Cravatology 101 can be an in-depth course, with lessons on picking the right tie for the occasion, matching its color and print to your attire, and learning to tie different knots. Before you master those details though, make sure you know these handy tips for wearing a necktie with style. This visual guide will make them easy to remember.
Proper tie length
– Tip of tie comes right to the top of your belt buckle.
– Tie a little long? Use the Windsor knot — it uses more fabric.
– Tie a little short? Use the four-in-hand knot — it uses less fabric.
Proper tie proportion
– A large man should choose a slightly wider and longer tie.
– A petite man should look for a slightly shorter and thinner tie.
Picking the right tie knot for the right collar
– Narrow spread or button-down collar: Use four-in-hand
– Medium-width spread collar: Use Half-Windsor.
– Wide spread collar: Use Windsor.
A quick tip on tie width
– For an average-sized man, shoot for a tie that’s about 3-3.75″ wide. For a quick comparison, hold it to a dollar bill. If the tie is close to Washington’s nose, you’re safe. If it extends out past the portrait frame or is behind his head, consider passing on the necktie.
Illustration by Ted Slampyak