There’s more to a suit than meets the eye and at McCann Bespoke we’re very precise when it comes to the smaller details. We thought we’d share with you some top tie tips you should consider when picking out your perfect tie. To ‘tie’ in with this blog post, we’re also offering 3 for 2 on all ties on our website using the code MCB3FOR2.

Your tie should be the same width as your lapel

This is something you may not consciously look for in a suit, but something you’d certainly notice if it was askew. Thin ties and thin lapels are having their moment in the limelight at the moment, but of course, taste and style play a big part in this. The width of a tie is measured at the widest point just before the tip. You’ll find the industry standard size is 9cm, but some people will go down as far as 6cm. The width also depends on the style of the tie. Knitted ties are typically between 6-8cm whilst printed ties, such as our Polka Dot range, benefit from a little extra width.

Your tie should be darker than your shirt

This is a general rule, but there are exceptions. We recommend picking out the primary colour of your shirt and then choosing a tie with a similar colour somewhere on it. For example, if you’re wearing a thin striped blue and white shirt, why not try a tie similar to this one. Mixing polkadot with stripes is a winning combination.

Remember, not all ties work. So if you’ve picked a tie that’s darker than your shirt, it doesn’t automatically mean it’ll look good. Try to avoid the following fashion faux pas:

  • Avoid two bold, clashing patterns. An example of this is a large polkadot black & white shirt with a blue plaid tie.
  • Don’t pair two large patterns or two small patterns. Your patterns should complement each other.
  • Generally, stripe on stripe doesn’t work. This is particularly true of stripes that go in different directions, for example, a vertical striped shirt with a horizontal striped tie is a no-no.

Avoid over-accessorising 

The male fashion industry is flourishing at the moment. As a result, there are more choices than ever when it comes to ways to accessorise your suit. Tie pins and pocket squares are available in a wide array of colours and styles and can make or break a suit. With this in mind, it’s important not to over accessorise. We suggest using 1 or 2 of the three major accessories options around the chest area. These options are; a pocket square, a tie pin or a lapel pin. It’s usually not recommended to wear a lapel pin and pocket square at the same time as it can look a bit fussy. Of course, as always, there are exceptions to this rule.

On this note, make sure your pocket square doesn’t match your tie in its pattern or fabric. It’s meant to add a level of sophistication without looking too ‘matchy’.

The length of your tie

The length of your tie is a minefield. Many 1990s schoolboys would probably disagree, but your tie should just reach the waistband of your trousers or be slightly shorter. This is the general rule when it comes to British tailoring but can differ from country to country. For example, Italian tailoring tends to favour an even longer tie, which is why you may see the likes of George Clooney wearing a tie past the waistband of his trousers, but the most common style just touches the waistband.

We hope this has been helpful to you – after you’ve got the basis of wearing a tie down to a tee, we’ll be offering more ‘advanced’ tips on how to style your tie to perfection!

Sophie-Nicol Dodds