How Long Should a Tie Be? (and Other Tie Rules)

how long should a tie be
When you want to make a positive impression, it’s generally a good call to wear a tie. If you don’t usually mess with neckties, it might take you a few tries to get your tie to the right length. As you’re engaging in this charade, the burning question “How long should a tie be?” might blaze in your mind. Here are a few necktie tips to get you started.

Related: A Guide to Micro-Print Ties

Tie Length

While the high pants, high tie look may have worked for Jimmy Stewart in the mid-20th century, you don’t really see it much anymore. Fortunately, nailing the proper tie length is very simple. The tie should just brush the top of your belt buckle (you are wearing a belt right?). Anything longer that and you’ll have “tie-crotch.” Shorter and you’ll look like a kid grown too big for last year’s Sunday best.

tie and lapelTie Width

Few men think about the width of their ties — and even fewer think about how tie width relates to the lapels on their jackets. However, that’s exactly what you should do. The blade of your tie should be approximately the same width as the widest part of your jacket lapel. A wide tie with a skinny lapel or vice-versa turns you into one of those “guess the length of this line” puzzles. So just avoid the mismatch and parallel your tie’s width with your lapels and you’ll be just fine.

Tie Knots

The four-in-hand knot (AKA the only one you know how to tie) is the simplest and most common. Good for everywhere from work to an upscale dinner, this knot is the jack-of-all trades of the cravat world. For a little more formality, go for the Half-Windsor, which is slightly larger than the four-in-hand but not as massive as the Windsor. If you want to go the whole hog, and have a shirt with a spread or cutaway collar, you can opt for the Windsor knot. Windsor knots work for only the stuffiest of occasions and require a tie about an inch longer than normal, due to the high-volume knot.

Tie and Shirt Pattern

shirt and tie

Lots of men gnash their teeth in despair when pairing ties and dress shirts. Can you match solid ties with patterned shirts, or vice-versa? How about mixing patterns? Most of the time, you can consider a small-patterned dress shirt as a solid. If the pattern on your tie is the same size as the pattern on your shirt, however, there’s going to be a visual clash, making the whole ensemble look too busy and distracting. That’s not to say you can’t mix a striped tie with a striped shirt. Be bold, but be smart. Take a selfie to make sure you’re not crossing the line from fashionable to faux pas.

Related: The Unspoken Suit Rules You Need to Know

Tie Color

Color is another area in which men struggle. Generally speaking, it’s good to match hints of color in your tie with hints of color in your shirt — but don’t go overboard. You don’t want to pull a Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum scenario and go too matchy. Instead, ask yourself if you want to be bold or understated? Whatever you do, you don’t want your tie to be the first thing people notice when making your grand entrance.

Featured Image Courtesy: Michael Patterson via Flickr

Fashion & Style

Shark Tank Style: The Winning Clothes You’ll Actually Want to Wear

These are the few fashion brands that have swum with the sharks and lived to tell the tale.
Outdoors

How to Build an Apocalypse-Worthy Bug-Out Bag

Outrunning the zombies is only part of the equation. You still need the right gear to survive.
Auto

This Triton Submarine Is the Underwater Toy Your Superyacht Has Been Waiting for

Climate control, USB ports, and hi-fi audio are standard. Cupholders are not.
Outdoors

The Best Backpacking Gear to Get You on the Trail in 2019

Spend less time hauling and more time exploring with these lightweight options.
Fashion & Style

Our Top Gear and Apparel Picks from Public Rec’s Leisurewear Lineup

Public Rec combines the soft, comfortable, performance fabrics of athleisure wear with the classic shape and styling of regular clothing.
Fashion & Style

5 Great Dive Watches to Wear While You Snorkel in the Sun

You probably won't need these for any actual diving, but that's not really the point.
Fashion & Style

TACS Watches: Lifestyle-Inspired Design Where Form Meets Function

TACS watches are an easy way to upgrade your watch rotation.
Fashion & Style

Support Our National Parks By Stunting a Parks Project X Jungmaven Hemp Tee

The tees in the collaboration are the perfect purchase for someone who wants to support the National Parks while also wearing something that would work perfectly on a hike in them.
Fashion & Style

The Best Jeans for Men to Wear in Spring and Summer 2019

When things get a bit warmer, pair these with classic white T-shirts and tank tops, linen button-up, or no shirt at all once that summer tan has finally kicked in. 
Fashion & Style

The Classic Clarks Wallabee Boot Just Got a Serious Upgrade

Fun fact: The Clarks Wallabee Boot was developed as the world’s first comfort shoe.
Fashion & Style

The Best Men’s Shorts to Wear this Summer, According to Inseam Length

Feeling adventurous? Go the full monty with a four-inch inseam. A bit on the conservative side? At least keep the shorts above the knee. 
Fashion & Style

What to Wear for Memorial Day and the Official Start of Summer

Make this Memorial Day outfit memorable. Follow our basic guide and you won't fail to be fashionable.
Fashion & Style

The Best Light Jackets and Windbreakers to Wear When Summer Temps Drop

You’ll be glad you invested in something that looks as great on you as it does draped around someone special’s shoulders.
Fashion & Style

Father’s Day Gifts for the Somewhat Fashionable Dad

Wearable gifts that will be appreciated by both the fashionable Dad and the Dad that needs a little help in the wardrobe department.