Walking into a new situation can be unnerving. Even things you’ve done a thousand times, like purchasing the right tie, can be nerve-wracking when you need to look your best. Should you spend a fortune on a respectable tie collection for work? Surely neckties can’t be that expensive. Figuring out how much you should spend on a tie doesn’t have to feel like untying a Gordian knot. I’ll help you untangle the issue simply so you can get the right neckwear and not get ripped off.
How much does a tie cost? You can pick up a bargain basement tie at a thrift shop or online for a couple of dollars. A decent necktie should run you twenty to fifty dollars, but a high-end tie can cost a hundred dollars or more.
Budgeting For Ties
There’s nothing wrong with a thrift-shop tie. After all, you can sometimes find a super-expensive name-brand item for pennies on the dollar. Similarly, it’s fine to spend hundreds on a necktie if you have the money and inclination. However, there’s no real need to spend more than about forty dollars to find the right neckwear.
Before you decide on any purchases, determine what you want, what you need, and your budget. Needs should always come first. For example, men who have a lot of formal events to attend should skip the colorful ties and opt for a more somber and classic look.
I suggest adding at least one plain black tie to your collection.
A lovely black tie goes with almost anything. It’s hard to mess up a classic as long as you go with a reputable company. Calvin Klein makes an excellent quality basic black necktie. To check the prices, click here.
Instead of splurging on a handful of less expensive ties, get one or two nicer ones that match your wardrobe. Unlike t-shirts, it’s acceptable to wear the same necktie to more than one event the same week. Additionally, having a small number of well-made choices will last you longer and look better than having fifty cheap ties for every occasion.
Fun Fact- The Most Expensive Tie in the World
The most expensive necktie in the world is the Suashish Necktie. It costs almost a quarter of a million dollars, and it’s rather odd-looking. The bright burgundy-purple tie was created by Satya Paul Design Studio and Suashish Diamond Group. It is made of silk and contains two-hundred and seventy-one diamonds plus a hundred and fifty grams of gold.
Buy the Right Tie Material
While you certainly don’t need a diamond-studded, purple silk necktie, some ties just look cheap. Polyester ties are not classy. It’s alright to buy one or two if you genuinely love the patterns and plan to wear them. Otherwise, you should look at cotton and silk for your suits. A high-quality tie has material that feels good against your skin. It hangs straight when you drape it over your hand, and it’s lined with lightweight wool material.
A tie from Hermes Paris will run you a hundred and fifty to eight hundred dollars, but you can tell the difference in quality just looking at it. For a more economical solution that still looks outstanding, consider the Tommy Hilfiger 100% Silk Men’s Core Micro Tie from Amazon. You can have your choice of colors when you click here.
Cotton ties are better for summer because the fabric breathes well. Alternatively, in cold months, choose silk or very fine wool. Avoid loud patterns unless you’re headed somewhere that’s casual. A few stripes or subtle miniature pattern is alright for fancier events, but when in doubt, choose a solid, dark color like black or navy blue.
It Costs More For a Tie That is Made Well
Less expensive ties are usually lined with a wool blend, but the best are always lined with pure wool. Unless you’re allergic, wool is a good sign that your tie-maker cares about their craft. Small details can make a massive difference in the way a tie is constructed.
Quality neckties use three layers of fabric. While this isn’t visually apparent, you can feel it. Run your fingers down the length of the tie and try to find the seams. There should be two inside rather than one. If you find them, then it a three-layer necktie. Remember that not every man can feel this easily, so particularly if you have heavy calluses, you might miss such a small detail.
Another good indicator is the tie bar. This is a small bit of stitching on the back of your tie. You’ll find it near the bottom where the wide end splits to form the tip. Mass-produced ties often miss this detail, and not having it means the necktie often hangs wrong and becomes deformed over time.
You can also check to see if your necktie has the slip stitch. Do this by opening up the tie and peeking inside it near the bottom. Though you may need a flashlight, you should see what looks like a single loose thread. It’s not a flaw, but rather a design feature that lets the tie move without pulling stitches out when you’re tying it around your neck.
Purchase a Tie That Fits Your Body
Buying the right tie is relatively hassle-free once you know what to look for. Base your decision on your height and the distance around your neck to get the correct length. Width is a little more flexible, but typically you’ll want to choose a necktie that’s about three inches wide.
Beyond those basics, all you need is a color or pattern that goes with your wardrobe. Keep in mind that a more formal suit or occasion requires a more somber and straightforward tie. If you’re not sure what colors go best with your skin tone, don’t guess.
Stop in at a high-end fashion boutique and ask a professional for assistance. CVD, also known as ‘colorblindness,’ affects about one in twelve men. There’s nothing wrong with asking someone who is paid for their fashion sense to help you develop yours.
A Tie Worth Buying is the Right Width
Trendsetting is alright if you’re a Hollywood star, clothing company owner, or social media influencer. However, most men simply want to buy a tie that will look good whenever and wherever they wear it. A classy, standard necktie should be just about 3 inches wide.
Measure the width at the widest point of the tie, down near the bottom. If you need a quick estimate of what three inches looks like, fold any US bill in half. Whether it’s a $1.oo or $100, they’re all just over six inches wide.
