The tie:  the humble accessory that is often forgotten and only pulled out begrudgingly from the depths of one’s closet when the occasion calls for one. Nonetheless, it is time to ignore the preconception that ties are strictly reserved for the office and formal occasions, and instead, try and incorporate one into a more casual context. So knot up and read ahead on how to add a bit of flair to your everyday outfits.

Ties are the perfect piece to both effortlessly dress up your shirts as well as making the most formal of outfits more relaxed with a slight loosening at the neck.  In alignment with most modern menswear pieces, ties have received a slim-down and you should ideally look for styles that are no more than 2-3 inches at their widest point. Aim to keep your ties in proportion to the rest of your body- wider ties for those of you with broader chests and vice versa. If a tie is predominately neutral in colour, this gives you the opportunity to experiment with louder shirt patterns (think plaids, stripes and gingham). On the other hand, if your tie has a strong pattern or several colours on it, keep your shirt as simple as possible.

Tie Styles:

The three main styles that ties come in and all men should own are solid - basic, block coloured ties easily mixed and matched with the rest of your outfit ; striped - predominately in diagonal stripes but occasionally horizontal, they are often more associated with the workplace; and printed - these ties come with a unlimited option of designs and symbols on them and are a perfect way of individualising your look. Moreover, ties also come in a variety of materials. Whilst they are mainly made in cotton, there are also knitted ties for the winter and silk alternatives for the summer months.

How to Wear:

Whilst there are endless ways to wear your tie casually, below are some fool-proof options to get you started. Grab yourself a knitted black, navy or dark red tie and pair it with your checked shirts and jeans. Either match the colour of your tie with a colour on the shirt or try a bright multi-coloured ‘spring’ plaid shirt and rely on the neutral colour of the tie to anchor it. Additionally, reach for a casual oxford-cloth shirt in white, blue or muted pink stripes and match it with a patterned tie in a complimenting colour.  Team it all back with a neutral pair of camel chinos, a navy blazer and boat shoes for some true American Prep style this summer. Finally, don’t underestimate a simple shirt and tie combination. Find a complimenting shirt and tie combination that you like and simply wear it with your favourite pair of chinos/ jeans and brown loafers for an simplistic, sophisticated and easy-to-wear look that never goes out of style.