How To Match A Tie To Your Occasion

Posted by Rishi Chullani on

Matching a tie to your occasion is of paramount importance when dressing to look the part. Whether its a business casual setting, a networking event, wedding reception or date, night, knowing how to match a tie to the occasion will set you apart. In this detailed guide, we cover matching ties to a range of occasions, so that you are always dressed your best!

The occasion is set. You’ve decked yourself out.  Whether it’s that cocktail party, beach wedding, all important presentation or that upcoming job interview, you’ve made the right decision and thoughtfully perused through your wardrobe for the right essentials. You’re ready to channel your inner sartorial Ryan Gosling, Denzel Washington or heck, even Charles Barkley. Hopefully it’s the former two, and not the latter.

You realize impressions are everything, and you’re ready to step outside that door with aplomb. Except there’s one glaring omission. That accessory that has stood the test of time and been the ultimate measure of a man (at least from a sartorial perspective). The tie. Confusion abounds, as you’ve decided last minute to ditch the clown tie, realizing a creepy man’s smiles on a tie won’t impress anyone. With that said, here is our detailed guide to choosing the right tie based on occasion!  

Cocktail Party / Networking Event

Whether it’s an after work cocktail party, a non black tie fund raiser, or a networking event, cocktail parties provide you with a platform to really stand out. Looking the part means looking interesting- so that you can get those conversations flowing. Hence, opting for a foulard / abstract patterned tie, or if you’re in a bolder state of mind, an understated novelty tie, will create the strong impression! Alternatively, you can opt for a paisley tie, provided that it is using a couple of colors in its scheme.

Pair these exquisite ties with a solid or microcheckered white, blue or pink shirt. Solid shirts will work best with your foulard / abstract or novelty silk ties, given that smaller pattern spacing of the ties need a solid canvas upon which to stand out. For the paisley ties, you can opt for a solid or microcheckered shirt, as the larger pattern spacing with the paisley ties will perfectly complement even an intricate checkered shirt pattern.

The foulard tie is a neat geometric repeating pattern, referring to a smaller scale pattern with a block pattern repeat. Animal Print Silk Ties are unique novelty ties (pardon the redundancy!), that from afar appear as a splash of colors, but upon closer inspection, typically reveal something about the wearer’s interests. Animal Print or Motif Printed Silk Ties typically include patterns related to thematic concepts – ocean life (fish, crabs), lifestyle (beach, palm trees) or sports (golf, sailing, tennis, croquet etc). What better way to start a conversation at a cocktail party / networking event than with a unique tie that depicts your interests?

Some of favorite foulard abstract ties for a cocktail party include Berkshire Abstract Grey / Red Silk Tie or Brentwood Navy / Pink Silk Tie.

Networking Event Tie

The Dark Knot’s Berkshire Abstract Grey / Red Foulard Silk Tie is ideal for a cocktail party or a networking event!

Navy & Silver Foulard Silk Tie

The Dark Knot’s Rockport Squares Navy / Silver Foulard Silk Tie can make a prominent impression at a cocktail party!

Ideal Paisley Ties for a cocktail party include The Dark Knot’s Amesbury Paisley Brownish Gold / Silk Tie or Berkley Paisley Pink / Red Silk Tie!

Brownish Gold Paisley Silk Tie

The Dark Knot’s Amesbury Paisley Brownish Gold Silk Tie is ideal for making that stunning first impression at your next cocktail party!

Popular Animal Print Ties include our Watermill Fish Navy / Yellow and Watermill Fish Pink / Green Silk Ties.

Evening Out / Date Night

Getting ready for an evening out with your buddies, or a fancy date night? Try opting for a tie that is against the grain, and a bit more fun. Perfect ties include skinny and knit ties, which take the edge off what can often seem like office wear. Knit ties, which have made a strong resurgence in recent years, feature an open, textured weave that will add significant textural variation to your ensembles.

