Any man with a basic knowledge about dressing up know that the finer details have much say in the outfit. Most men ignore the small accessories like mens ties and belts while concentrating more on the main components like jackets and trousers. If you are one of those people you may be surprised to know that the mens tie is one of the first thing that people note in your entire outfit. Yes, the " Hey, nice tie! talk is not a formality.
In Oscar Wilde's words " A well tied tie is the first serious step in life”. Thus, a mismatched mens tie can ruin your look as much as an ill fitting blazer. Adding a mens tie to your suit gives it an elevated look that you can wear anywhere. Whether it be for office or a date night the mens tie allows you to pull together all the elements of the outfit to give you a whole look.
A mens tie is basically a length of fabric that is designed to be worn around the neck under the collar of the shirt. They have occupied a pretty important place throughout menswear but has recently dwindled in popularity as a result of relaxed dress codes. But still it is a standard accessory that needs to be worn when it is for a formal wear and also a part of uniform for many people including the military.
As opposed to its size and the space it occupies selecting the right type of mens tie is one of the hardest dilemmas according to many men. The patterns and textures involved and the choices in the width must all be considered properly if you want an ideal outfit. Knowing some of the basic details can do you some good and thus we have put some of the useful tips for you.
Before all the technical details let us know the story of this small yet important piece of fabric. In a mens outfit the jacket and the mens tie are the two things that are capable of conferring immediate status. While the jacket has some practical purpose of providing warmth, mens ties are purely decorative items that has no definitive purpose. This makes the story of its origin even more mysterious. There is always something fascinating to know in these stories, learning how the styles have changed with the needs of the man.
As for many of the garments the necktie also has its roots in military. Surprisingly the story dates back as far as 210 B.C. and to China. The then Emperor of China, Qin Shih Huang originally wanted to be buried along with an entire army of soldiers much to the horror of the soldiers. But thankfully he was persuaded and then compromised with life sized terracotta army that were entombed with him to protect him in the afterlife. These sculptures had appeared to have a cloth wrapped around the neck like a badge of honor when they were discovered in 1974. There is also proof that the Roman orators would wear cloths around their neck to keep their vocal cords warm.
As for the western countries France adopted the necktie style fast owing to the discomfort in wearing ruffles. This new style not only was comfortable but offered variety in color and pattern while the ruffles were strictly available only in starched white. It also was adopted from military when the Croatian soldiers returning from their victory against the Ottoman Empire wore bright colored scarfs as a part of their uniform. This was noticed by French king Louis XIV who soon established a regiment of Royal Cravattes. Soon the style spread among civilians so much so that the word cravate seemed to derive from the word Croat symbolizing the soldiers who introduced the mens tie wearing style among the French.
In 1692 a mens tie style called steinkirke came in style. This was basically a neck cloth with lace ends that looked like it was worn in a nonchalant manner. It is said that this style was invented when the French soldiers were caught in a surprise during the Battle of Steinkirke and resorted to hastily tie their cravats around the neck and then tuck the ends into the buttonholes. This hasty look soon became popular and rose into prominence.
By 1800s the fashion had picked up largely especially among the nobles. Beau Brummell, a close friend of Prince Regent was one among them. For people who don't know him he is the untitled godfather of mens fashion and most major styles we currently have are there thanks to him. He was a fashion icon and to a level that young men would gather in his apartment to watch him tie his mens tie that would sometimes take up to two hours due to the intricate details involved. He even wrote an essay depicting 24 popular styles of wearing a neck cloth and called it Neckclothitania which was greatly received and brought him international fame. He was the one who is responsible for the accessory to be known as tie phasing out the word cravat. This time saw a rise in popularity of scarves, bandanas and neckerchiefs and rather than tying them into a knot the ends were passed through a finger ring or scarf ring worn at the neck.
This fashion continued for about a century until by the late 19th century with the rise of industrial revolution the need for shorter and practical ones were needed since the previous styles caught into machines often. This was why bow tie was evolved and curiously for people of working class in contrast to how the bow tie is now considered a symbol of upper class formal wear.
