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Tie Sizes

Written by Mr. WellCultured, Sunday, July 4th, 2010 in Q&As

When can I wear a skinny tie?

The general rule of thumb is casually, and ideally with a blazer with slim lapels. Skinny ties are fairly fashion-forward and youthful — don’t wear them in a business context, try wearing them in more of a stylish, perhaps more casual context.

Ties are actually kinda basic: they range from about 1″ (super skinny) to up to 4.5″ (huge) at their widest point, which is right before it tapers into a triangle shape. “Skinny ties” usually float under the 2.75″ mark, which means that they are very very slim, especially up at the top, which makes the knot look fairly small and slim. “Narrow” ties — particularly the ones J.Crew sell — tend to be around 2.75″ to 3″. Anything larger is a fairly standard size, with 4″ being the most for a modern style, and 4.5″ being something of a maximal 70s sort of size.

With all of these ties, the big rule is to, at least as much as you can, wear the tie to be around as wide as the lapels, though obviously you have some room for error. With slimmer lapels, skinny ties and narrow ties look much better, and the overall cut is remarkably modern (though very inspired by the Man Men esque styles of the 50s/60s). For standard sized lapels, obviously, wear bigger ties — slimmer ties can work, but sometimes they can look engulfed in your coat. I don’t ascribe to any sort of hard-and-fast sizing rule between the coat lapel and the size of the tie — the best thing you can do is look and a mirror and see if the lapel and tie compliment each other.

Hope this helps!

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