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How long should a tie be – the definitive guide

Your tie length can have a significant impact on your overall appearance for any formal or semi-formal event, so I’ll cover everything you need to know, including the factors to consider and how to measure for the perfect length. Whether you’re a seasoned suit-wearer or new to the world of ties, this guide will help you ensure your tie is just right for any occasion.

Before we dive into the intricacies of achieving the perfect tie length, it’s crucial to take a few essential factors into account that will determine the ideal length of your tie, ensuring that it complements your outfit and creates a polished look.

Tie length and the rise of the trousers

The rise of your trousers plays a crucial role in determining the perfect length of your tie. Therefore, pay close attention to your trouser rise before finalizing your tie length choice.

Mid-rise trousers

When wearing mid-rise trousers, the rule of thumb is to have the tip of the tie blade just touching the waistline. This means that the length of the tie should be such that it ends right at the top of the waistband or 1-2 centimeters below. This length creates a clean and balanced look and ensures that the tie doesn’t appear too short or too long.

Tie length - mid rise trousers

High-rise trousers

When it comes to high-rise trousers, the ideal length of the tie is more flexible. With high-rise trousers, the tip of the tie blade can be anywhere between the top of the waistline and below it. This gives you more leeway in determining the length of the tie that works best for you. However, I recommend having the tip of the tie blade fall no more than 3-5 centimeters below the waistline if you want to stay in the safe zone.

Tie length - high rise trousers

Tie length and your height

Tie length is not only affected by the rise of the trousers but also by your height. The length of the tie can greatly affect the overall look of your outfit, and it’s important to get it right to achieve a well-proportioned look.

If you are on the shorter side, it’s generally best to opt for a shorter tie length (but the blade should still touch the waistline). A tie that is too long can make you appear even shorter and throw off the balance of your outfit. On the other hand, if you are taller, you can wear a longer tie without it appearing too overwhelming. In general, a taller person can get away with wearing a tie that is up to 5 centimeters longer than a shorter person.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that tie length isn’t solely based on height, but also on body type and the style of your outfit. For example, if you have a longer torso, you may need to wear a slightly shorter tie to maintain balance, even if you are relatively tall. Similarly, if you are shorter with a larger build, you may need to wear a slightly longer tie to avoid appearing disproportionate.

Tie length and the occasion

When it comes to tie length, the occasion and circumstances also play a role in determining the ideal length. Different events and situations call for different styles and levels of formality, and your tie length can reflect this.

Formal occasion

Formal events such as business meetings, important events, and funerals call for a standard tie length that is suitable for mid-rise or high-rise trousers. A tie that just the waistline is the best choice for mid-rise trousers, while a tie that falls anywhere between the top and bottom of the waistline complements high-rise trousers. This length helps to maintain a polished, professional look that suits the formal dress code.

Casual occasion

In contrast, more casual or relaxed occasions offer more flexibility when it comes to tie length. You can experiment with a shorter or longer tie to convey a more laid-back or creative vibe, depending on the situation. For instance, if you’re going to a summer barbecue or outdoor event, a slightly longer tie can add a touch of casual elegance to your outfit.

What to do if the tie is too long?

Sometimes – and quite often if you are a shorter guy – you may find that the tie you have chosen is too long for your frame, and you’re left wondering what to do. In those cases, you have three choices:

Tie length - too long tie
  1. One solution is to try another knot that requires more tie length. For example, if you’re using a Four-in-Hand know, you might switch to a double Four-in-Hand knot, which requires more tie length. This can help to shorten the tie and make it more proportional to your frame.
  2. Another option is to adjust the tie itself. You can make the front part of the tie the correct length and leave the narrow end longer, then wear it like this. This style can create a unique look and can work well if you’re attending a more casual event or looking to add some creativity to your outfit.
  3. If you prefer a more classic look, you can also make the front part of the tie the correct length and leave the narrow end longer, but hide it inside your shirt. This method can work well for business or formal events, as it creates a neat and polished appearance.

And there you have it! I’ve provided all the essential rules and guides to help you achieve the perfect tie length, suitable for any occasion or situation. If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to us via email or message. I’ll gladly assist you!