FashionBeans: Men's Fashion & Men's Style Guide
09-11-2011 01:14 PM
Men's Skinny Ties?
Just wondering people’s opinions on skinny ties?
I’ve never really been a fan and generally disregarded them, seeing them as a current trend more than a staple accessory.
They remind me of all the pictures of my dad in the 70’s with his ridiculous looking wide ties, and worse still remind me of all the kids at school that thought they looked cool doing their ties up backwards and tucking the wide part into their shirts, often leaving as short a tie as possible.
I guess this is where I see skinny ties. They are for the people that are trying to look cool by looking different. After all isn’t this were the skinny tie and wide tie originated from? Didn’t the wide tie of the 70’s come in due to everybody wearing skinny ties in the 60’s, and fashion “needing” something new?
Now this time around the skinny tie has seem to have taken hold with more than just the normal “hipster”, and can be seen everywhere. I’m not sure whether the blame lies entirely with Justin Timberlake or “mad men”, but it does seem to have hit the mainstream.
Saying that, I have worked in the financial sector for a long time now, and feel I would look completely out of place, if not unprofessional if I came to work in a skinny tie. Now I appreciate that probably isn’t a fair argument against the skinny tie, as in the financial sector you also feel out of place if you are not wearing a white, blue or Bengal striped shirt with a “power tie”, but can these really be seen as formal ties, or even work attire for a formal office?
My problem is that all the ties I see that I like are skinny. I think I’m coming around to the skinny tie for a casual outfit, but I really don’t think I want to go down that road for formal officewear.
What are your opinions on skinny ties, and skinny ties for work?
09-11-2011 01:20 PM
I think ties in general are becoming slimmer, but to go extremely skinny in a formal workplace might be taking it a bit far.
As for casual wear, or for formal dinner wear, I think you are allowed to interpret the tie as you see fit.
It will inevitably come back around the other way; I don't really see an issue with going with the masses on such matters.
09-11-2011 02:29 PM
In purely business attire, I don't think the skinny tie is either appropriate or actually that good to look at. for less formal looks then I can see it working but personally I don't really like them, I'm afraid I subscribe to the Savile Row tailoring look, when it comes to suits etc.
09-11-2011 02:40 PM
A 'Topman Skinny Tie' - yes it doesn't look good in the workplace.
However, the slimmer ties that are now more popular are suitable in my opinion; Ted Bakers more recent tie range is an example.
I mean you only have to look at Mad Men to see how slimmer ties can be used in the office:
09-11-2011 03:32 PM
I always, always wear a narrow tie (but never a skinny one)
As Pin Money said, ties are generally becoming narrower. I prefer my tie width to reach about 6cm at the bottom (whereas a traditional tie might be about 7.5cm and a skinny between 4 and 5cm.
I tend to choose my suits with narrow lapels, because I'm son the shorter side, and that elongates the line and gives an illusion of height and slender elegance. And the golden rule with ties and jackets is that lapel and tie width should match (in the same way that shirt collar size and tie knot size should match), so a narrower lapel demands a narrower tie.
Skinny ties are for hipsters though and just scream of 'trying to look cool'. And nobody who tries to look cool ever looks cool.
09-11-2011 04:15 PM
I'd love to see some examples of hipsters wearing skinny ties.
Personally I associate them with the party going guys who want to try and impress the girls by wearing a tie, but don't actually like wearing a tie, so wear them with the knot inches away from an undone collar. I had some come with shirts, and they were a matte texture made of elastane, again turning away from the conventional tie made of a silk or polyester etc.
I would agree that they're not suitable for a formal occasion, especially the workplace. I'm not opposed to wearing them for an outing, but even then I would still say that a blazer or outfit with a mac / smarter coat deserves a more conventional tie, if you're going to wear one at all. Also, if you're going to go for a skinny tie, make sure it's done up to a buttoned collar - at least then you don't look like a Justin Timberlake clone, like the majority of people wearing one will.
As for myself, I don't like full width ties much on my frame, so I'm with Jay, and try and hunt down the ones around 6 / 6.5 cm. I do feel for you though, sometimes the ties I like the look of best are skinny, and unfortunately it's just what happens when a trend hits.
09-11-2011 04:36 PM
Not that this is a look that I go for, but I don't see the problem in taking inspiration from someone who is styled by professionals, and an international sex symbol.
Originally Posted by paul-b
09-11-2011 06:42 PM
I'm not necessarily saying that, rather trying to point the OP away from it because he didn't seem to want to style himself that way (I would agree that my use of words did come across a bit pompous, however). Though I still maintain, that to me at least, wearing a skinny tie knotted an inch away from an unbuttoned collar looks like something that someone would do if they weren't fully embracing the idea of a tie. I'm probably wrong though, and I'm just judging it that way because it's something I wouldn't do.
Originally Posted by Pin Money
In the end, my Justin Timberlake example was actually quite a poor one, because he does his collar button up most of the time when wearing a tie.
09-11-2011 07:31 PM
I occasionally wear a loosely tied tie for casual wear and not in some trendy 'Justin Timberlake' way (although I agree with Pin Money that he has a great look and isn't a bad role model).
One of my go to looks this AW has been a chambray button down shirt with the top button undone and a narrow charcoal woollen tie knotted loosely. I often wear it all with a fair isle knit cardigan, tweed blazer, skinny indigo jeans and brogues or brogue boots. It's one my favourite heritage looks, although sometimes I button the top button and do the tie properly too(there'sa picture somewhere in the 'look what I'm wearing' stickied thread).
09-11-2011 10:52 PM
I think they're actually going out of fashion; the catwalks are moving away from them, I believe.
I've never loathed them. They're not easy to work into a look though; jacket lapels would have to be tiny, collars would have to be small, etc.
A narrow rather than skinny tie is a sound choice in most situations - the only exceptions are if you have seventies lapels/collar, or more sensibly a DB jacket.
I don't go out of my way to be in fashion, but being out of fashion is something I don't enjoy. So I'm avoiding the skinny tie.