STYLE & GROOMING

How To Choose The Right Tie

  • BY DANIELLE FOX
    1 / 4 BY DANIELLE FOX

    You could knot a double windsor in your sleep, but can you choose a tie that complements the width of your lapel—and your gut? How are you at matching patterns? What about textures?

    Don’t get all choked up about it—we’re here to help.

    With tips from Brooks Brothers’ neckwear expert Richard Cristodero, we broke down the three steps to picking out the perfect neckwear.

    Related: 10 Style Tips To Nail That Job Interview

     
    Read more
  • KNOW WHAT SIZE MATTERS
    2 / 4 KNOW WHAT SIZE MATTERS

    Big dudes often look even bigger when wearing skinny ties. And slim guys look like clowns with extra wide ones. So, which width is right for you?

    Think of it like building blocks. Look at the lapel of your jacket and then chose the appropriate collar and then the width of the tie. At it’s widest point, your tie should be about the same as your lapel, which is 6.4cm for your average suit. Give or take 1cm of wiggle room, that means a 2.5cm lapel does not work with an 8cm tie.

    Larger guys can wear slim lapels, as long as the suit fits well, Cristodero says. The same goes with a slender dude and wider lapels and ties.

    Your height also doesn’t affect your tie options. If a shorter dude wants to appear taller though, he should stick to a medium to narrow width lapel and tie.

     Related: How To Wear: Skinny Ties

     
    Read more
  • AVOID CLASHING FABRICS
    3 / 4 AVOID CLASHING FABRICS

    Picking the right fabric is about matching the mood of the shirt and tie. A shiny silk tie with a chambray shirt is a no, but raw silk or the silk knit tie above ($50, brooksbrothers.com) is a yes. Think: Casual ties with modern, casual shirt—and vice versa.

    Pair cotton and linen ties with cotton shirts for laid-back days, especially during hotter months. Wool and cashmere knit ties will help keep you warm and polished at work during winter, yet stick to microfiber or silk ties for fancier moments. They’ll great during any season. Although you should reserve your black silk tie for life’s biggest occasions—weddings, funerals, and court dates.

     

    Read more
  • CHOOSE COLOURS AND PATTERNS WISELY
    4 / 4 CHOOSE COLOURS AND PATTERNS WISELY

    A solid colored tie is always a safe choice given you avoid the obvious offenses, like pairing a cherry red tie with a black dress shirt. Similarly, a plain black tie without a jacket can make you look like the office temp or an aging British rockstar.

    For the classic look, make sure your tie’s pattern picks up the dominant color from your shirt. That means a green plaid tie with a green shirt, for example. To take a bolder step, pair complementary colors, like a blue shirt with a soft yellow tie.

    Whenever mixing patterns, remember that the stronger pattern in a suit or shirt, the weaker pattern should be in the tie (and vice versa). So if you have small pattern—thin stripes or polka dots—pair it with a large one, like an oversized floral. For a bolder look, start with a statement pattern like a floral and repeat it on a smaller scale.

    Another tip to note: Larger prints will seem more casual, while understated patterns will read sophisticated. If that sounds like a lot, Cristodero says to just trust your judgement. If you think it looks off, it probably is.

    Related Video: 

    Read more