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Dress codes for wearing ties

What necktie to wear at the office, what tie for a nice dinner, and what tie for formal events?

At first sight, the choice of ties seems unlimited. But when taking a closer look you can detect certain schemes all patterns can be allocated to. Each of these basic patterns stands for a certain statement, just like every color has a certain message in fashion. With this in mind, your tie can become a trademark of your personality.

The most important patterns for ties

Solid colored ties

Screen print or woven neckties: Solid colored ties exist in almost every color shade as well as in various weaves. A plain tie is the easiest choice for any kind of suit and shirt. This does not imply that wearing a solid color tie shown no fashion sense. It is quite the opposite. A dark blue tie made of Jacquard (woven silk tie) used to be the signature necktie of fashion icon Gianni Agnelli.

When to wear solid color ties:


Striped ties

Screen printed or woven silk, such as regimental-style tie or color combinations freely designed – stripes offer endless possibilities. Striped ties signalize that one has a sense for the Anglo-Saxon fashion culture, and at the same time allows the more conservative dressed men to show profile by wearing flashy and daring color combinations.

What about the dress code?


Ties with all-over patterns

All-over means that the patterns and motifs of the tie cover the entire necktie in a symmetrical way. For example: Ties with small octagons or tiny elephants. In general, all over patterns always seem a bit uneasy, and some people consider them a sign of poor taste. But it really depends on what the tiny motifs show: undressed ladies or dollar symbols are surely more provoking than an animal or floral design. Especially French tie makers, such as the brand Hermes, often times choose pattern ties with tiny motifs.


All over patterns on ties

All over means that patterns and motifs equally cover the whole tie, such as small octagons or tiny elephants. In general, all over patterns always seem a bit uneasy, and some people consider bearers of such ties to have poor taste. But it really depends on what the tiny motifs show: undressed ladies or dollar symbols are surely more provoking than an animal or floral design.

What about the dress code?


Ties with polka-dots

A classic among patterns, this one you can buy with every dot-size imaginable as well as screen printed and woven Jacquard! Just remember: The larger the dots, the more daring. Classic patterns are white dots on a dark blue or bright red background. For the summer, tiny white dots on pink or light yellow are nice as well. But there are a lot more possibilities to combine those colors. After all, the polka dots do not have to be white.

What about the dress code?


Tie with Paisley

A tie with this pattern is said to be typical British even though the Paisley actually derived from the Orient. Originally the paisley is a fertility symbol, and due to its wild twirling pattern it looks best on powdery-smooth looking silk. For business you should use the Paisley only in unobtrusive variants and with subtle background colors such as burgundy red or dark blue, whereas to a Spencer you could also choose Paisleys in shades of strong brown, green or yellow.

What about the dress code?


Ties with geometrical patterns

Some are woven so elaborately that they appear to be three-dimensional, while others can make you dizzy by just looking at them. Such deluding effects make geometrical ties an eye-catcher, but when having business lunch or making a deal with one’s associates you should avoid wearing patterns that appear to be too mesmerizing. Most stylish are ties with patterns that seem unobtrusive on first sight and only reveal their finesse when having a closer look.

What about the dress code?


Ties with motifs

If it is the Hawaiian tie showing more or less beautiful palm trees, the shiny sunset, typical for the forties, or the souvenir brought from the Louvre with a smiling Mona Lisa - ties with motifs serve all tastes ranging from trash to treasure. As opposed to all over ties, these neckties are usually dominated by one large, single image. Anyone who is fond of this kind of tie should choose it carefully. A gigantic cactus in garish green is definitely fun, but in business you would most likely get a disapproving look, doubting your mental state. Such ties are also known as Novelty ties. They are fun but should only worn to selected occasions. For the most part these ties don’t show any fashion sense.

What about the dress code for these ties?


Fantasy ties

Floral, organic, floating, small or huge, you name it – as for fantasy ties, designers can really go wild. Therefore, the term “designer tie” has a negative connotation amongst friends of the classic wardrobe. And there is a reason for it, because what some designers want most is just one thing: cause a stir with their design. But this is exactly what the conservative tie wearer wants to avoid.

What about the dress code for these ties?


Tie with Tartan

There are hundreds of different Tartans, but still everybody knows at once what is meant: A tie with a kilt-design. The Italians are crazy about anything British, and this one is a classic. Naturally, it will be worn to a dark gray business suit. On the British Isles this would be a faux pas since Tartan ties are reserved for the country life only. Outside of Britain, wearing a tie with Tartan design would show courage and a sense of individuality.

What about the dress code for these ties?


Prince-of-Wales-Check (Glen check), hound’s tooth check, shepherd’s check and Co.

What´s good for the suit, that’s good for the tie. That is why many sports jacket designs can also be found on ties, often as a woven Jacquard necktie. Since most of the patterns are quite fidgety, they are mainly suitable for solid colored shirts and ample patterned suit fabrics. The silvery-gray Prince-of-Wales-Check tie combined with a white shirt and dark grayish gabardine fabrics and pinstripes makes a classic example.

What about the dress code for these ties?

The dress code for neckties: What necktie design and what color suits what occasion. Learn about dress codes such as black tie attire, business casual dress, white tie affairs, wedding attire, what to wear to a job interview, and much more. Tie-knots.org is a site that teaches men how to tie a tie. Besides tying neckties learn about matching ties, how to fold a pocket square , how to tie a bow tie, and more.