Choosing the right tie for the right occasion can sometimes be an art form. But we’ve made it simple right here with this easy guide. Select the right tie for you based on your height (under 6’1″ or drastically above?), the occasion (joyful, work-related, or somber?), your personality (a PBR or martini drinker?), and your tie knot-tying skills (beginner or jedi?).
How Tall Are You?
One of the first things to consider when selecting a tie is your height. Generally, anyone who is under 6′ 1″ can wear a regular tie and have it hit at the correct length, right above your belt buckle. However, anyone above 6′ 1″ generally needs an extra long tie. It’s very apparent when a tie is too short and is guaranteed to ruin your entire ensemble – so don’t start off with the wrong size.
What’s the Occasion?
Which color and pattern tie to choose depends largely on whether your occasion falls into the fun, work, or formal category. With fun occasions like date nights, happy hours, or dinner parties, go for something that adds a little spark to your usual getup. We like fun stripes and patterns or polka dots.
For more formal occasions such as weddings, prom or dances, and funerals, it’s best to go traditional and classy. For weddings, try a colorful stripe, and for prom, go with a colored solid to match your date. For funerals, a somber solid or black is appropriate.
For work occasions, choosing a tie is all about standing out, showing confidence, and looking well-put together – but not standing out too much. Great tie choices for job interviews or corporate roles include a herringbone pattern or a neutral solid to pair with your suit. The exception in the work category is the creative type, where standing out a bit puts your personal creative style at the forefront. For the creative job, show off your creativity with a funky bright stripe.
What’s Your Personality?
Your height and the occasion matter, but when it comes down to it, you should also consider your personality and personal style when choosing a tie to wear. Otherwise you can end up looking like you’re trying too hard.
So if you’re a horn-rimmed glasses-wearing hipster, don’t be ashamed to admit it and crack a PBR while wearing a bright, eclectic bow tie. Or, for a look more of the Mad Men persuasion, don a skinny tie and a well-fitted suit (and a martini, of course). If you’re a prepster dreaming of a look a la a GQ cover, opt for a wool square tie. But ultimately, there’s nothing wrong with going classic in a traditional tie for timeless and effortless style (you can always throw in a sweet pair of shades or flashy cuff links for an interesting style element).
How Are Your Tie Knot Tying Skills?
Finally, you should consider your ability to tie a perfect knot when choosing a tie. If you’re a beginner or novice, stick with a simple knot or half windsor knot, which look great with virtually any tie. If you consider yourself an intermediate, go with the windsor knot, which is perhaps the most common tie knot. For those who are more advanced or even of the jedi level, try the trinity or eldredge knot, which are complicated knots with a stylish payoff.
Need some tips and tutorials on tie knot tying? Check out the tutorials here.