From Rough to Refined: A Modern Gentleman's Guide to Ties

A tie is meant to refine your style and elevate your outfit. But many men trip up on the right materials, patterns and knots. Our guide to ties takes the guesswork out of looking polished in a tie. Look great, feel great and always leave the right impression.
Image CreditWhite Striped Deep Blue Six-Fold Silk Tie

Throwing on any tie is a recipe for looking like a high school student playing dress-up rather than a refined gentleman. You want to raise your style game for meetings, weddings, and formal events, and you can't do that without a discerning eye and knowledge of how to look polished in a tie. That's where our guide to ties comes in.

With your suit en pointe, you want the tie to enhance the outfit. Let's refine your sophisticated style and take it to another level. Be sure to stick around until the end so you don't miss outfit inspiration that always leaves the right impression.

What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Tie?

Yes, wearing a tie leaves an impression. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Wearing a tie doesn't just make you stand out in the office. It makes you look organized, sharp and detail-oriented. But how does that translate in the office or at an event? Let's talk tie benefits:

Become More Recognizable - Wearing a tie to work regularly makes you memorable. You won't get lost in a group of open collars, and no one will mistake you for someone else.

Show that You Go the Extra Mile - When you wear a tie, you don't just say you "go the extra mile;" you show it. Your attention to detail and pride reflect well on you.

People Look Up to You - Pair a tie with terrific work, and people will ask you for input, give you more responsibility, and give you a leg up for a higher position.

Draw People In - Wearing a tie can invite conversation at an event. Express an openness to connect, and you may even get a compliment or two (or five).

Of course, those compliments will only come if you wear the right tie. But don't worry—we've got you covered on that front.

Guide to Ties: Choose the Right Tie to Achieve Timeless Style

In our guide to ties, we emphasize timeless style. That's the key to looking polished in a tie. It's how you leave the right impression and reap the benefits we talked about. But you can undermine timeless style with poor designs, inferior materials, and shoddy craftsmanship. Our guide suggests you aim for three targets when you pick a tie.

Refined Designs

Loud tie designs are never considered classics. They focus too much on one element of your outfit rather than enhancing the whole. Choose understated designs where style and substance intersect. Here are tie patterns you need to know to achieve timeless style:



Solids - Ties of solid colours are versatile and can be paired with many suits. But they need more visual appeal and dimension. Opt for a tie with a texture like grenadine silk. The depth it brings can elevate your outfit to new heights.

Stripes - Striped tie patterns are more common in formal settings, but with the right design and colours, you can use them to refine your outfits for casual events.

Houndstooth - You'll recognize this pattern from its broken checks or four-pointed shapes. The visually arresting pattern exudes confidence, elegance, and luxury.

Foulard - A small-scale pattern with repeating geometric shapes is called a foulard. The patterns include florals, diamonds, crosses, or (gulp) animals. Beware of these types of tie patterns. Animal designs are eye-catching—but for the wrong reasons.

We suggest taking a timeless route that radiates confidence. Choose understated designs with elegant simplicity. A tie with refined designs can be your go-to for the office and events for years. Next, you have to figure out the best material.

The Best Material for a Tie

One of the main pillars of timeless style is to watch out for synthetic materials. Take a second to look at the tag or product details and gravitate toward natural materials like silk.

Our guide to ties suggests silk for its soft appearance and high tensile strength. It resists wrinkles and drapes well. Silk is the best material for a tie. But among the best, there is a best.

Satin silk ties offer a shine, resistance to wrinkles, and a bold statement for big events. But they draw too much attention to one piece of your outfit rather than enhancing the whole.

Jacquard silk ties have intricate patterns woven into the silk. However, their designs can make them challenging to pair.

Grenadine silk has a rich and understated texture that makes looking polished in a tie effortless. It's easy to pair, versatile, and unique, enhancing your whole outfit.

You'll also find wool and silk blend ties like our "Intro" Navy and Steel Blue Block Striped Grenadine Tie, as well as ties made of Shantung silk. Wool, cotton, and linen ties are also great natural materials, but they lack the versatility of silk.

No matter which tie fabrics you choose, it helps to know the construction methods that make your tie look as it should for years.

