattern you’re considering might be too “loud,” it likely is, and you’ll do best by just moving on.