Should I wear a Tie?

By Angela Marshall, 13th Feb 2014


As an image consultant I am often asked by men, whether they should wear a tie to meetings? As always there is no one answer to this question.

Ask yourself what image do I wish to portray? How do I wish to come across in the meeting? How formal is the meeting? Do I want to look authoritative, friendly or relaxed? Do I feel more comfortable wearing a tie?

The benefits of wearing a tie:

  1. A tie adds colour to dark suits and white shirts.
  2. It’s a way to show your individual personality.
  3. A tie can improve your appearance and enhance a traditional work appearance.
  4. Depending on your age, a tie will cover up a wrinkly neck; it certainly can make a man look younger!
  5. A shirt and jacket collar generally falls better.
  6. It gives a smart, elegant and professional look.
  7. A tie is a quick way to update and modify your look.

Mistakes on how to wear a tie:

  • Incorrect length of tie – wearing a tie too short or too long will throw out the entire look – it should end near the middle of your belt buckle.
  • Uncomfortable – a tie is uncomfortable if it is tied too tight or your shirt collar is too small.
  • Poorly tied tie –  inappropriate knot for the collar which leaves a gap between the tie and the collar.
  • Badly hanging tie – a knot that shows any part of the narrow end of the tie.
  • Stains on tie –  send it to the cleaners and if it still remains, unfortunately you will need to get rid of that tie.
  • Wrinkle tie – hang your ties on a tie rack or at least over a hanger; the fabric will then straighten itself out over night.  Also never wear the same tie two days in a row.

Tips for choosing a tie:

  • Size of tie – the width of a tie should be similar to the lapel of your jacket.
  • Colours –  select a tie that is darker than your shirt for a professional business look. It should have the colours of your suit and shirt plus preferably one other colour to provide an accent. For a formal appearance, choose a solid coloured tie and one darker than your shirt.
  • Patterns –  a plain jacket and plain shirt is the easiest with a pattern tie and plain tie best with a pattern shirt.  If you wear both a striped shirt and tie ensure they are different sizes. When in doubt stay subtle. Novelty ties are not professional, just fun.
  • Match your body physique – a pattern tie and width need to suit your build; small frame small pattern and a large frame needs larger patterns.
  • Mix & match – choose a tie that you can wear with several shirts, suits or jackets. It will give the appearance you have more ties than you do and allow you to create a variety of looks.

The Right Knot

Your choice of tie knot should be appropriate to the collar of the shirt. For example a standard collar suits a four-in-hand (although this is less neat and professional). A cut-away collar suits a larger knot such as a full Windsor.  A Half-Windsor knot can be used for both standard collar or cut-away collars and is neat and professional.

Need help to tie a knot-  Check out YouTube for the various demos  such as on “How to do a tie Half-windsor knot.”


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Welcome to Angela Marshall's Blog. Angela Marshall
"I am in the third phase of my life and having been a successful image consultant for 18 years, I now enjoy the freedom of blogging about life in general, especially fashion, grooming, etiquette and manners." Angela Marshall
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