Accessorizing the Suit: Fit to be Tied

Today, we will continue our treatment of helping today’s man of style and substance in properly accessiring the suit by taking our attention to the tie.  Arguably one of the least comfortable pieces of the wardrobe, when tied correctly and worn with a shirt that fits correctly, the tie becomes an indispensable part of the modern man’s wardrobe.  And while the thickness of the tie, the material, and the patterns may change over time, the value of a tie in the wardrobe of today cannot be overstated.

Material

The first thing to consider when selecting a tie to accessorize a suit is the material.  While there are many options available, silk is, I believe, the best choice.  It wears well over time, especially when taken care of properly, and responds well to being tied in a variety of knots.  While wool, cotton, leather, polyester and other materials will be available, they are typically not the best for use when putting together a classic and professional look.

Pattern and Decoration

This is perhaps the most difficult aspect of the subject, as much revolves around the tastes or the wearer.  Some men I know wear only striped or solid ties, while others are more adventurous in their pattern selection.  Some men prefer to stick with one designer whose colors and designs have become predictable and safe, while others are always on the search for something new.  In most situations, whatever the gentleman feels comfortable with will likely be fine.  However, I have noticed a few rules of thumb that have served me well over the years.

  • If either the shirt or the suit has a noticeable pattern, the tie should be less patterned or differently patterned.  For instance, if the suit has a windowpane pattern, paisleys may be a good choice if a pattern is desired.  Likewise, a subtle stripe or geometric motif in complimentary colors may work well
  • Ask yourself, “What is the central piece of clothing?”  If the suit is being worn for a particular reason (a job interview or a funeral) the tie should be selected so as not to detract from the look, but rather to add to it.
  • Will there be anything to accentuate the tie?  Contrasting colors in shirt or suit, or other items, like jewelry or a pocket square, can influence the selection of tie.

Knot

Various knots exist, and I have been known to use many of them.  My personal favorite is the Four-in-Hand knot, a simple knot that is quite versatile.  The profile is longer than either the Half Windsor or Full Windsor, and thus becomes a nice knot for point collar shirts, especially modern fit shirts with a tighter collar profile.

For more information on how to tie a tie and instructions on different knots Click Here

These are just some thoughts on the tie.  What are some of your experiences with this piece of men’s clothing?

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