An inch here or there can make an outfit go from sharp to sloppy, fast! This is especially true for tie length.
Incorrect tie length is one of the most common “mistakes” gentlemen make when donning a suit. It’s also one of the easiest to fix [and it’s free!], once you know exactly what length a tie should be.
The following article is a comprehensive guide that answers all of the questions about tie length including:
Simply use the above links to jump ahead or scroll down to read it all.
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How Long Should A Tie Be?
When it comes to proper tie length the rules are quite simple. Essentially, the tip of your tie should end in the middle of your waistband (or belt if you are wearing one) when you are standing in your natural posture.
The detailed guide below can be used as a resource to help you get the correct tie length every time.
As with any ensemble, the subtle details are critical in a number of areas to bring the whole thing together. As the old saying goes, you’re only as strong as your weakest link, and that is certainly true of looking good in a suit and tie. So take note of these small yet critical details!
We’ve also created this five page guide on all suit alterations that can help you know what’s worth getting tailored and what might be a pass. It’s all about being in the know to look your best! Additionally, you can learn a variety of tie knots with our how to tie a tie guide.
Helpful Tips For The Proper Tie Length
- Too Long: the tie extends way past the waistband / belt
- Correct Length: the tip of the “diamond” shall sit in the mid part of the waistband / belt
- Too Short: you will be able to see some daylight between your waistband and where the tie ends, revealing your shirt fabric
It’s really that simple. When you’ve tied your tie, step back and take a quick look in the mirror to check your work.
Bear in mind that there is no “absolute” length of the tie, so don’t pre-tie. The correct length of a tie is always relative to your waistband.
Each person’s torso is a different length, and different pairs of trousers may sit at slightly different heights. For example, when I wear a custom suit with braces, the waistband sits about 2-3″ (5 – 7 cm) higher than on a pair of trousers worn with a belt. This is referred to as the “rise” of the trousers.
Diamond Vs Square Tip Ties
We’ve been pleased to see the resurgence of the square tip tie, most commonly seen in knit ties. It’s a bit of a vintage flavour that can add to your overall style points!
For both the diamond and the square, the “rule” remains the same. You should be aiming for the bottom of the tie to hit the middle of the waistband/belt. For the diamond, it will be the point at the tip, and for the square tie, it will be the flat edge along the bottom.
Be Realistic Of Your “Natural” Posture
We’ve all been there, standing to attention in the morning while getting dressed, but is that really your natural posture? Over that day or even within a few minutes, you’ll “fall back” into your natural posture, and the tie will be too long.
The easy fix is to just walk around for a minute or two, put your shoes on and see how the tie is looking? Over time you’ll get a good feel for where you should be to have it on point during the day.
Standard Tie Vs Long Tie Length
If you’re over 6ft, have a long or slightly rounded torso, a standard length tie might not “fit” you.
By saying that, I mean that the back fabric/silk loop is too low for the inside of the tie to loop through.
Although it is technically true that the tie is too small for you, I would not go throwing away your ties just yet! Don’t tie it very short either, just so that the back can loop through (trust me many a man does this!).
Instead, simply affix a tie bar to both ends of the tie and shirt placket, making one solid unit. The tie bar is placed between the 3rd and 4th buttons, so high enough for most men to “catch” the small fabric end on the back (I’m 6′ 4″ with a long torso and do this with 95% of my ties). See our tie bar guide here.
Further, you can always look to buy extra-long ties (usually between 60 – 63″ long, versus the 57″ for a standard length tie) or even go custom.
There are some really good and affordable options out there now for both long and custom ties if you take the time to look about. I especially like the odd custom tie if you find a perfect piece of fabric to have it made from.
Correcting For Any Errors
Quite simply, if it’s not the correct length, just re-tie the bloody thing!
That extra minute in the morning will make you have a day full of sartorial confidence.
The Tie Clip “Trick”
One caveat to that is that you can use your tie bar to make small alterations to the length.
