Some men just don’t like ties. Blame it on years in a corporate environment when a tie felt more like punishment than a means of self-expression or blame it on the fact that some men just don’t want another thing to pick out in the morning.
However, for a fashion-forward sort of guy that wants to have a cohesive look, the perfect tie is crucial.
Still, finding and buying the best ties for men isn’t particularly easy. After all, there are literally thousands of companies making ties, from department store brands to designer names charging thousands for a piece of colored silk.
Luckily this guide is here to help you so you don’t have to wade through rack after rack of ties. Use it to find the best ties for men out there this holiday season.
The color of a tie says a lot about the man – perhaps even more than you think. Color tells somebody whether you know what trends are popular, whether you can put together an outfit and even what type of person you might be. In short, picking the right tie colors is incredibly important.
In 2014, the most popular colors for more understated solid-colored ties that could be worn to a formal gathering were deep, ink-rich blues, rusty reds and earthy shades of brown and green.
These ties pair particularly well with black, brown and blue suits for a dressy style that’s work and evening appropriate and a crisp white shirt.
If you’re more interested in brightly colored ties, pink, orange and bright red were all over the runways, particularly in the form of super skinny silk ties.
As for materials, silk and heavyweight wool have been particularly popular for solid-colored ties in 2014.
When it comes to patterns, plaids have been pretty hot in 2014, and everybody from big name manufacturers to designer names were making them. Like solid colored ties, deeper tones with an emphasis on earthy colors were popular.
These ties tend to pair well with dark suits and light shirts, though a tie with enough of a soft cream, taupe or camel color can pair very well with a darker suit in hunter green or navy blue as well.
If you’re looking for a pattern that isn’t plaid, you’ll probably see lots of micro-dot ties. They’ve been popular for years and 2014 was really more of a continuation on the trend in the best ties for men.
Micro-dot ties tend to be light-colored ties with dark or colorful dots, making them pretty easy to pair with any type of suit and any dress shirt.
However, there are tons of micro-dot print ties out there that don’t fit that pattern because they’re often designed to be everything from fun and whimsical to serious and classic. That’s a good thing if you’re looking to add to a varied wardrobe or for a tie that can go from business to play with the loosening of the knot.
Ties come in a lot of styles, but most guys are used to seeing the same ones. 2014 was no exception when it comes to the best ties for men, and the big boys still rule the roost, with maybe one major exception.
Skinny ties have been popular for years, and the Mad Men style that you’re so used to seeing at this point isn’t going away anytime soon. In fact, more and more companies are getting in on making skinny ties and the look has pretty much gone mainstream.
In 2014, the best ties for men of the skinny variety tended to be darker in color and made of iridescent materials, though gingham and wool were both popular for a heavier-weight look.
Deep reds, soft rich blues and army green were all over the place. These tend to pair well with dark suits and basic shirts, but they can also work well with lighter suits for some contrast.
However, there were still plenty of brightly colored skinny ties coming out in 2014, predominately in pink, orange and red. These make a wonderful statement on top of a dark shirt, but they also really pop with a dark suit and a more basic white, blue or cream colored shirt as well.
In general, skinny ties are still being worn with slim cut suits, which are still leading the way in terms of fashion friendly suit sales.
Bowties have been among the best ties for men for years now, even if you were really only seeing them on the runway and in the hippest parts of town until 2014. Now, they’re all over the place for good reason.
When it comes to bowtie style, you want to stick with something classic that will pair well with a dark suit or a light suit. Micro-dot prints in red, chambray and green, all with white dots, were particularly noticeable in 2014.
A bowtie used to be all about formal dress. Today, you can wear a bowtie without a suit jacket if you feel compelled to do so. Still, you’ll likely want to pair your favorite bowtie with your favorite slim cut suit and a pair of classic wing tips or Oxfords.
The only real surprise on the list of best ties for men is the wide ones. Call it a pushback against the skinny look or just fashion being all about cyclical trends, but wide ties are making a comeback, even if they aren’t fully back in style yet.
Wide ties tend to be all about bold stripes these days, making them ideal to pair with your power suit that isn’t quite so slim cut. Plenty of fashionable guys are going extra-wide with a slim cut suit though.
Brand names come and go in the world of fashion, but in 2014, it was a lot of names that you’re already familiar with setting the trends in ties.
In fact, the best ties for men in 2014 pretty much all originated from big name fashion houses like Lanvin, which was focused on lots of deep colors in solid patterns and unique materials, Alexander McQueen, who used his famous skull pattern extensively along with the micro-dot, and companies like Charvet, who went for bowties and wider ties in plaid, micro-dots and heavy textures.
While the fashion big-wigs were pretty major players in 2014, there were other brands out there making great ties that the average guy could pay for. After all, those McQueen, Lanvin and Charvet ties could run well over $200.
Brands like Carrot & Gibbs, David Donahue, DKNY, Dion Neckwear, John Varvatos, Eton and Edward Armah were all very popular and help pave the way toward a bright fashion future. Whatever your style is, one of these brands is making it.