A Guide To Choosing Your Next Tie

As something that has virtually no utility, the necktie stood the test of time and has been the staple accessory to the prototypical gentleman.

If you think hard on the purpose of neckties, you’re very likely to conclude that there really isn’t any — no utility whatsoever. Neckties essentially have no other practical function than to give off a certain vibe.

That vibe, however, makes all the difference.

Dating back to its first recorded emergence back in the 17th Century, the necktie has always been a symbol of power.

Today, it makes a significant difference for someone to wear a perfectly-good tie with his everyday work shirt. You’ll notice how a man looks more put-together, decent, and sophisticated with one on. It’s a statement maker so to speak.

Choosing Your Tie

Selecting a tie is a true art, a rather enjoyable one too. Deciding on the kind of tie to wear whether to work or to your best friend’s wedding could say a lot about your personality.

Essentially, there are two things to consider:

1. Shape and Size

When looking at the size of a tie, you’re pretty much safe with the standard length and width. Most are approximately 148 centimeters long and anything longer than that will result to the tip going past your waist line, and you’ll feel like a game show host from 1974.

You want the tip of your tie to come right at the top of your belt buckle.

For the standard width, we’re looking at about 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 centimeters wide.

Choosing the size of your tie also depends a great deal on the event you’re wearing it to. For example — although a skinny tie (about 4 to 5 cm in width) with its contemporary vibe could be ideal for a night out with your significant other, it’s probably not the best choice for a first job interview.

2. Fabric

Ties come in a variety of fabrics and textures such as wool, cotton, silk and polyester. The best ones are made of natural fabrics (natural silk, cotton, wool, cashmere etc).

Be cautioned though when selecting ties made from these materials. Much like anything genuine in the world, there’s always a counterfeit. Having a label that says a tie is made out of 100% silk doesn’t mean it really is made of natural silk because if you think about it, polyester and microfiber are in a sense synthetic silks. This obviously gives some manufacturers a loophole to exploit.

“But among the fabrics mentioned above, which should I choose?”, you may ask.

To have a better grasp of which fabric to pick, it’s best to identify which season certain fabrics are commonly used for.

The Seasonless Fabric

Silk is a smooth and shiny fiber that has quite the intriguing history. Even today, silk is still considered one of the most expensive pieces of fabric out there. But without a doubt, among necktie fabrics this is the most iconic one.

You can wear them in the summer or even in the winter — it doesn’t matter. Silk ties have always been the standard. If you didn’t know a great deal about ties you’d probably think they’re all made of silk and I wouldn’t blame you.

If you were to buy your first tie today and not sure which fabric to pick, you’re always safe buying, yes you guessed it, a silk tie.

If you’re wondering what those cheap ties in your local department stores are made of, they’re NOT silk. They’re either polyester or microfiber. These fabrics are man-made, synthetic silks which is why sometimes they can get away with being labeled as 100% silk as mentioned previously. They are also naturally cheaper.

If you’re on a tight budget and were to choose between the two, go for microfiber instead as it virtually feels like real silk in look and texture.

Summer Fabrics

Just like clothing, ties made of cotton or linen are perfect for that summer get-up — whether for that summer wedding or a casual lunch date.

These ties, as you may have already noticed typically come in bright, light colors.

Most of these suddenly-trending colorful and bright floral-patterned ties are made of cotton in case you were wondering. Their casual and vibrant vibe are definitely ones to take with you during those summer occasions.

Winter Fabrics

Wool and cashmere both are known to be warmer fabrics and therefore ideal for colder weather. For utility purposes, these are best worn during in fall or winter as they are much heavier and thicker than other fabrics but are just as stylish, if not more when worn right.

There are tons of ties out there that come in different designs, widths and lengths. Have you decided on which types of ties you like?

Our team in Kurbata is currently hard at work on expanding your options on our online store so there’s more available to you wherever you are. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and if you’re in the market for a new tie, visit kurbata.co to check out the new designs we’re starting to roll out this year.

A Guide To Choosing Your Next Tie was originally published in Better Man on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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