11 Different Types of Ties for Men (Plus Essential Facts)

Step up your formal wear up a notch by wearing the right tie every time. Here’s a solid guide about the types of ties for men, how to wear them, and when to use them.
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Men's ties displayed at a shop.

No matter how popular wearing athleisure becomes, wearing a suit will never get out of fashion. Ties are a mere 60-inches long fabric but the impact they have on your appearance goes a long way.

Have you ever wondered how neckties evolved? Neckties are a decorative accessory worn with a men’s suit. It does not serve any purpose other than adding some vibrancy to a formal suit. Neckties do not keep you dry or warm nor do they add any comfort. Still, it is worn by men all around the world.

History of Neckties

A display of various colorful vintage neckties.

Neckties originated in the 17th century during the war in France that lasted for 30 years. During this war, Croatian soldiers were hired by King Louis XIII to take part in combat. These soldiers used to tie a piece of cloth around their necks as a part of their uniform. Back then, this piece of cloth served the purpose of being tied around the jackets of the soldiers. King Louis XIII liked it so much that he made the accessory a mandatory item for all Royal gatherings. He named these neck piece La Cravate to honor the Croatian soldiers.

Ever since the 17th century, neckties have undergone many subtle changes. In order to understand how the modern tie came to be, we have chronicled their history by decade.

1900-1909:

During this time, neckties were a mandatory clothing accessory for men. The most common type of necktie was cravat. The difference was in the way the cravat was tied. Two decades before the start of the 20th century, the four-in-hand knot was invented, which is still the most common type of tie knots today. Bow-ties and ascots were quite popular during this time as well.

1910-1919:

Men’s fashion became casual during this period. More emphasis was laid on comfort, fit, and functionality of the clothes. By the end of this decade, the ties started resembling the ties that are worn today.

1920-1929:

A significant development was seen in men’s ties during this decade. Tie makers in New York started to cut fabric for ties in a new way which made the tie spring back to its original shape after every wear. Because of this development, many new knots were created. Ties became a choice for many people because bow ties were limited and reserved for formal evenings and black tie functions.

1930-1939:

During this phase, neckties became wider and had bold patterns on the ties were worn a bit shorter than how they are worn today.

1940-1949:

There were no exciting developments in neckties during the early 1940s. After World War II ended, neckties became popular. The sense of liberation was evident in fashion. The ties became bolder in color and patterns.

1950-1959:

It was during this decade that the skinny ties emerged and gained popularity. This type of tie complimented tailored and more form-fitting clothes. Ties were made available in different materials.

1960-1979:

During this era, ties became extremely wide which were called the Kipper Tie. It was also during this decade that the Bolo Tie was created. It later went on to become the official neckwear of Arizona.

1980-1999:

The width of neckties became a bit consistent. The patterns were relatively bold and paisley.

2000-2009:

Ties became thinner and skinny ties became popular again.

2010-Onwards:

Ties are now available in numerous widths and lengths. It all comes down to what you choose to wear.

A man in a black suit and silver tie.

Why Wear A Necktie?

Most men are comfortable wearing casual dresses. Ties are underrated. A tie can have a significant impact on your overall persona and outlook. Below are a few reasons why you should wear a tie.

  • Before anything, ties make you look good. Wearing a tie can make you look classy and raise the level of a basic lookup by several notches.
  • Ties are a symbol of honor, order, and nobility. They have been like this since they originated in the 17th
  • Ties are a signal of capability. Ties make you look smart and influential, even if you are not. Wearing a tie confidently will automatically make people perceive that you have influence and power.
  • Ties help you look distinguished.
  • Ties are a mark of professionalism. A person appearing for an interview in casual clothing will leave an entirely different impression than someone who appears wearing a tie. Even if you work in an office where the environment is causal, a tie can improve your presentation drastically.
  • Wearing a tie indicates extra effort. It shows that you have gone an extra mile to look impressive. People are impressed if they know you have spent some time working on your look before meeting them.

Types of Ties

You will be surprised when we tell you that there are numerous types of ties, some of which you might not have heard of. Not all types of ties are common everywhere in the world. Some types may be more popular in one part of the world than others.  Below are the various types of ties.

1. Four-in-Hand Necktie

Process of tying a 4-Fold necktie.

This type of tie is the simplest of all tie knots. It is versatile and easy to tie. If you are new to wearing ties, the four-in-hand type of necktie is what you should start with. They are the common neckties most of the people are familiar with. They are made of silk, polyester, and sometimes cotton. They come in a variety of patterns, colors, and sizes. They are a staple for special occasions and business suits.

