Now we’re all adults and know how to tie a tie (or at least should do) so I’m not going to patronise you by explaining the basics, no we’re going to look at the finer points which also need to be considered by styling a tie. For some people it’s a daily chore something which is a necessity for work, others it may just be that item which lays gathering dust at the bottom of your wardrobe only to be dug out for weddings, funerals and interviews. Both are sad statements, not only do I think that the tie is a a crucial part of a man’s wardrobe (not to be left untouched until the next formal event) but it’s also a piece which has evolved a lot over the years to a place where it doesn’t have to be only associated with weddings and funerals. I personally love a good tie, the sartorial style which seems to have dramatically grown in popularity over the past few years is a favourite of mine, and is a look which really gives you the opportunity to show personal style. It’s TV shows like Mad Men and Suits which we’re to thank for the current interest in looking super dapper, you only have to look at the most stylish men in the world (authorised by the likes of GQ and Esquire) to see that dressing up is the best way to show true style. The people to look to for sartorial style tips are British Model David Gandy, Thor star Tom Hiddleston and American actor Joseph Gordan-Levitt. These guys really know how to wear a suit, each have created their own look by using the same basics of a shirt, jacket and tie. Whether it’s for a business meeting or a casual meal out with friends, there are different variations of ties and each have their own guidelines as to creating the best possible look with it . These are the 3 basics:
Skinny ties became huge about 10 years ago and has since become a popular choice for many men as it often feels more youthful and slightly less businessman like. Keeping the width in proportion with your chest size is important, so if your built like a rugby player then go for a wider tie. As a standard rule I would avoid choosing a heavily patterned tie to go with an equally busy shirt, so no mixing paisley ties with plaid shirts…. Take a leaf out of Joseph Gordan-Levitt’s book and keep everything plain except for one feature piece. If you don’t want to feel like you’re on your way to work then opt for a skinny tie, shirt, cardigan and jeans, it’s a look which oozes style and is very easy to pull off. You can also get the winter version which is a skinny woollen tie, typically in understated shades like black, grey and navy, they look great with a plain white shirt, blazer and smart jeans.
This is the style which you’d see walking the halls of Eton and Oxford University, the classic diagonal stripe in those bold and traditional colours of navy, emerald, mustard, red and black. This is what I’d call a ‘Gentleman’s Tie’, very unstated but shows that you mean business (and oddly enough usually a popular choice for a ‘work’ tie). A tie pin really finished off this style and for a very Mad Men inspired look, go with a set of braces as well. You can’t get more of a masculine look if you tried.
Very similar to the Club tie with regards to size, and is definitely one for those with broader chests (look toDavid Gandy for inspiration). This style of tie is pretty versatile and is probably the most common out of all of them, with the wider size it means you can experiment with different knots to create a really striking feature. I would be more inclined to mix up an array of patterns here, it’s something which only few can realistically pull off without looking like they bought the tie from a bargain bucket on the way to an interview. If you’ve ever seen the TV show Scandal you’ll agree that Harrison (above) is one of those guys. He mixes checks with polka dots and stripes with paisley, creating this laid back and uber dapper look.
So having explained the basics of the art of tie styling, all that’s left is to suggest a couple of knots which will separate you from the rest of the workforce. The Eldredge knot is an intricate but easily accomplished knot, as long as you have the patience to learn it (don’t get too carried away with wrapping the tie around the knot). The Trinity Knot is bound to get you some attention, it comprises of three symmetrical folds within in the knot and looks great with a plain satin tie. Lastly is the Cape Knot which is a bit harder to do, so master the other two before trying to tackle this one. So a tie doesn’t have to be a boring and bland reminder of work or obligatory family events, it’s a truly masculine accessory which is not only timeless but also adds some flair to your daily style.