The skinny on skinny ties // Style Counsel

People either hate ‘em or couldn’t care less

By Emir Aly Crowne

On Thursday November 10th, 2011


 Skinny ties — people either hate ‘em or couldn’t care less. I’ve never heard someone say they absolutely love them. As for me, I’m in the indifferent/couldn’t care less category.

In my view, skinny ties — like skinny lattes or skinny jeans — have their place amongst a certain crowd of men. Skinny ties work best for men with a similarly lean, tall frame. The tie complements the body type essentially. Therefore, a skinny tie on a more generously proportioned individual looks a bit out of place. The tie looks lost, almost scared.

So what exactly qualifies as a ‘skinny’ tie? Anything less than 3 inches at its widest point usually counts. But let’s be honest, no one has ever really measured the width of their ties — you ‘know it when you see it.’

And while we’re on the topic of tie widths, might I also suggest that excessively wide ties (just over 4 inches and up) should also be shunned. This is real life, you’re not a gangster in a Dick Tracy movie.

Remember that a tie is supposed to complement the overall look, if you have a tie that could double as a dinner napkin it detracts from the underlying dress shirt and suit.

So in the end, size matters. Too little width is often not enough, whereas too much width is (stylistically) painful to bear.

Emir Aly Crowne is a law professor at the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law