People have been wearing ties for over 400 years, and yet, despite their longtime use and popularity, people frequently struggle with how to wear a tie.
This is a real shame because the right tie for the right occasion really makes you stand out in a crowd.
Because of this, we’ve written this guide to help you master your tie style! Whether you’re facing a big occasion or want to spice up your workwear, this guide is sure to be your best place to start!
Make Your Tie Proportionate
One of the biggest mistakes people make in choosing ties is acting as though all tie sizes are interchangeable. One-size-fits-all clothes exist, but ties aren’t among them.
When learning about men’s fashion, one of the first things you’ll notice is how critical proportionality is to the game.
Take a classic gray suit, for instance. When you’re choosing your suit jacket, certain things look better on particular builds.
If you have a broader build, wider lapels on your coat fit your torso better than slim lapels. The same holds if you have a narrower frame; wide lapels would contrast too harshly with your torso.
The same principle applies to your neckwear. When you’re in the store looking at ties, find one that will fit your frame well. If you’re a broad-shouldered guy, a wider tie will pair nicely with your physique.
Once again, if you have a slim build, skinnier ties fit your frame better. A wider tie will produce a distorting effect, perhaps making you look scrawny rather than thin.
If you’re pairing your tie with a coat, be it a blazer or a suit coat, your frame is enhanced when you pair the appropriate size tie with balanced lapel widths. This gives you a proportionate, masculine look that’s sure to make you stand out.
Colors Matter When Wearing Ties
When you’re selecting an outfit, you must match your color scheme effectively. Otherwise, you’ll end up looking like Bozo when your goal was to look like Bond.
There are several considerations to take into account when choosing a tie color. The first consideration is your occasion. Where are you wearing your tie?
Different occasions have pretty strict rules for color, and others provide much more freedom. For instance, at a funeral, you should stick to muted, dark tones.
However, the rules are a lot laxer for social occasions. Maybe you’re out with some friends unwinding after a hard week or meeting an exciting date. Either way, this is an opportunity to impress them with a touch of style.
If you’re new to wearing ties and matching colors, then there’s nothing wrong with a blank slate. Start with a sharp white shirt that goes with everything. From there, build on your palette by trying out different tie colors.
Sometimes, a solid-colored tie can hit the tie pairing spot. An exquisite burgundy tie with a white shirt and dark suit gives you a distinguished look.
Other times, multi-colored ties are an excellent choice. This is usually the case if you’re wearing a colored shirt. A good principle to follow when matching a tie to a shirt is to make one of the colors tie a darker shade of the shirt’s color.
For example, if you’re wearing a light blue shirt, accentuate this with a navy striped tie complemented by silver stripes. The silver pops against the blue, setting off your colors well.
Lastly, when thinking about colors, you also have to think about patterns. In most cases, it’s safest to choose a striped or polka dot tie that only utilizes two colors.
Other patterns like paisley are regular sights in the typical clothing store but are notoriously arduous to match.
Even if you buy a package set that includes a shirt with a matching paisley tie, matching that tie to your blazer, sport coat, or suit is often burdensome. We caution against these ties for all but the most discerning eyes.
Alternative Choices in Ties
There are some situations where you may want to vary your neckwear beyond the standard necktie. A straightforward example is a black-tie event.
Whether your office is attending a charity gala or your cousin’s formal wedding, black tie events are the time to retire your necktie. Instead, invest in a classic black silk bowtie.
Whatever you do, try to avoid getting a clip-on. Though these are much easier to put on, they are noticeable from a mile away. If you’re worried about your bowtie not being straight, don’t worry. Nobody’s ever is.
Bowties are harder to tie, but if you’ve never tied one before, have no fear! We’ve linked to a straightforward guide here.
Another choice in tie fashion is the knitted tie. Unlike standard ties, the knitted tie generally has a square tip and even edges. It doesn’t widen towards the bottom like most ties.
If you’re wondering how to wear a knitted tie, there are endless options. Just as with standard ties, the trick is making sure it’s the right tie for the occasion.
Just like any other time you put on a tie, it’s also imperative that the tie complements your build and whatever coat you wear with it. Likewise, make sure your color scheme matches your clothes and the setting you wear them in.
So long as you follow these basic principles, you should be fine. Remember, your tie is an expression of your fashion! Make your style unique and own it.
Don’t Stress the Details
Don’t stress too much over how to wear a tie. After all, wearing ties is just like wearing any other clothing. As long as you follow the basic guidelines, there’s a world of possibilities open to you!
Have fun with this accessory. Try out patterns you like and see what works for you. If you want more of the hottest tips on fashion, be sure to check out some of our other content!