Other defining features include a narrow blade (typically 2.0 to 2.5 inches) and square ends (versus triangular, pointed ends that you typically see with a jacquard woven or printed silk twill weave ties). Nothing mixes up your suiting or business casual aesthetic (with a sports blazer) better than a Knitted Tie!

With a range of patterns, including horizontal stripes (gasp!), polka dots, anchors and your conventional solids, along with being offered in a range of materials including Silk Knitted ties & Woolen Knitted Ties, these are your perfect go to option for that next snazzy evening out! What makes Knitted Ties so versatile is that they can be used to dress down a formal ensemble or dress up a casual ensemble!

The Dark Knot Tip: When wearing your Knit Tie, opt for a four in hand knot, given the inherent thickness of these ties. Moreover, if you are opting for a more casual look, leaving the knot slightly below your shirts top button (with it unbuttoned) will negate the inherent stiffness associated with a necktie, yet still provide you with a dapper look. If you really want to look like a rogue gentleman (yes, the paradox is intentional!), wear the tie with an inverted twist (not literally, but with the tail end of the tie slightly longer than the front end!).

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s range of Evening Ties

Looking to feeling your best on your date night? Check out The Dark Knot’s Date Night Ties!

Date Night Tie

The Dark Knot’s Lawrence Brown Knit Tie makes for an ideal evening wear tie!

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s Skinny Tie Collection!

Looking to add some textural variation to your wardrobe? Feel free to check out our Knit Tie Collection!

Silk Ties | Ties | Neckties | Extra Long Ties | Buy Ties | Shop Ties

Weekend Casual / Preppy

Looking to spice things up at your next Kentucky Derby, or while watching a casual game of croquet at the local country club? Ties in pastel colors that offer a unique aesthetic, whether it be lighter colored knitted ties, or animal print ties, are bound to do the trick!

Preppy Silk Tie

The Dark Knot’s Nantucket Fish Blue / Red Silk tie is ideal for your next Kentucky Derby, or for a country club day time event!

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s range of Knit Ties

The Dark Knot’s Animal Print tie Selection can be found here.


Gearing up for that all important career make or break presentation? Dressing appropriately will ensure that you can focus on the task at hand, while simultaneously making a great impression without uttering your first word. Solid Ties, Classic Striped Ties, Foulard Ties and Classic Polka dot Ties are ideal for presentations.

While we suggest pairing your solid, striped and foulard ties with a solid shirt so as to avoid pattern confusion, a polka dot tie can be paired with a solid, microcheckered (smaller checkered pattern shirt) or finely striped shirt, given the pattern spacing of these designs.

Some of our favorite presentation ties include our Winsted Solid Navy Tie, Canterbury Regimental Navy / Blue, our Framingham Abstract Navy/ Orange / Brown Silk Tie and our Newport Dots Burgundy Silk Tie.

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s range of Presentations Ties!

Tie For Presentation

The Dark Knot’s Newport Dots Burgundy Silk Tie is the perfect presentation silk tie. Pair this tie with a solid white shirt, microcheckered or finely striped shirt for maximum effect.


Few situations can elicit the absolute need for attention to detail as an interview can. Color and pattern selection is of vital importance, and it is best to keep it as simple as possible. While we recommend dressing to the nines, we do not want you to stick out too much. Color psychologists often encourage interviewers to wear a solid blue or navy suit, as it tends to relay feelings of trust and friendliness to the interviewer. A white shirt paired with a solid, striped or clean foulard / abstract silk tie is your best bet. Solid White shirts provide the perfect canvas upon which to paint your perfect tie with, as you are minimizing the need for both color and pattern coordination, thereby inherently reducing your stress levels for the big day!

Solid, striped, polka dot or abstract silk ties in navy, grey and burgundy hues work best for an interview setting, as they demonstrate trust and affability.

A few of our favorite interview ties at The Dark Knot include Berkshire Abstract Grey / Red, Waltham Dots Navy / Silver and Montague Foulard Burgundy.

