Ties are important for the same reasons shirts are, if not more so. They are what everyone sees if you remove your coat at the office, and, like the shirt collar, they enhance the face. The vertical tic not only covers the shirt buttons; it makes you appear taller, neater, and slimmer.

Properly selected and worn, a tie can make or break a man's image. Ties reflect a man’s taste and individuality, or lack thereof. In short, ties are the one thing most likely to get you noticed, for better or worse.

Don’t assume any old dc will do. You can't step out in your fine new charcoal suit, crisp white shirt, and a tie you're had since high school. Someone will notice.

As endless as the selection of ties is, the basics are few. The tie should always be silk, wool, or knit.

The tie should feel supple to the touch, but not limp or soft. lt should have tangible body. All quality ties have a wool inner construction that keeps the shape intact. You can feel this.

The reason body and inner structure are important is they help the tic hold is knot and bounce back into shape after wearing. The finished knot should he taut and have a lasting dimple. Limp ties can’t hold their dimple.

Last, but not least, remember the tie is your friend. lt is the least expensive way to refresh and expand your fledgling wardrobe. Always purchase at least four ties with each suit or sports coat. Each tie is a small investment that will expand your small wardrobe.


Tie Width

What’s acceptable in tie width waxes and wanes with fashion. You should be less concerned with current fad than with what works best with your suit. The tie should be in proportion to the jackets lapels, which in turn should he in proportion to the jacket’s shoulder. In the case of your starter suit, all of these widths should be moderate.

Another point to keep in mind when selecting a tie is the type of shirt collar you favor. A spread collar calls for a substantial knot, and a narrow collar requires a small knot. The width of the tie determines that, as does the knot itself. The four-in-hand knot is good for medium to narrow spread collars, and the double or half-Windsor is good for wide spread collars.

Still feeling insecure? A sate width is three and one-half inches.



Here are some suggestions to help you begin to navigate the vast tie patterns and color.

- Woven silk ties look richer than primed silk.

- The classic rep tie with its even diagonal stripe is always appropriate.

- Solid ties lack imagination unless worn as a complement to bold stripes or other patterned shirts that need softening.

- Some patterns and colors are seasonal. Maroons and golds are fall/winter colors, while lighter blues and green are more spring/summer colors.

- Red is a power color in ties. It creates a line pointing ot the mouth that shouts "pay attention". Presidential candidates favor red ties, especially in televised debates. But bright red can also be overbearing, especially for job interviews and sensitive negotiations.

- Although polka dot ties are considered classic. they're not as safe as stripe, club, or small neats (little repetitive patterns woven or printed). Small polka dots are OK but large ones have an unfortunate history with gangsters and clowns.

- In general, ties that combine pale colors look bland and insignificant. So does their wearer. Conversely. too much bright color can be the equivalent of shouting. Land

somewhere in between until you are established in your profession.

- Bright color is OK, as long as it is tempered with softer shades.

- Since the selection of patterns and colors can he overwhelming, consider seeking professional help by contacting us.



Family Ties

Chances are you may have seen or will be the recipient oi a gift tie. This is something someone related to you gives you because he or she can't think oi anything else. Such neckwear. however welI-intended often signals trouble.

In case you find yourself so gifted, a few things to note: Any tie that's apt to elicit comment beyond "nice tie" is a bad idea for work. This includes those festooned with

holiday themes, sports icons, cartoon characters, logos, symbols hidden messages. optical illusions, fish, dollar signs or anything else that might be termed "cute."