The 3 Most Important Considerations When Buying a Necktie

The 3 Most Important Considerations When Buying a Necktie

Choosing a necktie can confuse even the most stylish and fashion-forward man. with so many options, how do you pick the right width, length, color, and pattern? much of the decision comes down to personal taste and the occasion (a wild, floral print might not be right for your conservative office) but a few rules of thumb make buying ties easier.

1. width and length

fashion changes over time and even from year to year, and nowhere is this truer than with menís neckties. a tie that is too wide or too skinny runs the risk of making you look like youíre wearing a costume, or is just hopelessly out of fashion. in general, the best width for a manís tie is about 3.25 inches at its widest point, or about half the width of a dollar bill.

if you have a broader chest, a slightly wider tie (as in 3.5 to 3.75 inches) will look most attractive. if you have a smaller build, a slightly thinner tie is appropriate; just avoid anything smaller than 2.75 inches. your height matters too, when choosing a tie. ideally, the tip of a tied or clipped necktie should just hit the top of the pants waistband. for most men, this means a 57 or 58-inch tie is adequate. taller men may need a longer tie; 62-64 inches is the norm.

remember that the thin end of the tie should be no more than an inch shorter than the wide tip when tied. if the tie is too short, it will not lie correctly and you will need to tack down the back in order to keep it from showing.

2. fabric

the finest menís neckties are made from a single piece of silk, folded over on itself several times, and then lined with 100 percent lightweight wool. these ties are extremely expensive, and worth the investment.

if you donít have the budget for one of these ties, there are other options:

synthetic silks and silk blends have a number of advantages over real silk. they are more easily dyed, meaning they offer a wider range of colors, and resist wrinkles and stains better than 100 percent silk.

polyester and microfiber ties offer the look of silk without the price.

seasonal fabrics, such as cotton or linen for summer and wool for winter, are a nice change of pace and add variety to your wardrobe.

3. design

choosing the tie color and pattern design is usually the most difficult part of buying a menís neckties. the wrong tie can ruin the entire look of an outfit, while the right tie can pull it all together. the general rule of thumb for choosing a pattern is to avoid any elements that already appear in the outfit; in other words, if youíre wearing a striped shirt, avoid striped ties. look for colors that coordinate with the rest of the outfit, not contrasting colors, for a polished and stylish look.