Choosing the right tie for work can be tricky. After all, you don’t want to look too stuffy or too casual for a work event. Fortunately, there are a few tips, tricks & guidelines that you can keep in mind to ensure that you make the right choice when it comes to office neckwear. Whether you’re looking for a classic silk tie or something more alternative like a grenadine or printed silk tie, this blog post will help you nail the perfect tie for any office setting.
So you've got that elusive super 120 suit purchased, and even had it adjusted for those meticulous measurements. You try it on, and it appears like you've been poured into it. Quite literally. Snug fit, tailored measurements and supreme fabric in tow, what could possibly go awry, you think to yourself. Until the day comes to dress for that potentially career altering presentation. All the details have been taken into consideration, and yet that one glaring omission rears its ugly head and makes you confront your negligence. You have no idea what tie to pair your snazzy new suit and dress shirt with.
After all, a necktie is often what draws the audience's attention first, with regards to your ensemble. And a suit without the right tie, is like home made pizza crust in Naples without the right toppings. Empty. Devoid of substance.
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Medallion Foulard Navy / Orange Silk Tie
As you frantically rummage through your neckwear selection, figuring out which tie will be appropriate suddenly seems like an insurmountable task. Fret not. In this detailed guide, we cover the different types of tie colors, patterns & fabrics that are best suited to the workplace and important meetings, and how best to wear them when you do don one the next time round!
Ties By Pattern
If you are in an office environment that permits or encourages the wearing of ties, picking out an appropriate and impactful pattern can go a long way!
Solid ties are ideal when attending more formal events, as they exude an air of sophistication. While solid ties may lack the pizzazz of their more colorful counterparts, they make up for it in timelessness.
Solid ties come in virtually any color, making them easy to match with almost any ensemble. Light colored solid ties look especially good when paired with dark suits while darker colored solid ties go well with both lighter and darker colored ensembles.
Wearing solid colored ties can also add visual texture and depth to an outfit, particularly when paired with a patterned shirt. Hence, solid ties work particularly well with finely striped or microcheckered shirts.
With regards to office wear, we would focus on darker colored solid ties that demonstrate competence, professionalism and a degree of authority. Navy, burgundy & olive green ties work particularly well. If you are eschewing the concept of a peer group and want to come across in a more prominent, dominant fashion, a solid red tie will work best.
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of exquisite Solid Ties
Foulard ties are characterized by their small and intricate designs. They are perfect for formal occasions and are often made of woven or printed silk fabric with abstract or geometric patterns.
Foulard ties, given their repeating pattern, often work best with a solid white, light blue or light pink shirt. Avoid patterned shirts where possible, unless the pattern spacing and proportion of the foulard tie is proportionally larger, leading to adequate contrast between the shirt and tie.
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of stunning Foulard Ties
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Berkshire Abstract Navy / Turquoise Silk Tie
Polka Dot Ties
Polka dot ties are a classic choice for any look. Polka dot ties comprise of a larger spaced dotted pattern that pair well with solid, finely striped or microcheckered shirts, given their pattern spacing. These ties are ideal for daily work wear, an important meeting or a presentation. A polka dot tie in a navy, blue, burgundy or grey variant is considered most complementary for an office setting.
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of Polka Dot Ties
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Newport Dots Burgundy / Silver Silk Tie
Striped ties come in many varieties and can be horizontal (knitted) or diagonal (woven silk). They are a great way to inject your attire with a classic look. While knitted silk ties with horizontal stripes may work in a more casual business environment (more on that later), we highly advocate opting for a traditional striped silk tie for daily work wear or an important meeting / presentation.
Navy & Red regimental striped silk ties are the perfect way to break striped ties into your wardrobe. While the look may be emblematic of collegiate wear, these ties do work especially well in a daily work setting.
When delivering a presentation or dressing up for an important meeting, a navy striped tie set against a solid white shirt will undoubtedly have you looking professional and dressed for the occasion.
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of stunning Striped Silk Ties
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Canterbury Regimental Navy / Red Silk Tie
Paisley ties feature colorful and ornate designs that often look like swirling leaves. They are best suited for casual looks, such as jeans / chinos and a white button down oxford dress shirt.
