When it comes to dressing up in a suit and tie, most of what you’re going to wear is just a matter of personal preference, style, and current trends.
Unfortunately, times change, and so does fashion. It’s understandable how hard it is to keep up sometimes, especially if you’ve got nothing to guide you in making the right decisions.
Fret not, we’re here to the rescue. To start off on the most basic of guidelines, we ask this question: what is the correct tie width you should wear?
How To Find The Correct Tie Width
Your choice in ties depends on a lot of factors such as your preferred style and the current trend going on. Generally, most experts would agree that the best tie width is anything between 2.25” and 3.25”.
Of course, just like any rule out there, this comes with plenty of exceptions. You might be able to get away with a narrower tie if you have a slimmer body, or a wider tie if you’re a bit on the wider side. You can also get away with a tie outside of this range if that style is currently trendy, though those trends usually fade after a short while.
Factoring In Your Body Type
Majority of the time, it mainly depends on one of the most important things you have to consider when you’re dressing up: your very own body type.
People who ignore their body type when picking out clothes is losing out on a lot, as one’s body type can determine a lot of things. It can determine which jacket styles look good on you. It can determine whether or not you should go with tapered slacks or not. And in this case, it can also determine what tie width would go along perfectly with your outfit.
Here are some examples of what tie widths would look best on someone with a specific body type.
For rather skinny men, the rule of thumb would be to choose a tie within the range of 2.25” and 2.75”.
A wide tie gives the illusion of a narrow body, which someone with an already skinny body doesn’t need nor look good in. Unless you want to look extra lean, you’re better off with a relatively narrower tie if you’re skinny. Although some daring gentlemen can pull it off, it’s simply unflattering for most and too risky to suggest.
Men who have average builds are fortunate enough to get away with any tie they prefer, be in 2.25” or 3.25”. In this case, one could use a narrow tie to exude a younger, more ‘hip’ vibe and a wide tie for a more classic charm.
Depending on their body shape, they could even use the tie to their advantage. For instance, a man with a small upper body but a wide lower body could use a slightly narrower than average tie to give the illusion of a wider upper. Meanwhile, a man with a wide upper body and thin lower body could do the opposite and achieve the opposite results.
For men who are a bit on the heavy side, the best choice would be a wide tie that goes along with their body shape. This means something between 2.75” and 3.25”. Anything narrower would look comical while anything wider will make you look older than you actually are.
This is especially true if you carry more weight on your upper frame than your lower body. A narrow tie is simply a no-no unless you don’t want people to take you seriously.
Other Factors To Consider
Of course, your body type should not be the only thing that determines what tie width would look best on your persona. There are also other factors that you should consider when choosing a matching tie for your suit.
- Your height: Luckily, your height has no effect on the best tie width for you. But according to neckwear expert Richard Cristodero, you can use your tie width to trick people into thinking that you’re taller than you are. For example, a medium to narrow width lapel and tie could give the illusion that a shorter man is actually tall.
- The size of your lapel: Cristodero also says that the lapel size is critical when choosing the width of your tie. Ideally, the tie should be the same size as the lapel at its widest point. This means that a narrow tie does not look well on a wide lapel and vice versa, as it will just look out of place.
- Your preferred style: Although these are general guidelines, you can also factor in your preferred style when choosing the best ties for you. If you want to look like a timeless, classic gentleman, for example, a 3” tie is perfect. But if you want to look like some rich Italian mogul, then you’d do best in a 3.5” tie that exudes nonchalance and sexiness all around.
Remember, these are just general guidelines in choosing the correct tie width, so take it with a grain of salt. Your personal preference still plays a huge role when you’re actually choosing your tie in real life. If your preferred style goes against the guidelines, then who cares? As long as you can pull it off with confidence and grace, then there’s no need to worry. After all, nothing in this world can make you sexier than confidence.