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How to Choose a Tie

Few fashion accessories can enhance an outfit like a necktie. Follow these tips to look your classiest.


  • Step 1: Size it up Pick a tie that hits the top of your belt buckle and measures between 2¼ and 4 inches wide. For a classic look, choose a width that corresponds to the width of your jacket's lapel.
  • Step 2: Remember textures Wear wool ties with tweed or heavyweight jackets, and silk ties with business suits. For a deeper color quality on silk ties, make sure they’re woven, rather than screened.
  • Step 3: Match colors Select a tie that has the colors of your suit and shirt as well as at least one other color to provide an accent. For formal occasions, choose a solid colored tie that’s darker than your shirt.
  • TIP: Avoid novelty ties -- though they can provide a festive look, they're more likely to be distracting.
  • Step 4: Look in the mirror Frame your face. If you have dark hair and a dark complexion, go with a bright tie; if you're fair, choose a darker tie. If your hair and skin tone contrast, wear a tie that contrasts with your skin tone.
  • Step 5: Match patterns Pick a pattern that complements your outfit. If your shirt's pattern is pronounced, choose a subtle tie; if your shirt is muted, your tie can be a bit flashier.
  • TIP: If you wear a striped tie and striped shirt, make sure the stripes are different sizes.
  • Step 6: Stay classy When in doubt, stay subtle; while a tie can be the focal point of an outfit, it's an accessory and shouldn't pull the focus away from you.
  • FACT: The French popularized the necktie in the 17th century after seeing it on Croatian soldiers during the Thirty Years War.

You Will Need

  • Tie
  • Jackets
  • Suits
  • Shirts
  • Self-awareness
  • Sense of style (optional)

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