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The 5 Best Ties for Men (Buy These First)

12 min

Want to know which neckties are essential to own first? Discover why these five ties are all you'll ever need.



Some men may find it strange to own numerous ties. While technically, you only need one tie to "get by," I believe that just because we can do something doesn't mean we should.

This post aims to identify the most essential and versatile neckties a man can own. I genuinely believe that if a man prioritized these first five ties, he would be prepared for just about any occasion.

If you aim to build a timeless and versatile tie collection, you're in the right place. But before we discuss which neckties you should purchase first, I think some important general and preliminary information about neckties is worth covering.


A true gentleman should always dress appropriately for different occasions, especially when leading an adventurous life filled with purpose (my hope for every man). Whether it's a wedding, networking event, board meeting, job interview, funeral, formal dinner, company luncheon, or a simple business visit, having a collection of ties is essential for any modern gentleman.

Today's world has become increasingly casual, and the need for neckties has significantly diminished, especially in the post-COVID-19 era. However, every modern gentleman should have a few ties in his collection. Ties can help command respect and showcase personal style and taste.

Neckties have evolved into accessories more than necessities, but we can still take advantage of the unique patterns and weaves that quality ties offer. Our clothing communicates something about who we are, and a quality tie can be a powerful tool for a modern gentleman who takes his appearance seriously and knows how to dress well for any occasion.

For more advice on how to dress well in general, read this post here.

Most suits traditionally require a necktie, although the option to go tie-less has become increasingly popular. Textured and patterned ties can complement blazers and sport coats, but these jackets are generally more casual and may not always require neckties.

Many details factor into achieving the perfect fit when it comes to suiting. Read about it here to know how a suit should fit properly.


Regarding neckties, the quality of materials and proper sizing are essential factors. Numerous tie brands are available, but a brand isn't necessarily better than all the rest just because of its name. Finding a quality tie is about understanding which materials make the ties look better. When shopping for a quality tie, it's important not to be drawn in too much by the brand or label.

In most cases, the best ties are made of 100% silk. This isn't to say that 100% wool or cotton ties aren't quality pieces, but be sure to pay close attention to anything made with polyester, a cheap fabric that can alter the look and feel of any necktie. While polyester isn't necessarily bad and can make ties more affordable and accessible, investing in quality by focusing on the best materials is well worth the money in the long run, especially when attempting to build a lean and versatile tie collection.


When you explore different brands, you may often encounter "OS," which stands for "one size." Typically, more traditional and classic neckties measure between 3.25 and 3.5 inches at the widest point, which is what OS usually refers to. With the advancements in fashion, clothing, and modern technology, more tie-width options are available to accommodate various men's body types.

Men need to be mindful when selecting a tie width and not simply choose a thinner or thicker one based solely on preference. Instead, the goal should be to select neckties that complement one's build and frame. For instance, a slender individual might choose a skinnier tie to harmonize with his physique, while a broader man might opt for a wider tie to suit his larger frame. In most cases, standard-sized (OS) neckties will work well for most men, regardless of their stature, but some of us have unique body types (so pay close attention).

It's worth noting that if we disregard proper sizing and wear skinny neckties when wider ones are more suitable, we might not enhance our appearance as intended. The same principle applies to wearing wider tie widths when a slimmer width is more flattering. As gentlemen, it's vital to prioritize consistent and harmonious dressing. This means that proportionality ought to be a priotrity.

Finding the right tie size is crucial to dressing appropriately for occasions that require a necktie. Incongruency often draws unwanted attention, disrupting the consistency any modern gentleman should do well to create in his outfits.


Bow ties are an excellent addition to every man's wardrobe and can look dapper, fun, and sophisticated. If done tastefully, including bow ties can elevate your look. I love a good bow tie, but this subject is beyond the scope of this post.

Simply put, bow ties are not essential for a complete wardrobe, and I certainly would not recommend owning any bow tie before each of the five types of neckties that I will describe later in this post.


