Guide to Wearing Skinny Neckties
Lately, and by lately I mean the last few years or so, the skinny tie has been forcing its way back onto the fashion stage. Maybe it’s because of television shows like ‘Mad Men’; set in the early and mid 1960’s where it seems everyone sports a skinny tie. Maybe it’s because hip, young, famous folks are wearing them, and being photographed in them, at semi-formal/casual functions. Maybe those same folks like ‘Mad Men’ too. Whatever the reason, the skinny tie does appear to be back in force. This is good news for those of you who find regular width neckties to be a little constricting fashion-wise. And, let’s face it; regular ties do have a tendency to make everything look a little bit formal. That’s is, or course, unless they have cartoon characters on them, or are shaped like a fish… But then, your problems are obvious, and a skinny tie may not save you.
So, what do you do if you want to add some casual hipness to your look? How does one prepare to don a skinny tie? Well, fortunately, the answer is as simple as tying the thing around your neck stump, and heading out the door. But, take heed, as there are a few guidelines you might want to pay attention to first.
First of all, skinny ties don’t go with everything that you’d match a regular tie with. In particular, you’re going to want to pay attention to the collar of the shirt you’ve chosen. Some shirts have particularly wide collar, anticipating their use with a wider tie knot; i.e. a Windsor. These shirts look great with wide knots, but can make your neck look inordinately short and fat when tried with a skinny tie. And, in general, ‘short and fat’ isn’t something that screams fashion success. So, anyway, watch those collars. Also, shirts with wide collars or lapels are out. This will just make the tie look like its being eaten by the shirt. In general, your average button-down dress shirt will serve admirably with a skinny tie.
In light of the previous paragraph, this next guideline should seem logical. Skinny ties require skinny tie knots. Don’t try to rock your skinnier than skinny tie at the club with a big old double Windsor knot, as it will just look plain silly. You may be ridiculed. Just like the wide collar will make the skinny tie appear to small, so too will giant knot you’re trying. Rather, a simple four-in-a-hand knot works great, and it’s slightly lopsided appearance will simply add to the casual tone you’re trying to hit. For more tie knot tips please also have a look at our guide on How to Tie a Tie
Lastly, if you’re going to wear a skinny tie with a blazer, look out for the width of those lapels. Just like with the shirt, the relative hugeness of you jacket lapels can have a detrimental effect on your skinny tie look; and for the same reasons. The key is to look at the width of your tie versus the width of the lapels. They should be the same width, if not slightly wider. But, watch out! As with the shirt, if you go too far, your head is in danger of looking like a balloon on a long string. Not very attractive.
That’s really about it for rules, though. A skinny tie is a great way to mix up your fashion bag a bit, and have a little fun while doing it. They are hip. They are casual. And, if you play your cards right, you will be too.
Other Related Articles Worth Reading:
Faux Pas for Skinny Ties
Your Ties-Necktie.com Team