Neckties are an integral part of a man’s wardrobe and care should be taken in the choice of colour, fabric and pattern. The tie is usually the statement of who you are and a well-chosen tie will impart a message to those around you. Every tie tells a different story.
When choosing which tie to wear consideration should also be given to the colour and fabric of the suit and shirt. As a novice you might choose to only wear stripes in either the shirt or the tie, not both. This is probably a wise choice until you gain more confidence in colour coordination.
Silk is a great choice of fabric as it has a soft lustre that reflects the light. Although it is usually the most expensive of the fabrics and is not as robust as the man-made fibres, you should have a couple of these in your business wardrobe.
Most modern ties are made of a variety of man-made fabrics, which allows them to maintain their colour and shape over a longer period of time. Knitted ties on the other hand are for the more casual or artistic professions and should not be worn in formal business situations.
Colour in a business sense has the ability to persuade, calm, energise and imbibe trust. Research has shown that colour preferences can also depend on age, education and wealth. The more sophisticated and wealthy individual will develop a preference for tertiary or more complex colours. A tertiary colour is one that is formed by mixing a primary colour i.e. blue, with a secondary colour i.e. purple, resulting in a shade of violet.
Red : The colour of power, strength & confidence.
Studies have shown that red is great for sales people. This is also a good choice for negotiations where confidence and authority needs to be a factor. If a plain red tie the fabric is an important consideration. The starkness of a shiny satin fabric is to be avoided, whereas the slight sheen given off by a silk tie is subtle. In a negotiation where trust and calmness is called for, the addition of a blue stripe could be advantageous.
Blue : The colour of calmness and trust.
You will notice politicians often choose a blue to when they are trying to imbibe these qualities. A combination of different shades of blue can have an overall soothing effect. Avoid the use of equal sharing of stripe, as it can look contrived.
Yellow : Shows a fresh approach and slightly un-conservative.
It is suggested that if yellow is incorporated in your tie it be achieved subtly. It is unlikely that a bright solid yellow tie would be suitable business attire for any situation. It could however be used for marketing or sales executive but would need to have the personality and confidence to carry it off.
Black : Best left to very formal occasions.
In a business sense it denotes lack of imagination.
Green : Non-threatening
choosing green inWorks best if the fabric has a basket weave or herringbone texture. The colour green is often associated with creativity and productivity. If a stripe tie, care should be taken in selecting the contrasting colour. Red and green for example can have connotations with Christmas, green and gold can have sport connotations, whereas green and blue work well together.
Pink : Evokes nurturing and compassion.
Best used when these qualities are needed to be aroused. Although pink has the advantage of being non-threatening, the deeper pinks of magenta can be matched with other tertiary colours to form a more sophisticated but still soothing result.
The Texture and Pattern
Whilst colour and fabric are an important feature of the tie, thought should also be given to the pattern of the tie. Basket weave or herringbone gives a texture and a point of interest to the fabric. Plaid or tartan generally should only be worn by a member of that clan. Comic ties really do not have any place in a business wardrobe.
Stripes come in a myriad of widths and colour combinations. When combining stripes it is suggested avoid bold and over regular stripes, for example a red and white stripe in equal 3 cm stripes, could look staged and unsubtle. Most striped ties are made up of two, three or four colour combinations in varying width of stripe. Try to avoid being too contrived with your stripes, for example wearing a white shirt with red stripes with a red tie with white stripes.
Along with stripes comes an amazing range of checks, hounds tooth and paisley designs. From my research I have found paisley is either loved or hated so perhaps best avoided. If using a pocket hanky, ensure it is not of the same fabric as the tie, but still works in harmony.