There has been great controversy over the past couple of weeks over whether male MPs should be allowed to ditch the necessity to wear a tie and jacket when the temperature rises. This is because the air conditioning within the House of Commons struggles when it is so warm. The Speaker, John Berkow has indicated that it would be acceptable for this tradition to be relaxed.

So this means male MPs can now join the majority of the working population in facing the “dress down” conundrum and wondering whether to wear a tie is appropriate. For many industries like banking, finance and the law it is still seen as de rigueur and it would be frowned upon if this formality was lost.

In many secondary schools it is still part of the school uniform for both the girls and boys to wear a tie – but is a tie really necessary anymore?

Many men seem to have managed to perform well at work, get promoted and gain new customers without the necessity to wear this accessory! But if you have to wear a tie here are some helpful hints to choose the right one, plus reasons to embrace or ditch a tie.

How to wear a tie

  • Make sure the width of the tie is in proportion to your collar size and jacket lapel width – eg narrow ties work best with smaller collars and narrower lapels.
  • Also consider your scale so if you a taller/wider avoid a narrow tie as it will make you look bigger.
  • Practice tying your tie – there are many different options. Try a Windsor knot – good for wider spread collars. Click here for details.
  • Or try the four in hand knot for narrower collars – Click here for details.
  • When the tie is tied the end should hit the top/middle of your belt buckle. This is because the end of the tie acts as an arrow so if it is any shorter it will point at your stomach and any longer…..! (Donald Trump please take note!)
  • Ties should never be ironed or washed – specialist dry clean only.
  • Silk ties are usually best.
  • Choose a design/pattern that reflects your colouring, body line and scale.
  • Avoid “funny” ties!
  • Throw them away if they are past their best.

Positive reasons to wear a tie

This is assuming that all of the above tips are being followed!

  • A tie is the opportunity to show your personality and style as it is often the only colourful item in your work wardrobe.
  • It draws attention towards your face and can pull your look together. However ensure that it is tied well, that your shirt top button is fastened and that the shirt collar is pristine.
  • In certain situations it can show respect for the people that you are meeting and bring a formality to a situation.

Making the right impression if you choose NOT to wear a tie

  • Avoid wearing a plain white formal shirt without a tie – it can look lazy and boring and like you have just removed your tie!
  • Take the opportunity to add some colour &/or pattern to your shirt.
  • Use cufflinks instead of a tie.
  • Buy quality shirts – look at Charles Tyrwhitt or T.M.Lewin


So whether you have to wear a tie or not, enjoy the options and if you need any help with your wardrobe please call or email me and I would be happy to help!


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