Casual, business casual. Today’s world is much more casual than even just a few decades ago. Work environments are casual or business casual and even formal occasions are not so formal anymore. There is not as much of a need to get dressed up or to wear a tie or a suit. Unfortunately, men of many generations do not know how to tie a tie properly and easily get frustrated when they have to wear a tie to an interview, work meeting, or formal occasion. Clip-on ties are not an option! Most people don’t realize the importance of a good tie, how to properly tie, remove or clean a tie. Learn some of the basics of good tie maintenance with the easy to follow tips below.
What Are Ties Made Of?
Most ties are made out of silk. According to Tie-a-Tie, there are different fabric blends used to make ties including microfiber, polyester, linen, wool and cotton. Tie fabrics will vary based on the season. Light cottons and linens ties are worn during the summer, while wool, cashmere and heavy cotton ties look better during the cooler winter months. Genuine silk ties are the most expensive, while Microfiber and polyester blend ties are less expensive.
A good silk tie could be costly, so you want to protect them from wear and tear as much as possible. Below are a few tips to keep the tie (and the wearer) looking its best:
- Neckties, when being worn, should have a uniform length. The widest part of the tie should hang to roughly the top edge of your belt with the tie’s tip extending slightly over the belt. The tip of the narrow end of the tie will usually be slightly lower than the wider part of the tie.
- Most men remove their tie incorrectly. Loosening the tie and removing it over the head, throwing it on the floor or hanging it with the loop are not correct ways to take off a tie and over time, this could actually damage the tie. The proper way to remove a tie is to do the same exact process that you used to tie the tie, but in reverse. It might take a few more minutes to undo your tie after a long day at work or at the formal occasion, but in the long run, it will actually protect the material of the tie.
- Ties can easily become wrinkled, even by just wearing them for a few hours. In order to get rid of the wrinkles, simply wrap the tie around your hand a few times, then put the tie on a table or in a drawer to “rest”. The wrinkles will be gone in a few hours. This is also a great tip for packing ties for traveling.
- It never fails to happen: food or drink somehow find their way onto a men’s tie. Silk is a very delicate material and very unforgiving for stains. Using stain removers can only worsen the stain. The most recommended solution for cleaning a tie is taking it to a professional dry cleaner to be cleaned. Just remember the dry cleaning will remove the stain, but also take away the fresh and shiny look to the tie.
- Choose a tie that compliments the suit and shirt. A great suggestion that Mae shared in a blog post from a few years ago is to bring the suit pants and shirt with you to the store in order to find the right color tie to match the pants and shirt.
How to Tie a Tie
Did you know that there are many types of knots that can be used for tying a tie? There are the easier knot styles such as the Four in Hand, Half Windsor and Pratt and then the knot styles progressively get more difficult with the Windsor, Kelvin, Prince Albert, Balthus, Cristensen and Manhattan.
Each of the knots will be tied a slightly different way. The most commonly used knot for ties is the Windsor. There are multiple steps to tying the proper tie knot. Once you tie your tie a few times, you will get the hang of it and it will become like second nature. For those that don’t know how to tie their tie, there are many instructional videos online.
There are also step-by-step instructions that can be followed. Tie your tie in front of a mirror, so you can make sure that the length of the tie is correct. Diagrams help to easily visualize the process.
The bow tie has made a comeback as part of casual workplace attire. The traditional black or white bow tie continues to be a major component of formal wear, including the wedding tuxedo. Bow ties can also be difficult to tie and requires time and patience. Remember to practice tying your bow tie before your wedding day. Adding frustration of tying a bow tie when you aren’t familiar with it on the day of your wedding will just add to your stress. There are many videos and instructional guides on how to properly tie a bow tie.
Once you have conquering tying a proper knot for your tie, you will be considered an expert! Don’t be afraid to practice your technique. The more you practice, the better the tie (and you) will look! If you need to look great for an interview or formal events, set up an appointment at Men’s Cuts today. Our stylists will help you make your best first impression on your big day!