Man laughing in cardigan and necktie

Who, What, Where: A Tie Guide A guide for choosing the right tie

How to dress for work is always a tricky question. When it comes to your professional life, it’s important to make a good impression on colleagues, clients, and your bosses.

The way you dress is the best opportunity to show people what you’re all about.

While some days, a work uniform will suffice, there are some occasions that call for switching things up.

For example, you wouldn’t wear the same getup attending a networking night, as you would giving an important presentation or going for a casual day at work.

We put together this guide to help make your morning routine a little bit easier.

You might think wearing any kind of tie will make you appear professional, but that’s not always the case. In the tie game, we have so many different choices.

It can be downright daunting sometimes.  So what are the right colors for a job interview?

When can you wear a tie with some personality? You’ve got questions and we’ve got answers.

When selecting your tie, consider the occasion. The choice of fabric, size, or color will depend on your the situation, but another important factor to consider is your company environment.

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Your Work Dress Code

Business Formal

Business Formal

If you work in a particularly traditional industry like accounting, finance, or insurance, you’re probably familiar with these standards of formal dressing. 

When you’re regularly meeting with executives or if you’re striving to hold a high-level position, it’s expected you come to work in full business professional.

Even if your office skews more casual, you might have to break out this dress code for occasions like a big meeting with a client.

The business professional look comes with a few givens. You should be in a formal suit, dress shoes and collared shirt. To fit with this look we recommend to staying conservative with your ties.

Colors should be neutral (black, grey or dark blue). Concerning patterns, we will go more for solid patterns and maybe some light stripes. Absolutely avoid novelty ties (trust us on this one).

Opt for silk ties with a little sheen, the perfect accessory for formal business settings. Keep the cotton and knit ties for more casual occasions.

Changing the color and the pattern of your tie, while still staying neutral, is a good way to vary your everyday formal look at work.

Business Professional

Business Professional

When it comes to color and patterns, business professional clothing is a little more relaxed when compared with its older brother business professional. 

In a business professional work environment, you are still required to wear a suit, so ties are the good accessory to inject more of your personality into your outfit.

You’ll have more liberty for the choice of patterns. Instead of the standard solid or stripe of a more formal office, don’t be afraid to try a polka dot, plaid or floral.

Silk, cotton and sometimes knit (if you wear it professionally with a nice suit) are still the most appropriate materials. Stick to those, and your ties will be well within your office’s dress code.

Coming to sizes, try to keep it standard, but skinny ties are also a good option.

It really depends on your personal style and how you want to incorporate it into your business attire. Bow ties are still pretty difficult to wear in a business professional work setting.

Since you still have to wear a suit, go up to the next level with your work accessories and choose your materials and patterns following the seasons.

In winter, we can opt for wool ties with darker colors (burgundy, brown, dark blue…).

Florals and bright colors will announce the spring season. It’s also time to wear cotton and skinny tie.

For summertime, be colorful and bright in your tie choices! Orange, pink, coral, canary, mint, the list of summer colors is really long.

At last, during fall season try some plaid patterns and play on the colors with maroon and brownie tones.

Business Casual

Business Casual

In recent years, a growing number of companies are adopting a business casual code, letting employees express more freedom with their everyday business attire.

Employees still have to stay professional but they’re allowed to show their personality and wear more relaxed clothes.

This is time for you to wear some ties without a suit. This’ll give you a whole new set of style opportunities.

First, you can definitely wear those colorful ties to show your mood and personality.

Don’t get too carried away though, we recommend matching your tie with your style.

With business casual, there are many more options for tie materials. We definitely have to try the knit during winter, and of course cotton for spring and summer!

It’s also the opportunity to wear some novelty ties. But remember you’re still at work so avoid very showy novelty ties, unless you really want to be the center of attention for the day!



When you think about casual outfits at work, you don’t think about ties. Don’t be so quick!

Ties are a good accessory at work even when you’re allowed to wear more casual outfits.

It’s a great way to express your style through the liberty of wearing what you want at work.

If your work allowed casual outfits, try to be the best-dressed guy at the office. You have so many possibilities, all cards are yours. 

Your ties can be original and colorful. You can show your personality with some bow ties, extra long tie or skinny ties.

You can even try a different type of tie for every day of the week: bow tie on Monday, skinny tie on Tuesday, standard tie on Wednesday, knit tie on Thursday and a novelty tie on Friday.

Special Occasions at the Office 

Special Ocassions

Just as you wouldn’t wear swim trunks to a wedding, there are also some specific work occasions where you must consider the situation before choosing your work attire.

This goes of course for your tie and what style might be appropriate.

Job Interviews

Job interviews are always stressful. When it comes to your outfit, it can be even more of a hassle.

First, consider your potential employer and the kind of environment you might work in. There’s a  difference between your buddy’s startup and that investing job your mom has always wanted you to get.

Avoid novelty ties no matter what the environment is. Instead, go with a  conservative pattern like a solid or stripe and stick with traditional silk ties.

When it comes to color, blue is always a good idea. Blue connotes a calm and soothing nature so you’ll appear more confident and reliable. It’s also a color that suggests elegance and maturity.

Keep in mind that you need to wear traditional outfits that won’t distract from the most important thing: getting the job.

Leading a Meeting

Leading a Meeting

When you’re leading a meeting or making a presentation, you should keep things traditional and go with a silk necktie.

Take a chance with a powerful color like red or burgundy.  Those colors portray dominance and self-confidence. It may give you the bravado you need drive the point home.

Office Party

Office Party

This is the occasion to wear something festive and original. We recommend wearing something classy with a touch of personality. 

Holiday Parties

Holiday Party

It’s time for you to wear your best holiday novelty tie! Don’t be afraid to break out something bold at your next Christmas party.

Chances are that everyone will be too drunk to remember if it was a hit or not.

If your job is too stuffy for a silly holiday tie, then stick to something less in your face. Patterned ties are great at portraying a more casual look without going over the line.

Cocktail and Social Events

Cocktail Party

Cocktail parties are great networking events. Don’t miss this opportunity to make a good impression.

Silk ties might look great with your traditional suit but knit ties are going to look much better with cocktail attire like deconstructed blazers and a pair of chinos. Keep colors conservative for this one.

Suit Up 

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We hope this guide will make your life easier when it’s time to choose your working outfits.

When you have to wear a suit everyday, ties are the perfect working accessory to show your personality and your everyday mood. 

Keep in mind that ties will always get you more respect in every working situation. So dress to impress! 

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