Talking Ties

Certain things go together (either because they complement each other or simply because they look good together): fish and chips, salt and pepper, cookies and cream, research and development, man and woman (isn’t that a given?), peanut butter and jelly...the list goes on.

Sometimes, you can’t even divorce one from the other. Take out one from the equation and you have something seemingly incomplete.

Dress Shirt and Tie

Even with what we wear, there are certain pieces that also look incomplete without another to complement them, and one such complementary pair is a dress shirt and a tie.

There are dress shirts that just look bare without a tie. It can sometimes feel like looking at a frame without a picture. Certainly, not all dress shirts require one, but an ensemble looks more complete when you have that narrow piece of fabric hanging from your neck.

When to Wear a Tie

Not all occasions or situations require you to pair your shirt up with a tie. The question to be asked is what kind of look you are going for and its appropriateness to the situation.

There will always be that time when you’ll be invited to an occasion or an event that would require you to dress up. Such situations could be a wedding, a business or corporate event, an awarding ceremony, or a funeral.

Your line of work might also require you to wear a tie on a daily basis.

Wear It Well

There’s one rule that everyone knows about ties: you only wear them with a collared shirt, whether it’s a polo shirt or a dress shirt.

However, not all collared shirts could and should be paired with a tie. Again, it’s all about complementing the overall look of your outfit.

Remember that a necktie is a piece of accessory. And accessories ---- like necklaces, bracelets and earrings ---- serve only one purpose, and that is to highlight your overall look.

The width of the tie should match the frame of your body. If you have a slim frame, the width of your tie should be thinner. If you have a wide frame, you can use a tie with a thicker width.

In terms of length, make sure your necktie doesn’t extend beyond the top of your belt buckle.

Colors and patterns are also things you need to consider when pairing a tie with a shirt. Are you going for a monochromatic look? Or do you want to achieve a color contrast? Is your tie striped, spotted, or with special symbols or characters? Look in a mirror and see if it all goes together well.

What about jackets or blazers? Do you always need to wear a tie with them? This is yet another one of those things where personal preference takes the driver’s seat. You can wear an ensemble comprising a dress shirt and jacket/blazer minus a tie. Some think it’s always right to wear a tie with jackets. There’s no rule for it.

Knot Types

Another thing you can consider when wearing a tie is deciding which knot type to go for. From Windsor knots to Pratt knots, there are more than a dozen choices when it comes to knots.

As you can see, you don’t have to tie yourself in knots to know when to wear a tie and what type to wear. Sure, there are general rules of thumb when it comes to fashion, but no one’s stopping you from expressing yourself in a way that bends those rules.


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