2. Skinny Necktie

A collection of silk skinny ties.

It is a variation of the four-in-hand type. Worn by bands like The Beatles on stage, this type of necktie became popular in the 1950s and 1960s. They go well with office and formal wear. Wear a skinny tie if you want to achieve an edgy look with a touch of class.

3. 7-Fold Necktie

The ‘7-fold’ in this tie’s name refers to the way it is constructed. Usually, an inlay is sewn into the tie for adding thickness. The 7-fold tie is made from a single piece of fabric that is folded 7 times. They are made using a yard of silk. This makes it look thicker. It makes a bigger knot, gives an incomparable drape and a hefty weight.  They are expensive than the usual ties so it’s better to have a few of them in your wardrobe for special occasions.

4. Bow-Tie

Man adjusting his bow tie.

A fun alternative to standard ties is bow-ties. They are made in various patterns and colors. A bow-tie is tied in a manner similar to that of a shoelace. Bow-ties are traditionally worn on formal events. These days, bow-ties are very popular and worn as an everyday accessory. Bow-ties can complement your everyday suit and add sophistication to your entire look.

5. Western Bow-Tie

Western bow tie

Western bow-ties are a variation of standard bow-ties. These are quite popular in the southwest. However, for other regions, it may be too casual and inappropriate for any formal or official wear.

6. Cravat

A collection of cravat.

A cravat is a silk handkerchief that is worn around the neck. A cravat is a highly colorful neck piece. It gained popularity in 1660 when Croatian soldiers started wearing them. An ascot is a modern version of cravat that is pinned instead of being tied. Pairing a cravat with your suit can make you stand out.

7. Neckerchief

Neckerchief

It is a neck piece that is most commonly worn by scouts. It is a part of their uniforms. The neckerchief is not a formal tie type. It is only worn when required, such as with certain uniforms. They are not appropriate to be worn at work or any formal events. However, you can carry a neckerchief with your everyday look if you wish.

8. Bolo Tie

Bolo Tie

Bolo ties gained popularity in the 1970s. They have been worn by people who like making dreamcatchers and activities like gold panning. They are a groovy jewelry item for men. It has made a comeback in recent years. However, it is appropriate only if you are living in the southwest. It‘s not work-appropriate for other areas. Bolo ties became the official neckwear of Arizona in the year 1971. Texas and New Mexico have signed laws that make bolo ties their official neckwear as well.

9. Sailor Tie

Young sailor giving a salute.

Sailor tie is a large square silk cloth that is folded diagonally. It is worn under the sailor blouse. It is either tied in a sailor knot or pulled through a strap on the front of the blouse. Sailor ties are not a very commonly worn type of neckties.

10. Kipper Tie

Kipper ties are ultra wide in width. They are about 4 to 5 inches wide. They can be patterned or stripped. They are not a very popular type today.

11. Hunting Stock Tie

Hunting stock ties are worn by equestrians when they are riding in a show ring hunt field. They are worn by folding over once to fill the neckline of a jacket. The two ends are joined together with the help of decorative pins.

Anatomy of Ties

Neckties are usually 3.5 to 3.75 inches wide and 52 to 58 inches long. Ties are traditionally made of silk but are available in other materials as well. The typical parts of a necktie are:

  • The Shell: Also known as the envelope. It is the outer most fabric of a tie.
  • The Seam: It is located about halfway along the length. Neckties usually consist of 3 to 4 separate pieces of fabric sewn together. The seam is the point of their stitching.
  • The Neck: The midsection of a necktie is called the neck.
  • The Interlining: The fabric enclosed within the folds of a tie. It is what gives a necktie its shape, bulk, and weight.
  • The Rolled Edge: The edge of a necktie is rolled to provide fullness to the edge.
  • The Tail: The narrow end of a tie that that hangs behind the larger end when the tie is knotted is called the tail.
  • The Bar Tack: A heavy stitch that holds both sides of the necktie together. It also maintains the shape of the necktie.
  • The Blade: The main, wide lower part of a tie.
  • The Tipping: The fabric sown under the tail and tip of the tie.
  • The Margin: Margin is the area between the edge of the tie blade and the tipping.
  • The Hem: Hem is a finishing stitch connecting the shell to the tipping.
  • The Slip Stitch: It holds the two overlapping sides of a necktie with the help of single stitch that runs across the length.

No matter how much the fashion changes, suits, and ties are never going to lose the class and the charm associated with them.



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