How to Choose and Wear the Right Tie

tieIt’s a phallic symbol for many, with it’s long, slender nature that sits center of the chest and swings left to right like a giant pendulum.

A tie is important, because it allows the suit-wearer to really express his individuality. There’s a lot of ways to make mistakes and there are ways to do it right.

A tie can make or break a job interview, turn you into a hit with the ladies at your best friend’s wedding or simply make you the laughing stock of the corporate world.

Like it or not, the tie is here to stay so understanding how to choose a tie is not only important from a fashion perspective, but has romantic and even financial implications that must be considered.

How to Choose a Tie

A man should typically own between 6 and 10 ties in his wardrobe. While this obviously depends on how much you dress up and go out, it’s nice to have range to choose from.

There are silk ties and season-specific choices such as wools, cottons and linens to choose from.

If you’re only going to buy one tie, make it a solid color, preferably in black or charcoal gray.

If you’re adding to your current tie collection and trying to work in some variety, go for a print or diagonal stripe.

A look that always works well is a basic blue shirt and bold pattern tie. A more subtle look would be a white shirt with a burnt-orange, pin-dot tie. This would make for a great job interview tie.

bold shirt and calm-tiePatterns tend to trip guys up the most, when trying to find a matching shirt.

If you have an aggressively striped bold shirt, you’ll want to put on a tie that has a spread pattern and is a bit calmer. Bold shirt should always = small pattern tie. Basic shirts = bold ties. If you remember nothing else from this article, take this advice with you.

Never put a dark shirt with a dark tie. Paulie Walnuts pulled it off but that show is over and the look is relegated to the closet that houses James Crockett’s white Italian sport coat and t-shirt.

Another tie no-no is putting on a same-colored shirt and tie. Regis Philbin still pulls it off, but looking to kill it like Regis shouldn’t be on your list of fashion goals.

Tie Tips

tie dimpleTo make your tie look good, put a little dimple in it, just under your chin, by holding it between your thumb and middle finger, sticking your index finger in and pulling.

Your tie shouldn’t be too long or too short. It should come to your belt buckle every time.

A man should always forego the desire to wear ties with themes such as Santa Claus, Budweiser or the New York Yankees. That’s like a girl putting on a prom dress and finishing the look with a bandana and nike shoes. It was cute at ten years old but there’s better ways to sport humor as an adult.

Remember: bold shirt = calm tie. Calm shirt = bold tie (if you’re wanting to add bold).
Now go forth and rock that corporate business event.

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  • Andy Barrett

    As someone that is attempting to put together a suit and tie collection and has no idea where to start, thank you for sharing this post and this information. It has helped me quite a bit and I’ll make sure to keep your tips in mind.

  • Hiras Fashion

    I honestly agree upon putting a dimple into the tie as I do it myself. It makes the tie more appealing to the eyes than the regular way it is worn. And lastly, a good suit and shirt should always be complemented with a proper tie and this post made it clear for everyone to understand.
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