FashionBeans: Men's Fashion & Men's Style Guide
13-07-2015 01:06 AM
Collar / Lapel / Tie Widths
So I'm looking to expand my current range of suit outfits but without breaking the bank (once I get have a job that pays me to wear suits I'll invest a little higher). I'm 5"10, a pretty skinny build so the suits that fit me best are skinny/slim fit, but these seem to come with correspondingly slim lapels.
The problem I have is that I much prefer a wide spread collar on a smart shirt, which look better with a chunkier tie and knot (right), but that seems to fly against the matching of tie and lapel width. So does anyone have any advice for gracefully breaking that rule?
18-07-2015 11:38 AM
I think it is possible to get too hung up on these sorts of things. Firstly, the question of matching your tie width to your lapel width is a bit odd, in many ways. How often do people compare the widest part of your tie (which is often concealed by a buttoned jacket) with the widest part of your lapel (which is nearer your shoulders)? I'd suggest that really all anyone needs to worry about is whether it looks out of balance or not. A wider tie combined with narrower lapels does look odd (though a narrow tie with wider lapels can work) but you'll simply have to make a judgement when you try things on.
Secondly, there is nothing to stop you using a slightly wider knot with a thin tie. In the 60s people were using half Windsor knots or double wraps with their slim ties and there's no reason not to today. Also, the idea that you have to have a Windsor knot with a cutaway collar is nonsense. If you have a wide knot on your tie you need a wide spreads to display it but a simple four in hand knot can work with all but the most extreme cutaway collars.
Finally, fashions are changing gradually - but noticeably- already. Slightly wider lapels seem to be returning and it may be that this won't be an issue in a year or two, anyway. You might want to get ahead of the curve, especially if you are buying suits to last a few years.
22-07-2015 11:58 AM
That's a pretty comprehensive answer, thanks! Maybe I am overthinking a little... I'll just steer clear of skinnier ties and wider collars as they make me feel a little Mr Selfridge