Thursday, February 11, 2010
Reader Query: How Long Should a Tied Tie Be?
Short answer: when you stand normally, the tip should rest somewhere between the top and bottom of your belt.
After I drape a tie over my shoulders but before I make the knot, I make a mental note of which shirt button the tie's shorter blade reaches. This makes the second attempt easier to triangulate.
Under no circumstances should the tip of your tie not reach your belt. This will make you look short and portly. Don't worry about how long the shorter blade is once the knot is tied--sometimes, particularly with a full Windsor, it doesn't even reach the handy loop on the back of the tie.
Of course, there will be some natural variation throughout the day as either (1) the crushing weight of your awful job forces you into a permanent slouch over the course of several hours, or (2) the invigorating challenge presented by your excellent job raises your shoulders into perfect posture over the course of the day. But if you stand up straight when you tie your tie and aim for the point brushing the top of your belt, you should be fine.
N.B. There is no rule against re-tying your tie in the men's room if the length migrates overmuch during the day. Any initial-knot-induced wrinkles will either be a part of the new knot and thus invisible, or blend into the naturally messy area just below the tie knot.