Selecting The Right Necktie


When dressing in suit and tie, it is the necktie that will often add the dash of flavour to the overall outfit. While suits are typically gray, navy, or black and dress shirts either blue or white, it is a man’s neckwear that adds a strong accent with its colour and pattern. With so many necktie options, finding the perfect tie can be overwhelming. This article seeks to alleviate that pain so that you can explore the art of neck tie selection.

Necktie Pattern

Ties come in many patterns ranging from stripes to paisleys to tartan-check. So how would you go about matching a patterned tie to a pin-striped suit and a checkered pattern dress shirt? What are the rules to matching necktie patterns?

The rule for matching patterns is that no two pieces of clothing should utilize the same pattern size and to a lesser degree pattern type. The distance between the stripes on your shirt should not be close to the width of the stripes on your tie; by doing this you can create an optical illusion of movement which the human eye finds unattractive. Hence matching a subtle pin-striped suit with a larger check patterned dress shirt and intricate paisley pattern tie is acceptable. This rule applies when matching 3 or 5 patterns. A man will not wear a tie whose colour he doesn’t like, but will often try to wear one whose colour is pleasing but pattern is wrong.

Necktie Colour

When matching colour the first thing you should do is look at all garments together to make sure that the colours are in harmony. If you have doubts, trust your first impressions and try something different. Start with the suit. It is the largest clothing item and will be the foundation of the outfit. Next, pull out a few dress shirts of various colours and patterns and ensure you have two options that match the suit. After that, pull out a few of your favorite ties giving the suit and shirt priority, select a tie that compliments your clothing. If you feel your tie does not match, do not try to force it. Instead simply substitute it for a more subtle necktie. If uncertain, the safest bet is to stick with the traditional tie colours of business. Non-bright red and to a lesser extent gold and blue will go with most dark suits and  white or light to medium-blue shirt combinations. Always remember that you want the necktie to complement your suit and shirt, not dominate them.


Necktie Proportion

Although often not as important as either pattern or colour, proportion can play a role in matching when a necktie varies from the Italian style of 3.5 inches plus width to 1.5 inches skinny tie. There are also Ad Man tie with the width of 2.5 inches and the Classic tie with 3 inches width. For skinny or wide ties you need to take in factors such as the height and weight of the individual and the width of his suit’s lapels. A thin petite man will look sharp with thin lapels and a thin tie, while a large man with wider build lapels wearing the same skinny tie will look ridiculous.

A necktie can say a lot about you and convey your personality to others. While picking out a tie, consider these tips.

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