Far from one-size-fits-all, the wrong tie (in the wrong place, at the wrong time) can be just as bad for your look as any ill-fitting blazer. So it pays to know your stuff.
For instance, did you know that your body type dictates the ideal width of your neckwear? Or that not all textures will fly in the office? Or that the wrong pattern can make you look like a clown from The Apprentice?
No? Well, read on and find out exactly how you should be wearing a tie and why doing so the right way is the easiest way to up your tailoring game.
Every well-dressed adult knows that one of the secrets of a good outfit is proportion. But while most know to pick a suit that matches their frame, it’s a rule that’s often forgotten when it comes to ties.
“Different tie widths suit different body shapes,” says Campbell Carey, creative director at Savile Row tailor Huntsman. “The correct tie should complement your suit and keep your outfit in proportion.”
This can be achieved by matching the width of your tie (and, by extension, your choice of tie knot) to the width of your lapels (slim for slim, wide for wide), which will already have been matched to your frame. Think of it like a sartorial Tetris.
“A broad man should consider a slightly wider tie [around three inches] to match his larger shoulders,” adds Carey. “Slim ties [usually around two inches] suit skinnier guys because it complements their [narrow] body type – just make sure your shirt collar is smaller in proportion, too.”
As for the length of your tie, let your trousers be the guide. “A tie should always hit the waistband of a trouser,” says Carey. “Any lower and it’ll get in the way, while too high looks cheap.” And no, a clip-on tie is not the answer.