I am not looking for specific brands at the moment. Just looking for nice looking ties to begin my collection, and will get into specific brands when I learn more.
I have an 36 inch chest and prefer a slim look with my clothing. should i mix and match some slimmer ties and some wider ties? im worried that i'll get ties that are too fat looking or too long. i'm 5'8".
I certainly wouldn't wear a wide tie at your size...go standard width at the max. Maybe try looking at Polo ties if you want prints. They're durable, the silk has a great feel/drape, they're thinner than average, and can be had cheaply for how good they are. The main downside is that the patterns can be lacking and it might be hard to find one you like.
If I were in your position, I'd get the bare minimum number of ties i could survive on for a while and have them be brooks brothers/talbott boc/polo/etc quality. Then get expensive ties as you find ones you really like.