How to Wear a Skinny Tie to an Interview Don't let your wardrobe hold you back

With the precarious nature of job markets all over the world, making a great first impression is key. One question to ask yourself before a job interview is, “Should I wear a skinny tie?” In recent years, the skinny necktie has seen a resurgence in popularity bolstered by shows like AMC’s “Mad Men.” Skinny ties are a bold, decisive statement but they aren’t for everyone. Use this guide to help make the right decision.

 

Don Draper and Pete Campbell sporting skinny ties on AMC's Mad Men

Don Draper and Pete Campbell sporting skinny ties on AMC’s Mad Men

 

Does a Skinny Tie Suit You?

With a width of 1.5 to 3 inches, skinny ties are slimmer than your average tie and generally compliment lean, slender physiques. They tend to call attention to your body in a way wider ties do not. So, if you are on the bulkier side of the spectrum, a skinny tie may not be right for you. A job interview is not the place to experiment with new fashion, so if you’ve never worn a skinny tie before, you might want to test the waters elsewhere first.

Consider the Employer

Is the place you’re applying to the kind of environment where people wear skinny ties? If the company has mentioned to you that they are business formal, it may be safer to attend your interview in a wider tie. Interviewers at conservative workplaces like banks or investment firms may prefer the traditional wider tie. On the other hand, a company that is more youthful or a creative space will most likely be more open to personal style and the contemporary look of a skinny tie. If you’re not confident about which to wear, play it safe and dress how you think you employer would dress.

How Skinny is Too Skinny?

As mentioned before, there is a range of widths within the category of skinny ties. Your best bet is to stick with the more moderate 2.5-3 inch range. Anything thinner may look costumey unless you really know how to pull it off.

Other Tips on Dressing for a Job Interview

1. Avoid novelty ties like shape ties or ties with words or funny graphics unless you’re interviewing for a job at the circus.
How to Wear a Skinny Tie to an Interview: Right and Wrong

 

2. When choosing patterns, ask yourself the same questions as above. Conservative patterns like solids and stripes are always a safe bet.

3. Choose the best tie knot for the width of your tie and your collar style. Learn how to Tie a Tie here.

4. Skinny ties work best with a suit jacket that has narrow lapels.

5. Make sure your tie is free of stains and wrinkles. Vintage ties can be worn (with caution) but if all you’ve got in your closet is your Grandfather’s old threads, go pick up something fresh.

6. The tip of your tie should rest just above of your belt buckle. A tie that is too short or too long can make you look silly or sloppy.

7. Coordinate your tie color with that of your suit and shirt. A bold tie usually looks best with a more subdued shirt and vice versa.

8. Don’t fully button your suit jacket, only fasten the top button. This will add an air of easy elegance.

If you’ve decided a skinny tie is right for the job, check out these handsome options from Ties.com:

Skinny Ties for an Interview
1. Princeton Skinny Tie in Red $21.95
2. Port Belle Skinny Tie in Lime Green $19.95
3. Port Jefferson Skinny Tie in Melon $19.95
4. Dartmouth Skinny Tie in Navy Blue $21.95

Skinny Ties for an Interview
5. Port Harbour Skinny Tie in Light Blue $19.95
6. Eggplant Textured Skinny Tie $15.95
7. Cardinal Red Textured Skinny Tie $15.95
8. Harvard Skinny Tie in Gray $21.95

Good luck!