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To Tie or Not To Tie

I’m sure you’ve asked yourself, “Do I REALLY need to wear a tie for … ?” Or you’ve thought, “I’ll wear a tie, just to be on the safe side.” When creating a poised, well-positioned presence, not wearing the tie merely for “comfort” or just being lazy doesn’t count. If skipping the tie is about expressing your own personal style and brand, and conforms with the appearance standards you’re dressing for, then self-express away. However, be careful. The art of a well-appointed Traditional Business, Professional Business Casual or Social Casual look doesn’t come easily and ties need to be handled with finesse.

Consider the tie:

ON THE JOB: Know your industry and its silent and written standards. If you’re the only one not in a suit and tie, you might set yourself up as the amateur on staff.

INTERVIEWS: Research the company you plan to interview with and keep in mind the position you’re interviewing for. If that role requires a tie for its “best dressed” days, wear a tie to the interview. If it doesn’t, consider a jacket with a plain, well-pressed shirt and trousers.

EVERYDAY WORK: Know your role and the image you wish to express. To create power and confidence, elevate your look with a tie. To close a deal in a relaxed, creative environment, leave out the tie.

PROFESSIONAL SOCIAL/COCKTAIL PARTIES: Break out the well-styled and fitted shirt with a sport jacket and pocket square; leave out the tie. This a great time to express your personal style.

ULTIMATELY, knowing and creating your personal style and brand is the best foundation for building a perfectly positioned impression — and guiding your decisions on when to wear a tie.

Kelly Duggan is an Image Consultant specializing in executive and personal image development, etiquette & communication skills. She is a certified member of the Association of Image Consultants International. Contact Kelly at: www.kellyduggan.com.

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