2,000 Years of the Necktie
How Wide Should a Tie Be?

by David Johnson

NECKTIES
THROUGH THE AGES
 
Introduction

210 B.C.
China's First Emperor

113 A.D.
Did Romans Wear Ties?

17th Century
Croatian Cravats for the King of France

Cravats Go to England

Real Men Wear Lace

18th Century
Cowboy Bandannas from India

Sailing the Seven Seas

19th Century
Business Suit Takes Shape

Cambridge & Oxford School Ties

Ties Fit for Officers and Gentlemen

Bow Ties Center Stage

A Tie Singing Dixie

Lord Byron's Legacy

Women Tie the Knot, Too!

20th Century
Paris Presents Designer Ties

Celebrities & Rock Stars

Ascots Cross Finish Line

Bolo: The Tie That Won the West

Turtleneck: The Anti-Tie

 
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With some variations, the standard width of a necktie has remained standard throughout the 20th century. The 1930s gangster look featured wide ties, which reappeared during the 1960s, when ties drew to 5 inches in width. In the 1950s, skinny ties with square ends were in vogue for a while.
Since ties should be in proportion to shirt collars and suit lapels, therefore some fluctuation in width can be expected. However, ties should generally be 3 ¼ inches across at the widest point. The tie then tapers off to the short end.

Ties are available between 52 and 58 inches long. Tall men or those using a Windsor knot may need custom-made ties. When knotted both ends of the necktie should reach the belt. While each end should be roughly the same length, the wider part may be slightly longer.



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