A guide to which tie widths are trending and what width is best for you
Written by Michelle Tirronen
We know the struggle. Trends change. Style norms shift. As frustrating as it may be, tie width is no exception. For the modern man who wants to stay on-trend, it’s important to move with the ebb and flow of the fashion tide. But don’t worry, we’re here to keep your head above the proverbial waters.
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. Any wider or narrower 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 width is right for you.
CONSIDER YOUR BODY TYPE
Slim / Skinny Men
We recommend — 2.25”- 2.75”
Men with small chests and narrow torsos should wear narrower-width ties. Why? 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 slim ties (opens in new window) between 2.25” and 2.75”.
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.
Average / Athletic Men
We recommend — 2.25”- 3.25”
If you’re an average guy with an average to athletic build, the world is your oyster. Feel free to wear any tie (opens in new window) from our recommended range of 2.25” to 3.25”. Exactly what you end up choosing comes down to personal taste. Wider (opens in new window) ties tend to have a conservative, classic appeal. In contrast, narrower ties exude a youthful, trendy charm.
Broad / Large Men
We recommend — 2.75”- 3.25”
Wider guys 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 has the risk of looking like you raided Grandad’s closet. That doesn’t mean you should toss your extra-wide ties in the trash. Push them to the back of your wardrobe for now—chances are the extra wide (opens in new window) trend will be back in vogue in a few short years.
CONSIDER YOUR LAPEL WIDTH
Lapels are the folded flaps of cloth on the front of a jacket or coat. 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 tie to the width of his lapel. Wearing a wide tie with narrow lapels or a narrow tie with wide lapels can throw your body proportions off-kilter. That’s not a good thing.
Fashion designers are a restless bunch, pushing us forward into unexplored territory, pulling us back toward styles of the past, and bucking the trends of the day. 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.
PRO TIP: Don’t wear super-skinny ties with a double-breasted jacket regardless of your lapel width.
LIVE WIDTH-OUT FEAR
No tie is perfect for every man, at every hour, and in every situation. 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. (Did someone say free shipping and returns?)
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.
Photo Of Michelle Tirronen
SOURCE: THE GENTLEMANUAL