Ties can make an outfit, be it a wedding, work or even informal events - we all notice a quality tie. A dark suit can be brought to life with the right tie or they can be integrated into the loudest of combinations. Choosing the correct tie, or even type of tie, can be an arduous task and that’s why at Robinson’s we’ve decided to help. Our tie advice will help you navigate the summer wedding season in style.

Bow tie or no tie?

Before you choose a tie, first consider what type of tie you will wear. Bow or regular tie, that is the question?

Bow ties have long been associated with academia, flamboyance and the extremely formal, but this has changed. The idea that professors and tux wearers exclusively own the bow tie has gone and they are increasingly spotted at more casual events. It is fair that if you wear a tux, you should wear a black bow tie, otherwise you’re essentially wearing a suit.

Some mixed generational takes on bow ties are quite impressive, see the work of Hata from Donegal, Ireland. Their herringbone patterns are a great way of mixing modern shades with traditional tweed clothing.

Regular ties are a complete accessory, they serve no practical purpose except to keep you looking well. If you wear a tie every day to work, they lose their magic and become mundane. Reverse this trend by wearing brighter block colours or patterned ties. Before you go and start buying bold ties, consider what is already in your wardrobe. It’s always easier (and less expensive) to match a tie to a suit than visa versa.

So, when you opt for a tie, what else can help you make the right choice?

When choosing a tie make sure to take size into consideration. A larger man, wearing a wide suit should find a balance by selecting a wider than average tie. The knot should also be kept slightly wider than usual, otherwise the tie will look out of place and expose buttons. Apply the reverse of these rules for narrow suits, however strike a balance between a well fitted suit and skinny tie. For some occasions too narrow a tie becomes a misguided fashion statement.

Patterns...very 2018

As mentioned with herringbone bow ties and paisley ties, patterns are a great way to make a statement on extra special occasions. Choosing a pattern is difficult, so try not to overcomplicate the process for yourself. Follow these simple rules:

  • Don’t duplicate a single pattern
  • 2 of 3 should match
  • Select a block colour that matches your suit
  • For paisley and plaid match at least one colour
  • Big patterns are easier to mix

If you are feeling particularly bold, you may want to work patterns in elsewhere on your outfit. Not only do Robinson’s Shoes stock a range of bow ties, they also have some tremendous patterned footwear. Barker’s Blair and Dowd shoes are great examples of patterned shoes.

For more fashion advice, check back to our shoe journal throughout the year or see our quality products online on Instagram.