The Complete Guide to Neckties

The Complete Guide to Neckties

When wearing a suit, you should accessorize your outfit with an appropriate necktie. Also known simply as a tie, a necktie is a long and narrow piece of fabric that's worn around the collar of your dress shirt. Once tied into a knot around your shirt collar, it will dangle in front of your chest. Neckties don't offer functional utility, but you should wear one when sporting a suit. The right necktie will complete your suit outfit by adding a unique formal touch that's not found in other accessories. But if you aren't familiar with neckties, you might feel lost and confused when shopping for one, which is why we've created this guide to neckties.

Do I Really Need a Necktie?

You don't always need to wear a necktie. Casual outfits, for example, don't require the use of a necktie. You can still wear a necktie with a casual outfit, such as jeans and a t-shirt, but it's not a prerequisite for creating an attractive outfit. If you're wearing a suit, on the other hand, it's a good idea to accessorize your outfit with a necktie. It will add color to your outfit while also breaking up the monotonous appearance of your shirt. Without a necktie, your outfit may look somewhat plain, even if you're wearing an attracting suit and dress shirt. By adding a necktie to your outfit, however, you'll create a more stylish and attractive appearance thanks to the color it adds.

Necktie vs Bow Tie

Neckties differ from bow ties in the sense that they are worn around the neck. In comparison, bow ties consist of a smaller piece of fabric -- typically featuring the shape of a bow -- that you wear in front of your neck. You can wear either of them with a suit, but neckties usually offer a higher level of versatility than their bow tie counterparts. Bow ties are more restrictive regarding the occasions for which you can wear them. Unless you're getting dressed for a black-tie event, you shouldn't wear a bow tie. But you can wear a necktie for any formal event, making them a better, more versatile choice of accessory.

Necktie Fabrics

When choosing a necktie, look at the tag or label to see what fabric it's made of. You'll find neckties made of a variety of fabrics, each of which has unique characteristics. If you choose a necktie made of the wrong fabric, it may cause discomfort when worn. Some of the most common fabrics in which neckties are made include the following:
  • Cotton
  • Silk
  • Polyester
  • Linen
  • Wool

Choosing the Right Color

Don't forget to consider the color when choosing a necktie. Regardless of which color you prefer, there's probably a necktie for sale featuring it. But what color should you choose exactly? Don't choose a necktie in the exact same color as your suit. If your suit is black and your necktie is black, it won't look right when worn. Instead, choose a color that flows cohesively with your suit. When in doubt, you can choose a necktie in a color that contrasts with that of your suit. Alternatively, you can choose a color in a slightly different shade than your suit. While some neckties feature a single color, others feature two or more colors. Striped and plaid neckties, for instance, feature multiple colors. As a result, they offer a unique appearance when compared to single-colored neckties. Whether you choose a single-colored necktie, though, make sure it flows cohesively with your suit. If your necktie clashes with your suit, you won't be able to wear it -- not without it adversely affecting your appearance, at least. pexels-photo-404171 (1)

The Scoop on Skinny Neckties

In recent years, skinny neckties have become a popular alternative to traditional neckties. If you've never seen or heard of skinny neckties before, let me explain. Basically, a skinny necktie is a type of necktie characterized by a significantly narrow design. All neckties are narrow, but skinny neckties are even more narrow than traditional neckties. A typical skinny necktie measures just 2.5 inches wide. In comparison, traditional neckties measure about 3 to 4 inches. Therefore, skinny neckties are about twice as narrow as traditional neckties. With their narrower design, skinny neckties have a slimming effect when worn. The narrow band of fabric will make you look slimmer than what you are actually are.

What About Clip-On Neckties?

You'll probably come across slip-on neckties when shopping for this suit accessory. Also known as pre-tied neckties, clip-on neckties don't require tying. To accessorize your suit with a clip-on necktie, you simply clip it to the front of your shirt collar. Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that clip-on neckties are easier to put on and take off than traditional neckties. But that doesn't necessarily mean you should wear a clip-on necktie. Although they are easier to put on and take off, clip-on neckties often suffer from an asymmetrical design. They'll shift to either the right or left side, resulting in a poor appearance. By choosing a traditional necktie, you'll be able to keep it in place with greater ease, allowing for a better appearance that complements your suit outfit.

The Different Types of Knots

If you're going to wear a traditional necktie rather than a clip-on necktie, you'll need to know how to tie it. There are actually over a dozen ways to tie a necktie. However, the only common methods include knots such as the four-in-hand knot, the Pratt knot, the half-Windsor knot and the full-Windsor knot. If you're struggling to tie your necktie, search for YouTube videos featuring one of these common knots. There are other accessories with which you can wear a suit, but few offer the importance and significance of a necktie. The right necktie will enhance your suit outfit with new color (or colors) while adding a new level of formality to your appearance in the process.