10 Rules About Ties You Need To Know

Categories Fashion

The science and style of neckwear.

1. Length Matters

The tip of your tie should just reach the middle of your belt buckle or waistband, not be up around your sternum or down near your tackle. A tie at correct length helps balance your torso and legs. Too long or too short and it throws everything out of wack.

2. Width Matters

Why do ties get fatter and skinnier over the decades? Well, think about the size of suit lapels and you’ve got your answer. The width of your tie should match the width of your lapel. As a rule of thumb, slimmer is modern, wider is old-fashioned, both it tie and suit.


3. Knot Science

How big is your head? Tricky question, we know, but you must have some idea whether you’re a fuller or lesser noggined fellow. Whatever the case, it determines whether a full- or half-windsor knot will look best on you. Bigger head, go the full; smaller head; opt for the half. Don’t believe us? Try it and see how it helps achieve a sense of proportion.


4. Colours & Patterns

A simple rule is that your tie should always be darker in colour or shade than your dress shirt. Check the colour of your shirt and choose a tie that contains the same hue somewhere in its design. Next ensure that patterns complement each other in scale and orientation. For instance, don’t pair big checks with big checks or vertical stripes with vertical stripes. Matching a striped shirt with a tie with small polka dots will work, as will a check shirt with a vertically striped tie. As for wearing a black shirt, you can go for a lighter colour — but better not to go too constrasty; a deep red will look better longer than a flashy bright red.

5. Pocket Squares

Pocket squares undoubtedly add a dash of polish to your look. But you’re making a beginner’s mistake if you go matching one exactly to your tie, either in fabric, colour or patter

6. Conservative Is Better

You can’t go wrong with block colours or simple and subtle patterns. But the more garish you get, the more risk you have of destroying your attempt at being sophistication. Novelty ties of any sort? Forget ‘em. You won’t look dapper or funny, just desperate and friendless because, like, who let you go out wearing Daffy Duck around your neck?

7. Bow Ties Can Work

If you think you can carry off wearing a bow tie then go for it because done right it’s the one neck tie variation that says class and sophistication with a dash of creativity and originality. Go for subtler colours and patterns unless you want to look like someone who should be wearing a straw hat and playing jazz on a steamboat. While learning how to self-tie isn’t hard, there’s no shame in going for a pre-tied or clip-on.


8. Like With Like

Match your tie’s fabric to that of your suit. In the summer opt for cotton with cotton; wool with wool in the winter.

9. Tie Bar

For a little more sophisticated pizazz, a tie bar – those thin shiny metal clips – can work wonders for your shirt, suit and tie combo. They’re correctly positioned between the third and fourth button of your shirt.


10. Button Up & Down

When you’re wearing a tie, keep your top button done up. If you’re wearing a button-down shirt with a tie, button those buttons! Few things look sloppier than a man with collars that seem to be struggling against his neckwear.