In a more casual office setting, lighter colored paisley ties can be worn for daily work.
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of stunning Paisley Silk Ties
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Amesbury Paisley Brownish Gold Silk Tie
If you are looking to strut a paisley tie in a more formal setting, such as delivering that keynote presentation, a deep burgundy or navy paisley tie could very well have you looking like the best dressed man in the room! Two tonal paisley ties, where there is clear contrast between the two hues, can make for astounding neckwear during seminal career moments.
Skinny ties have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their slim profile and ability to make the wearer appear taller and slimmer, by enhancing perceived vertical lines.
Slim silk ties can work particularly well in an office setting - but paying attention to your body type is of paramount importance. While a slim tie can help with perceived vertical lines, a slim tie will work best with a gentleman of narrower or average build. Pair a slim tie with a larger body, and you'll have a disproportionate look!
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's extensive range of Skinny Ties
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Trumbull Abstract Navy / Silver Skinny Silk Tie
Ties By Color
Blue ties come in a range of shades and can be combined with navy suits for a classic look. Darker shades, such as navy ties, look great with a traditional charcoal grey suit & brown or black shoes. While royal blue ties signal affable leadership, a navy tie makes a more powerful statement and attests to your competence and authority.
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of Blue Ties
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of stunning Navy Ties
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Hudson Foulard Blue Silk Tie
Grey Ties are neutral, and will allow you to appear engaged without being overbearing. Grey Ties are therefore ideal for daily work wear, and can even work in a more serious business capacity.
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of Grey Ties
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Newton Abstract Dark Grey & Silver Silk Tie
Burgundy ties provide a unique twist on the traditional navy tie. They can be combined with grey or black suits for an eye-catching effect.
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of stunning Burgundy Silk Ties
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Stafford Squares Burgundy Silk Tie
Red Ties have always been associated with confidence and swagger. They also happen to make an incredibly bold statement, so proceed with caution!
Olive Green Ties
Olive green ties are a noteworthy option if you’re looking for something different. They can be worn with a variety of suit colors, such as navy or brown.
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of Green Ties
These ties are generally loud by nature, and should therefore be worn with a discernment. They do, however, capture attention and can help keep your audience engaged.
Ties By Fabric
Formal Office Wear
While ties come in a variety of fabrics, we highly advocate sticking to the following select materials when dressing dapper for the office in a more formal capacity.
Woven Silk Ties
These ties remain the gold standard for more formal dress wear, and with good reason. Silk Ties have a certain sheen & lustre to them that make them highly appealing, especially in situations that demand dressier attire. Woven silk ties are manufactured through the intricate weaving of silk yarns, to create patterns that give the ties textural depth. This textural depth helps create visual interest within your ensemble.
Additionally, woven silk ties do not wrinkle as easily as some of their more casual counterparts, such as linen and cotton.
Printed Silk Ties
Considered a casual cousin of the woven silk tie, printed silk ties can actually be worn in more formal settings. While animal and recreationally themed motifs with printed silk ties have been popularized by larger fashion houses, these ties look best when worn with a geometric foulard repeating pattern in office settings. The animal themed motif ties are eye catching and visually engaging, but are best reserved for events like a wedding reception or an evening out!
While these ties are technically comprised of silk, their composition almost makes for a different type of fabric. A grenadine weave consists of an open weave, comprising of two warp yarns twisted around the horizontal (weft) yarn to provide a robust, sheer fabric. Grenadine Ties are self tipped, indicating that no other material has been used.
While woven silk ties may be considered the gold standard for neckwear amongst the populace, grenadine ties really stand peerless when it comes to tie aficionados. Considered the epitome of luxury, grenadine ties are ideal for an important presentation or business meeting involving top executives. Strut that grenadine tie, and you are bound to make an impression - and then some!
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Domaso Grenadine Brown Silk Tie
Business Casual Attire
While more serious office attire is best complemented by traditional silk ties, business casual attire will allow you some flexibility when choosing to dress to the nines in a more casual environment.
Knitted Ties, manufactured through knitting (gasp!), are characterized by an open weave, a narrower blade and square ends (versus triangular ends for conventional ties), lending to a more casual look. With the rising popularity of knit ties, they are now available in a range of patterns including solids, stripes, zig zag patterns & polka dots, amongst others.
