A bespoke or made-to-measure tailored suit isn’t a complete outfit on its own – the most stylish individuals owe a great deal to their accessories. Owning some beautiful handmade shoes or a range of silk ties is one thing, but knowing when and how to wear them is quite another. Different occasions and different outfits call for different shirt and tie combinations. Take a look at Hemingway Tailor’s guide to wearing your ties appropriately and master them for yourself.
The bow tie
Bow ties are troublesome items. They have an association with wackiness and eccentricity, but are also the smartest and most formal neckwear options in your wardrobe. To confuse matters further, recent men’s fashion trends have ensured that the bow tie has become a casual style accessory, too.
We believe that the safest option is to reserve the bow tie for more formal occasions – if you aren’t entirely confident in your style choices you might end up looking less Matt Smith in Doctor Who and more Roy Chubby Brown. First things first: learn to tie your own bow. You can always spot a clip-on tie and they’ll never look as the bespoke suit they’re worn with. Bow ties are the perfect accessories for formal events including black tie occasions, weddings and funerals. Keep things simple and opt for a block colour rather than a patterned tie, unless you’re super-confident you can pull it off.
The standard tie
The standard necktie is the most versatile of all the neckwear options, and is available in a near-bewildering array of options. You can buy wide or narrow ties, patterned or plain varieties and ties in a variety of different fabrics. What’s more, there are numerous means of knotting a necktie: the Windsor, the half-Windsor, the Prince Albert, the four-in hand, etc. Each different knot will affect the look of your tie and may be better suited to some occasions than others.
Skinny ties – increasingly popular of late – are an informal look best suited to slim fitted, mod-style tailored suits. The standard width tie is more versatile, and can be worn at any occasion from a wedding to a business meeting or a party. When wearing a patterned tie, be careful not to clash with your shirt or suit jacket. Your tie should be a darker shade to that of your shirt, unless of course you’re wearing a black shirt.
Bespoke tailored suits are flexible garments, and can be worn in any number of different ways. If you’re looking for a more casual aesthetic, you might choose to wear your tailored suit without a tie at all. Some looks even call for no tie – if, for example, you’re wearing a statement patterned shirt and don’t want to overdo it with the detail.
The tieless look is best reserved for more informal occasions, as you might receive a few odd looks if you fail to adhere to tie etiquette at a formal event. Wearing a suit without a tie will say something about your character – wear your tailored suit with no tie and the top button of your shirt undone in a business meeting to tell your clients that you’re approachable and unfussy. It’s a look that ought to be matched to the occasion.