All About Ties: The Ins and Outs of Tie Width

December 01, 2016

Buying a tie is typically an easy affair.  You head to your nearest department store and choose from the selection before you.  Most of the ties are the same length and cut. So you’re usually focusing more on color and pattern.  But there’s more to buying a tie than just gravitating to what you like.

Lapel Width Is Key

The ultimate deciding factor in which tie you should purchase is your suit’s lapel.  Your tie’s widest point should match the width of your lapel at its widest point.  More than trend or occasion, your tie choice depends on the suit you plan to wear it with. 

Go Wide for Prints

Printed or patterned ties should be of the wider variety. The designs need room to breathe.  When squeezed into a skinny tie, things can get a little congested in your look. If you want a bold tie statement, go all the way with a traditional width.

Knit Ties Look Best Skinny

Knit ties tend to show up more often in the colder months.  If you plan on rocking one, try them out in skinny widths.  Knitted ties are a bit bulkier.  The wider they are, the messier your knot will look.  Keep them skinny so the more casual fabric doesn’t distract from your overall aesthetic.

Avoid Ultra Skinny at All Costs

A tie that’s skinnier than two inches just shouldn’t be worn unless you’re being styled for a magazine shoot or putting together a stylish costume.  There’s no suit lapel that will match this width.  So, wearing this tie is a gamble that won’t pay off.

 Tie width might seem like a minor detail but it matters.  The right combination of lapel and tie widths can make or break your look.  Follow these simple rules and you’ll find yourself on the right side of dapper.