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All you need to know about ties

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Section: Building Your Wardrobe - Blog

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From your first school tie to the slick skinny tie you wore at last year’s company social, there’s no doubt that the strip of material we habitually hang about our neck holds a very prominent place in our lives. And considering this magnitude of importance, it’s a little surprising that many of us still see our neckties as an afterthought when planning our look. So we reckon it’s time to get back to basics and make sure that we’re all in the know with regards to one of our favourite men’s accessories.

Classic tie

You know the tie your dad used to wear every time he went out for dinner? Or the one that your geography teacher wore every day for three years? Well, that is your classic tie. We recognize this particular style of tie by its width. Head down to any men’s store and the first tie you lay eyes on will most likely be a classic tie. This is the tie of the people, the tie for the masses. But don’t presume that its popularity means that it’s the safe bet or even the boring option. No, this is a tie that you can wear on any occasion without fear of committing a fashion faux pas or crossing the unseen dress code line.

classic

Bow tie

No need to explain this one. It’s a bow tie after all. Worn only to ultra-formal events, right?

Wrong.

While the bow tie is often considered a hallmark of formality, it’s also got bucket loads of personality. Think of your old Uncle Frank, who never left the house without one of his polka dot numbers about his neck. Could it be that the bow tie can be part of a smart casual outfit? You know what? Your Uncle Frank was ahead of the curve in terms of style. Bow ties are an excellent way to inject that charming nature of yours into your look.

Usually, you’ll find they come in three styles, the slim line bow, the jumbo bow, and the rather cool sounding batwing tie. All have their place in sartorial circles, and we’ll elaborate on that in the coming weeks. For now, though, you should get to grips with mastering the quite tricky art of tying your batwing or you’ll be limited to the ready-tied racks.

bow_tie

Cravat

An often misunderstood piece of neckwear, the cravat is not only the reserve of European playboy aristocrats but is quite the stylish addition to a smart casual look. It’s perfect for a day at the Regatta or even an informal wedding bash, just be careful to keep the colours understated.

We also find that it’s a great finishing touch to a formal wedding suit but wearing it on such an occasion will require a pin and an in-depth knowledge of cravat knots.

cravat

Slim & skinny tie

We cannot stress how important it is to match your tie to the fit of your suit and for this reason we have grouped both the skinny and slim tie together. Of course, both ties should be worn only with suits of a matching fit, but remember too that the shirt fit is just as important. Voluminous shoulders and a one-inch wide necktie do not a good combination make.

The major difference between these two styles is that skinny ties have a certain retro feel and for this reason they are quite often used as a component in a casual look. It’s not unusual these days to see a man in jeans and a casual shirt wearing a skinny tie and to be honest; it’s a pretty good look.

skinny_tie

Wool tie

Now, why would we mention the material as surely it doesn’t impact the look of a tie as much as the style. This would be true of common tie fabrics such as silk, but wool is a little different. Replacing your usual tie with a woolen alternative during the winter months not only adds a little warmth but brings some texture to your outfit. Smart casual event – a square tip wool tie will do nicely thank you very much.

wool_tie

So on your next shopping trip try not to think of your neckwear as that afterthought we spoke of earlier but as the finishing touch that completes an overall look. And watch out for our post on bow ties in the coming weeks.

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