While we can often get caught up in delving into the finer details of what’s involved in the design of a quality suit or shirt, it’s important that your accessories are also on a par with these. A particular piece of a smart outfit which some people tend to overlook is the tie - however let us assure you that your tie plays a far greater role in completing your look than you might realise.
The perfect tie and pocket square combination can draw in numerous compliments as it instantly shows that your outfit has been well thought out, and an extra effort has been made to ensure you’re fully coordinated.
However, when buying a tie there are 2 things you need to consider, the first being how it’ll fit into your look, and the other being it’s actual quality. Keeping both of these in mind will help ensure you pick the perfect tie every single time.
So, let’s get started, what should you look for in a tie?
Teaming up your tie
You should buy a tie with your eventual look in mind. This will help to ensure it fits it with your suit, shirt and pocket square. There are a few things to consider here. Firstly, the colour of the tie. Yes, this is obvious but you’ll want to remember that it should complement your suit and shirt, and most importantly your pocket square. A simple way of going about this is to have a colour from your pocket square match a colour in your tie.
Next up is the pattern on the tie. Remember wearing a shirt and tie of the exact same pattern is a faux pas you’ll certainly want to avoid. While there are a whole host of shirt and tie combinations you can opt for, we’d recommend trying some of these pairings if you aren’t confident of assembling your own from scratch.
The look of the tie will also be impacted by its size (it’s width to be precise). The best way to determine the width of your tie is to keep it similar in scale with the size of your shirt collars and the lapels on your suit jacket. So if you’re wearing a shirts and suit jacket with a slim collar and lapel, then opt for a slim tie and vice versa for wider collars and lapels.
Finally, if you’re buying a tie for a specific event then this could once more influence what you should go for. Traditionally, slim ties are seen to be suited for slightly less formal events while wide ties work a reliable all-rounder for any occasion.
Determining the quality of a tie
So, there you have the main considerations in picking the right type of tie, however you also need to make a judgement on its quality. This is where it can get a little tricky. Identifying a quality tie can come down to what you know and will mean keeping an eye out for nuances of details. We’ve provided a few pointers below to give you a hand.
While personal preference can play a part, silk is generally considered to be the best suited fabric for ties. Not only is it easy on the eye and soft to touch, but the manner in which it drapes will also give your tie the best finish. Cashmere is another choice of fabric you can opt for, however they are usually best served for less formal events as they lack the sheen that silk offers.
The shell refers to the body of the tie. Now this is made of 3 sections, the blade (which is the larger end), the tail (the thinner side), and the gusset which is the neck piece that brings together the 2.
Ensure that the tie is cut on the bias which simply means it’s cut at a 45 degree angle. Doing so means that it’s been cut against the grain of the fabric which will help it drape more smoothly. A good way to check this is to simply hand the tie over your arm. If it twists a little as opposed to flowing straight down then you’ll want to avoid it as this is a big sign that it’s not been cut on the bias. It’s small details such as this that can make all the difference when you actually wear the tie.
If you want quality than you should certainly be looking for hand sewn ties over machine sewn alternatives. While machines offer an efficient means of getting ties finished, they tend to close the fabric too tight. This means there is less room for the fabric to stretch which will see wear and tear impact it far sooner than with hand sewn ties.
Follow the tips above and you’ll find yourself not only picking a tie which will match the quality of most tailored suits, but will also effortlessly sit alongside your pocket square and shirt to really complete your look.