Getting dressed can be an all morning affair sometimes. This can especially be true when they switch the dress code at my job from casual to business dress. Putting the khakis and the jeans away and getting back to the dress slacks and dress shirts usually brings forth the dilemma of the necktie. Finding the right tie to wear with what shirt? What kind of knot to tie? The questions are endless, but fear not that what we are here for.
Color/Material/ Pattern – Let’s start with the most crucial element of tie wearing. The right color and pattern for a tie can make or break dates, job interviews, and pretty much anywhere that wearing a tie is necessary. As far as color is concerned, a guy should stick with the basics first. Business environments should be basic colors. You don’t want to show up to work drawing attention especially if you are behind on your workload (it makes it easy to spot you). In situations that require a business shtick, think in terms of conservatism. The same way your suit should be blues and blacks, your tie should be subdued as well. Save your color for formal events. Having a nice bright red or splashing spring orange will give the right amount of panache in the right atmosphere, particularly one where you need to be seen. Patterns and designs can fit into any atmosphere as long as it’s tastefully done. There is nothing wrong with matching stripes and grids, polka dots, and paisley prints. Again, environment is the coup d’gras here…don’t show up to work with the Super Mario tie with the company VP coming into town and anything that lights up should get you a one-way trip to the unemployment line. Ties should always reflect the occasion and draw attention to the full body of dress not distract you from them.
Knots – The five main ties knots you will see are the Windsor, Small Knot, Double Windsor, Four-in-Hand, and the Prince Albert (pause). While I won’t get into any extensive detail about what differentiates them from one another (see Brooks Brothers website), you may want to take the time to do so so that you will be familiar with what knot goes with what collar and shirt type.
Saturday Night Tie – One of the biggest tie-wearing misconceptions is that tie wearing is reserved for squares at work or for Sunday morning service. WRONG. I like to think that there is no better place to bust out a nice tie than when you are out and about. If tastefully done you can easily draw attention from all angles. Again, panache is paramount. How you rock it is going to be just as important as the the color, style…etc.