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Ties In Style

One thing that I have always found interesting is how tie styles have evolved through the decades. In the 1940s, short and wide ties became popular as part of the dramatic post-war changes in fashion. These ties could be up to 5 inches wide, and certainly did not have the same lengthening and slimming effect that the ties of today do. In the 1960s, bright pop art and paisley ties began popping up everywhere, which led to even more bright colors and designs in the 70s. The 1980s brought the first appearance of the skinny tie, and as the women's power suit with big shoulder pads popularized, so did ties for women.

Today, it is not so easy to say that there is just one tie style that is definitive to men's fashion. You can find ties in every major department store in a variety of widths, colors and patterns. So how can you determine which of these you should reach for, and which you should pass up? Here are some tips on how to pick a stylish tie.

Fabric- 99.9% of the time, a tie will look better if it is made of silk rather than of polyester. Polyester is a synthetic fabric that does not have the same sheen and heft as natural silk does. No synthetic fabric can really duplicate the quality of silk. It drapes well and has a truly high-quality, luxurious appearance. Plus, your tie knotwill sit more snugly and tie more cleanly with a silk tie.

Color- Nowadays you can find ties in just about every color from pink to turquoise, and from bright orange to green. A general rule of thumb to remember is that the darker the color of the tie is, the more versatile it will be. Plain black skinny ties are very popular and in style for 2011. But today, you can get away with a tie in nearly any shade you would like. A few things to consider when selecting the color and shade of your tie are your hair and eye color. These are important because a tie sits so close to your face. For example, if you have blonde hair, fair skin and light eyes, a bright tie such as orange, chartreuse, or pink can overwhelm your face. Instead, pick darker colors that are in lower contrast, such as a blue tie with darker blue, gray, or red accents. If you have black hair, dark skin and dark eyes, you can get away with 3 or more contrasting colors in your tie.

Pattern- It should go without saying that you should reserve kitschy ties, those with cartoon and holiday characters, and those with commercial products on them for very rare occasions, for example maybe a family holiday party where everyone is wearing a festive tie. If you want to make a silly statement, try it in a less in-you-face way, such as with subtly humorous cuff links or a small tie tack. Along with the rule stated above about darker ties, you can also consider the fact that the smaller the pattern on a tie is, the more versatile it will be. For 2011, tone-on-tone ties are a popular look. This means, for example, you can look for a tie in dark green silk that has a slightly lighter green diagonal stripe or diamond pattern on it. If you would like to wear a tie that makes more of a statement, look for one that has an interesting and artsy pattern. A good example is the Jerry Garcia line of silk ties, which feature brightly colored geometric patterns and interesting designs.