tie guide

The necktie is not going away anytime soon. If you started suiting up in the 90’s, you may have been fooled into thinking suits were going the way of the brick and mortar video store, kiboshed by the internet age. False. In this day in age, you wouldn’t even break your swig if a guy showed up with a shirt and tie over jeans to the diviest of dive bars.  The only place you couldn’t pull off a shirt and tie at night is a UFC match (unless of course your “dress shirt” were silkscreened in religious/violent/sexual graphics–ps. love that juxtaposition) and even that can be accepted if you show off your neck and sleeve tattoos.

Know your ties. Know how to pair them. Know how to wear them. Know how to tie them. Don’t let them wear you.

Seasonal Ties

Cotton, chambray, linen, and brightly colored silk ties are all very much warm weather neckwear.

summer necktie


Wool, cashmere, and other heavy fabric ties are cold weather neckwear.

Winter necktie


Of course, silk ties are acceptable year-round. Just leave the bright green one for summertime and pair with a plain white oxford, because, well, its bright green. 95% of the time it’s all about moderation and balance, fellas.

Shirt and Tie Combos

Pattern mixing should rarely go beyond this level of complexity. If so, just make sure the patterns are different enough that the tie still wins the limelight over an interesting, though non-distracting background.

Rep tie over light blue banker-striped oxford

Navy/red/green rep tie over a light blue banker-striped oxford

Everything goes with a white oxford. All seasons. All times of day. Almost any occasion. Just see above for picking the seasonally correct tie.

Everything goes with a white oxford

With a washed shirt, I prefer an equally less-formal tie. This combination works better for casual Fridays fall to spring, as it seems a bit dark for a summer day. Also note: this is what casual Friday/weekend work attire means to me. Nothing less. No jeans.

washed shirt and cotton tie

washed shirt and cotton unlined tie

washed shirt combo close-up

washed shirt combo close-up

If you want to pull off the work shirt with a tie, there are a few requirements that need to be met. 1.) The shirt must have a considerable collar. 2.) The shirt cannot be militant-looking (no epaulets) 3.) You are aware that this look is (literally) stolen from a J. Crew catalog and are O.K. with that.

chambray work shirt and tie

chambray work shirt and light wool tie

work shirt combo close-up

work shirt combo close-up

Four-in-hand knots work for all ties/situations. Never use a big knot (double windsor) for anything other than a big tie while conducting big-business. Suit up. That’s all I’ve got.

2 Responses to “tie guide”
  1. guy le'man says:

    nice shirt and tie guide… you should have included the setup picture in the post. enjoyed that too.



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  1. […] men's tie guide, skinny ties, summer ties, ties, wool ties Not too long ago I put together a write-up on seasonally appropriate ties. A general rule of thumb I laid down was that wool ties are strictly for colder months. Generally, […]

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