STYLE & ÉTIQUETTE ADVICE

Your most frequent style & étiquette questions are answered.

Selecting a Necktie

In a world of black and navy suits your necktie selection can “punctuate” your approach to attire and expresses your personal style.   As your choice of necktie says a lot about you, here are our tips to make sure yours is saying the right thing!

Tie Length

For the taller gentleman, 6’4” or 193 cm+, one needs a necktie at least 20” (or 51cm) in length to fall properly when tied. The necktie tip should fall about ½” or 1 cm below your waistline. Too long and you look droopy. Too short and well, one can appear a bit comical.

Fabric Quality

A necktie should be completely lined from the bottom tip to its narrowest point. To help keep its shape, it should have vertical slip stitching that runs the full length and what is called “bar stitching” that runs horizontally along the bottom and top ends. These are sure signs of a good quality necktie.

Choice of Fabric

Most neckties today are made from silk. A good silk necktie has a high quality “hand” or touch, holds to form, and presents a sophisticated bespoke quality.   For some inspiration, take a look at the Edward Stripe Collection of pure silk neckties that are hand-made in Italy.
Wool neckties are gaining popularity and have an advantage over silk – they’re a bit easier to clean. Wool neckties are more popular in winter months and are a smart addition to any gentleman’s wardrobe. For a selection of wool neckties, see our Sovereign Beck Collection.

Fashion or Style?

We all secretly desire to be “fashion conscious” and "hip" with the current trends. However, how many of us will admit to still having those very narrow leather ties in our closets, or neckties so wide that a circus clown would be chuffed to receive them? A fine quality necktie of classic "goldilocks" width - not too wide, not too narrow, but "just right" - will provide you with many years of wear.

Colour Choice

Some colours and patterns have a life cycle. However, the standard colours - navy blues, reds, golds, greens, browns and blacks - truly never go out of style. An easy way to ensure a complementary style is for the necktie to include a colour that matches the primary colour of the shirt. A solid coloured shirt is decidedly easier to select neckties for with varying patterns and colours. We suggest not more than four colours, unless you are confident of carrying off the statement, in case you being to appear kaleidoscopic. You should, of course, remember to choose colours that suit you (see “Choosing the right colour for you”).

Patterns

Stripes remain the timeless classic pattern for any necktie. They are versatile and can be worn with varying patterns of shirts. Neckties with dots, spots or other motifs are also popular and are easily matched with a variety of shirt patterns. Some dot neckties actually carry a stripe pattern in them, thus creating a classic look with a contemporary flair. A timeless, elegant style with a bold statement!

Solid Colour

Solid colour neckties work beautifully if you enjoy wearing bold print style shirts or solid, deep coloured shirts. The shirt and necktie, be they matched twins or far opposites on the colour wheel, can command a certain presence.

Variety adds the Spice

Neckties, like other garments, do have seasons. It is most important to have an appropriate selection of neckties as the same tie should not be worn on consecutive days so that the fabric relaxes and retains its shape.
As your experience with colour and style develops, so the variety of neckwear that you choose will be perfectly matched to suit different occasions, both business and personal.

A Note on Knots

If your necktie is a heavier thicker silk, consider a half-windsor knot. Tying in a full Windsor can sometimes create too much bulk at the neck and is not a good look, particularly for the gentleman who has a large neck. A half-windsor can take a bit of adjusting to square the knot, but once done, looks outstanding. Be sure that the necktie is sitting centrally and that the collar is carefully folded down so that the part that circles the neck does not show from under the collar.
If your necktie is a fine silk and very light in weight, the full Windsor is the best look for this tie. It creates a perfectly symmetrical knot and when pulled to the top button, creates a finished look.

Take a look at the collection of Edward Stripe neckties and find the right necktie for you!