By Leo Davie
A tie is such a simple way to pull your whole look together, but it should be one element to your overall look, not a big statement. Hugo Boss is great for subtle, understated styles that you can wear with everything. “It should elevate what you are wearing, whether that's with a suit in the boardroom, or layered with a cardigan sweater for a night out,” says Brett Falhgren founder of Fahlgren Ties in New York. “The balance is key."
Image: Hugo Boss
The knot is key - you want one that is moderately-sized and easy to tie, so if you are still wearing the Windsor you need to think again. “The knot I wear is a four-in-hand knot at all times,” says Falhgren. “It’s streamlined, well proportioned and goes with all jacket lapel widths and dress shirt collar types.” Nick Carvell, British GQ Online Fashion Editor, agrees: “I'm a big fan of the traditional four-in-hand, which is not only the easiest to master, but also the best suited to the current trend for slimmer ties as it creates a small, compact knot.”
Image: Henry Mole
When it comes to ties, less is definitely more. “Avoid ties that are too wide or too busy. Until you feel confident, stick with timeless classics such as stripes and solids. I've been really focused on wool and cotton lately as both capture the changes of the seasons so perfectly; wool for winter, cotton for spring and summer,” Fahlgren states. If you're after minimal ties, Reiss have a great selection of ties that don't overstep the style mark.
Always look for natural fabrics and wovens rather than synthetic satin or silk-effects. Paul Smith has a range of striking ties that would work well for this look. “I’m not a fan of shiny ties, so I tend to go for woollen or woven ties,” says Carvell. “My personal favourites are knitted ties - especially cashmere ones in the winter”. Finding the right fabric-weight for the seasons takes a little practice but it is definitely worthwhile as it is such a subtle way to enhance your look.
Image: Paul Smith
When you are feeling confident, try to master the dimple. “The trick is to fold the tie into an "M" shape as you pull it through the knot, leaving a depression in the centre that would make Gianni Agnelli proud,” says Nick Carvell, British GQ Online Fashion Editor. There are a multitude of ways to tie one's knot and trying your hand at these until you become a veritable master in it will be a most worthwhile style endeavour.
And finally after you've mastered the knot and the dimple, always check your length. “You'll see a lot of guys around whose ties graze their fly, but ideally your tie point should hit bang-on the top of your belt,” Carvell advises. Length of tie is the easiest element to master but can really make all the difference to how successful your look is and will make the most of the tie you've chosen to wear that day.
Image: College Times