The tie just ain’t what it used to be. Now listed as optional not necessary in many a work place. Is this a bad thing? No, not at all, though a strong advocate of a great tie I am not a strong advocate of rules. I am more than happy that the tie is listed as an optional accessory to a man’s daily wardrobe. In fact it makes wearing a tie better in my opinion.

Wearing a tie as a younger man in English prep school was not always something that I enjoyed. Particularly because one has to button his top button when wearing a tie properly. After school I would immediately loosen my tie and un-botton my top button with a deep breathe of relaxation.

Working in retail I am not required to wear a tie and when I do exercise the optional tie I wear it with my top button undone. And I propose that you do the same. Gone are the days of the stuffy boardroom, a casual era has taken over in the corporate world of the US. So wear a tie. Casually. It will speak volumes.

A few notes on etiquette:

Size ratio is important here. Make sure your collar, tie and suit/blazer lapel are of a similar proportion. What I mean is if you are wearing a shirt with a big collar, wear a wider tie, and preferably a wider jacket lapel. The skinny tie needs to be paired with a skinny jacket lapel and skinny shirt collar. This is a general guideline and does not need to be followed to the T, but if you are getting dressed in the morning and wondering why something isn’t looking right, this might be worth considering.

Colors/Patterns: Try to keep it simple for the most part. Navy or black are perfect with just about anything.

Stripes: If your shirt is striped, choose a solid color or make sure your tie has a different width stripe from your shirt.

Knot: I am only showing a 4-in-hand knot. The classic schoolboy knot. It is easy and works best with a casual top-button undone. Check Anderson Cooper in a 4-in-hand.

Pocketsquares and bowties: DO IT. Same general etiquette (width, colors, stripes)

Everyday: Don’t feel compelled to sport a tie every day, JUST STEP YOUR GAME UP

 A Few More Examples of the Unbuttoned Shirt with Tie


One Comment on “STEP YOUR TIE GAME UP”

  1. Oh man I forgot to include the quintessential how to tie a tie graphic for the 4 in hand knot!

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