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

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

How Wide Should a Tie Be?

by David Johnson
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Neckties Through the Ages

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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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