How To : Choosing the Perfect Tie



A man’s tie reflects his personality, his position in life and his personal sense of style. Take a typical investment banker, for example. A very conservative dresser, his ties are usually solid dark blue that at times feature stripes of grey, while other times the ties are grey with blue stripes!

On the other hand, less conservative people such as artists, entertainers, fashion conscious individuals, wear designer ties that speak of power and a flamboyant lifestyle. Trendy silk ties with flashy patterns fresh off the racks in designer stores are more their style.

The big question here is what should you look for when buying a tie, in terms of colour, size, width, and style?

Colours and patterns

  • Solids are always very striking and elegant, especially when they are of high quality and made of one hundred percent woven silk. Bold colours are burgundy, red and the whole line of brick tones. If you are looking for something a little more stylish, opt for greys and blacks. These make for extremely rich styles when matched with a similar toned shirt, and a well-tailored suit.
  • Go for bold and simple patterns; choose stripes, various styles of diagonal stripes, or solid patterns.
  • Floral patterns or fuchsia coloured ties aren’t usually the perfect fit for a board meeting!
  • Always consider buying ties that are versatile and that can match most of your shirts and suits.
  • Furthermore, your choice in ties is much like the choice of the rest of your wardrobe; it has to be consistent with your style, your suits and the rest of your attire.
  • If you are a conservative dresser, ties with motifs of animals or cartoons are not recommended because you would not be able to carry off the look!
  • As a general rule, spend a little more and buy quality instead of quantity.

Size and Width

  • Generally, the proper width for a tie is around 3 1/4 inches, and anything in that range will never really go out of style. These days, trends seem to be going towards ties that are a little wider, like those popularised in the late 60’s and early 70’s, something close to 4 could be very stylish.
  • Standard neckties come in lengths from anywhere between 52 to 58 inches long, depending on brands and styles.
  • Price is usually a pretty good benchmark of quality, but if it’s made from quality silk, a tie should be very supple when touched. It shouldn’t be frail, and don’t ever buy ties with misweaves and puckers.
  • A characteristic of a quality tie is one that has been cut across the fabric so that it allows the tie to fall straightforward after the knot has been tied. If it curls when you put it across your hand, it was probably not cut across the fabric and should not be purchased.