Believe it or not, a technical difference exists between a tie clip and a tie bar. A tie clip has a pinch clasp with a hinge that allows it to be opened and closed. A tie bar with a slide clasp is a hinge-less, single piece that slides in and out of place to secure the tie to the shirt placket.

Tie Bar (Left) Tie Clip (Right)

Now, I often find myself using both terms interchangeably (in fact, you'll see me do it a lot in this article). I'm here to tell you that what you choose to say (clip or bar) doesn't really matter. Sure, some men might make a fuss about whether it should be called one or the other, but what you choose to call it matters much less than the precise application of the device itself.


While wearing a tie unclipped is becoming more common, many men still wear a tie clip because it holds the tie in place and keeps it secured to the dress shirt.

Tie clips are surprisingly effective ways to add flair to your necktie because they can come in various styles and colors. Depending on your chosen clip, you can take a reasonably traditional tie and add visual intrigue to your outfit, making it more than just a simple metal clip.

A tie clip becomes essential when you wear a two-piece suit out to eat. You must ensure your tie does not flap freely into your food or beverage as you lean forward slightly.

While I wouldn't consider a tie clip a fashion statement, I think wearing one with a two-piece suit or elegant blazer enhances a man's style to great effect. The metal details in the clip, coupled with a lovely wristwatch, can create a lot of consistency in one's look if paired effectively.

Read my article here for twelve ways to style a classic navy blazer, including some outfits with a tie.

Opting for a tie clip is a tiny detail, but it can look downright dapper apart from ensuring that your tie does not flap freely into your meal or beverage.

Of course, a man should know how to wear a tie bar correctly (if he chooses to wear one).

Read here for my complete guide on tie clips and bars and how to wear them.


Charles Tyrwhitt

A classic navy grenadine tie ought to be your first necktie because of its timeless pedigree in men's style, sophisticated texturing, and highly versatile qualities. Grenadine is traditionally a silk material with much more texture and thickness than conventional silk neckties.

This texture is great for business casual outfits that feature other types of texturing, such as hopsack, flannel, linen, etc. Consistently mixing various tasteful textures can allow cohesion throughout any man's look.

A Hopsack navy blazer, dressy olive chinos, and navy grenadine tie all provide great texture and visual interest to a business casual ensemble.

Navy grenadine ties can look particularly handsome with formal wool and worsted wool suits, whether dark navy, classic navy, charcoal, brown, etc. The rich texture of the silk fabric in the tie adds some much-needed visual interest that goes a long way in subtly elevating any look that you have.

I think a more conventional silk tie would be fine to own. Still, concerning business casual attire, the texture of the grenadine fabric enables the wearer to dress this necktie up or down more quickly than a standard, shiny silk necktie.

Swap the navy blazer for a classic Harrington jacket. This outfit is much more sporty and casual but retains elements of sartorial sophistication.
Read my in-depth guide to Harrington jackets here.

Navy blue is a classic neutral color. It pairs well with other neutrals, making it one of the more versatile colors a man can own in his closet. Neutral colors are equally timeless as they are tasteful. These are the more traditional colors in menswear and, therefore, look natural when combined.

This can be an excellent built-in "fail-safe" because you don't have to worry about (or overthink) how to pair specific garments together; instead, you can rest easy knowing they will work no matter the combinations you employ.

Read my separate article here for more information regarding the versatility of neutral colors in men's clothing.



There are a few schools of thought regarding this type of tie. One is a solid-colored tie in a tasteful hue with a much smaller pattern, like a pin-dot tie. A classic burgundy red with off-white pin dots is a great option and can seldom lead you astray (see below).

The Tie Bar
If you're not sure what "hue" means, you can read my guide to basic color theory here, which provides a detailed breakdown of the color wheel and different color schemes.

