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The Ultimate Necktie Guide

July 02, 2022 6 min read 2 Comments

A man sitting wearing a tie

There are mixed feelings about neckties. Some love them, some hate them, and some are indifferent towards them. As fashion trends evolve, the necktie is increasingly absent, and the casualization of the workplace does not help the situation. However, this does not mean neckties are on their way to becoming obsolete. On the contrary, they still make a fashion statement when worn correctly and can influence how others perceive you.

The conventional thought is that the tie is a formal accessory in a man's wardrobe that projects professionalism and authority. Earlier, there were few options men had when it came to making statements with their wardrobes. This is why the tie was the best option for men to affirm themselves. The case is, however, different today; men can express themselves in other ways besides wardrobe, perhaps the reason for the decline in people wearing ties.

Do you have an upcoming event that requires you to wear a tie, and is it making you anxious? In this article, we discuss some basic things about neckties that will go a long way to ensure you look dapper on the day.

Why Should You Wear Neckties?

In the 90s, ties were reserved for men in white-collar jobs. This included those in industries like banking, accounting, and law, as well as managers and politicians. In the 2000s, people adopted more casual dressing styles, and the use of ties became somewhat limited to formal events such as weddings, graduations, black-tie dinners, and christenings. 

Today, ties are greatly underrated. If worn correctly, they can significantly impact your look and persona. If you are debating on whether to wear a tie or not to that event, here are some reasons that could influence your decision;

  • A tie will elevate your outfit by several notches. First, it makes you look classy and put together, giving a strong impression.

  • Since the 17th century, neckties have been regarded as a symbol of honor, order, and nobility.

  • A tie makes you look smart and influential, even when that is far from the truth. Making a good impression is a good thing as it opens opportunities and commands respect from people. So, if you want to influence or command authority, make a point to wear a tie to that event.

  • They signify professionalism. Most people that regularly wear ties wear them for professional purposes. This could be work or events like weddings or work-related events.

  • Wearing a tie shows that you care about your look. People are impressed when they see you took extra time to ensure you looked your best.

How to Tie a Necktie

There are several ways to tie a tie, but a common principle underlies them all, let it look effortless. There are also a few general rules to guide you on the length and width.

Necktie Length

Your tie should be long enough to sit right above your belt buckle

Necktie Width

Ties come in various widths, most ranging between 2 – 2 ¾''. Your suit's lapel is what guides the ideal width of tie you should wear. The rule is that the tie's widest point should be about the same width as your lapel. This means that slimmer ties are worn with slim lapels and wider ties with wide lapels.


In addition, consider how your body is built. For example, wider lapels and ties work best with broad shoulders. Conversely, slimmer ties and lapels are recommended for those with slimmer shoulders and small stature.

Common Tie Knots

There are a variety of styles for tying a necktie which includes:

  • 4-in-Hand Knot

  • Windsor Knot

  • Half Windsor Knot

  • Pratt Knot

  • Oriental Knot

Tie knot dimple

Not many people are familiar with this term. It describes the slight fold in the fabric, just below the Knot of a tie. Necktie enthusiasts say that the presence of a dimple is what sets apart the men from the boys. However, in essence, the dimple adds visual interest to your tie. Without it, your tie will look limp and likely bulge out of place.

Common Necktie Fabrics


Cotton ties are great for warm weather. They are lightweight and are easy to clean, iron and store. 


Polyester ties are lightweight and have a slight sheen to them. 


Linen ties are considered more casual. They are textured and a good pick for warm weather too.


If you want to add character to your outfit, wool ties will help you achieve that. They are highly textured and have a more informal presentation. Different types of wool, such as cashmere, are usually used.

Necktie Styles and patterns

When buying  neckties, it makes sense to have them in different styles and patterns. This allows you to have a tie to match every occasion and outfit. Here are some popular necktie designs to consider:

Striped Ties

Striped ties are most suitable for formal occasions and business meetings. These are three styles of striped ties: British, American, and repp.


