For those of us who have to wear a tie every day for work, we still ask ourselves if we are wearing the correct tie length. Even if you have never worn a tie a day in your life, you have seen pictures of someone who looks like a little boy trying on their dad’s old tie.
Wearing the incorrect tie length can be distracting to everyone around you. Here is a guide our custom style experts put together to help ensure you nail down the correct tie length for your body.
THE HISTORY OF THE TIE
Most experts believe that the necktie originated sometime in the 17th century during the 30-Year War in France. Croatian mercenaries that King Louis XIII hire wore a piece of cloth around their necks as part of their uniforms. At the same time, these ties added a decorative effect to the uniforms; they served as a more functional aspect of keeping the top of the jacket closed.
King Louis XIII fancied these closures so much that he made them mandatory for all royal gatherings. In honor of the Croatian soldiers who fought during the 30 Year War, King Louis XIII named these ties “La Cravate.”
The early 17th century neckties have a minimal resemblance to modern-day ties, yet they remained popular with men of all economic stature for over 200 years. Today ties are available in many widths, materials, patterns, and colors.
5 TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND FOR DETERMINING YOUR PROPER TIE LENGTH
1) THE TIP OF THE TIE
The quickest answer to how to figure out the proper length of your tie is this: the tip of the tie (regardless of the shape) should hit right on top of your belt buckle or waist belt when standing up straight. Never above or below.
Regardless if you are wearing a jacket and the bottom of the tie is being covered, it should always rest right at the belt buckle.
To make sure that no man is left behind, the tip of the tie refers to the front end of the tie. For diamond ties, the tip refers to the point at the very end of the diamond. For square ties, the tip is the cut off blocky point at the bottom.
2) WATCH FOR THE LENGTH OF THE TIE
While most ties are manufactured at a standard length of 57 inches, the length of your tie should depend on the type of knot that you are going to be using. Depending on your personal preference, some knots require one or two loops. Of using an Italian-style knot, you may use a few more knots. All of these knots can shorten the length of your tie.
Keep in mind that regardless of the type of knot, you use the same rule applies. The tie should always hit your waist.
THE HISTORY OF THE TIE
3) KEEP IN MIND THE TIE CLIP
For that sophisticated look, you may choose to wear a tie clip. A word of caution: some tie clips can shorten the length of your tie. If you are going to be wearing tie clips on a regular basis, you might want to factor in that sizing difference when buying your ties.
4) TIE WIDTH DOES NOT MATTER
When it comes to determining your tie’s proper length, the width of your tie has no effect on the finished look. The width of your tie comes down to personal style preference more than anything. Regardless of the width of your tie, you still need to have the tip of your tie fall at the bottom of your waist.
5) HAVE GOOD POSTURE
As trivial as it sounds, having a good posture is key for maintaining your look. When getting ready in the morning, try not to “straighten out” too much or flex in the mirror. This is not how you are going to the standing normally. Instead, try standing how you usually would. This allows you to alter the length of your tie, depending on your body’s stance.
You will look far better being realistic about how you stand than trying to yank your pants up.
TIE TIPS FOR SHORTER MEN
It is almost impossible to find a universally flattering tie for all body types. If you tend to fall on the shorter end of the scale, we recommend taking advantage of the extra length in your tie by adding in a larger knot. This can give the illusion of a stronger and more powerful stance. A good suggestion could be the Windsor know-a symmetrical and larger knot, which is one of the most popular in the U.S.
Whatever you do, do not buy a child’s tie. Instead, opt for a regular length tie and bring it to your tailor to get altered to fit your body’s proportions best. Keep in mind the golden rule: the tie tip should always fall at your waistband. Never below or above.
TIE TIPS FOR BIG & TALL MEN
Taller guys have a much harder time shopping than shorter guys do. Since the standard length of a tie is 57 inches, this is not enough fabric if you are over 6 feet tall. If you tend to fall on the taller side of the scale we recommend look searching for manufacturers that carry an extra long range.
A smaller tie knot will be your best friend if you fall out of the normal sizing range for ties. Knots like the Four in Hand knot will work best for taking the least amount of fabric off of your tie. Try to avoid knots like the Windsor Knot, which takes much more fabric, shortening your tie even more.
If all else fails, a full proof option will be to get your ties custom made for you, ensuring that they fit you to a “T.”