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Now that skinny ties are past the point of trendiness, there’s a bit of confusion in the men’s style blogodome concerning the proper width for a gentleman’s tie. The ones you see in GQ seems to be getting wider, but exactly how wide is the subject of some confusion…

For what it’s worth, we hear around the water cooler that J.Crew is keeping their ties well under three inches this season, and those Olch ties certainly aren’t getting any wider. If we had to guess, we’d say the on-trend ideal is still a hair under three inches, but it’s getting wider every day—and if it’s a square end or a knit, all bets are off.

But to make a larger point, who cares?

The point of learning about these things is to develop a personal style that rises above whatever happens to be on the runways at the moment. Glenn O’Brien claims to have stuck with three-inch ties for over a decade, which is a pretty good strategy. Tom Ford is into wider ties these days (as you can see the gentleman above). Good for him. As it happens, we have a rather handsome raw silk tie in our closet that weighs in around four inches. In general, your tie should match your lapels, so we pair it with a broader lapelled jacket and think of Bogart. It’s an offbeat look, to be sure, but it keeps things interesting.

If you’re paying attention—and since you’re reading a men’s style blog, we have to think that you are—you shouldn’t worry about wearing the “right” tie. If there’s an item you like, there’s a way to wear it, and the rules of style are there to help you figure it out. As for the Quarterly, it’s a lookbook not a dress code.

Now have fun out there.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom