Your Tie as a measure of Business Authority

by | Jul 2, 2010 | Fashion Tips, Image consulting for Men

Support your statement with a neck tie.

Conventional business attire covers 90% of your body in what equates to a uniform. Therefore very specific knowledge and awareness of nuances come into play. You may think that people don’t really care about the details – just that you get the work done. But honestly, the way people will react to you, perceive you and the way that you will feel yourself can be adjusted strategically by finessing the details. For a classic suit wearing man, an easy to implement way to make your statement is with a necktie. This tie is not just a bit of socially dictated fabric you affix around your neck. It has the power to evoke some pretty significant messages about you, not the least of which is the level of “business authority” you wish to convey. This comes across through your ties color, pattern, width, and fabric.

Let’s look at each one:

1. Tie color triggers emotional reactions in other people. That’s why red ties are called power ties; they have very high energy, vibration and the emotion they convey is passion, power and intensity. Black is a very strong colors, however it can convey different non-business world messages. Navy blue, charcoal, maroon are classic and powerful. Moving down the color scale into more dashing, less conservative yet still powerful is chocolate, burnt orange, eggplant and hunter green. Ties that are light blue, light green, pink, yellow, orange can be classic business wear, however they are more relaxed and friendlier.

2. Pattern is the next most important variable. A Vineyard Vine tie with little whales is not going to be authoritative even if it is in black and gray. And how many Rep ties have you seen in pale pink and green? That’s because the manufacturers often try and help you guys out by pairing pattern and color together nicely – but careful – not always! Cheap ties are an excellent example of pattern gone awry. Sweeping swirls, large graphic geometrics, novelty ties with pictures of things on them all say the opposite of professional. When you choose a tie, follow this Business Authority Tie Power Scale, keeping in mind that lower “authority” is not a bad thing (think team building, approachability) it’s just a conscious choice that you make. The patterns are ranked here from most authority to least.

  1. Solid dark color ties or an almost solid tone on tone = most elegant, somber, and formal
  2. Wide stripes of high contrast colors = high on the authority scale Wide but lower contrast stripe = little lower
  3. Narrow high contrast stripes = higher on authority scale Narrow low contrast stripes = lower
  4. Smaller repeated higher contrast square or geometric patterns = higher Smaller repeated round patterns or lower contrast pattern = lower
  5. Geometric or jagged large design = dramatic, watch out for “ugly” swoops or large paisleys dramatic = dramatic, lower
  6. Plaids lower
  7. Silk ties with pictures of anything on them = lower

3. The size of the tie needs to be in scale with your body and your suit. Casual ties can be thinner, especially if you are. They are in style right now, look great on younger slim men who are wearing clothing that reflects on the scale of the tie, a very fitted slim shirt and trousers. A classic business tie is the same width (at the widest point) as the lapel of your suit coat. I will have a whole article later about which knots to choose in relation to your collar and your face.

4. The fabric of the tie – more casual are ties are knit or wool, cotton or linen. The only fabric for a classic business tie is 100% silk. So next morning you grope around in the dark for a tie, turn the light on and ask yourself for just a moment, will there be a necessity today for you to send a message out that matters, and which one shall it be? Better yet, have a tie at work that goes with most of your suits, carefully rolled in a drawer that will work in a pinch in case you need to change your message on short notice.

Want to be sure your ties say what they need to about you and your professional acumen?

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