If you are like a lot of men who have to ask for a second opinion on which tie matches their suit and shirt, you'll appreciate the following suggestions.

WIDTH: As an easy to remember rule of thumb, hold the widest part of your tie up against your jacket lapel. They should match in width almost exactly. This works only with a single breasted, notched lapel; it doesn't work with peaked lapels found on double breasted suits.

LENGTH: your tie MUST come down to your belt line! Anything shorter makes you appear dowdy. How long is too long? If the end of your tie interferes with the operation of your zipper, then it's too long.

FABRIC: Ties that knot the best, produce the finest quality look and are the overwhelming choice for year-round wear are made of 100% silk. Wool is best for winter and fall, and cotton should only be worn during the summer months.

CONTRAST: It always looks best of have some contrast between the suit and shirt, and the shirt and tie. Here are some examples of how to create contrast:

  • Dark Suit/Light Shirt/Bright Medium-Dark Tie
  • Medium Suit/Light Shirt/Dark Tie
  • Light Suit/Medium Shirt/Dark Tie