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Ties are an easy way to spruce up your look and are a given in any formal situation. They can lend your outfit some individuality, or they can make you look professional. Here are a few tips on wearing them well.
Tie patterns and prints
Your tie should always match and complement your suit. It should pick up on one of the colors you are wearing, for example if you are wearing a pale blue shirt you should wear a darker blue tie. In formal situations, your tie should be darker than your suit, but in more informal settings you can play around with style a bit more. For an attention-grabbing look, try putting a bright, block colored tie with a black shirt.
Patterned ties can be tricky, but can make your outfit more interesting. Choose a pattern that incorporates the same colors that are subtly present in your suit and shirt. Don’t choose a tie with more than a couple of colors, or it will look a bit too psychedelic.
Ties with silly prints are great for situations where you don’t need to be taken seriously, and can be a talking point. You can even make silly ties into a running joke with your social group, and have them wondering what kind of tie you’re going to wear next. Keep in mind, however, that they are quite a gimmick. Don’t rely on them to be an icebreaker if you don’t need to.
Skinny tie or fat tie?
Skinny ties are always a fashion statement. Even if you’re wearing a basic black skinny tie, you’ll look like you’re channeling the Blues Brothers. In contrast, fatter ties always give off a more traditional impression. They are more formal than skinny ties, although skinny ties have stealthily made their way into the workplace. Consider how you would like to be received and what is appropriate for the situation, and make your choice. A word of advice about skinny ties though; you have to be slim yourself to make them look good. If you are large around the middle area, a skinny tie will just accentuate this. Your whole outfit needs to be slimmed down to make a skinny tie work, the lapels of your suit jacket and your shirt collar also have to be quite narrow.
Tying your tie
If your knot is lopsided or squeezed too tight, your whole look can be ruined. There are plenty of ways to knot a tie, and even more YouTube tutorials. There is no excuse for not having a perfectly tied tie – practice at home until you get it right. The biggest tie faux pas is having a clip-on or elasticized neck tie. It may look authentic when you first put it on, but every time you move it becomes obvious that you didn’t tie it yourself.
The most distinguished knot style is the Windsor, which always looks neat and level. However, just about any knot will do the job.
Your tie should extend to below the belly button, but above the waistband of your pants. Length can easily be adjusted when tying your tie if you make it too long, but if it is too short then you need to start over. If you’re particularly tall, you may need to purchase ties longer than the standard 57 inches.