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 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.
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.
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.
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.