Dapper Details: The Statement Tie

By Alex Noble Friday 1st Sep, 2017

I’m pretty sure I won’t be the first one to tell you that we’re living in a world of extremes. No political anecdote required.

One area that mildly falls into this category is the rapidly expanding ideology of open-neckedism. Yes, I made it up but it does exist and its presence means that these days, the donning of a tie could be labelled as sartorial extremism.

I guess we’ve got companies like Google, Amazon and Apple to thank for the casualwear boom with their no neckties policy. Something men have all too willingly embraced.

It is for this reason; I am addressing all British gentlemen! You know the stiff upper lip kind of chaps who love a pint of bitter and a curry.

A good tie is a great way to set a high standard for your appearance, demonstrating you mean business in the workplace, that you are there to make an impression at a social event, or that you generally take pride in how you look. A bad one…well you can forget all of the above.

The difference between a good and bad tie? It’s all in the details.

Just like any sports, business or life coach will teach you; it’s imperative you get the basics right. What’s the point in going all out with a vibrant pocket square, swanky pair of shoes and suitably loud socks, if your tie, the centrepiece of your suit, or trousers and jacket combo, is utterly dreadful?

Tie choice is the perfect way to reveal the blueprints of a gentleman’s personality. I.e. don a tie decorated with piano keys and you’re screaming out, 40-year-old virgin.  

In contrast, the combo of an unadorned red tie, backed up with a white shirt and a sharp navy suit; yes, it’s usually a winner but it’s also been a winner for the other million blokes who have sported it.

Remember, it’s all in the details.

The basics:

Your tie should end just above your waist with the tail being shorter than the blade; the knot should be tight and compliment your chosen shirt collar.

No matter how tight that top button is (and if it’s turning you blue more fool you for not knowing your own collar size) don’t undo it until you walk through your front door. You’ll ruin it in the last minute by giving off the it’s been a bad day vibe. Frightfully unattractive.

Tone

  • Light tones can portray a calm exterior and subliminally put people at ease whilst they enjoy your company.
  • Darker tones often give off the strong impressions and fortify your outfit – you’re ready to spark up a conversation with anyone.

Both can work in differing situations, so know how you want to be portrayed.

Patterns Ft. Personality

  • No pattern: Conservative – likes to remain within the safety of the comfort zone.
  • Stripes: Follower – as much a sartorial pioneer as Dora the Explorer is a global navigator (slight exaggeration).
  • Polka Dot: Easy-going – up for a giggle and usually located near the shampoo (with a ch that is).
  • Check: Intriguing – Listener in conversations but always has whit up their sleeve.
  • Paisley: Innovative – Confident and creative enough to dress rather left-wing. (Not suitable for all occasions)

So, which one are you…?

When you have your chosen tie, and especially if it’s one with bit of va va voom behind it, don’t go all 50 Cent on it and dress it with copious amounts of bling. Tie pins, chains and collar bars can all come later (but preferably never) – let the fabric and pattern do the talking!

Now, any event that you opt for a tie, please, please carry a cleaning wipe within your wallet or cardholder. No one has sailed through public events having never spilt a canapé or drop of vino down their tie; get yourself to Hawes & Curtis and pick up one of their cleaning kits (especially if your tie is silk); life hack!

One final tip; pick your tie first, and then build an outfit that endorses your choice and who knows, you may not be the one undoing the knot come the end of the evening…