Style Skills: How to Pair a Tie with the Correct Collar

wearing a tie, how to pair a tie with the correct collar
Photo by Olu Eletu on Unsplash
The resurgence of neck-wear for men has our fathers very confused. They spent years yanking off those office nooses as soon as the clock struck 5:00, proudly unbuttoning their shirts for all the world to see their Tom Selleck glory. We guess that could be the reason why guys have been going back to the buttoned up look for the past several seasons. Yet knowing how to tie a perfect a bow tie or a Windsor knot isn’t the only style step one needs to know.

Nowadays, ties and collars come in a wide-variety of shapes and sizes, which can sometimes make it difficult to know how best to pair them. With so many different dress shirt collars, tie lengths, and lapel widths, putting together the perfect ensemble can be a challenge, but it should never be a chore.

tie chart
The nine basic types of men’s shirt collars.

For some strategies on how to put your best tie forward, check out our guide below.


Generally, wide ties pair best with wide lapels and narrow ties pair best with narrow lapels.  Nothing is more jarring than seeing a jacket with narrow lapels paired with a wide tie or a narrow tie paired with wide lapels.

Collars/Knots For Ties

  • Extremely wide spread collars look best with fuller knots i.e. full Windsor/double Windsor. Generally, extremely wide spread collars can overpower a narrower tie.
  • Please refrain from using full/double Windsor knots with smaller collars or traditional straight collars.
  • If you are keen on wearing narrow ties, club collars, straight collars, traditional spread and tab collars work best.
  • Bow ties generally look best with traditional spread collars.
how to tie a tie
Photo Courtesy of Andrew Worley/Unsplash

Mixing Patterns

  • Bold, large scale patterns or club patterns on ties pair best with solid shirts or small, neatly patterned shirts.
  • Plaid or multi-colored gingham shirts pair best with ties that are solid, patterned with pin dots, minimal stripes etc…the key here is not getting too busy.
  • Again, when pairing with a suit or sport coat, if you are wearing a large scale plaid or check jacket, pair that with a solid shirt. If you are wearing a large scale or colorful dress shirt, keep your jacket solid or with minimal pinstripes.

Wear What Makes You Feel Confident

The above are simple guidelines and can hopefully encourage men to try new things.  The most important thing is feeling great and confident in what you are wearing… if you do, you are probably doing it right.

Now that you’re equipped with the know-how, take a peek at some of our favorite ties of the summer.

Valentino – $190

how to pair a tie with the correct collar valentino

Dunhill – $68

how to pair a tie with the correct collar dunhill

The Tie Bar – $19

how to pair a tie with the correct collar

J. Crew – $45

how to pair a tie with the correct collar j crew

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