Ties are a fundamental accessory in a man’s essential wardrobe, they can add personality, elegance, and formality to many types of looks, no matter what your personal style is. Rules about style and formality, in both work and social settings, are changing so quickly that it can be tough to know when you should and shouldn’t wear a tie.
So, in this episode of 2 Minute Tuesday we’re discussing when and how men should wear a tie! For a full breakdown on our favorite ties and specific tips, make sure you check out our tie article!
A key thing to remember about ties starts with what you should be wearing them with. Dressier looks like suits and sport coats are definitely options you can and should wear a tie with. For more of a hybrid look, try wearing a tie with a bomber jacket, it can give your casual look a cool dressy vibe. One word of warning though, you don’t want to wear just a tie on its own without a jacket, it just doesn’t look right.
With What Types of Dress Codes?
When to wear a tie can also be determined by the dress code or how formal your place of work happens to be. Dress codes like “Formal”, “Cocktail Attire” or “Cocktail Party” often call for a suit and a tie. Business casual tends to lean slightly more casual but a tie can be appropriate given the right scenario. One tip we love, try a knit tie in those less-dressy situations, they’re not as dressy as a silk tie and will give your look a cool vibe.
If you aren’t totally sure about dress codes, ultimately you want to go with the crowd and let that dictate when a tie is appropriate. Always being stylish and a bit more dressed up is a great thing most of the time. But, you don’t want to be significantly overdressing for occasions or workplaces that don’t call for it. It can seem like you’re trying too hard or attempting to stand out, and not in a good way.
We’ve talked about how important it is to regularly clean out your wardrobe of items that are old, out of style, and no longer worth it. This goes for your accessories too. Accessories are a key part of your overall style, and a few wrong choices or out of date items can easily ruin an otherwise great look.
1. Wide bracelets
My position on this is well known, it’s time to ditch the stacked bracelets and wide leather straps. Their time has come and gone.
2. Too-wide ties
It’s important to keep an eye on your tie’s width. Not everyone should wear a skinny tie (it should be proportionate to your body type and suit style) but anything wider than 3” is just going to look out of date and out of style.
3. Belts with big buckles or large logos
Another item I’ve talked about before, get rid of ‘em! Belts should be minimal. The same goes for super-wide belt widths and contrasting stitching, definitely a big no.
4. Lapel flowers/pins
I don’t mind a bit of flair, like a thoughtfully chosen pocket square or tie bar, but at a certain point, less is more. You don’t need to add on a lapel pin/flower in addition to all the other accessories you’re wearing, it’s too much.
5. Extra-wide tie bars
If your tie bar goes past your tie, you’re in trouble. Additionally, anything more than 2 inches wide, (unless you’re a broader guy with a 44” chest or larger), is just too long.
6. Colored shoelaces
Another trend that had its day, simple and understated is the way to go with shoelaces. You want that nice pair of shoes to do the talking, not the brightly-colored laces.
7. Big, chunky metal rings
A simple band or signet ring is just fine, but large bulky rings just look dated and over the top.
Boots are a fall/winter staple and the right pair (or two) should be versatile enough for a variety of outfits and occasions. I think Chelsea boots are more of a spring/summer style so we’re focusing on shoes that will get you through the colder, wetter months of the year and work better with heavier clothing.
One thing to remember, look at boots as an investment, good ones aren’t cheap, but properly taken care of they can last you many years. There are a ton of options out there and we’ll include our picks, but we’ve narrowed it down to three basic styles that you should have in your closet.
The most versatile and least seasonal, you can wear these nearly year round. They’re light and comfortable and work well with both casual looks (jeans, chinos) and more dressy looks (with sweaters and blazers).
Johnston Murphy #1
Johnston Murphy #2
What you probably think of when you think of boots, these are more rugged and have thicker/chunkier soles. The look great with jeans and chinos and will get you through the colder months and weather with ease. They can come in a variety of styles, some very casual, others a bit more dressy.
Red Wing Beckman
Allen Edmonds #1
Allen Edmonds #2
Wolverine 1000 Mile
Yes, you can and should dress up your boots. Just make sure you’ve got the right styles. Think of these like the hightop versions of your dress shoes. They should have a thinner, dressier sole and nice leather. Look for them in cap toe or wingtip versions. Formality note: some dressier styles come with a bit more tread (called a lug sole) which can still look good with dressier clothes, but it will make them slightly less formal.
Brooks Brothers Peal & Co.
Allen Edmonds #1
Allen Edmonds #1
Many of you have asked more about “our story” so we’re happy to start sharing. Here’s more about how we met!