Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How to Wear a Skinny Tie

The appropriate width for a necktie is exactly 3 inches at its widest point. Some current trends beg for a tie of less width, which ends up looking hipster and try hard.  Some trends, notably a few Saville Row tailors want a tie of considerably more width.  Unfortunately, most retail stores sell ties that are about 4 inches in width, which looks dated and draws flashbacks of the heavy shoulder padded suits of the 80s and 90s.

Due to the trendy and inherently unstylish extremes in tie width, that is why the 3 inch middle ground is the best.  A 3 inch tie is actually quite conservative and classic, a tie width common for decades until the 1970s ruined more than just rock n roll.  The 3 inch tie is the neutral territory that will grow in popularity and commonality, especially as the 2 inch width becomes more widespread.

The three inch ties are more common with each passing day.  My favorite locations to buy the "slimmer" ties are:

J. Crew - ties sold are exactly 3 inches in width (for the most part).  They are very classically styled with great color combinations.  The Italian silk knit tie the width shrinks to 2 1/2 inches, so wear it caustiously.

Pink - Thomas Pink has a nice selection of slim ties all for $100 a piece.  The colors are typically either pinks or purples but they are nice.

Brooks Brothers - the conservative retailer has moved 3 inch ties into the regular rotation, albeit under the "slim" tie section.  These are beautiful ties, including a lot of rep stripes and even some madder patterns (like the one pictured above).  They also have a nice glen check that looks very sharp.

Ben Sherman - has a line of ties around the 3 inch width.  They come in aggressive colors and patterns and sold widely at Macys.  Some are more conservative than others, but it always good to have a few daring ties in the collection to spice up the white shirt and gray suit look.

Calvin Klein - a small but nice selection of skinny ties.  They are simple designs but usually have a little flair to keep them visually engaging.

Burberry - also makes some very conservative looking slim ties.  I think they may be a little over priced for the quality, personally opting for bespoke first, but they are very nice.  Especially the classic Burberry check.

If you want a timeless style go with the 3 inch width.  It will always be essential to a classic look and will never look as trendy as super skinny ties or the wide ties en vogue with the anchors at ESPN.

No comments:

Post a Comment