Skip to Main Content

If Your Version of Business Casual Includes a Tie…

September 9th, 2016

…make sure it’s a knit tie

In discussions of business casual, a great debate rages over whether or not the dress code includes a tie. At the risk of sounding noncommittal or wishy-washy, as with many things style and dress code-related – wait for it…

…it depends.

It depends on your workplace. It depends on the season. It depends on the moon phase. (Okay, that’s not true.) And, honestly, it really depends on how you feel.

If that answer fails to satisfy, I’ll give you something more concrete to hang onto here: yes, business casual can include a tie. Let me say it again. Business casual can include a tie.

business casual include tie

However, we’re not talking about any tie here. Though some outfits may look good with just about any color or type of tie, a business casual outfit is a different animal. It’s got to be the right tie. The tie that’s a perfect balance of dressed up but played down. Because, you know, isn’t that what business casual is all about? That balance point?

There is no tie that fits that job description better than a knit tie.

business casual include tie

| WEARING | Blazer c/o Tommy Hilfiger, Brunello Cucinelli shirt, PT01 pants, Saks Fifth Avenue tie, Cartier watch, Tod’s shoes | PHOTOGRAPHY | by Rob McIver Photo

Though neck ties have formality in their DNA, a knit tie is the one casual exception. The same logic we use when we call Chelsea boots the loafers of the boot world can be applied here.

Part of that can be attributed to the knit tie’s shape. The squared-off blade ends somehow give the impression that the formality of a regular tie, with it’s pointed ends, has been literally been filed off.

However, not all knit ties have square ends, which brings us to the other factor contributing to the overall casualness of the knit tie – it’s construction. Because they’re knit, they are a lot less rigid than their traditional silk counterparts. Less rigid, less formal.

business casual include tie

What’s the best business casual knit tie? One that’s solid. And I mean that both in terms of quality and color. A solid color knit tie is your most versatile choice. A pattern, even a simple polka dot, will call attention to itself. And for our opinion, any business casual outfit should have a slightly under-the-radar stylish appeal.

Navy, as always, will be your most versatile option. But also think seasonally. For the fall, a deep burgundy or dark emerald green is perfect.

business casual include tie

Thanks, as always, for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

Brian Sacawa
He Spoke Style

Brian Sacawa

Brian Sacawa is the Founder of He Spoke Style and one of the original men’s style influencers. Since 2013, his goal has remained the same: to provide men the advice and inspiration they need to dress well, develop their personal style, and gain more confidence. Brian’s interest and passion for men’s style and luxury watches has led to his writing for The Robb Report, The Rake, and Sotheby’s and he has been quoted on menswear in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,, Brides Magazine, and the Huffington Post. He lives in the woods north of Baltimore with his wife, Robin, kitties Nick and Nora, and German Shepherd/Collie mix Charlie.

All Posts