You don’t need an extra-wide tie, nor should you buy ultra-slim. The only exceptions to this are men who are themselves broader or more narrow than usual. It’s all about the proportion. Your shirt, suit, and body look best with a classic looking tie, so skip ‘fashion’ and aim for ‘style’ instead.
Length Matters: Don’t Waste Money on a Too-Short Tie
A properly fitting tie is worth the cost. If you’re shorter than 5’7, I suggest learning how to tie a more elaborate knot. Doing so takes up the extra fabric and looks better. Likewise, if you are 6’9 or taller, you may want to spend the money on a custom made tie to fit your body.
For those of you who are ‘big and tall,’ I suggest picking up a couple of ties from Amazon’s Longtiestore. They have high quality 100% silk ties for men who require greater length. You can see some of their products by clicking here.
In general, the tip of your tie should fall just below the waist of your pants. If you wear a belt, then aim for the point of your necktie to touch the center of the buckle. For those who have never shopped for a perfectly sized tie before, I have a handy cheat sheet to help you buy the right length.
Height to Tie Length: A Cheat Sheet for Buying Neckties
The following list should give you a good jumping-off point for buying the right length tie. Everyone’s body is a little different, so feel free to try out different lengths, widths, and styles to find the best look for you.
- 5’7 or shorter requires a 58″ regular tie. Shorter ties are available, but they’re almost always custom or sold in the teens or boys department.
- 5’8- 5’9 should opt for a 58″ regular unless their necks are more than 19 inches around. Larger necks need a 63″ XL necktie.
- 5’10-5’11 get a 58″ regular for any neck sixteen inches or less in diameter, a 63″ XL for a 16.5-inch neck or bigger.
- 6’0-6’3 with necks in most sizes also need a 63″ XL tie.
- 6’4-6’5 is also a 63″ XL unless your neck is over 19″ around, in which case get a 70″ XXL.
- 6’6-6’7 men should only buy a 63″ XL if their necks are 16″ or less. Otherwise, choose the 70″ XXL for best fit.
- 6’8 tall men can generally assume they need a 70″ XXL.
If you have an unusually long or short torso, these may vary slightly, but for most men, these sizes will fit just fine. Similarly, men who enjoy tying the more complicated styles should always buy longer neckties. This gives you the fabric you need for a more intricate knot.
Only Spend Money on a Tie That’s the Right Color
You saw it, and the pattern was awesome, but now you have a funky tie that doesn’t go with your suits. It doesn’t matter what a necktie costs if you can’t or won’t wear it. Don’t fall for a ‘pretty face’ when it comes to ties.
Naturally, you want to pay for a necktie you like the look of, but there’s more to picking the right tie than how much you like the color or pattern. Before you ever consider the colors or patterns, look at three critical factors first.
One, where are you planning to wear the tie? A black-tie wedding is not the time or place for a yellow paisley necktie. Two, does it go well with your suits? Whether you are looking for the perfect match or a great compliment, any tie regardless of cost should match the suits you have. Three does it match your shirts, shoes, and accessories.
The best tie in the world isn’t worth a penny if you have nothing to wear it with, and nowhere you’d want to be seen in it.
That said, there’s nothing wrong with being the guy who has a vast collection of ties. However, if you’re not super quirky and charming enough to pull it off, don’t spend money on novelty ties without an excellent reason. At most, one or two goofy neckties for super casual occasions is more than enough.
Buying a Novelty Tie
Not every man can pull off a novelty tie. However, those who can often make the mistake of assuming that a novelty or occasion tie has to be cheap. If you’re in a bad-tie contest, cheap and poorly made isn’t just ‘fine,’ it’s a good idea. Otherwise, spring for a better quality humorous tie.
For everyone else, pick a funny tie that’s from a decent brand. You don’t have to sacrifice quality to get whimsical. I especially love the navy silk, turkey and fall leaves patterned necktie from Alynn. You can grab one for yourself before the holidays by clicking here.
How to Store & Clean Ties Correctly
Once you’ve put in all the effort to collect some superb ties, you want them to last. There’s nothing worse than throwing away good money and your favorite necktie. The biggest culprits that ruin good quality ties are hanging them and washing them wrong.
Most decent neckties can’t merely get tossed in the machine if you spill spaghetti sauce on them. “Dry Clean Only” does not mean you should wipe it down with a damp towel and let it go. Moreover, it’s well worth the minimal cost to have a professional keep your silk and wool ties in prime condition. Unless the necktie came with directions that say you can clean it in a washing machine, assume you need to take it to the dry cleaner with your suits.
Equally important is how you store your ties. Most fabrics will stretch and warp over time. If you don’t want your good neckties to look like you scored them from a dollar store bin, roll them up gently and store them in a drawer.
Silk ties don’t suffer from the same issues as other fabrics. You can opt to drape them over a tie rack. However, do not just take off a tie and throw it over a hanger. Preserving the value of your neckties by treating them right will save you money in the long run.
Buying a fantastic tie doesn’t need to be a hassle if you keep a few simple tips in mind. First, you probably want a necktie that’s right around three inches wide at the widest point. Second, get the right length and color. Finally, look for sellers with stellar reputations and materials.
Ordering online is easy, and though there are no guarantees in life, it’s the best option for men who lead busy lives. Don’t be afraid to send back a lousy necktie. There’s no reason to pay for a product you don’t want or can’t use.
The right tie will make people look twice. Spend the money on decent neckwear, and you’ll never regret it.