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Buying a Tie


If you are like most men, you may not pay much attention to your ties. You might think that "A tie is a tie." But tell that to the account executive, whose first impression of you might be of your tie. Whether you want to believe it or not, in everyday life we often do form our opinions of other by the clothes they choose to wear. And for a man who finds himself in all kinds of everyday situations, it is the necktie, more than anything else, that will determine how others view his status, confidence, personality and credibility.

The first thing to consider when buying a tie is the length. A tie that is either too long or two short can immediately spell disaster. The properly ties tie should come to your belt buckle when you're standing straight. The right length of tie for you is a function of your height, and the sort of knot you plan to tie. Standard ties are 55 or 56 inches, as a rule.

The width of a tie is the next thing to consider, and while fashion seems fickle when it comes to the proper width of a necktie, a good rule of thumb is to always err on the side of caution: Never go too wide, or too thin.

Next, think about the material of your tie. It needs to be strong enough to make a good knot, and this strength typically comes from the lining of coarse fabric that is sewn into the lining of most ties. Silk makes the best kind of tie, but without a good lining, silk ties can be to thin to make credible knots. Ties made from a fabric that blends silk with polyester can also be nice, and ties are also commonly made from wool or cotton, though those fabrics typically do not wear quite as nicely.

Perhaps the most important thing to focus on in choosing a tie is the pattern. The different styles and designs and patterns in ties might seem overwhelming, but if you are trying to make a good impression, there are only a few things to remember. The most obvious pattern is a lack thereof - you can never go wrong with a solid tie (assuming it matches your shirt and coat). Other patterns include stripes and polka-dots and all kinds of logos, cartoon characters and even landscapes. Some ties are obviously designed with nothing but fun in mind. They might be great at a family reunion, but think twice about wearing it in the boardroom.

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