When wearing a tie bar you should have a bit of a poof, which is from the excess fabric allowing you to move your neck while not being strangled!
This gives us the opportunity to have about 0.5 – 1″ wiggle room if your tie is not spot on. By moving the fabric up or down slightly in the tie bar, it allows you to fix the ending points of the tie correctly. Just don’t overdo it. Again, if it’s too far off, just start again…
Above you can’t even notice that the tie has a little extra fabric above the tie bar.
We’re Not All The Same, But Our Tie Length Should Be!
As a final recap, make sure that your tie hits the right length, being the middle of the waistband. Don’t fall into the simple traps, and that tie shall bring your ensemble to a well-rounded finish.
We hope you found this guide helpful, and if you have any questions, please leave us a comment.
Alternatively, check out some related guides and expand on your sartorial knowledge:
First. everyone knows US Marines are best dressed. Commandant says the tip of the tie should just touch the top of the trousers. No debate, no variance. The tie should be of sufficient length so the end of the tie falls between the tip and the backfold of the front tie. The tiebar can be used to adjust length but not somuch as to cause excessive pooch. If arine Corps regs were used as standards, EVERYONE woukd be better dressed.
Generally speaking, it’s true that following military dress codes can greatly help improve your appearance. My experience is admittedly limited but I was a British Army cadet for some years during my teens. It taught me the fundamentals in ironing a shirt, pressing my trousers, and shining my boots.
Since I went to a public school with a rigid dress code, I did learn to tie a tie through that. However, cadets helped teach me what length it should be and the knot to use.
I wouldn’t go far to say that a single service knows better than any other on how to dress, but I admire your loyalty to the Marine Corps. I’d also argue that while a suit has much in common with a military uniform (most of the details like lapels, vents, and even the tie have military origins), it doesn’t quite need to be as hard and fast when you’re a civilian.
Nevertheless, as I hinted above, it does provide men with a firm foundation in how to dress and the self-discipline it requires!
All the best,
Hey there Marine! Thank you for your service! Retired Air Force here, and I worked with many Marines during my years; at one point, my commander was a 4-star Marine Corps general, even. They always had my respect, and I agree, Marines are very spot-on when it comes to appearance.
However, I think you may be going from memory, rather than the actual regulations, when it comes to tie length. The actual regulation (unless they have changed it since the copy I have was published, OR there is a supplemental order I am unaware of), gives a bit more leeway… similar to the regulations of my own Air Force. To quote (since I copy-pasted it from Marine Corps Order 1020.34H, from the Commandant of the Marine Corps, dated 01 May 2018):
“The necktie will be tied so that the tip of the bottom of the tie is between 1/2 inches above the belt buckle and 1/2 inches below the belt buckle.”
The comparable Air Force regulation – excuse me, we changed those to INSTRUCTIONS (but we all still called them regs) – is AFI 36-2903, which states “The tip of the tie must cover a portion of the belt buckle, but cannot extend below the bottom of the belt buckle.” So, actually tighter regs than the Marines!
This whole thing assumes your not wearing a suit coat or a waistcoat(vest). That being said if you’re wearing a suitcoat or a three piece suit the bottom of your tie if it is pointed should form a diamond with the bottom point even with the bottom points of the suitcoat or vest if you’re wearing a three piece, and a square bottom tie should match the bottom points.
As I said, as for chain of command, it’s God, then the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. Since God has NOT given us tie standards, next in line is the Commandant of the Marine Corps. And although Brits dress well, they pale in comparison to my Marine Corps (and besides that, they salute GOOFY!🤣🤣). If EVERYONE dressed according to Marine Corps Regs, the WORLD would be better dressed: sleeves and trousers would be proper length, clothes would fit, and everyone would look better.
Well, with all due respect, it’s the Americans who salute goofily from my humble British perspective! Nevertheless, I have great respect for what you’re saying.
Replaying to kenneth, the commandment is very correct in that,
The dress code goes as follow: if you are unmarried: the tip should be touching top if your waistband, else around one centimetres lower.