Men's Articles

Men's Shirt: Ties, Collar And Torso


How Low Should A Tie Hang?

Ideally, the tip of the tie should just touch the belt buckle. But note that not all ties are suited to your height. An average tie measures 145cm and can sometimes be too long for a short torso even after knotting. 

How Wide Is The Classic Tie? Is The Skinny Tie In Or Out?

The classic tie is between 9 and 9.5cm wide. If you are of a broader build, you can wear one up to l0cm in width. Skinny ties are always trendy. They appeal to the fashion-conscious man but may not be suitable for the office.

What Materials Are Best?

Woven silk ties are the best as they are smart and have a nice weight to them. They can, however, be costly.

Are Tie Clips Necessary?

A tie clip is conventionally used to clip your tie to your shirt to prevent it from flapping about. Depending on the industry you are in, it can be a lifesaver, F&B managers, for example, may find one useful as it prevents awkward situations like  ties dipping into soup bowls. Tie clips also lend a dressier feel to an ensemble and are more suitable for an evening do.

Are Bow-Ties The Ultimate Fashion Faux Pas?

Traditionally, bow-ties are reserved for ceremonial suits and tuxedos.

What Are Some Of The Best Tie-Shirt-Color-Pattern Combinations?

Keep the palette of colors to three at most. Think solid on solid, stripes on stripes, and checks on checks as a rule. They should work as long as there are not more than three contrasting colors. Plain colored shirts can be paired with fancier ties. A simple checked tie can go with a striped shirt, a floral tie works great with a plain shirt, and a tie with small polka dots works surprisingly well with striped shirts. You should experiment, experiment and experiment. There shouldn't be any rules. Sometimes, it's nicer if you don't match the colors. It all depends on how you carry it off.

What Are The Different Ways To Tie A Tie?

The Windsor Knot: This is a thick, wide and triangular tie knot that projects confidence. It is one of the most popular knots and is suitable for presentations, job interviews and other professional appearances. It is best suited for spread collar shirts. While just about everyone can wear the Windsor Knot, it looks especially good on men with longer necks as its wide form shortens the perceived height of the neck 

The Pratt Knot: This is tidy and fairly wide, although not as wide as the Windsor. It is best paired with dress shirts and used with wider ties made from light to medium fabrics.

Windsor Knot

  1. The wide end should extend about 12 inches below the narrow end. Cross the wide end over to the left of the narrow end.
  2. Bring the wide end up through the loop between the collar and your tie, then fold it back down to the left.
  3. Fold the wide end, behind the loop to the right so the inside of the tie is now facing out.
  4. Bring the wide end across the front from your right to your left.
  5. Pull the wide end backwards and up through the loop again.
  6. Bring the wide end down through the knot in front.
  7. Using both hands, tightens the knot carefully and draw it up to the collar.

Pratt Knot

  1. Start with the tie inside out. Pull the wide end to your left under the narrow end.
  2. Loop the wide end over and under the narrow end.
  3. Pull the loop down and tighten.
  4. Now take the wide end over to your right.
  5. Pull the wide end up, behind the loop.
  6. Bring the wide end through the knot in the front. Using both hands, tighten the knot carefully and draw it up to the collar.


The collar can make or break your look because the top of the shirt is the area people notice first. Collar points should be even and free from wrinkles. To keep collars from curling, insert cardboard, plastic or metal stays at the tips when you store them.

Some Shirts Have Fabrics That Are Different On The Inside And The Outside Of Collars. Why Is This?

Collars usually come in a single color but, increasingly, brands like Raoul and Hugo Boss have given in to bi-tone collars, with the inner collar fabric (called an interlining) having a different shade or print from the outer one. There is no functional reason. The design merely harks back to the "old-money" way of dressing bankers.

Why Are There So Many Different Collar Styles?

Well, department stores stock at most two collar types. Fashion brands like Hugo Boss retail four types. But for the ultimate in choice, tailor companies stock the most.

So How Do I Know Which Is Best For Me?

There Are Four Basic Office Shirt Collars

  • A regular standard collar has medium length points and a medium spread. It suits most face shapes.
  • A spread or cutaway collar has a medium spread but shorter points. It suits people with short necks.
  • The button-doom collar is often softer, more casual and has longer points. Longer points accentuate a long thin face but tend to curl on a short neck
  • A tab collar has minimal spread and its points are more squarish than triangular. It fits lean necks and narrow faces.