Interview Tie

The Dark Knot’s Montague Burgundy Foulard Silk Tie is ideal for interview settings.

Work - Formal

While traditional, conservative neckwear is often championed during the workplace, injecting your ensembles with color and flair can add life to what can otherwise be considered drab attire. Moreover, a colorful tie doesn’t have to be overtly loud. A smaller paisley pattern such as our Brentwood Abstract Navy / Pink, or an animal print tie, can inject color without looking hideous from afar!

Still looking for that classic but conservative look? Opt for a regimental striped tie, that most classic and timeless of neckpieces that will have you looking the part. Alternatively, you could go for a foulard / abstract silk tie with a tightly knit pattern that will have you looking like the consummate professional.

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s range of Work Ties

Navy & Pink Polka Dot Silk Tie

The Dark Knot’s Huntington Polka Dot Navy / Pink Tie will definitely have people doing a double take as you strut into work! This beautiful ensemble is perfectly balanced with an understated pocket square

Work – Business Casual

Work in an environment where business casual attire has been embraced? Fret not – you can still look incredibly smart with a sports coat, and pocket square, and if you really want to spice things up, a knitted tie! As mentioned earlier, a knitted tie provides an open, textured weave that is ideal for dressing down more formal attire and for dressing up more casual attire. The square ends of these ties and generally slimmer widths will provide for a refined, textured aesthetic that will definitely have you looking the part!

Business Casual Tie

The Dark Knot’s Riverhead Polka Dot is a stunning silk knitted tie that can be used in a business casual setting.

Looking for something slightly more toned down, but one that will still elicit a double take and generate lots of envy? The Dark Knot’s Ithaca Wool Grey Knitted tie will do the trick!

Grey Woolen Knit Tie

The Dark Knot’s Ithaca Grey Woolen Knitted Tie, the perfect understated piece for business casual attire, that will still have you looking incredibly suave!

Black Tie

As the name suggests, black tie events are best accompanied (assuming you are not opting for a black bow tie) by a black silk tie. In line with keeping the aesthetic clean, sleep and minimal, a black tie will sync perfectly with the rest of your attire.

Solid Black Silk Tie

The Dark Knot’s Colebrook Black Silk Tie is ideal for your next black tie event!


Formal / Indoor Wedding

Ready to help facilitate your best friends nupitals? Picking out appropriate attire can often be an anxiety-inducing process. These simplified guidelines should help when attending yours or your friends big day. For indoor weddings, we suggest darker colored ties such as navy, burgundy, brown, olive green or deep purple, that will really help you present yourself in the best light possible. Patterns we suggest including solids, foulard / abstracts or paisley silk ties.

While the color theme of the wedding and the bridal gown color are of utmost importance, darker colored ties will look best at an indoor ceremony!

Olive Green & Brown Foulard Silk Tie

The Dark Knot’s Beverly Foulard Olive Green / Brown Silk Tie is the perfect complement for a Fall / Winter Season indoor wedding!

Silk Ties | Ties | Neckties | Extra Long Ties | Shop Ties | Buy Ties

Summer / Beach Weddings

Ready to attend that next wedding in tropical paradise? Nothing complements your attire better than funky, fun ties in pastel colors. Opt for a solid, foulard / abstract or unique animal motif tie in lighter shades for maximum effect!

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot’s range of Wedding Ties.

Cream Foulard Silk Tie

The Dark Knot’s Hanover Abstract Cream / Pink Foulard Silk Tie is ideal for summer / outdoor wedding venue!

Coral & Blue Fish Printed Silk Tie

The Dark Knot’s Nantucket Fish Coral / Blue Silk Tie is a beautiful accessory for a spring / summer wedding! Pair it with a lighter colored pocket square and lapel flower for maximum pop!

And that’s a wrap for this one! I hope that you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have writing it!


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