It seems the tie is undergoing a slight widening recently.
Bloomberg first spotted this by noting that J.Crew had quietly widened its ties by a quarter of an inch this year.
Cue the panic: The skinny tie is dead. Long live the skinny tie.
Since J.Crew is known as something of a trend predictor in this area, it’s a big deal. They have been selling 2.5-inch ties since 2011, which has been seen as the perfect blend of slim but not too skinny, essentially matching the brand’s suit profiles. By moving toward a nearly three-inch tie, J.Crew is making a pretty big statement.
Other retailers have also noticed that consumers are starting to move away from the skinny tie.
The Tie Bar told Bloomberg that the 2.5-inch is still their best seller, but that the three-inch model is getting additional pickup recently. The Tie Bar does not sell a width between 2.5 and 3 inches.
Like many things in fashion, tie widths seem to be cyclical. They shrank in the ’00s from their highs in the ’80s and ’90s. But popular fashion has in recent years gotten away from the hyper-skinny suit fits seen at the turn of the decade.
Instead, we’re seeing a looser, more standard fit for suiting rise in popularity across the board. These more standard fits have wider lapels, and since your tie should be no wider than your lapel (and ideally match it as much as possible) it makes sense that ties are widening as well.
However, as GQ notes, there’s just more variety in tie width now in general. Men wore skinny ties in the ’40s and fat ties in ’80s because that’s all that was really available for purchase. Now designers offer a huge variety of ties, from ultra-skinny to wide, as today’s man is likely more conscious of and pickier with his clothing than ever before.
Skinny ties aren’t quite disappearing in the way they did the last time they were around, but you’ll likely be seeing a lot less of them in the coming year.
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