10 Tips on How to Wear a Tie: What You Need to Know

10 Tips on How to Wear a Tie: What You Need to Know

No formal outfit is complete without a tie. Whether you're wearing a two-piece suit or a three-piece suit, you should accessorize it with a tie. Doing so will create a more cohesive style that complements the rest of your outfit. How do you wear a tie exactly? Below are 10 essential tips to follow when wearing a tie.

#1) Consider the Suit Material

You should consider the material from which your suit is made. Men's suits are available in different materials, some of which include linen, corduroy, cotton and wool. Each material offers its own benefits. Linen, for instance, is lightweight and breathable, whereas wool is a thicker and warmer material. You should typically choose a tie in the same material as your suit.

#2) Match the Width With the Lapels

The width of your tie matters. You don't want it to be narrow, nor do you want your tie to be too wide. When in doubt, you can refer to the width of your suit jacket's lapels to determine an appropriate width for your tie. Your tie should be roughly the same width as the lapels.

All suit jackets have lapels. The lapels are the sections of material around the collar. Some suit jackets have wider lapels, though, than others. When accessorizing your suit with a tie, you should typically choose a tie in the same or similar width as the lapels.

#3) Tuck Under Vest

For a three-piece suit, you should wear your tie by tucking it under your vest. Three-piece suits are distinguished from two-piece suits by their use of a vest. Also known as a waistcoat, the vest is designed to be worn over a dress shirt and under the suit jacket. You should still accessorize a three-piece suit with a tie. The tie, of course, should be tucked under the vest so that only the top part of it is visible.

#4) Press Before Wearing

Ties can develop wrinkles just like most other garments and accessories. If you discover wrinkles on your tie, you can still wear it, but you should smooth out the wrinkles beforehand. Depending on the material from which it's made, you may be able to press your tie with a hot iron. The steam from a clothing iron will release the wrinkles so that your tie becomes smoother.

Alternatively, you can use a garment steamer. Garment steamers and clothing irons both use steam to remove wrinkles. The difference is that garment steamers don't require direct contact with garments or accessories. You can hold a garment steamer a few inches away from your tie while allowing the steam to smooth out any wrinkles.

#5) Use a Tie Bar

Another tip to follow when accessorizing your suit with a tie is to use a tie bar. What is a tie bar exactly? It's a clip-like accessory that's designed to hold a tie against the dress shirt with which it's worn.

Keep in mind that a tie bar isn't necessary when wearing a three-piece suit. Three-piece suits contain a vest. The vest will serve the same purpose as a tie bar by securing your tie in place. But if you're planning to wear a two-piece suit, you should typically use a tie bar.

#6) Go With a Darker Color

Ties are available in dozens of colors. When in doubt, though, you should choose a tie in a slightly darker color than that of your dress shirt. If your dress shirt is light blue, you may want to accessorize your suit with a dark blue tie. If your dress shirt is lime green, on the other hand, you can accessorize your suit with a dark green tie -- you get the idea.

#7) Watch the Length

An all-too-common mistake men make when wearing a tie with a suit involves the length. They choose an excessively long tie, resulting in an awkward appearance. How long should your tie be exactly? While there's no universal rule regarding the "best" tie length, you shouldn't wear a tie that extends past your waistband.

#8) Don't Be Afraid of Patterns

While some ties consist of a single color, others are available in multiple colors. There are ties with patterns, for example, that feature two or more colors in a particular pattern. They offer a unique, visually captivating alternative to solid-colored ties. You can dress up your formal outfits by accessorizing them with a patterned tie.

Some of the different patterns in which men's ties are made include the following:

  • Vertical stripes
  • Horizontal stripes
  • Polka dots
  • Leopard print
  • Zebra print
  • Chevron

#9) Wear With a Pocket Square

If you're going to accessorize your suit with a tie -- which you should -- you may want to wear it with a pocket square. Pocket squares and ties are two of the most common suit accessorizes. A tie is a piece of cloth material that's worn around the collar of a dress shirt. A pocket square, in comparison, is a piece of cloth that's folded and placed inside of the breast pocket of a suit jacket.

The combination of a tie with a matching pocket square will help you create a more cohesive formal outfit. You can choose a pocket square in the same material, as well as the same color, as your tie. By matching your pocket square with your tie, you can rest assured knowing that these accessories will lift your appearance.

#10) Consider a Bow Tie for a Tuxedo

For most occasions, a traditional necktie will suffice. But if you're wearing a tuxedo, you may want to consider a bowtie. Bow ties aren't the same as neckties. Bow ties live up to their namesake by consisting of bows. They are still worn around the collar of a dress shirt, but bow ties are smaller and more sophisticated than neckties. You can wear a traditional necktie with most two-piece and three-piece suits. Many men, though, prefer a bow tie when wearing a tuxedo.