When Do You Need Long Ties, XL Ties, or Large Ties?
Most men may assume that an extra long tie is only necessary
for men who are extremely tall or unusually rotund. However, 6’7” men aren’t
the only ones whose style would get a boost from an XL tie. The men’s fashion
community seems fairly united on the acceptable length for a neck tie, and a
number of things could prevent your tie from reaching quite to that perfect
Defining an XL Tie
The typical length of a tie is about 58 inches. There are different standards for what exactly is considered to be a long tie or an XL tie, but in most cases we're talking of ties that are between 63 and 67 inches long. This might sound like a lot of tie, but your tie may need to cover more ground than you think before it reaches your belt. The extra few inches could make a big difference.
It is recommended that men taller than 6’2” should consider purchasing an extra long necktie. With the average height in the U.S. at 5’9.3”, this recommendation applies to a significant piece of the population. Your individual body shape should also be taken into account. If you have a longer torso, the need for a large tie is more likely, whereas long-legged men who are on the border height-wise can likely get by with a regular tie. Thinner men choosing an XL tie for height alone should double check that the width is not being increased along with the length. Many brands maintain the same width, but a few note an additional width, which may overpower a narrow wearer.
Coming in below the 6’2” mark does not remove you from the possibility of needing a long tie, however. If your neck size is larger than average, encircling your neck may be using up too much of the tie’s length. It is also recommended to wear an extra-long tie for six foot tall men with a 19” neck. If your neck is that size or larger, double check where your tie tips are hitting you to determine whether you need a larger size.
An especially muscular chest or a larger stomach may also result in the need of a larger tie. A gap between tie and belt can draw attention to a larger midsection that one might rather downplay. An extra long tie can create a continuous line rather than serving as an arrow pointing directly to the stomach.
One more factor that might shorten your tie is your choice of knot. Logically, fuller, more complex knots take up more fabric. The full Windsor knot, for example, includes more fabric than the typical four-in-hand knot. So, if you are adding extra flair at the top of your tie with a specialty knot, don’t counteract the effect at the bottom of the tie by committing the faux-pas of a too-short tie.
The main factor that should guide the XL tie decision is where the tip of the tie falls. Next time you put on a tie, double check where it hits you. If it’s too short, you don’t have to sacrifice style for length. Once you begin specifically looking for extra long ties, you will discover that you have nothing to lose by going XL.
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