how to wear a tie

Are You Wearing Your Tie Correctly?

By Vizoni Uomo

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A guide on how to wear a tie the right way every time.

Colour & Pattern

The first thing to consider on how to properly wear a tie is colour and pattern. This aspect of wearing a tie is what most men have the most trouble with. Knowing which colours to match with what is not always easy and can sometimes be daunting. Before worrying about colours, there is one simple rule that will keep you on the right track.

Your tie must always contrast your shirt.

What this means is that if you are wearing a light shirt, put on a darker tie and vice versa. Your tie is a complimentary accessory and as such it should blend with your overall outfit. A good contrast is key to making a successful outfit. For example, a dark blue suit and a white shirt will match very nicely with a dark grey tie. A light grey suit and a light blue shirt will match excellently with a dark red or burgundy tie. If you follow this rule, most times you will find the colours you pick will end up matching.

Tie patterns are somewhat easier to deal with in the sense that there are some age old wisdoms concerning this aspect.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that your tie’s pattern should not clash with your suit’s or shirt’s pattern. If you are wearing a striped shirt, do not wear a striped tie. A better match would be a solid tie or a floral patterned tie. If your shirt and suit are both solid, you are free to roam where the wild things are.

Volumes can and have been written about this particular subject; however, for our purposes, these two basic rules will get you very far.

Current Tie Trends

After colour, the next and most important aspect of what a “stylish” tie consists of is the tie’s width.  Although there is no universally agreed upon standard, current tie trends favour skinny or slim ties.  These kinds of ties are about 1.5 – 3 inches at their widest point, respectively.  

Although slim and skinny ties are in fashion, they are not for everyone, and in the world of high-end men’s fashion this is an important point to acknowledge.  An even more important point to acknowledge is the reason why skinny and slim ties are currently in fashion.

Proportions, proportions, proportions…

The reason skinny and slim ties are so popular right now is because slim-fit and form-fitting suits are what’s in style right now.  Yes, a tie has the ability to make or break an outfit, however, it is essentially an accessory meant to compliment your suit and shirt.  This is where knowing why slim and skinny ties are in fashion comes into play.

Proportions are all encompassing and take many factors into consideration.  When it comes to formal menswear, its all about proportions, or in other words, the distances and lengths between certain aspects of your clothing.

 For example, when you wear a suit, you must pay attention to the length of the base of the blazer in relation to the reach of your arms, or even the distance between the blazer’s chest pocket and side pockets.  When these types of proportions, among others, are not met, you end up looking silly.

The Right Dimensions

You already know that skinny and slim ties are in style because slim fit and European cut suits are all the rage.  But how does this help you with anything?

Well, the reason these two factors are correlated is because the maximum width of your tie should match the maximum width of your suit’s lapel!

 One of the hallmarks of a slim fit suit is a slimmer lapel.  Of course there are exceptions, but slim fit suits are usually cut with a maximum lapel width of about 3 inches.


You can see in the image just above, a good example of how a suit’s lapel and tie’s maximum width should match.

** If you are not wearing a blazer, make sure your shirt collar is slim as opposed to wide.**

One of the exceptions in terms of lapel size would usually come in the form of a double breasted suit.  These types of suits usually come with larger lapels.  As such, double breasted suits typically require you to wear a larger tie to match the larger lapels.

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Proportions continued…

Another aspect of formal menswear that falls into the proportions category is the size of the tie’s knot.

This is a really important one.  

Slim and skinny ties are not meant to have large or intricate knots such as a Double Windsor or Trinity.  A bulky knot will make your skinny or slim tie look odd around your neck.  As well, most slim ties are made with a total length of five (5) feet.  Therefore, if your knot was too large it could leave your tie looking shorter than it should.

 A simple knot, or four-in-hand, is perfect because the knot will be small enough to be proportional to the overall width of the tie.  Keep in mind that when you are wearing a skinny or slim tie you are going for a look that is more modern and trendy, therefore an asymmetrical knot such as the four-in-hand will help complete the look.  You can even try a double four-in-hand if you want something that will help make you stand out more.  If you’re not a fan of the asymmetrical knot, try going for a half-windsor, although we really only recommend this if your tie is at least 3 inches wide.

A double four-in-hand knot on a skinny tie.
A simple knot tied on a skinny tie.

You can look through our essential tie knot guide by clicking here, or check out some more eccentric ones here.

Body Type

Body type and size is also a factor to take into consideration when wearing a slim or skinny tie.  Skinny and slim ties vary in width from brand to brand.  Unfortunately, the bigger or heavier you are, the larger your tie should be.  We’re not saying heftier men can’t wear slim or skinny ties.  However, if you fall into this category then the width of your tie is definitely something you should be paying attention to.  

A super skinny tie (under 1.5 inches wide) will tend to make a big guy look even bigger, the way a horizontally striped shirt would.  Of course it depends on your size and these rules vary from person to person, but use your judgement and keep in mind that it’s all about proportions.  A slim tie that is around 2.5 to 3 inches should be able to help you complete a more modern look.


The last and perhaps most important thing to take into consideration regarding which tie to wear is occasion! 

At Vizoni, we live by the words: you do you.

Menswear in the 21st century is a reflection of your individuality and creativity.  We can see this in all the different ways there are on how to tie a tie.  There is also such a vast range of colours and styles to choose from.  However, just like there is a time to play and a time to work, there is a time how to dress.

The best example of this is with a tuxedo.

James Bond GIF by STARZ - Find & Share on GIPHY
You will never catch the classiest spy wearing a tie with a tux.

Why you shouldn’t wear a tie with a tuxedo combines two of the aspects we’ve discussed earlier. The first aspect being that tuxedo lapels can vary greatly. The second aspect being the tuxedo shirt. Most tuxedo shirts come with a broken collar or folded front. These two aspects combined are what make a tuxedo ideally worn with a bow tie.

Another fairly important occasion where you should take tie etiquette into consideration is a job interview. This kind of occasion will take your tie colour more into consideration than anything.

Typically for job interviews, you want your tie to compliment your outfit. If you’re dressed sightly more casually, for an entry level position or engineering job, for example, think about doing a simple knot as opposed to a double windsor. Or if you are applying for an executive position, a bold tie with a double windsor would be just perfect!

There are many things to take into consideration regarding how to wear a tie, and it is not always easy. We hope that this guide was helpful to you, and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

~The Vizoni Team~[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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