The British striped ties, also known as regimental feature stripes, run downwards from left to right. They are available in different colors and materials.


The American striped ties are just a variation of the British stripes. The difference is that their stripes run downwards from right to left.


Repp stripe ties are the most popular style. They feature diagonal stripes, which are a weave instead of a pattern. The result is a highly versatile tie that can be worn both in the office and on dates.

Floral ties

These ties are not only festive but they can be worn all year long; though they are most popular in warmer weather seasons like Spring.

Polka dot ties

In the past, dotted or spotted clothing was only popular among women. Today, it is acceptable for men to wear these patterns. Dotted ties allow men to add a playful edge to their formal attire.

Knitted Ties

As the name suggests, they have been knitted. They have a rough texture and are best for casual or everyday office wardrobes.

Tartan and Plaid Ties

They feature a pattern of regular stripes and squares that form a diamond when they cross. The pattern goes down from both sides at an angle.

Paisley Ties

They have a middle-eastern floral pattern that repeats all around the tie. They have an attractive visual appeal and are worn for casual functions.

How to wear a necktie

A necktie is considered an accessory to your outfit. This does not mean that it works by itself. For a sharper and clean look, you can pair several accessories with a tie, including tie clips, chains, pins, and bars.

How to match a tie with a pocket square

A man with a tie and pocket square

Your tie does not have to look like your pocket square exactly. However, they should complement each other. Here is how to balance the two:

  • Let your pocket square accent your tie. For example, it should have one of the colors in your tie.

  • Avoid playing mix and match with materials. Instead, let both be made from the same fabric. However, this rule exempts cotton and linen, which can be worn together.

  • Choose colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.

how to match a tie with a suit

  • Modern suit cuts work with slim ties

  • Avoid overly narrow or wide ties

  • Your ties should always be darker than your shirt 

  • Choose tie style carefully when wearing patterned shirts or blazers to avoid clashing. In addition, the tie should complement your outfit.

A man walking in a suit with a polka dot tie

Frequently asked questions about neckties

Q: How Long and Wide Should My Tie Be?

A:  The general rule is that your tie should be long enough to touch your belt buckle slightly. As for the width, it comes down to your style and preference. The trend leans towards skinny ties, about 2.25 inches to 2.75 inches at its widest point. Whichever width you wear, make sure it's about the same width as the widest part of your jacket's lapels.

Q: When can kids wear ties?

A: Just like adults, kids can wear ties whenever there is a need to dress up. This could be during weddings, funerals, christening, dinners, prom, etc. Some schools also have neckties as part of their uniform.

Q: Can You Wear a Tie With a Dinner Jacket?

A: In most cases, it is acceptable. However, if the trousers and jacket are in different colors, a tie isn't necessary, and you can wear a pocket square instead. 

Q: How do I take care of my tie?

A: It is pretty straightforward. If necessary, do a spot treatment first. Then proceed to machine wash in cold water on a gentle cycle. Use a small amount of detergent but do not use fabric softener or bleach. Hang them in the open air to dry and if wrinkles form, use steam or iron on low heat to work them out.


Now that you have learned the correct way of wearing a tie, you probably want to upgrade your wardrobe to meet your needs. We stock a wide variety of neckties to suit every occasion; visit our website today to buy quality and fashionable ties.

2 Responses

Jose Guajolote
Jose Guajolote

February 04, 2024

1. You forgot the best and most common tie material of all. Silk!

2. Wash your tie? Don’t even think about it! Take it to the dry cleaner.

3. You only need two knots. Four in hand and Half-windsor. Anything else is foppery.

Victoria Addington
Victoria Addington

November 07, 2023

I appreciate your advice that a tie does not have to precisely match a pocket square when purchasing one. I’ll definitely share this with my cousin, who has been looking to purchase a wedding tie, and ask him to keep this in mind as well as look into merchants who can assist him in finding a high-quality one.

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