Ugly Tie Guy
Credit: Microsoft Corp.

There is nothing more attractive than a well-dressed man--young or old, tall or short, big or small.  As a woman, I am always taken aback by the sight of a man who is clearly accustomed to wearing a suit.  He moves with ease swiftly through the downtown business district during the lunch hour, wearing a perfectly tailored jacket over a freshly-pressed, crispy white shirt.  From a distance, he is sleek and professional, unstoppable—the kind of man to be reckoned with, to be respected.  

Then he gets close…and becomes just a guy wearing an ugly tie.

The ugly tie has many faces.

1. The Ugly Festive Tie

    This is the most obvious offender. In general, being festive isn’t professional.  There are very few examples of festive-yet-tasteful articles of clothing, and even fewer in the world of ties. Christmas-themed ties seem to be the most prevalent, perhaps a Christmas gift from last year finally put to some use. The decorative bells, bows, reindeer, and boughs of holly belong in the home, not into forced coordination with a two-piece suit.

    2. The Ugly Bold Pattern Tie

      Oversized patterns and bold prints can be very distracting--people will have trouble maintaining eye contact with you. A good rule of thumb is if you can make out the pattern from across a room, it is probably not a good choice.

      3. The Ugly Outdated Tie

        The pattern, colors, texture, and thickness of your tie can date your entire look.  As with any article of clothing, styles come and go, even with ties---assess your collection and eliminate any that seem out of place.  A tip for the older gentlemen, look to what the younger generation is wearing.  Of course, while paying attention to trends, always dress your age.

        4. The Ugly Multi-colored Tie

          The idea is to accessorize with the tie. Multiple contrasting colors, neon colors, and clashing colors should be avoided.  It should enhance the rest of your ensemble, and be coordinated yet subtle.

          5. The Ugly Funny Tie

            If you are wearing a tie at all, it is safe to assume it is not a good time to try to be funny or clever. Even when the keyboard tie became popular, no one really thought it was funny. Cartoon characters and animal prints should be reserved for more casual attire, as well as ties with clever sayings, or really any text at all.

            6. The Ugly Hobby Tie

              Just because you like to fish, hunt, scuba dive, or play the saxophone in your spare time, does not mean you should advertise that fact during business meetings. It is more awkward than it is a conversation starter.

              7. The Ugly Wildlife Tie

                An epic National Geographic scene featuring majestic creatures in their natural environment is far too involved and busy to be featured on a tie.

                8. The Ugly Patriotic Tie

                  You obviously love your country--that is great, but there are much better ways to show it. Try instead to express your pride with a subtle pin or even more subtly with flag-printed underwear.  

                  9. The Ugly Sports Fan Tie

                    If the bright, contrasting colors, emblems, text, and mascots didn’t already rule out this tie choice, consider any sports references off limits for your tie. Even if your favorite team has a big game later that day, save team solidarity for after hours.