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of stunning Silk Knitted Ties
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Cherry Creek Silk Knit Tie
Linen & Cotton Ties
The perfect antidote to the stuffier silk counterpart, linen & cotton ties exude a more relaxed vibe, and are therefore best worn in a more casual office capacity, especially during the spring / summer months.
When to Wear a Tie
Wearing a tie to work is a great way to look professional and make a good impression. Depending on the office dress code, wearing a tie can be required or optional. In most business settings, a tie should be worn when attending meetings or client presentations. Solid, striped and foulard ties work effectively in daily work settings.
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of Ties for Daily Work
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Wilton Stripes Blue Silk Tie
Whether it’s a formal meeting or a client presentation, wearing a tie is the best way to show that you take the occasion seriously. It’s important to keep the tie understated and professional for this type of occasion.
While solid, striped and foulard ties can be complementary during a presentation, a polka dot or paisley tie will provide more visual pop and allow you to make an even more pronounced statement!
Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's range of Ties for Presentations
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Dorchester Foulard Bluish Grey Silk Tie
If you’re making a sales pitch, dressing appropriately is imperative. Wearing a well-coordinated suit with a tie shows that you’re serious about the meeting and prepared to make an impactful impression. A solid, striped or foulard tie will allow you to enter that sales meeting in a professional, yet subtle manner, while a polka dot or paisley tie will allow you to make more of a pronounced statement.
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Georgetown Foulard Navy / Blue / Brown Silk Tie
Conferences & Networking Events
Whether it's an industry wide conference, a networking event or an after work cocktail party, these occasions provide you with an opportunity to really stand out. Hence, wearing a foulard tie with a more prominent repeating pattern is bound to make a stylistic statement. Pair these ties with a solid, finely striped or microcheckered white, blue or pink shirt. Patterned shirts work particularly well if there is adequate spacing within the tie pattern, helping to create contrast with the shirt.
In addition to foulard ties, printed silk ties with a repeating animal or recreational motif, or a polyester tie in similar vein, can help create a pronounced effect and turn into instant conversation starters. What better way to start a conversation at a cocktail party / networking event than with a unique tie that showcases your interests.
Featuring The Dark Knot’s West Palm Trees Polyester Tie
How to Wear a Tie
Tying a tie correctly can be an intimidating task for many people, but it doesn’t have to be. It all starts with selecting the right type of knot for the occasion and your office setting. The three most popular types of knots include the four-in-hand, half-windsor & full windsor knots.
This is the most popular of all tie knots, since it's the easiest to tie and requires less fabric than other knots. It's appropriate for all occasions and all office settings, making it a great option for those just starting out with tying a tie. The four-in-hand is an effortless, go to tie knot for daily work.
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Berkshire Abstract Navy / Turquoise Silk Tie
This is a medium-sized knot that works well in both formal and casual office settings. It's slightly more formal than the four-in-hand and takes a little more time to tie. The half windsor knot can work effectively with daily work, an important presentation or a sales meeting.
Featuring The Dark Knot’s Windsor Grey Skinny Silk Tie
Full Windsor Knot
Also known as the double-Windsor, this is a larger knot with a distinct shape. It's appropriate for formal occasions and is best reserved for special events or high-level meetings.
How to Untie a Tie
Untying a tie may seem simple, but there is actually an art to it. To untie a tie properly, begin by undoing the knot. Gently pull the wide end of the tie away from the knot, then use your fingers to slowly loosen the fabric until the knot is undone.
Storing your ties properly can help keep them looking their best! Try to store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Hang ties on a hanger in a closet, or roll them up and store them in a chest of drawers. If you need to travel with your ties, roll them up in tissue paper for extra protection.
Travelling with Ties
When travelling with ties, it’s important to store them properly to avoid wrinkles and damage. Wrap ties in tissue paper and store them in a secure container such as a suitcase or carry-on bag. Avoid folding or crumpling them as this could cause wrinkles. For longer trips, consider bringing an extra tie in case of that inadvertent spill!
And that’s a wrap for this one! We hope that you have enjoyed reading this as much as we did writing it!