Meticulous Craftsmanship

Tie construction matters. A stitch in the right place in the hands of artisans will deliver ties with a deep heritage that you can enjoy for decades. Taking a few moments to look at the tie's construction can reveal a lot about the quality of a necktie.

The good news is that you don't need to be a skilled tailor to know the basics of tie construction. Here's what you should look for when you shop for a tie:

The Envelope/Shell is Cut on a True Bias

The envelope is the shell of the tie. A high-quality tie is made of an envelope that was cut on the true bias, which is at 45 degrees from the finished edge of the fabric. A tie won't hang straight or endure everyday use if the envelope isn't cut in this manner.

Wool Interlining

The interlining is a piece of fabric, typically wool, hidden within the envelope of the tie. A quality tie is constructed with wool interlining for its resistance to wrinkles, softness and durability. Some manufacturers use cotton or synthetics, which are inferior to wool.

Self-Tipped = Quality Finish

'Tipping' is the material used to finish the reverse side of the tie. Many manufacturers use different materials from the envelope. A self-tipped tie means the tipping is of the same high-quality silk as the envelope. It signals a quality tie through and through.

The Loop/Keeper is More than a Label

The 'loop' or 'keeper' is the band of material on the envelope's reverse that secures the tie's back blade or 'tail.' Many manufacturers use brand labels as keepers, but they often fail to withstand the stress of everyday wear. It's a good sign the manufacturer isn't taking shortcuts when the keeper is the same high-quality material as the envelope.

Knowing more about tie construction makes you an informed buyer, ensuring that you purchase ties that are beautiful and built to last. Getting a high-quality tie puts you ahead of the curve. Next up in our guide to ties: knowing how to wear a tie to achieve timeless style.

Tie Etiquette: 4 Tips You Need to Know (and Follow)

Imagine an office of open collars and navy suits. Everyone looks similar, even interchangeable. Walk in that same room wearing a tie, and you stand out. Use these tips in our guide to ties to look polished and become instantly recognizable (and memorable).

But wearing a tie won't unlock all the benefits. A beautiful tie loses its intended effect if you don't wear it well. Luckily, with some care and these tips, you'll look more polished when you wear a tie.

Looking for the ideal length? Hit the belt.

The belt buckle is the best measure of where your tie should end. The tip of your necktie should be in or around the centre of your belt (or where your belt would be). It's a length that will balance your frame.

Give your knot space.

Consider collar spacing and knot proportions. Leave space between your collar tips and the edge of your knot. Mastering timeless style means knowing how to balance proportions.

Keep that knot tight (but not too tight).

Loosely tied knots lend themselves to an oversized knot that never looks like the intended shape. Keep your tie sharp and loosen your tie after a hard day's work.

Do you know about the dimple?

The 'dimple,' or the small fold beneath a tie's knot, is an essential part of the overall look. This small yet stylish detail provides additional visual interest and transforms your tie. Dimples send a clear message: style and polish are always within reach.

We've mentioned knots a lot in our talk of good tie etiquette. It's a big part of looking refined in a tie. Now, let's get into specifics and tell you about tie knots you should avoid and our go-to tie for any event.

The Knot that Makes Looking Polished in a Tie Effortless

The knot you wear impacts your overall look. You want to look like a polished gem—not an overworked dad from the 1980s. The wrong knot risks upstaging you and undermining your timeless style.

The Eldredge knot is eye-catching, but it takes fifteen steps to tie. The Kent knot is simple, functional and compact but lacks a certain joie de vie. The Windsor knot is a classic, but its formality means it lacks versatility.

So, what's the best knot for your tie? Our go-to knot creates balanced proportions, exudes an effortless elegance and sports a charming dimple. It's the Four-in-Hand Knot. Here's how to tie it:

Step 1: Bring the Long End over the Short End.

Step 2: Pass the Long End behind the Short End

Step 3: Bring the Long End across the front

Step 4: Bring the Long End up through the Centre Loop

Step 5: Now pull the Long End through the loop.

Step 6: Pull and begin to adjust your tie.

Step 7: To create a dimple, pinch the Long End closest to the knot while tightening the knot.

The "less is more approach" will always win the day. We love the Four-in-Hand knot's simplicity and asymmetry. You'll love it for its versatility. Wear it to the office or upgrade your wedding attire for an effortless elegance that radiates refinement.

