How to Wear a Tie? The Simple Guide

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Many fashion experts believe that it’s important to own a decent set of ties. That way, you can always choose the right tie for every occasion, instead of always relying on the same old ones and hoping the event matches your tie. With the second approach you might get lucky at first, but sooner or later you are bound to make a mistake.

how to wear a tie

Just as important making the right choice, though, is to wear a tie properly. Many people focus on buying the best tie for the job, and then simply don’t pay any attention when tying it. In this post, we are going to discuss some of the most important rules you need to follow to make sure your tie is properly tied and fitted.

1. Tight Knot, Tight Look

Make sure the knot has the right amount of tension to it; otherwise, you will need to constantly refit the knot every time you move your head. You shouldn’t overdo it though, or you will risk stretching and damaging the fabric.

Also, the knot should be placed directly above the top button of the shirt, which should not be visible. Recently some men have started wearing ties loosely, but keep in mind this kind of look only works in very specific informal settings.

how to wear a tie

2. The Tail of the Tie Should Always be Shorter than the Blade

This is a common reason why many inexperienced tie-wearers need to redo the knot several times until getting it just right, but it’s for a good reason: a tie where the narrow part (or the tail) is visible because it’s longer than the blade (or wide part) doesn’t look good.

This is simply a matter of adjusting the length of each end of the tie when first setting in place around your neck and before starting to tie it. As a general rule, when placing the tie around your neck, the tail should be roughly at the same height as your navel.

Bear in mind, though, that the knot you choose will also be a factor in this. Bigger ones such as the Windsor Knot will need more fabric to complete the knot, so the wide part of the tie should be longer and the tail should be shorter. On the other hand smaller, simpler knots such as the Four-In-Hand need less fabric, so you may need to make the tail longer.

One final note: when the knot is finished, the tip of the wide end of the tie (which now should be the only one visible) should sit right in the center of your belt.

3. Match the Size of the Knot to the Collar of the Shirt

When choosing a knot, you should take into account the type of collar on your shirt. In order to wear it properly, the knot should always fill the space left by the collar; wide collars call for big knots, and narrow collars call for smaller knots. Pretty straightforward.

how to wear a tie

4. It’s a Tie, Not a Noose

Make sure the knot is aligned with the collar of the shirt and that the rest of the tie follows suit, hiding all the buttons of the shirt. If you are having trouble keeping the tie vertical, make sure you’re using an even knot, such as the Kelvin Knot. It will make your life easier and create a symmetrical look.

5. If This is Your First Time, Keep It Simple

Don’t go overboard with the different types of knots. Stick with the simple ones at first, such as the Four-In-Hand. There’s a reason why they are among the most popular types of knots: you can’t go wrong with them. When you have more experience, then you should be able to tell apart which events or settings allow for bold, extravagant options such as the Eldredge Knot.

6. Leave Button-Down Collars for Casual Ties

This one is open for intepretation, but the general consensus is that button-down collars (shirts with a button at the tip of the collars) are adequate for more informal settings. With this in mind, formal ties should never be paired with button-down collars. If you’re using a button-down collar for an informal event, switch to a casual tie.

how to wear a tie

Skinny ties are often a good match for button-down collar shirts.

And that’s it. Got any other tips you use to make a great impression with your tie? Share them in the comments!


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