“What Tie Width Should I Wear?”
The question is as old as the tie itself. We know the struggle. Trends change, the style norms change. It may be frustrating, but tie width makes no room for exceptions. For the modern day gentleman that wants to stay on trend, it is very important to be able to move with the fashion and style of the time. But don’t worry – we’re here to help. This guide will give you an insight on everything you need to know about tie widths and the trends of time.
So what tie width is currently in style?
Here’s the simple answer: Any width between 2.25” and 3.25”.
This is the safe zone that you can always refer to. Any wider or narrower than that, and you’re at risk of looking like you’re living in the past. or the future. With that in mind, there are a few considerations to be made when deciding what tie width is right for you.
Consider your own body type
The Slim Gentleman
We recommend — 2.25”- 2.75”
Men with small chests and narrow torsos should wear narrower-width ties. Why? Well, easy, a wide tie on a skinny guy will look a lot wider than it would on a man of significant girth. For this reason, we recommend seeking out ties between 2.25” and 2.75” when shopping for neckties.
While it’s a bit more daring, a 2.0” tie can also look great on slender gent—just bear in mind that it may look a bit retro to some, and a bit “hipster” to others.
The Average / Athletic Gentleman
We recommend — 2.25”- 3.25”
If you’re more of an average guy with an average to athletic build, the world is your oyster really. Feel free to wear any necktie from our recommended range of 2.25” to 3.25”. What you end up choosing really comes down to your personal taste. Wider ties tend to have a conservative, classic appeal. In contrast, narrower ties exude a youthful, trendy charm.
The Broad/ Sturdy Gentleman
We recommend — 2.75”- 3.25”
Guys who are a bit more sturdy require wider ties. If you’ve got the chest of a professional bodybuilder or the belly of a sumo wrestler, super skinny ties can look a bit comical on your substantial frame.
We recommend selecting a tie that is between 2.75” and 3.25” in width. It’s possible to wear a tie as wide as 3.5”, but anything wider than that risks looking like you raided your grandfathers closet. That doesn’t mean you should toss your extra-wide ties in the trash though. Instead, push them to the back of your wardrobe – for now – chances are they’ll be back in fashion in a few short years.
Make sure to consider your lapel width
If you weren’t aware – lapels are the folded flaps of cloth on the front of a suit jacket or overcoat. And like the waxing and waning width of the necktie, so goes the ever-evolving suit lapel.
Why does lapel width matter? Because a man should always attempt to match the width of his necktie to the width of his lapel. That’s a rule you can write down in your notebook. Wearing a wide tie with narrow lapels, or a narrow tie with wide lapels can throw your body proportions off the range. That’s not a good thing by the way.
You can imagine fashion designers to be a very restless bunch, pushing us forward into unexplored territory, pulling us back toward styles of the past, and bucking the trends of the day – constantly – sometimes within the same year. The recent shift away from narrow lapels and the resurgence of wider lapels are great examples of this phenomenon. The point is, when you get a new suit, you may need to adjust your tie collection to match.
There is not a universal necktie that fits perfect for every man. The width you choose should be something that you’re comfortable with and confident wearing. Thanks to the ease of online shopping, there is no good excuse not to educate yourself and experiment. Any width tie you desire is but a few clicks away.
NOTE: It’s inevitable that tie width trends will continue to shift over time. As such, we’ll be keeping this article updated regularly. If you sense a disturbance in the necktie force, check back for updates on the current Zeitgeist.