This is the area covered by the shirt body. Men's shirts come in two basic cuts: tapered (fitted), or full cut. Slim guys will probably prefer the trimmer, fitted style. The full cut suits men with larger builds. Basically, if the fit around your torso is too loose, the excess fabric will end up bulging around your waistline.

How Long Should My Shirt Torso Be?

Shirt-tails should be long enough to be tucked into dress pants. Shirt lengths are defined by the number of buttons on the so-called "placket", which is the strip of fabric where buttons are attached. The standard shirt features a six-button front excluding the collar button. Shirts for taller men or those with a larger build have seven buttons.

Why Are Some Shirt-Tails Square While Others Are Rounded?

The shape of the shirt-tail is an indication of whether a shirt is meant for formal or casual wear. If the shirt-tail is cut straight, the shirt is a casual one and is meant to be worn tucked out. If you tuck it in, fabric at the sides will stick out, giving you an unsightly triangular silhouette. If the shirt-tail is rounded, the shirt is a formal one and is meant to be worn tucked in.

Should I Worry About Side Seams?

How the sides are stitched together determine how easily the shirt can be ripped apart. Make sure the seams do not pucker. The finishing should also be smooth, with no irregularity in how the fabrics are joined. Regular shirts are finished with side seams exposing fabric edges on the inside.

Why Are Shirts Often Made Of Cotton?

Cotton is an ideal shirt fabric as it can bear high temperatures, so it washes well in hot water and withstands ironing heat. It resists abrasion and dyes well too. When wet, it increases in strength by 10 per cent.

I Was Old Sea Island Cotton Is The Highest Quality Of Shirt Fabric To Use. How True Is That?

Generally, the longer the fibre, the higher the price and the more luxurious the feel of the fabric. Sea island cotton produces the longest yam. It also has a nice sheen, which means that when it is dyed, its color appears richer. Next comes Egyptian cotton. It is a strong, lustrous, long staple cotton produced in the Nile River Valley. Other fine grades are American, Swiss and Peruvian cottons, while lower grade ones include Indian and Chinese cottons.

I Am Confused About Cotton Fabrics. What Do Terms Like Herringbone And Oxford Refer To?

These are all essentially cotton fabrics. They refer to the different ways the cotton yams are being woven to produce various shirt fabrics. The most common shirt fabric is the end-to-end and the poplin, which are plain weaves and have smooth non-textured surfaces. The oxford has a textured appearance made up of tiny little squares, a result of basket-weaving two different colored yarns together.

The twill is a diagonal weave so the shirting appears to be made up of fine slanted lines. The herringbone is a variation of the twill weave. The diagonals alternate directions, resembling the backbone of a fish.  For those who venture into temperate countries, thicker textured weaves like twill and herringbone are better because they keep the wearer warmer. Textured weaves work better as after-work wear as they look more stylish with their structure and elegance.

What Is Threadcount?

Threadcount basically refers to the number of threads per square inch of shirt fabric. The higher the threadcount the more luxurious (and costly) the fabric. High threadcount also means the weave is tighter and that the fabric is finer. This makes the shirting stronger and more resistant to wear. Low-end brands have a threadcount as low as 40. But it is costly for that quality, it is a high price to pay. Maintenance is not simple, either.

These shirts wrinkle easily and cannot be kept folded because the fold marks may become permanent. In general, you need to go only as high as 120. Such shirts are fine enough to wear in hot weather and thick enough to be less easily wrinkled. They last longer than shirts of lower threadcounts because they can undergo a greater number of tough washes.

Are Shirt Pockets Passe?

Pockets - either square or spade-shaped - serve little functional purpose these days and are merely ornamental. Industry players predict the pocket feature will soon be phased out for business shirts.

What Should I Look For In Shirt Buttons?

Shirt buttons should have four holes, and should be stitched with the threads forming an "X" over the button. This is the most secure button stitch for a shirt. Buttons are made of polyester plastic, akoya shell or mother-of-pearl. Plastic is strongest, while shell and pearl buttons are more brittle but are popular due to their lustre.

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