The 10 commandments of solid ties 

Koel Dutta and Saggar Mehra tell us why shiny ties don’t look too pleasant, and how dark colours score when it comes to ties


Dark colour ties are multipurpose in nature.
Dark colour ties are multipurpose in nature.

Looking to wear a solid-coloured tie, but don't know how? We got New Delhi-based experts Koel Dutta, co-founder of online store Tiekart.com, and Saggar Mehra, creative director of menswear designer label Sunil Mehra, to tell us why shiny ties don’t look too pleasant, and how dark colours score when it comes to ties. 

No.1 Thou shall match your shirt to your tie

Dutta: Solid ties go well with patterned shirts, but both the patterns don’t have to match to a tee. They can be from the same family of colour, design or texture. 

No.2 Thou shall stock up on deep and dark colours  

Dutta: Dark colours are multipurpose in nature. Blues, greens, burgundies and reds can be paired with pastel-coloured shirts. However, avoid stark contrasts. 

Mehra: Plain ties in shades of grey, blue or black—with vintage colour accents of pink, blue or rust—are most versatile.

No.3 Thou shall stay away from high-shine fabrics and textures 

Dutta: Settle for ties with low lustre, smooth and matt surfaces. 

Mehra: To break the “boring” element in plain ties, go for a blend of fabrics—wool, silk and linen. It creates texture. I love alpaca (wool) in any relief weave like herringbone or houndstooth. It is bold and has a bounce. For example, try a blue suit with a greyish-blue, textured alpaca tie. Knits are also a strong trend since they ease visual stress and help you break away from classic styles while keeping the look formal.

No.4 Thou shall not wear wrinkled or stained ties

Dutta: A solid tie has no design element to camouflage any wrinkles or stains, so you need to be very careful.

No.5 Thou shall wear a mismatched pocket square

Mehra: A graphic—hand-painted or screen-printed and vintage—pocket square is a great way to add that quirky element to your look. It doesn’t have to match your tie. 

No.6 Thou shall balance the length of the tie  

Dutta: The necktie should not be worn too long or too short. The tip should fall at the centre of your belt buckle. 

No.7 Thou shall choose an appropriate width 

Mehra: Around 3 inches is normal. A little more or less is good too. 

Dutta: Choose a tie keeping your body type in mind. Large men could wear medium-width (3.25-3.75 inches) ties, whereas tall and thin men could opt for skinny ties (2-2.5 inches).

No.8 Thou shall not over-accessorize

Dutta: Stick to plain, simple and elegant tie bars (with a classic watch, a belt and a pair of cufflinks, if you must). A tie bar should be worn at a slant, not horizontally. 

Mehra: Honestly, wearing a tie with accessories is going out of fashion.  

No.9 Thou shall choose quality over quantity  

Dutta: Look for classy detailing like precise hand-stitching, supportive lining and smooth material, which should be snag-free. 

Mehra: Classic, seven-fold and three-fold style craftsmanship ties have 100% spun-silk linings and are hand-stitched. There is a rise in bespoke (tailored) accessories, even ties. 

No.10 Thou shall not give up on the solid tie

Dutta: Wear a tie with confidence and pride.

Mehra: Be subtle (when it comes to ties). It is also this year’s winter (wear) trend.

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