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How To Find Your Perfect Neck Tie

May 16, 2020 5 min read

How To Find Your Perfect Neck Tie

When shopping for your first necktie, or when shopping for another quality necktie for your professional outfit, a few things are important to know. In general, neckties have a few things in common, like wool lining, silk fabrics and a standard 58"/ 148cm length. For the perfect necktie however, a few more details should be considered being, the quality of the tie, it's style and size (width).


Necktie Sizing

Regular Length Tie
Unless otherwise detailed, a regular silk tie is about 58"/ 148cm long, which would fit men up to 6.3" / 193cm tall. So, depending on the knot of choice (some knots will use more more of the tie) the regular length tie would fit most men.

Extra Long Tie
The XL sized tie is 62" - 64" long (runs 5" longer than regular length neckwear) is hard to find as most Italian brands do not produce extra long ties. Massimo Valeri and Zilli are among the few Italian designers that make high quality and well designed XL silk ties. 

Generally speaking, depending a bit on the neck size, the extra long tie is needed for men above 6.4", buy also can be worn by men 6" - 6.3", below that height the back piece might become longer than the front part of the extra long tie.

Slim Or Regular Cut Tie
A regular cut tie is 8cm/ 3.15" wide, which is slightly slimmer than a decade ago; in the early 2000's the regular cut tie was 9.5cm / 3.75" wide.

The slim cut tie is even skinnier; skinny or narrow ties are 5.5cm / 2.2" - 6.5cm / 2.7" wide.

The conservative tie runs 9cm / 3.5" - 9.5cm / 3.75" wide. This wider tie is a good choice when a more conservative look is appreciated, or for an extra long tie as the width of this tie compensates for the length to make it look stylish.

Shop Regular Ties | Skinny Ties | Wide Ties

 Silk Ties Ties Kiton Ties


Necktie Design

99% of neckties at the large retailers and even luxury men's speciality stores, just carry the "regular cut" tie. The other versions are not well known but sure make a great tie for a professional outfit or evening wear.

For the sartorialist and tie connoisseur, a sevenfold tie, unlined tie, an unlined sevenfold tie or even a - very rare - elevenfold tie would be a great choice.

Necktie Construction:  Sevenfold Tie

This tie is folded seven times, whereas a regular tie is folded three times. This creates a heavier and more luxury piece of neck wear. This design is handmade made by experienced tie makers. The sevenfold tie is a reference to old times several decades ago, when creating neckties and accessories was a true craft. The sevenfold tie is often referred to by many tie enthousiast as the best tie in the world.

Read more about the sartorial sevenfold ties.


Necktie Construction: Unlined Tie

Almost every tie comes with a wool lining, which keeps the tie form together and adds volume. An unlined tie does not have the lining, which results in a delicate tie with fine, visible stitching at the lower blade of the tie. This art of tie making is precise and difficult and only sartorial brands like Finamore, Kiton, Attolini, Borrelli and a select few more produce the unlined necktie.

Necktie Quality

The Italians have been producing hand made, high quality ties for decades. With only a few exceptions, neckwear made outside of Italy seldom stands up to the Italian quality. Hermes and Charvet ties are hand made in France, and also of excellent quality. Duchamp, Turnbull & Asser, and a few more English brands are produced in England and of very good quality as well.

The Italian quality can be separated in two areas.

The Hand Made Italian Tie: Como
A handful of neck wear workshops are located in the Como area. These craftsmen produce for many designer brands like Valentino, Givenchy, Ermenegildo Zegna and Tome Ford. Most Italian quality silks are hand cut, and hand sewn. 

The Hand Made Sartorial Italian Tie: Napoli
The Napoli area is located in the south. This area holds a rich tradition of high end, hand made neckwear of many decades. These brands do not compromise quality whatsoever, resulting in sartorial masterpieces, enriched with many hand stitched details. This is pure craftsmanship. Sartorial brands from Napoli, like Kiton, Borrelli, Attolini, Marinella and Barba, produce ties in many different ways. Kiton, for example,  only makes a sevenfold tie. The regular cut tie, can be self tipped. The unlined tie, which shows huge craftsmanship, is often lighter because there is no lining at the tip of the tie. It also is finely stitched on the front of the blade, which is not for everyone. The sevenfold tie is folded 6 times (7 folds) which creates a thicker luxury tie.

The sevenfold tie and unlined tie, takes more skill to make. The quality of all ties is often based on the quality of the silk and how well it was stitched which defines how well the tie will keep its' shape over the years.

As only a few large workshops produce for 25+ of the most popular designer brands, many brands have pretty similar cut, quality silk and hand stitched finish.


To experience the best available, the sartorial brands which focus on heritage and sewing techniques from decades back, will provide a very special necktie. (appreciated by the necktie aficionado).

Kiton Sartorial Zilli Sartorial Marinella

Shop all designer ties | Italian ties < $50


How To Pick Your Tie: Summary

When buying a quality necktie and/or a famous designer tie from Italy:

  1. Define the person you buy for.
  2. For 98% of all men, the regular tie length works fine!
  3. Young professional prefer the regular and narrow ties, older men often prefer regular and conservative ties.
  4. The classic Italian designs, often many geometric prints in mostly classic colors, are popular with older men, for a more conservative and timeless look. Striped designs and bolder colors, are more liked by a younger crowd. Note: The nordic countries generally like more color in their choices, the southern countries prefer more conservative / classic designs.
  5. All made in Italy ties are of outstanding quality. Men whom really appreciate a good tie, will like the the quality and story of sartorial brands from Napoli, like Borrelli, Kiton, Attolini, Finamore and more. Men that appreciate a famous brand tie, hand made, mostly in the Como area, will like the best quality brands like Zegna, Canali and Armani as popular and new collections might strike their interest, including some brands which have many signature designs like Versace, Givenchy, Missoni and Gucci.

Pick a Necktie, Best Price/ Quality

Some great deals are available:

Kiton Ties < $100 | Borrelli Ties < $70 | Marinella Ties

Shop all designer ties | Italian ties < $50

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