The most important criterion when choosing a tie is your dress style, that is, the style you want your tie to match with. There are 5 main clothing styles that are widely recognized: business wear or business casual, casual wear or informal attire, sporty style, social club clothing style and formal dress.
Each style imposes certain restrictions and requirements. You’d better not mix different styles, otherwise you can look ridiculous and it is unlikely that it will help you look stylish. How should a man choose a tie for each style? What are the subtleties and secrets one may not be aware of?
Let’s consider each style.
Official business style assumes that a jacket and trousers of your suit must be made of the same fabric. A quality tie made of natural material, preferably, silk, must be carefully matched with a jacket and a shirt in color. It is better to refrain from ties of bright colors. Remember that there should be no more than 3 fitting together shades of color. The basic rules impose that the tie should be a little darker than the shirt, but lighter that the suit. For a solid color shirt pick small patterned ties and vice versa. A business suit will look great with a tie having a geometric pattern in noble pale colors.
Casual or informal style allows for more freedom and permits wearing jackets and trousers of different colors and fabrics. Jackets may be made of a more loosely wooven or embossed fabric than pants. To emphasize the casual clothing style, you can wear a bit narrower tie than usual. In addition, the tie can be of brighter colors: blue, silver, red. Besides, to emphasize the casual style, one can try wool, linen and cashmere ties. Casual clothing doesn’t impose severe restrictions on your appearance, as the official style. Jacket can even be replaced with a plain vest and a tie with a colorful bow-tie.
Sporty clothing style involves contrast striped and grid ties and novelty ties, such as, for example, with images of animals, cars, sports attributes, etc. This clothing style allows for a sports jacket or hacking coat that can be worn over a dress shirt or even a T-shirt. A shirt can be a sports shirt which is different from a traditional men’s dress shirt in that it comes in more rugged weaves. Sometimes the sports style allows even jeans and sneakers or tennis shoes. This style is preferred by people who enjoy their lives, who don’t have a burden of problems, don’t like restrictions and who decide themselves what they should do and when.
Social club clothing style refers to a specific dress code of a specific club such as gentleman’s clubs in London, dinner or social clubs, etc. It implies a classic club tie having diagonal stripes or a tie with a small motif repeated regularly all over the tie: heraldry, animals and sports. Bright colors and unusual patterns are appropriate as they help to distinguish the club members and emphasize your membership, but the colors should not be picked randomly, rather, carefully chosen to match the colors of the club. Jacket and trousers should be a different color, with the jacket of a darker shade than the trousers. A classic blazer is usually double-breasted or has two lower fastening metal buttons. The club style is very popular among tennis, golf and polo players.
Formal attire is required for ceremonial or festive events such as weddings or receptions. It also requires unconventional ties such as cravats: ascot, plastron, bow-tie and ruche tie. Formal dress demands putting on a tuxedo or a morning coat or cutaway. A tuxedo or morning coat are usually accompanied by a bow-tie. Beautifully shinning materials such as satin and silk are used. Typically, suits and ties come in white or black colors.
Well, you have finally decided on a tie to match your dress, now there is not much left to do – only to tie it nicely.