Ok maybe not complete death to the skinny tie, but I believe they are on the way out. Browsing some pics of fashionable gents in Europe on Instagram such as this one, there is not a skinny tie in sight. Lately, I myself have been favoring a wider tie, anywhere from 3 to the oldschool 4 inch ones.
There have been many ‘rules’ when it comes to tie width, “match the width of your tie to the width of your lapels” is an ideal one, although not always practical, am I supposed to run out and buy a new suit every time I get a tie of a different width? Please. Another one, (which I agree makes sense) is the fact that certain widths look different on certain body types. If you’re a husky, or athletic muscular guy, a skinny tie will look kinda weird on you. There’s a reason why you see football players not wearing skinny ties, it would look ridiculous on them. Here’s a good example of Ray Lewis rocking an appropriate tie for his shape.
Now, I am not advocating taking all your skinny ties and throwing them all away, but rather encouraging you all to start integrating some wider ties in your repertoire. Especially if you work in a conservative office, you’ll want to go with something like a standard 3″ tie. And let me let you in on a secret, I myself feel a little more powerful and manly in a wider tie, try it! And if you need a bonus, there are so much more possible knots with wider ties than with skinny ties, where you are largely restricted to the simple Four in Hand knot.
Overall, I do feel like the whole skinny tie trend is becoming played out, as we all know, fashion is cyclical and always repeats itself in one way or another. By that line of thinking, we should start seeing wider ties become trendier again. In fact, some stores don’t even carry skinny ties and never really did, like my #1 favorite Brooks Brothers. In fact, an interesting line caught my eye in their book, Generations of Style, “By ignoring trends, Brooks Brothers has gone on setting them”
Now to cap it off with a few ties from my own collection of varying widths:
So here we have ties of varying widths, they are as follows (in order left to right): “2.25”, 3.25″, 3.75″, 3″. 1.75″, 2.5″ and the large gaudy 1970s tie acquired from a co-worker in a whopping 4.75″. That is probably where I draw the line, 4.75″ is extra wide, will probably take it to a tailor and have him narrow it to 3″ or 4″.
And my latest, most beautiful catch, a Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece handmade seven fold silk tie purchased at work for $13, languishing in the discount bin due to it’s 4″ width. For those unfamiliar with Brooks Brothers, the Golden Fleece line is the creme de la creme in terms of quality. If you are wondering what a seven fold silk tie is, look here. They are hard to find and usually retail upwards of $150!
I will say this about seven fold ties, they are nice and thick and make for a beautiful knot as shown above.
That’s all for today dapperites, remember next time you’re out tie hunting, switch it up a bit and go for something a little wider. Don’t be scared, you’ll look great, just rock it with confidence 😉