Another of my favorite options is a gold or bronze medallion-print tie, which looks brilliant when paired with any shade of navy blue. Yellow and orange are pretty complimentary to blue, and this is such a classic color scheme that it will look excellent for most occasions. The subtle and/or tasteful patterns are simply the icing on the cake.


J. Crew

It's time to pivot in a more casual direction. A classic knit tie is an excellent way to up the ante by presenting a casual yet sophisticated and intelligent look. Knit ties stand out in some unique ways. Given their often flat edges, they can keep things casual if you wish to avoid appearing too formal.

When building a wardrobe that can accommodate any number of occasions, it's important to have a more laid-back and "fun" necktie to round out your arsenal. No, I am not talking about a superhero or cartoon-themed necktie, but a knit tie such as the one depicted below is an excellent example of what I'm talking about.

You can choose a solid color like navy blue or a bold striped design in deeper shades of color. The choice is yours. I think a knit tie in navy blue looks too much like a navy Grenadine tie, and I never mind a bit of extra boldness in the pattern (but that's just me).


This type of tie goes well with anything, from a navy blazer to a sport coat to a Harrington or denim jacket. It often travels very well because it maintains its shape, rolls, and folds nicely into tightly packed luggage, and due to the thickness of the knit weave, it does not become creased and crumpled.


Brooks Brothers

Here is one of the most classic ties you'll ever see or own: the ever-timeless rep stripe tie. Perhaps the quintessential version of this tie type is the Brooks Brothers BB#1 Rep Tie. These can come in various colors, from red and gold to red and silver to blue and silver. How you like your colors is up to you, but make no mistake—this silk necktie will stand the test of time for decades.

If Brooks Brothers' near $100 asking price is too much for you, don't worry; I'll mention some alternative brands that offer stylish and more affordable options that strike an outstanding balance of price and quality.


Fort Belvedere

Here is a category of ties that every man ought to revere: the essential and sacred wedding tie. The key to nailing a wedding tie is to focus on a silvery color. White and certainly solid white are much too light, while deep, steely grey is too dark. Something in a light silver color will work perfectly.

I think the tie's fabric is also very important, in addition to being a light silver color. A jacquard woven pattern in light silver can be particularly stunning to the eye. Additionally, a tasteful, subtle, and discreet thin stripe pattern or textured micropattern will command respect, primarily when constructed from a silk material that affects a subtle sheen that isn't too shiny but gives the tie that little extra "glow."

My favorite of these wedding tie patterns is a silk Prince of Wales check design. I wore this type of tie to my own wedding, and it has remained a treasured piece ever since.

Ecclesiastes 9:9


Pocket squares often look excellent when paired with neckties. Coordinating a quality pocket square with a high-end necktie in color scheme and pattern is an exquisite example of putting together a quality outfit that harmonizes well.

Similarly to bow ties, I think pocket squares warrant their own article, as there are numerous ways to fold and pair them with (or without) neckties. For now, I'll say that a solid or off-white pocket square in either cotton or silk can cover you for most occasions and serve as a blank slate to pair well with any of the neckties mentioned above.

Some neckties are more affordable than others. As you'll see from the options below, not every tie brand is for the "everyman."

Those Drake's, Brooks Brothers, and Kiton Ties are wildly expensive; in my opinion, you don't need to spend that kind of money to get a quality tie. The Tie Bar will work just fine, especially when you're just starting. If you are concerned about the quality of The Tie Bar being too low, then any mid-tier options are well worth the extra cash.


Even though neckties are becoming less and less necessary today, a tasteful tie can add personality and visual interest to any man's outfit. Accessories not only help to meet the occasion's dress code/guidelines, but they can also allow our personality to shine through. A necktie can be a great way to add extra flair to any man's look and communicate something about you to the outside world.

Stick to the five ties mentioned in this article, and you can be confident that you'll be covered for nearly any occasion.

"I clothed you also with embroidered cloth and shod you with fine leather. I wrapped you in fine linen and covered you with silk." - Ezekiel 16:10



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