Until then the mens ties were pinned by bars or clips to keep them in place but in 1926 a New York mens tie maker introduced a new technique that involved sewing the mens tie in three segments. This method added the lining and interlining to the interior of the mens tie thus making it look flatter and neater against the chest. This was easier to tie and also maintained its original shape even after repeated tying. Though the details like the color, width and the length of the mens tie have waxed and waned over years the basic structure has remained the same for over 100 years.
Now knowing the history the mens tie has seldom been worn for any practical purposes rather serving most as a decorative accessory. Thus, it all boils down to style and presentation it offers that made it withstand the test of time. This accessory offers some flair to an otherwise monotonous outfit and sometimes used to put together the parts of the outfit. As opposed to the popular belief mens ties are not only for formal wear but can also be used to elevate the relaxed outfit too. People who often have the need to suit up can introduce variety into their day to day outfit by having a wide collection of mens ties to choose from.
As for the length and width these matters the most when it comes to selecting a mens tie. The proportion is the secret to any good outfit. Mens tie widths should be selected in accordance with the different body shapes. A man with broad shoulders should select a wider mens tie that is around three inches. Skinnier people can go with slimmer mens ties that complements their narrow body shape. It is also important to note that the width of the mens tie should match the width of your lapels pairing slim with slim and wide with wide. As for the length the end of the mens tie should always hit the waistband of your trousers. It is better to avoid clip on mens ties since they look cheap and also learning to tie a mens tie is not that hard. On the whole the mens tie should match your body shape and at the same time complement the suit you are wearing.
Color of the mens tie is one of the major aspect that determines its use. It is important to identify the colors that work well with your existing wardrobe and also ones which complement your skin tone. The key point in matching the color of the mens tie with your outfit is to have the mens ties color one shade darker than that of the shirt it is to be paired with. You can also first resort to buying classic colors for a start. Deeper shades like blues and burgundies are hard to go wrong when paired with a crisp white shirt that becomes the perfect canvas to set the tie upon. The classic colors like navy and gray work well with almost any colors and easily can be dressed up and down by varying the choice of your shirt. If you love experimenting go for brighter colors like green, yellow and red but add texture or patterns to them so that they do not overpower your entire outfit.
Next comes the occasion you are dressing up for. As for any other garments there are basic rules as to which styles goes well for which occasions. Taking this into account can help you from ruining your look by a simple mistake for any event. As for most formal events that involves boardrooms and meetings a silk mens tie in block colors is the best option. The popular style of knitted mens ties with narrow design and squared off ends are less formal and can also be dressed down with a cardigan or even a leather jacket. As for black tie events it is best to go with bow ties rather than the neckties.
With time the dress code for men have relaxed a great deal and even the workplaces are relaxing its rules. Increasing number of people are comfortable with this newfound dressed down style and this is the best time to experiment with new styles. If you are a person who likes patterns and textures you are going to have fun purchasing for mens ties. There are numerous options of patterns, prints and textures available in terms of mens ties. This being said it is always best to stick with simple ones like polka dots and stripes when going for a formal look. These styles have a muted design that works well with most of your outfits and is easier to match. A toned look of a navy suit with light blue shirt and a dark blue polka dotted mens tie is a nice look.
Stripes are the best option if you want to introduce colors into the outfit. A mens tie with muted base and contrasting stripes pop up against the basic look. Patterns like tartans and paisleys are trickier and hard to pair with. One major thing to note is not to clash the patterns of your mens tie and your suit. It is best to avoid patterned mens ties when wearing patterned suits. If you do not feel like experimenting stick with solid colors and subtle patterns that anchors the outfit.
As for the must have styles these are some that can get you through any occasions. A wool mens tie to pair with heavy suits is the best for winter. A versatile solid black one that works well with your formals suits and also with leather jackets, a subtle polka dotted one and repp styled one for a cool look are some of the essential ones. And lastly a club one with repeating logo that sits well with any serious style can save your day anytime.
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