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Necktie Etiquette

Despite the ascendancy of the "casual Friday" attitude, most men who want to appear serious, successful and stylish still wear neckties to work and formal functions. But just because a man has been wearing ties for years doesn't mean he's doing it correctly. There are many fashion mistakes a man can make when tying and adjusting a tie, from the wrong kind of knot to an improper length. Luckily, a few simple rules of thumb can help any man on his way to proper necktie etiquette.

After finishing college in New York, Chicago native Martin Kedzior moved to Los Angeles to work in the fashion and entertainment industry. After working with ABC Daytime publicity, Martin moved on to fashion publicity, and then freelance styling projects with stylists and creative directors such as Victoria Bryner, who choreographed and styled well-known advertising campaigns for the top designers in the business. Currently, Kedzior works as a freelance image consultant, styling individuals and corporations with wardrobes and appearance projects by identifying their desires and needs and bringing out untapped beauty and natural potential. Here he describes a few common necktie blunders and offers solutions:

  • Length.
    One common mistake that men make when adjusting their neckties is to let them hang too long or too short. A properly worn necktie, says Kedzior, will graze the top of a man's pants to cover up the pants button. Up on the belly or chest is too high, while covering the pants zipper is too low.
  • Label.
    Many men also tuck the thin part of the tie into the label sewn onto the back of the wide part. According to Kedzior, this is not what the label is there for. Ties are supposed to have some natural movement. If they weren't, he says, they would come with snaps or staples on the back.
  • The knot.
    Kedzior's biggest necktie pet peeve is the wimpy or narrow knot. He prefers the strong Double Windsor, in which the tie's large end is tied over the small end twice. This results in a fuller knot and a more powerful look.
  • The dimples.
    Don't worry too much about the dimples in the knot, says Kedzior. It doesn't matter how many there are, as long as they are centered in the middle of the knot.

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