How to Up Your Tie Game
How to Up Your Tie Game



Some love them, some hate them.


But regardless of which category you’re in, they are sometimes necessary, especially if you are required to dress in business formal.


But this means that it’s something extra to get wrong.


Or, from an optimistic perspective, something extra to get right.


By wearing ties properly, you can take your outfit to the next level.

But how can you ‘wear ties properly’? It’s a tie, isn’t it?


Well, yes.


But there are certain things that you can do to elevate them from a ‘pointless decorative collar fastener’, to an awesome statement piece that works for you.

In this article, I will cover how you can achieve this, and why is happens.


Why Can a Tie Work For You?

Early ties were created by Croatian mercenaries in the 17th Century, to simply keep their collars together, and to add decoration to their uniform.

Since then, they have continued to be used to the same effects, most notably to identify military regiments and sports clubs.



They have had their main use in identification.


But now, unless you’re using them for those purposes, they are a pointless formality, and typically only worn as part of a dress code.

When necessary, by taking you tie game to the next level, you can give the accessory meaning by bringing back the notion of ‘identification’.


You can use it to show that you are someone that can be taken seriously.


This will have the affect of setting a good first impression, which will open doors, and make your life easier.


Now lets get in to HOW to take your tie game to the next level.


Learn to Tie a Killer Dimple

Most people only think of a dimple as something on the side of a cheek.

But to a tie connoisseur, it is the notion of  deliberately creating a divot in the knot, not unlike this:


A killer dimple.


But why would you want to do this?


There are a few reasons:

  • It creates visual interest, bringing attention to your face.
  • It connotes confidence. You have to be bold to pull it off.
  • You communicate your sartorial prowess.


All of these benefits aid in creating dominance.


Of course, they have to be accompanied by a dominant personality, and an all round killer outfit.

But it’s really the finishing touch to complete a cohesively epic look.


You may not have noticed it before, but is a very common feature:

Think Harvey Specter, James Bond, Bruce Wayne – they’re rarely without a dimple.



There are some great resources on how to tie a perfect dimple out there, and a few different methods to choose from.


Learn How to Tie Different Knots

Another aspect that you may not have considered is the knot that you tie your ties with, and it can have a rather large affect on your overall look.


Typically, larger knots, such as the ‘Windsor’, will command more respect, simply due to the fact that they take up more space and ‘dominate’ the upper facial region.


They show you have the confidence to pull them off.


Adding to this, even slimmer knots, such as the four-in-hand, can still be powerful, and provide a subtler, elegant and streamlined look.


Graphic of tie knots from


However, depending on the collar type that you use, any tie knot can be used to create an impact.


For example, to make a statement and produce visual interest, I would do a four in hand, a slim knot, with a spread collar, such as cutaway.

Typically, as the cutaway collar has more room, you would select a larger knot to compensate.

However, pairing a narrow knot with a spread collar creates a daringly contemporary look.


In contrast, pairing a wide knot with a not very spread pointed collar is another way to stand out.


Of course, you could match the collars correctly, i.e., a large knot with spread collar, and small knot with pointed collar, but you’re probably already doing that.


You can take your tie game to the next level by theoretically doing things ‘wrong’, and pushing the boundary.


Leverage the Power of Colour

Colourful ties aren’t just a way to gain attention and create conversations, but also a vehicle to subtly convey messages.

They have this capacity due to the same reason we react to coloured animals, such as rattle snakes; we are conditioned to the red in their skins to feel a sense of danger.


But what else do we associate red with?


Authority, power, romance?


A man wearing a red tie.


By bringing in a colourful tie, you are evoking emotions.


Red has been specifically proven to convey power and strength, so its use in clothing can’t be understated.


However, there is debate whether other colours do this, but for different emotions, such as blue creating confidence, and purple creating trust.


Overall, you might think that colour in your tie is only a way to stand out, when in fact it may give you Jedi mind tricks.


Experiment with Textures and Fabric



Textured ties are only there to visually ‘buff up’ your ensemble, and can potentially alter the formality level.

For example, knitted ties are more casual than your typical flat silk ties, and thus give you an advantage when trying to dress down an outfit.

Again, silk with a slubbed texture lowers the formality level, but in my opinion, makes an outfit appear more sartorial.


A wool tie (left), and a knitted tie (right).



Wool gives a heavier look, and is perfect for the cooler months, helping to reflect the climate.

In contrast, linen ties can be used to ‘lighten’ an outfit, and provide a lighter look. As a result, they can be perfect for the warmer months.

As was the case with texture, any fabric other than a flat silk will make a look more casual.


Experiment with Widths

Widths come and go with fashion.


But, like all ‘trendy’ pieces, they can be worn at any time and year, but require knowledge, skill and confidence.


However, there is always going to be a width that works for you, regardless of the current trend.


For me, despite being a somewhat slender man of 5”11 statue, I favour the typically wider 8cm ties.

But I’m not being silly here; I settled on it after trying 9.5, 9, 7 and 6cm widths!


A guide to tie widths, presented by


It’s conservative enough to match nicely with the rest of my style, but not too wide that it throws my torso out of proportion.


But, this might not be the case for you.


It’s likely that, if anything, you may enjoy slimmer ties, perhaps of 7cm.


This will take your tie game to the next level because, firstly, your ‘favourite’ tie width will probably be the one that looks best, and most in proportion, on you.

On top of this, as it looks the best, it will make you the feel the most confident out of all of them.


Combine this with the previously mentioned points, and you’re onto a winner.


Conclusion – How to Up Your Tie Game

In this article, I’ve outlined five ways that you can ‘up your tie game’.

By understanding and acting on these points, you will be able to elevate your tie from just a ‘decorative piece’, to an item that projects style and competence, and boosts your confidence.


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