The devil is in the details. The tie material, its design, and your knot add up to either enhance or hurt your look. Let's take a look at some tie pairings that create elevated outfits and put you ahead of the pack.

Lead the Pack with Our Tie Guide's 6 Sophisticated Pairings

You have the perfect tie and know how to wear it. But there's one more piece to looking stylish in a tie: the pairing. Pairing your tie with a suit isn't an exact science. But that's why you're reading our guide to ties. Here are tie pairings that leave you looking sharp, refined and ready to take on your day:

Ride with a Classic

Take your navy blue suit and pair it with a navy blue grenadine tie and a crisp white dress shirt for a classic outfit that exudes quiet confidence. Use grenadine silk's rich texture to give your outfit depth and visual interest for meetings or celebrations.

A Rich and Luxurious Tie Pairing

Add a rich burgundy grenadine tie to your navy blue suit for a refined outfit that complements your plans. Burgundy's luxurious depth will always leave the right impression.

Make Them Green with Envy

Fall in love with a pairing you may not have thought of. Wear your grey suit with a green tie for a sophisticated look that's as elegant as it is effortless. Choose a Forest Green Grenadine and use its rich colour and understated texture to impress friends, clients and maybe even someone special.

Stylish in Stripes

Subtle sophistication is in the cards when you wear stripes. But if you pair a striped tie with other striped elements, keep a few things in mind.

  • Don't wear two elements with stripes that go in the same direction
  • Don't wear two elements with stripes that are the same width and distance apart

A Pairing with Bite

You'll radiate confidence in a medium grey suit and a Green and Navy Houndstooth Tie. The alluring houndstooth pattern balances understatement and luxury while paying homage to fashion icons like Coco Chanel and Christian Dior.

Elevated Smart Casual with Separates

Add Italian flavour to your outfits with separates—or spezzato. Pair the jacket from one suit with trousers from another set. Wear a brown jacket with khaki trousers, a dress shirt and Aklasu's Gold and Red Striped Navy Blue Six-Fold Tie to employ the stylish strategy that will leave others saying “Bellissima.”

Get inspired by more outfits you can create with ties and your foundational suits. Read Ways to Elevate a Navy Blue Suit with a Tie and 8 Ties for a Grey Suit to Make Looking Polished Effortless.

A tie with refined designs made of the best materials makes looking polished effortless for a day at the office or a night of celebration. Now, let's get that tie (and your effortless style) to last decades with tips to care for your tie.

Tie Care Tips so You'll Always Look Refined (not Rough)

Your tie is an extension of you, and how it looks says a lot about you. Does it look like you fished it from the bottom of your drawer? Or does it look as crisp as the rest of your outfit?

Show the world you're well-organized and pay attention to details using this guide to ties. Here's how you can take care of your tie so it lasts for decades:

Undo Your Tie

Avoid wrinkles and ensure you enjoy the compliments from your tie for years to come. Don't leave your tie in its knot. It's a harmful practice that will permanently crease the fabric. Reverse the tying process to limit wrinkles and get it ready to look immaculate for next time.

Roll the Tie

Roll your tie to relax the creases and folds from the knot, allowing it to return to its original shape.

To roll your tie:

  1. Lay it on a flat surface.
  2. Fold it in half and tuck the tail into the keeper.
  3. Then, roll it from the folded end.

Proper Storage

Hanging your tie or overcrowding it in a drawer can create permanent wrinkles and crumpled ties that lack sophistication. Store your tie properly by rolling it and placing it in a canister. This keeps the tie snug, relaxed, and ready for action.

Just in Case: Grenadine Tie Repair

A snag in a grenadine tie can be a real pain in the, you know where. Luckily, repairing a grenadine tie only takes patience, effort and simple tools like a sewing needle and regular thread. Watch the video to see how you can weave the silk back into the fabric:

The modern necktie's history goes all the way back to the 17th century in Louis XIV's France. While loose dress codes and home offices have led to fewer ties worn in the office, the tie will always be a means to express personal style. The suit and tie is a one-two punch that men will always go to. We just hope they consult our guide to ties so they achieve the effortless elegance they aim for.

Take the guesswork out of looking polished in a tie.