What’s the best way to wear a tie?
The tie occupies a unique place in the modern Irish Man’s wardrobe. In years gone by many men wore a tie on a daily basis. It conferred an air of importance on its wearer. Now, with the advent of the smart casual office dress code, the tie is reserved for a more formal occasion. However, in some countries, such as Japan, the decision to go tie-less is interpreted as insulting to your host.
Your tie can either pull your outfit together or detract from your overall ‘smartness’ depending on what tie you choose. Even though the humble tie has no real function it is a man’s main accessory and allows him to make his look individual. In many ways it’s the wild card of the wardrobe.
Long ties come in a variety of widths and lengths. As a rule the tie should be as wide as the broadest point of your jacket lapel. When tied, the tip should be in vicinity of the belt buckle. It should not be any longer, although a little shorter is acceptable.
Some men fret over choosing the correct tie. There are 3 basic elements to consider – Jacket, Shirt and Tie. At least one of these should be solid. A striped Jacket, striped Shirt and striped Tie simply will not work. If you opt to wear two elements with stripes they should ideally be stripes of different sizes. For example, if the Shirt has pinstripes the Tie should have wider stripes.
As a rule woven silk ties are the dressy option. Knit ties are casual and should be avoided on formal occasions.
It’s not difficult to care for ties, all they require is to be hung on a tie rack when not being worn. Resist the urge to stuff them in a drawer. Avoid folding them unless you are travelling.
If you are a regular tie wearer, you will be aware of the dangers of mixing ties with dinner. If a tie is badly stained you should entrust it to a good dry cleaner.
A pair of physicists once wrote a book explaining that there are 85 different knot possibilities. Fortunately most men can get away with 2 or 3 variations. If you only tie one knot, it should be the ‘Four in Hand’. It’s the easiest knot to tie, it’s modest and unpretentious and slightly asymmetrical. If you tie a four in hand and it looks too small, try a double knot, which simply involves wrapping the big end of the tie around the narrow end twice instead of once. Both of these knots look fantastic with button down collars.
The bow tie was once a wardrobe staple worn by the majority of middle and upper class men, but in the latter half of the 20th century it came to be seen as a bit eccentric and these days most men choose to only wear it when donning a tuxedo. When properly chosen and tied correctly they can look very sharp and fashionable.