In the modern American workforce, dressed-down work environments are becoming more commonplace. One 2016 survey revealed that 47% of senior managers said their employees dressed “too casually” (and that lack of formality often starts at the top).
But even though dressing up may not be a daily occurrence for some, most men will have plenty of occasions when it is a necessity. And for men, looking your most professional will almost always involve topping off your ensemble with a necktie.
It is crucial that you have a high level of in-tie-lligence so that you know your ascot from your Windsor knot. If you need a quick primer for reference, here we explain some of the most common kinds of men’s ties, how to tie each tie variety, and some situations in which you might want to wear each.
The Four-in-Hand Knot Tie
This is likely the kind of necktie (and knot) that’s most familiar to you. It’s appropriate to wear with all kinds of dress shirts for men and is considered to be the “standard.” In fact, it’s probably the first knot you learned to tie (and you might not have deviated from it since). Fortunately, it’s appropriate for both business and pleasure, pairing well with men’s professional attire with ease.
The Skinny Tie
The skinny necktie came into fashion during the 1960s and has remained a symbol of hipness ever since. While they’re typically acceptable in an office environment, they’ll look particularly sharp when paired with your finest men’s dress shirts for a night out. You can even wear them with jeans! Just be aware that they typically look best on men with a slim build and with an edgier style.
If you’re seeking something both fun and formal, a bowtie might just fit the bill. They look equally fantastic paired with a dressy tux jacket as they do with a suit. They can be worn with men’s business attire, but it takes a certain amount of finesse (and a killer ensemble) to really pull it off. They’re a fantastic choice for cocktail parties, weddings, and for any time you want to dress with some quirky flair.
The cravat is actually the original tie from which all others evolved. The cravat is a looser neckwear style that, to the modern eye, looks like a hybrid between a tie and a silk scarf. You could wear one with your finest men’s dress shirts on very formal occasions (if you’re daring, that is). But you’re more likely to see it as part of a costume in a period film than you are at a black tie reception in real life.
The ascot is just one type of cravat, but the two terms are often used interchangeably. So what is the difference between an ascot and a cravat? The main difference between and ascot and a cravat is the placement: an ascot is placed under the collar while a cravat is placed over the collar. The ascot is also considered to be more informal.
There are countless ways to tie a tie that can provide even more character to these basic types. And of course, the color, pattern, and material can make all the difference in how well your finest men’s dress shirts, pants, and suit jackets all work cohesively with your choice in tie. No matter your tie preference, your menswear needs to be well-tailored to your build and your personal style. To find out how we can help, contact Family Britches today.