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Skinny ties: how skinny is too skinny?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mafoofan, May 30, 2008.

  1. EL72

    EL72 Senior member

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    3.25 is as skinny as I'd go.

    Me too. 3 1/4"- 3 1/2" is the sweet spot.
     
  2. yachtie

    yachtie Senior member

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    It's driven by the lapel width more than anything else. With 3.75"lapels I wouldn't go narrower than 3.25". Also, max width at the tip is somewhat less important than width below the knot- I like a moderate taper rather than straight sided.
     
  3. Lel

    Lel Senior member

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    I am a smaller guy -- 38R -- and I feel perfectly comfortable wearing a 3-inch tie. Of course, I prefer slimmer lapels, so it matches up. Many of my knits are 2.5 inches.

    Even on my more conservative stuff, I tend to prefer no more than 3.5 inches. For comparison, this tie is 3.5 inches:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a 2.5-inch knit:

    [​IMG]

    Ties that are 3.75 or larger look huge on me.


    38R? No way. I would have guessed you to be something like 42R, definitely not that small. You do not give off that impression, weird. Maybe that's why I always found your suits very fitted, yet still safe and classic.

    For me, I think 3.25 inches is my max. When I put it on, it looks proportional, same as a bigger sized guy wearing a 3.5 inch tie. However with a tie like 3.5 inches it would look just slightly off, like I walked into JCPenny for my shopping or something.

    I have a very skinny tie that is I think, 1.5 inches and it works fine with my 2.7(?) inch lapel on my TaT suit. However it's very aggressive and it works well with the cut of my suit. 2.5 inches I would classify as narrow, and as long as your lapels are something like 3 inches and sleek I think it would be fine.
     
  4. JayJay

    JayJay Senior member

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    My most narrow ties are 2.25 inches by Black Fleece. I wear them with my narrow lapel jackets only.
     
  5. Mr. Potato

    Mr. Potato Senior member

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    I'm a skinny dude. 3.5" is usually as thin as I will go. But it depends on the width of the knot area. I have a 3" tie that is 0.75" in the middle. Looks ridiculous with most most of my shirts and suits. Then I have a 3" tie, 1.25" in the middle, and still looks balanced.
     
  6. tlmusic

    tlmusic Senior member

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    It's driven by the lapel width more than anything else.
    +1 You could also consider Alan Flusser's advice on neckwear, "Widths between 3 1/4 inches and 4 1/4 inches will generally ensure longevity." Dressing the Man (2002), Alan Flusser, pg. 165. But wait! Back in the 1980's [​IMG] he was writing, "The proper width of a tie, and one that will never be out of style, is 3 1/4 inches (2 3/4 to 3 1/2 inches are also acceptable." Clothes and the Man (1985), Alan Flusser, pg. 85
     
  7. Grayland

    Grayland Senior member

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    I've settled on 3.5 inches. I have a few 3.25 inch ties, but any smaller and I don't care for them. I ordered a HF navy grenandine that was 3 inches wide. It just seemed too thin for me and I sent it back. I ordered a navy and a burgundy grenandine from Sam Hober and I specified 3.5 inches. Placed my order on April 8,so I'm getting pretty close to delivery!
     
  8. Mildly Consumptive

    Mildly Consumptive Senior member

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    What width do you think I should go with? How do you go about choosing the width for your own ties?

    How wide is your tie in this photo? 3.5 inches? It seems slightly wide to me. Not at the widest part, which I can't see in this photo, but at the lowest visible part just above the jacket button.

    [​IMG]

    I'm of average height and slimmish and order my ties in 3.25 inch width. When I began ordering ties from Sam Hober, I chose a ready-made tie whose fit I liked and went with it. A side benefit of slightly slimmer ties for me, which I didn't realise at the time of ordering, is that they allow me to make knots without dimples. Which I strongly prefer.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    My skinny ties are all 1.75 inches. They are the real '60s deal, made by respected makers.
     
  10. Dewey

    Dewey Senior member

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    I think the actual measured width is overrated. If a tie is coming across as loud, or somehow extra central, then I think it plays wider than it is. For example, block stripe ties, or a solid black tie with a white shirt and a tan suit. What's important is the perception. The perception is the reality. If a tie is 3" wide but plays extra loud or heavy in the outfit, it's going to look and feel wider than a quiet tie that's 3.25" or 3.5" wide. That's been my experience at least.

    So the lapel width : tie width thing is just a guideline, not some kind of ironclad law, that I think anyone could flout thoughtfully and well -- especially if the ties and lapels in question are not radically skinny or wide.
     
