Friday, August 3, 2012
The reason to get the length right is that, when correctly tied, the triangle at the bottom of a tie's front blade should hang approximately within the top and the bottom of the trouser waistband, as the imperfectly executed tie in the first photo is not quite doing. Like any other bespoke however, bespoke neckties take time and very generally cost 50-100% more than ready to wear ties, making them a special occasion purchase for many men. And unless a man is very lucky, most ready to wear neckties will be a couple of inches too long or too short for him.
Taller guys of course do not usually have too much of a problem. A tie that is a couple of inches too short can simply be tied with a shorter rear blade and all is well. It when the tie is too long that things get more complicated.
There are two ways to adjust tie length: the type of knot and the length of the rear blade. As a firm believer in the asymmetrical character of the four in hand, there are only a few alternative knots that makes much of a difference to the tie's length, and the most common of them is to wrap the front blade around the knot an extra time as has been done in the top photo. This produce a somewhat larger but still proportionate knot and uses about two inches of excess length.
The other way to adjust length is used quite often in England and that is to tie the rear blade longer than the front, and then hide the extra silk inside the trouser waistband. Or, if the rear blade is only an inch or less longer than the front, it can be worn untucked as many Italian males do to show their sprezzatura.
Tucking the read blade may crease it horizontally, but this should not be a problem as the crease will be hidden by the front blade of the tie.
Whatever you do, please do not adjust your tie length by tieing a Windsor or a half Windsor. They took his name in vain but the Duke never approved.