The Skinny Tie Syndrome

Women’s fashion trends are usually easy to spot. Who could miss the gigantic sunglasses covering half the face that we started seeing a few years back? What about Ugg boots being worn with every outfit, every season? Men’s fashions are not always quite so easy to spot, although the skinny jean look certainly isn’t hard to miss these days. What is it about men and “skinny” looks? Don’t we typically think of women of having an issue with that word more so than men? Now it’s the tie. Alas, the skinny tie.

Have you seen it? It may not have been too noticeable, as the regular tie is typically around three and a half inches across, and some skinny ties are just below three inches. However, other skinny ties dip all the way down to two inches across or less. That, my friend, is skinny. But it’s hip, it’s retro, maybe even vintage, and it’s the look many famous men are wearing today.

Some attribute the look to the popular AMC television show “Mad Men.” In fact, the skinny tie originated in the 1960s, so the show is wearing typical fashions for the time period. The show has also recently partnered with Banana Republic, which certainly doesn’t hurt the situation. While it’s highly likely “Mad Men” helped with the skinny tie craze, it certainly isn’t solely responsible. Instead, with the help of celebrities like David Beckham, Brad Pitt, Justin Timberlake and Patrick Dempsey wearing the two-finger width ties, it was likely to take off full force soon enough. Now the skinny tie is appearing at churches, in schools, at weddings, and even somewhat in the office.

Like the skinny jean however, not just anyone can successfully pull off the skinny tie. Larger men, whether bulky due to muscle or well, other bulkiness, should not attempt to wear the skinny tie. It simply will not look right on a bigger body. Typically, thinner men, and generally men of the younger crowd will look best in the fashion trend.

Since it is an up and coming fashion, many would argue that there is no place in the office for skinny ties. Typically office settings are not the place to push fashion limits. On the other hand, the more fashionable it becomes, the more likely it will not be such a shock to find it in an office setting. Some may even argue that being fashionable is all about pushing limits, after all. Regardless, it’s important to remember that it is a modern look, and should be paired with modern clothes. For instance, pairing a skinny tie with a double-breasted suit would be a major fashion faux pas!

Consider putting a skinny tie with a solid-colored, button-down, collared shirt. Another option would be a trendy vest, with a button up shirt beneath it. Think Justin Timberlake and try rolling your shirtsleeves to your elbows if you want a super trendy look. Try to imagine in your head a super skinny tie paired with super baggy pants. Are you getting the same image in your head that I am? Not pretty. Consider wearing a slimmer pair of pants in order to go all the way with your skinny look.

Just like a regular tie, make sure it’s the right length on your body. Skinny ties should not go past your beltline, and should be no more than three inches higher than it. You may have all the style you need, and then ruin it by wearing your tie either too short or too long.

Are you ready to rock the skinny tie look? If you’re still not sure, but are considering minimizing the width of your tie, start with a black one. See how it feels and how you look and then go from there. You’ll never know unless you give it a try!