A true gentleman should always been looking at ways to present himself flawlessly, and nothing finishes off an outfit quite like the perfect tie. Ties can easily upgrade the look of an entire outfit, but what if you don’t want to look too dressed up? What if you feel like you should be wearing a tie, but don’t want to look too formal? In such cases, it’s time to consider the knitted tie.
This post will go through an overview on how to wear a knitted tie and contains:
- How to wear a knitted tie
- Explain how to pair a knitted tie with your existing clothes
- How to choose a knitted tie, and
- Dos and Don’ts when wearing a knitted tie
- Visual lookbook so you have inspiration on how to wear knitted ties
How to Wear a Knitted Tie
If you want to integrate a knitted tie into your wardrobe, there are several considerations you must think about.
Firstly, what colour knitted tie do you want? This sounds straight forward, but its also where men tend to make a mistake. The most versatile knitted tie is a black silk knitted tie because it can be paired with almost any shirt and look appropriate for both formal and informal occasions. Consider the images below – a black knitted tie can be worn with a suit or with a jacket and chinos.
Knit ties add a subtle touch of difference to your outfit tie because the weave and the fabric and will make you stand out from the crowd. A black knit tie is easily the most versatile option because it allows you to remain professional without looking conservative or dull. Once you’ve gotten more comfortable with wearing a knitted tie, you can start branching out to different colours and patterns.
The second consideration when integrating a knitted tie into your wardrobe is to choose the width of the tie. Most knitted ties on the market now are skinny ties (1.5 to 2.5 inches in width), compared to regular tie which are around 3 to 3.5 inches. As such, men with a larger frame should choose a wider knitted tie to suit their body shape.
How To Wear a Knitted Tie with Your Current Wardrobe
Assuming you are a man with a decent wardrobe – a couple of white/blue shirts, casual oxford shirts and suitable jackets and pants etc – then integrating a knitted tie into your current wardrobe should be an easy task.
The most classic combination for knitted ties and shirts is a plain knitted tie with a gingham (grid) or striped shirt. Consider the below combinations – in all cases, the tie is plain and the shirt balances the texture of the knit tie.
Also notice the contrast of textures between the jackets fabric and the knitted ties above which makes things more interesting visually. For this reason, a lot men incorrectly assume that knitted ties are for colder weathers when you pair it with a tweed of wool jacket, but this is a misconception. A knit tie can look just as good with any other sort of jacket or even a cardigan and jumper.
For a work environment, a knitted tie can be worn on casual Fridays to maintain a professional look. You could dress up a knit tie by wearing it with a normal work shirt, or dress it down with an oxford shirt as seen below.
It’s important to remember that when wearing your knitted tie, the square end should hit just above your belt (as should all your ties really). The two examples below show the perfect length.
Most knitted ties will have a keeper loop at the back which holds the back of your tie in place. However, unlike normal ties, it’s not a faux pas if you don’t keep the back of a knit tie in the keeper loop. The knitted ties casual nature means you can freely ignore the loop label. Italian men in particular execute this sort sprezzatura (‘stylish nonchalance’) very well, as seen below.
How to choose a knitted tie
If you’re new to wearing knitted ties, your first purchase should be a plain black knitted ties in silk as they don’t crease or get wrinkles easily. Silk ties also add a luxurious touch to an everyday outfit. Once you’re more comfortable with the idea of wearing knitted ties, you can branch out to other colours, like solid navy or grey as they will pair us easily with most shirts and jackets.
Knit ties are also great when they have multiple colours. Stripes and polka dots in particular can make any outfit pop. Pair these with a shirt as you would with a normal tie.
Dos and Don’ts when wearing a knitted tie
Dos when wearing a knit tie:
- Bring knits ties on your work trip (if suitable), as they make a great travel companion as they do not crease.
- Pair them with textured jackets and outwear during winter as the contrast of textures creates interesting visual effects – think tweed jackets, chunky cardigans and zip-up cashmere sweaters
- Wear them with textured shirts, like chambray or denim shirts for a date or casual dinner
- Iron them under a cloth to protect the fabric
- Wear the right size – a man with a larger frame should look for 3+inch knitted ties to suit their body shape
Don’ts when wearing a knitted tie:
- Keep knitted ties away from velcro as it will destroy the fabric in the tie
- Go overboard and buy ten different knitted ties – a 5 knitted ties is all a working man really needs
- Go overboard with colours and patterns – a maximum of three colours on one tie at any time
- Try to make the tie knot too bulky – with a knitted tie it’s meant to be smaller and thinner than a regular tie
- Wear them to a funeral, black tie event or serious function – knitted ties are for informal occasions (a summer wedding will be suitable though)
How to Wear a Knitted Tie: Lookbook
For addition inspiration, below are some great looks with knitted ties.