Common Mistakes Men Make with Ties
Even as we’ve grown more and more casual as a society, there will always be something to be said for a man in a well-tied tie. The clean lines and angles of a good necktie add a great deal to a man’s wardrobe. However, those clean lines and angles don’t draft themselves. Wearing a tie requires finding the right tie and wearing it right—something some guys still struggle with. Here are some of the most common mistakes men make with ties.
The Windsor, the half-Windsor, the four-in-hand…there are so many ways to tie a necktie, and so many ways to tie one wrong. Size, shape, and pattern don’t matter if your tie is not crisply knotted. Appearing as if you can’t tie your own tie is one of the worst messages you can send with your apparel; nothing says a little boy in a grown man’s body quite like a poorly tied tie. If you’re going to wear a tie, make sure you master the art of the knot.
Ties, like their wearers, come in all shapes and sizes. It’s simply a matter of matching the tie to its wearer. If you’re as thin as a rail but tough as a nail, you’ll want a skinnier tie, too. Conversely, a skinny tie on a wide frame is an unflattering juxtaposition, and you’ll want to go with a wider tie.
The shape of your tie can be a problem vertically as well as horizontally. While tie length has ebbed and flowed as fashion trends come and go, the ideal tie length is for the tip of your tie to reach the center of your belt or waistband. A tie that ends too high above the belt can look decidedly unserious, and a tie that dangles past the waist looks downright sloppy, as if someone much larger than you has had to most charitably lend you a tie just to get in the door. Make sure you get the length right, using a tie bar to make slight adjustments if necessary.
Even the finest necktie can be undone by an unsightly splotch. A coffee stain on a tie isn’t just hard to miss, it’s impossible to ignore. With a stain on your tie, people won’t be listening to what you say or appreciating how the rest of your outfit looks; they’ll simply tune you out and nod along as their eyes are drawn to the stain on your tie. Stains can be hard to get out of ties, but if you’ve sullied one and think you can get away with wearing it, think again.
Failing to make sure you have the right tie for the occasion is one of the most common mistakes men make with ties. Your Spider-Man tie may feel like just the right touch of personal flair and individuality to break up a Grey Flannel Suit world, but your potential client on the other side of the table may not be as into comic books as you are, and take you less seriously as a result. When in doubt, err on the side of subtlety when it comes to your tie. With a clean, well-knotted tie that fits you right, you’ll never go wrong with the classics.