Deeply rooted in music, film and the arts: the act of going tie-less has been demonstrated by some of the modern world’s most famous faces in recent seasons.
But the emerging trend is a rebellious style move with traditional rules around when and where it’s appropriate to eschew a tie suddenly blurred.
Should I wear a tie to my friend’s wedding? Can I go tie-less at a cocktail party? What style of shirt is designed to be worn without a tie?
In search of answers, Together Journal sought advice from the experts over at Crane Brothers. With over two decades of experience, the Auckland atelier is behind the wardrobes of the best-dressed men in New Zealand.
Washed Denim Button Down Shirt
A reflection of Australasian culture, Crane Brothers offers beautiful and timeless tailoring which is exceptionally comfortable for the wearer – no matter what’s on his agenda.
Below, read Digital and Brand Manager Ben Saint George’s advice on going sans tie from what to look for when purchasing a shirt to the unspoken sartorial rules which should always be followed.
What are your top tips on bringing formality to tie-less looks?
“If the rest of your outfit is put together with care, you can still look incredibly elegant even without neckwear. It’s about putting an outfit together that’s sympathetic to that choice, rather than a formal outfit simply with the tie removed. I would strongly suggest avoiding anything that could be construed as a business suit – you’ll just look like you’ve knocked off from the office.
If you are wearing a two-piece, make it something a bit more relaxed – cotton or linen are great choices in summer. Smart separates are a good choice as well, such as a chino or tailored cotton trouser paired with a blazer, which again keeps the feeling of more laid-back.”
What should men look out for when purchasing a shirt that they intend to wear sans tie?
“The collar is the load-bearing aspect of the shirt here, and ideally you want something with presence, that will still stand up smartly without the aid of a tie. Button-down, long-point and semi-spread collars are all excellent choices here.
Avoid anything with a wide spread as this will slide apart and can end up hiding under your jacket. As a rule, you would usually forgo cufflinks on an open-collar shirt, so a button-cuff should be your port of call here.”
Are there any rules to follow when going tie-less?
“As a rule, I would suggest wearing brown or tan shoes with an open-collared ensemble. It’s a softer, more relaxed look and the footwear should reflect that. Save black for the boardroom.
If you’d like to add a touch of formality or a pop of colour to an outfit, then a pocket square can be a great addition as well – but make sure it doesn’t shout too much. Finally, unless it’s a full beach-and-shorts kind of affair, then do tuck your shirt in.”
Are there any occasions where men should absolutely not ditch the tie?
“A black or white tie event demands a bow tie, absolutely without exception. If the dress code is formal, assume that means wearing a necktie – definitely better to be more dressed up rather than less.
For always-confusing cocktail or ‘smart’ dress codes, you should use your common sense – if the ceremony is at a church then wear a tie, if it’s in a garden then you can probably safely go open-collar.”
Visit Crane Brothers online or follow @cranebrothers on Instagram to browse their carefully curated selection of clothing, footwear and accessories. The menswear giant also offers a made-to-measure service with fine examples of their tailoring shown above.