7 Common Types of Suit Ties

7 Common Types of Suit Ties

A tie is an essential suit accessory. Consisting of a piece of premium cloth, it's worn around the neck to achieve a more formal appearance. If you're going to wear a suit, you should accessorize it with a tie. Whether it's a two-piece or three-piece suit, a tie will help you create a more formal and complete appearance. Here are seven common types of suit types.

#1) Skinny

Ties are available in different sizes. Some of them are wider than others. If you prefer narrow ties, you may want to choose a skinny tie.

Skinny ties are distinguished from all other ties by featuring a narrow design. Most of them are only about 1 to 2 inches wide. Also known as slim ties, they have a naturally slimming effect when worn. A skinny tie will make you look slimmer, as well as taller, if you use it to accessorize your suit.

#2) Cravat

When most men think of ties, they envision long pieces of cloth that fall naturally from the collar of a dress shirt. Most ties do, in fact, follow this design, but others use a different design. A cravat is one such alternative. It's still considered a tie, but it uses an entirely different design than most traditional ties. 

A cravat is a shorter, wider piece of cloth. It's worn in the same area -- directly under the shirt collar -- as other ties. The difference lies in its design. Traditional ties are long and narrow, whereas cravats are short and wide. And with their short and wide design, cravats usually bunch up when worn. Regardless, you may come across cravats when shopping for ties with which to accessorize your suits.

#3) Silk

Silk ties live up to their namesake by featuring a silk construction. They have a soft texture and a lustrous appearance. Silk is a type of fabric that's derived from animal proteins. Most forms of silk come from web-spinning insects, such as spiders. The webs of these insects are harvested and used in the construction of ties and other silk accessories.

While popular, silk ties are somewhat expensive. You can expect to pay more for a tie made of silk than most other materials. Research shows that there are only a little over 150,000 tons of silk produced annually in the world. With such a limited amount, silk ties and other silk accessories cost more than their counterparts made of other materials.

#4) Satin

While some ties are made of silk, others are made of satin. Silk and satin ties share many similarities. They are both soft, and they both exhibit a shiny, lustrous appearance. Silk and satin are simply different materials.

The term "satin" refers to any material with a satin weave type. There are three main types of weaves. They include plain weave, twill weave and satin weave. Satin weave has a glossy and lustrous appearance -- similar to that of silk. Satin, however, costs less than silk. If you enjoy the look and feel of silk but aren't willing to spend a fortune on a new silk tie, you may want to choose a satin tie. Satin ties look almost identical to silk ties, but they are available at a fraction of the cost.

#5) Clip-On

Not all ties require a knot. Some of them feature a clip. Known as clip-on ties, they are particularly easy to wear. You don't have to worry about tying them in a knot. Instead, you can clip them onto your dress shirt.

Traditional ties typically require a knot. There are over a dozen types of knots with which you can tie a traditional tie, some of which include the four-in-hand knot, the Pratt knot, the Windsor knot, the half-Windsor knot, the small knot and the Atlantic knot. Each of these knots requires a specific set of steps to achieve. Unless you know the correct steps, you won't be able to tie a traditional tie in that particular knot.

Clip-on ties offer an alternative. You don't have to tie them, so you don't have to worry about learning the necessary steps. To wear a clip-on tie, you just need to clip it onto the front of your dress shirt. Clip-on ties, unfortunately, lack the formal style of traditional ties. For a more formal outfit, you should choose a traditional tie that requires a knot. But if you don't have the time to make a knot, you can wear a clip-on tie, instead.

#6) Donegal

Donegal ties are characterized by a donegal tweed construction. Donegal is a county in Ireland. For centuries, it's Donegal, Ireland has produced some of the world's finest tweed. The term "donegal tweed" now refers to tweed that exhibits this same level of quality.

There are suits made of donegal tweed, many of which feature a herringbone or checkered pattern. And there are ties made of donegal tweed. You can find ties made of the same donegal tweed -- and in the same pattern -- as suits.

#7) Kipper

Finally, there are kipper ties. Kipper ties are characterized by an ultra-wide design. Most of them measure about 4 to 5 inches wide.

Kipper ties emerged during the 1960s. Prior to this period, most ties were relatively narrow. Some men, though, wanted to wear wide ties. This led to the advent of kipper ties. Kipper ties aren't as common as skinny ties, but you can still find them available for sale.

Which Type of Tie Should You Choose?

With so many different types of ties, you might be wondering which one is right for you. When shopping for a tie, consider the suit with which you intend to wear it. If you're planning to wear a suit made of a particular material, you can choose a tie made of the same material.

The most important thing to consider when choosing a tie is the color. You don't want to choose a tie in a color that clashes with your suit. Rather, you should stick with a color that complements your suit.