  11. Sam Hober

    Sam Hober Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'm in the midst of ordering some new ties and need to stipulate a width. Currently, almost all my ties are 3.5 inches across. My lapels are a touch under 3.75 inches wide. I'm tempted to try a 3-inch width, but I'm afraid it will look too narrow. I also realize that skinny ties are trendy right now, and want to avoid picking something will look out of place in a couple of years. What width do you think I should go with? How do you go about choosing the width for your own ties?
    Mafoofan, I tend to take a practical approach to the question of tie widths. First, most of your ties are 3.5 inches. I assume (perhaps wrongly) that you do not have 3.25 or narrower ties or you would have your answer already. You should order one tie only in a 3.25 inch width and see how you like it. Again as a practical matter I would not be concerned at all with fashion. Another thought is your shirt collar, if you tend to wear wide collars you might want to ask your tie-maker to keep the "knot" area of the tie a bit wide even if you go with a narrower width at the widest.
     
  12. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I think the actual measured width is overrated. If a tie is coming across as loud, or somehow extra central, then I think it plays wider than it is. For example, block stripe ties, or a solid black tie with a white shirt and a tan suit. What's important is the perception. The perception is the reality. If a tie is 3" wide but plays extra loud or heavy in the outfit, it's going to look and feel wider than a quiet tie that's 3.25" or 3.5" wide. That's been my experience at least.

    So the lapel width : tie width thing is just a guideline, not some kind of ironclad law, that I think anyone could flout thoughtfully and well -- especially if the ties and lapels in question are not radically skinny or wide.

    I agree. The practical approach does not appeal to me. I take the approach that if something appeals to me, then it is correct. I love the look of a small knot in a good sized collar, so that is what I do. The lapel issue is the same. If it looks good, then it is good. There is no further determination necessary.
     
  13. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You do not give off that impression, weird. Maybe that's why I always found your suits very fitted, yet still safe and classic.

    Ouch!
     
  14. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Everyone, thanks for the comments and insight. I agree that my existing Marinella ties (the ones I recently sold on the B&S forum) could stand to be a tad narrower. I mulled over everything for a while and finally settled on an 8 cm width for my new Rubinacci ties (about 3.1 inches). I was afraid of going much narrower than that for fear of getting stuck with what are notably 'skinny' ties.

    I just put in my new order. Hopefully, I'll have my ties within a month or so!
     
  15. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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    I'm torn between wishing you success or wishing you failure.

    Are you doing any unlined, untipped seven folds with Rubinacci?

    - B
     
  16. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'm torn between wishing you success or wishing you failure.

    Are you doing any unlined, untipped seven folds with Rubinacci?

    - B


    Haha. Is 8 cm too narrow for you, Bill?

    I'm only doing unlined, untipped seven-folds from Rubinacci [​IMG].
     
  17. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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    Haha. Is 8 cm too narrow for you, Bill?

    Not at all...I get three-folds that I like (e.g., Charvet) narrowed to 8 cm if they are not so already. I have a batch of lined six-fold grenadines in the mail now from David Hober that are 3.25."

    I do have quite a few Italian six-folds that are 3.75"...since my closet is diverse, they remain handy.

    I'm only doing unlined, untipped seven-folds from Rubinacci [​IMG].

    Wonderful...can't wait to see photographs of them. My next batch of stuff from David Hober will be just like that.

    - B
     
  18. bigbris1

    bigbris1 Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    Doc, beautiful. [​IMG]

    MFan, the ties I have that are on the skinnier side (3.25-3.5") are very thick, so they don't seem all that skinny because of the thick knot they make & how they hang. I would take into account the overall girth of the tie in conjunction with the width when opting for slimmer width (if that makes any sense).
     
  19. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    ^^^ I cannot imagine anything worse than a skinny, beefy tie.
     
  20. yachtie

    yachtie Senior member

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    Everyone, thanks for the comments and insight. I agree that my existing Marinella ties (the ones I recently sold on the B&S forum) could stand to be a tad narrower. I mulled over everything for a while and finally settled on an 8 cm width for my new Rubinacci ties (about 3.1 inches). I was afraid of going much narrower than that for fear of getting stuck with what are notably 'skinny' ties.

    I just put in my new order. Hopefully, I'll have my ties within a month or so!


    The tie width shown in your SC shot looks fine- as I said above it goes with the wider lapels.

    I agree. The practical approach does not appeal to me. I take the approach that if something appeals to me, then it is correct. I love the look of a small knot in a good sized collar, so that is what I do. The lapel issue is the same. If it looks good, then it is good. There is no further determination necessary.

    The way to go if you have a good aesthetic sense. Often, folks know "something" is wrong but can't put their finger on it. Even otherwise good dressers. I like guidelines- that way I know what to ignore. [​IMG]

    ^^^ I cannot imagine anything worse than a skinny, beefy tie.

    +1. Winds up looking like a bolo.
     

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