Basic Necktie Guide

Men’s Neckties: Wear Them Right

mens-tie-guideThe necktie is one of the most universal pieces in men’s fashion. It’s present in most Western countries regardless of nationality, race, religion or culture. That doesn’t mean, however, that every single guy out there is wearing the necktie like it should be worn. It’s a small style detail but there are many rules that dictate how it ought to be used. Ignoring any of these tie traditions will mean an outfit that looks immature or even simply sloppy.

Keep It Real
Clip-on and Zipper ties are a product of today’s convenience-loving culture. Just because it’s the easy option, though, means you should wear it. On the contrary, a slip-on tie in situations that call for a real one – work, for example, or formal events – is one of the gravest faux pas.

Tying a necktie doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes; these devices were meant for kids who aren’t capable of a proper four-in-hand just yet. They’re fine for a first prom, then, but not for board meetings or your best buddy’s nuptials. Neckties aren’t expensive, either; $20 is usually enough to get you a decent tie that is made from fine silk. There’s simply no excuse for you not to wear a real tie. For more information you may also want to visit our tutorial on How to Tie a Tie

If your problem is with the seemingly time-consuming practice of knotting the fabric, this is something easily solved by practice and repetition. In short, the best and most effective solution is to wear your (real, elastic-free) necktie for often.

Novel, Not Novelty
Since neckties are such a major component of men’s fashions, certain trends do emerge every so often. These trends are things that you should definitely try. What you shouldn’t try, on the other hand, are novelty ties. Not only do they never come up as a trend, but they’re universally unflattering for almost all men in almost all situations.

Plaids, checks and bright colors on your necktie are no problem because these designs are based on the rules of sharp style and good taste. Smiley faces and cartoon characters rely on their cuteness to have an impact, and thus have next to no sartorial merit. If you want to attract attention, you’re much better off with a contemporarily slim tie in a shocking shade instead of wearing one with Taz the Tasmanian Devil on it.

Questions of Proportion
Modern men’s style is equal parts great design and perfect fit; that’s why a profession as old-school and traditional as tailoring still thrives today. Neckties shouldn’t be exempt from that life philosophy. If your shirts and trousers work with the proportions of your body, then so should your accessories – including your ties.

Keeping things proportional is fairly straightforward. If you’ve got some width to your frame, go for wider ties. If you’re on the skinny side, though, you should look around the skinnier end of the necktie width spectrum. Keep in mind that going to either extreme is never a good idea. The range of acceptable widths is from one and a quarter inches to two and three quarters. Anything beyond that is extreme – and extremely unsightly.

It’s true that men’s fashion has become very liberal in the last few decades, which would partly explain why you have so many style options today. When it comes to choosing a necktie, though, staying on the classic side is always the best plan to follow.

Other Suggested Articles:
Guide to Matching Pocket Squares
Guide to Brown Dress Shoes

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