Guide on How to Wear a Suit Without a Tie
Men have complained about ties for ages. They can feel binding and hot, and look somewhat odd, a little pointless, and also somewhat like a colorful noose.
If you’re a man who dislikes ties, is it advisable to wear a suit without one? Can you do so and still look stylish and appropriately dressed?
Now we will offer the answers to those queries.
Should You Wear a Suit Without a Tie?
Most generally, the answer to this question is no.
A whole traditional suit get-up — pants, coat, shirt, and tie — is not a system of separate pieces, but instead interconnected parts that are designed to be worn together. A suit jacket shouldn’t be worn with different pants compared to the ones it came with. A dress shirt and tie do not look great with no jacket. And the full suite does not look complete without a tie. The suit itself is designed with all the tie in your mind; its lapels, together with the collars of your dress top, serve as frames to the neckwear which runs down the middle of your chest.
A tie then brings the suited appearance together and provides a bit of finish and authoritativeness for your outfit. And of course, it only adds a wonderful bit of color and visual attention to what’s otherwise a fairly monochrome ensemble.
Wearing a tie with a lawsuit is thus a must for all skilled and more formal events and environments. Showing up tieless into a location where everyone else is wearing a tie will make you look sort of dopey — conveying that you are either lazy (the kind of man who prefers his comfort to show respect for the event), superficially rebellious (“Okay, I consent to wear a suit, but I draw the line at putting on a tie!”) or sartorially clueless.
For more business-casual occasions, if the occasion is dressed-down sufficient to offset the tie with your suit, you will typically be better off wearing a sport coat with no tie, as those two fashion elements better match each other.
However, all this being said, wearing a suit without a tie isn’t a bad look. There are occasions in which you do not want to project conventional authority, or even seem completely “complete,” and ditching the tie can be a nice, stylish way to dress down a lawsuit. It is a viable option for certain occasions and events such as a casual outdoor summer wedding (hot weather, in general, makes the tieless match a more suitable choice), cocktail party, or art gallery opening. It can also work in environments in which you normally wear a suit but have been called into an emergency meeting or sent to the field to operate on a project outside the norm. Notably, politicians seem to increasingly be forgoing the tie outside of more formal campaign events, perhaps to supply a more open and accessible look to voters and constituents.
To pull off the look yourself, you’ve only got to keep a few guidelines in mind.
How to Wear a Suit Without a Tie
The main issue with bypassing the tie when wearing a suit is the fact that it is inclined to be read either as an unintentional omission — you forgot a tie or didn’t know the dress code — or as a merely comfort-driven choice — you’ve been drinking too much, and so are feeling flushed and like you want to tear off your tie to better get down on the dance floor.
The corrective to this matter is to take steps to ensure that moving tieless seems less like a sloppy oversight and much more like a deliberate fashion option. You know how to dress, and you’re ditching the tie on function.
- Nail the fit. Fit is always key, and it’s even more important in the absence of a tie, even as soon as your get-up runs a greater chance of going sideways into sloppiness.
- Wear a more casual/stylish, non-business suit. Skipping the tie whilst wearing a more formal, organized, conservative, dark-colored business suit just feels like you were willing to begin something, but did not want to go all the way; it arouses that “incomplete” feel that mars the tieless appearance.
Instead, forgo the tie only when you are sporting a more casual/stylish suit that fits better with dressed-down social events. Think lighter colors and fabrics, not as ordered, slimmer notch lapels.
- Wear a less formal shirt. Same idea here. Your shirt selection will come into greater attention in the absence of a tie, and also a more casual shirt telegraphs that this absence was an intentional choice. Go with a timeless Oxford, or even a button-down in chambray, denim, or stained fabric.
- Mind the collar. The collar of your dress shirt acts as an important and flattering framework to your face. But with no tie to hold it together, the collar of your dress shirt may flop and sew around underneath the arrangement of your jacket and look incongruous and sloppy. So don’t wear a shirt where the collar will distribute too and lie horizontally. Instead, you want the collar to stand up fairly straight and keep a nice vertical orientation. To achieve this, make sure your shirt is well-ironed (insert starch as needed), and use collar stays. A button-down is a good alternative as its collar will better preserve its shape.
- Undo two buttons. The tieless suit isn’t a buttoned-up appearance, so neither should your shirt be. You’ll certainly need to unbutton at least one, and typically two your top buttons to evince the right level of casual nonchalance. Ensure that your undershirt isn’t showing; should you wear one, you will want to decide on the v-neck style, rather than a crewneck. Undo any over two buttons, and you’re entering gigolo territory.
- Add visual attention with different accessories. A tie contributes a good deal of color and visual appeal to a suit. In its absence, add various other accessories that will snazz up things and attract people’s eyes. A wonderful opinion, lapel pin, and/or a pocket square will do the trick. A white, square-folded pocket square may be a bit too formal for wearing with a tieless get-up; consider a colored or patterned pocket square, tucked in with the puff fold (click here to learn the different pocket square folds).
- Shine your shoes. With no tie serving as a match’s focal point, more focus will be paid to additional details of your outfit, so be sure that you’ve got them right. That includes making sure your shoes are looking spiffy; you can get a comprehensive guide to shining them here.
Generally speaking, wearing a suit with a tie only seems. So once you’re uncertain, wear a tie; even if the occasion doesn’t turn out to call for one, you could always take it off. Nonetheless, in the right environment, worn in the right way — that is, with all confidence and trendy goal — wearing a suit with no tie can surely work.