Tying a Tie for the Big & Tall

Tie Knot Tips for the Big & Tall

tie-tips-tall-menIf you are tall then tying a necktie to the right length might sound like an all-too-familiar problem. In the ideal world you would only have ties that are a few inches longer than the average necktie, but in reality finding a good selection of fashionable ties in XL length is quite difficult. If you own a few ties that are too short for your stature, then this article is right for you. In this post I will give the big and tall man tips on how to tie a normal length necktie.

There are four things that factor into the right length needed: Your height, your neck/collar size, the type of tie knot you want to tie, and the size of your belly. There is no doubt that tall men will need a longer than average necktie. To make it easier to decide whether or not you need a normal or XL sized tie, do this: Add together your height and neck size in inches. If the sum is larger than 92 inches then you should be shopping for XL sized ties that are 61-63 inches in length (untied). Or you may also use my Tie Length Calculator

Big & Tall Men Tying Normal Length Ties
99% of all regular length ties are 57-59 inches in length (untied), and will be a good fit for men between 5 feet and 6 foot 2 inches. Even if you are taller, there are a few things you can do to tie a normal sized tie to the right length (ending near your belt buckle). Here are my top 3 tips:

  1. Tie a smaller tie knot: Knots like the Windsor take up more of your tie’s length. The best knot here (one that takes the least amount of fabric) is the Four in Hand knot. It is a smaller knot and best for narrow spread collars.
  2. Go to a tailor: Go and research for a good tailor. Sites like Yelp.com will make finding a knowledgeable tailor a piece of cake. Have him/her add 4 to five inches of fabric at the narrow part of the necktie. There is no need to try and match the fabric of the tie since it will not be visible. Excellent fabrics are felt and cotton.
  3. Wear a 3-Piece Suit: Personally, I am a huge fan of the three piece suit. Only the top few inches of the tie will be visible, and no one will notice a tie that has been tied to short. What does matter is the perfection of the tie knot. Since only a small portion of the tie is visible, the knot will take center-stage.

Other Interesting Blog Posts:
Tying a Tie That is Too Long – Tie Knot Tips for Shorter Men

Thanks for visiting my Site & Blog!

Hendrik

20 thoughts on “Tying a Tie for the Big & Tall”

  1. Steve Downing says:

    Hi –

    Nice website! I have a question. I am 6’4″ and weigh 215 pounds and I’m athletic. I am wondering what the “correct” width is for a tie. I purchase long ties, 62″ or 63″ and so on. I like the look of ties with a 4″ width but many ties I purchase are only 3 1/2″ or 3 3/4″. What width do you think looks good on a tall man? Best, Steve

    1. hendrik says:

      Hi Steve,
      Great question! The width of the tie needs to be proportionate not just to your frame, but also to your suit cut. If you wear a suit with slightly narrower lapels (as is currently the style) then a tie width of 3.25 to 3.5 inches would be great. Prefer wider/classic lapel styles as well as peak lapels and/or double breasted suits? Then a wider width is more suited (3.5-3.75 inches). 4 inch width ties have become a bit rare as current fashion dictate a narrow-going tie trend.
      Thanks,
      Hendrik

  2. BigandTall|Vincent says:

    Big and tall men like me are really getting trouble because of small ties,and wrong prescription of tying them,Good article,I’m really looking forward for more.

  3. Ruth says:

    My dad has a large but short neck. He would like a tie bar that goes from one side to the other across the throat, in the front. Where can I get one?

    1. hendrik says:

      Hi Ruth, thank you for your question. Are you referring to a tie bar or a collar bar? A tie bar attached the necktie to the dress shirt (between belly button and chest). A collar bar sits underneath the tie knot. Which one do you mean?

  4. Bob says:

    Rather than adding cloth to the narrow part, move the tag a few inches up on the back of the tie. Easy cut and sew job for men.

    1. hendrik says:

      Hi Bob

      Good suggestion. But this trick has a draw back because there is an “ideal” spot where the tie knot goes on a tie. Move away from this spot and the tie knot will look disproportionately too large or too small.

  5. jigisha says:

    I want to buy a tie for my Fiance. he is 6’3″ and need a shirt of XL Size. so the collar should be approximately 17.

    which tie should i buy for him? would a thin/ skinny tie look good on him?

    1. hendrik says:

      Hello, thanks for the good question. First off, due to his height and neck size, he will need a longer length tie. Look for an XL sized tie that is at least 61″ long. Most retail stores don’t have a good XL tie assortment and I suggest you shop online instead to have a wider variety. Secondly, the width of the tie should be in proportion to the wearer physique. That being said, a skinny tie on a big & tall man can look a a bit strange. I suggest you stick to the classic tie width of 3.25″ – 3.5″. If you want something a bit more “modern” and fashion-forward, then go down to a slightly narrower width of about 3″.

  6. Rebecca says:

    Hello,
    I am having a hard time finding a tie for my 12 year old son. He is 100 pounds, about 5′ 1″ tall. Adult ties don’t seem to work but kid’s ties are too small. Any suggestions? Thank you.

    1. hendrik says:

      Hi Rebecca, thanks for the message. You can try a “self tied” kids necktie in place of a clip-on. Most self tied kids neckties are 45″-48″ long (untied length) and you can adjust the length while tying the tie. Another option is to go for a bow tie. Most bow ties have adjustable neck straps that will fit most kids. Last but not least, you can always make your own Bow Tie. Here are some fun DIY instructions (incl. printable patterns) on How to make a bow tie.

  7. Kaja says:

    Hi Mr. Hendrik,

    I encountered Your page while searching for tips of finding universal tie. I was wondering if You could help me with finding a tie for my father.
    My father is rather short (5.8) and rather fat (200-220 pounds). I gather that the normal lenght would be okay, but what width would be best for him?
    Another question is what colour? I would like to give him a tie for plus-minus every occasion (these ones that he has currently make me cry). He has light blonde hair, is pale and has light blue eyes. The only problem is that he is frequently tanned (he travels a lot to Africa and it is very visible when he comes back to Central Europe, especially in the winter). Would classic navy tie be suitable? Should it be with any pattern, or plain one is more universal?
    Thank You for Your time.
    Kaja

    1. hendrik says:

      Hi Kaja, thanks for the message. The length of a tie needed depends on 3 factors: Height, neck size, and belly size. If your father has a 20 inch neck and a belly then you should look for XL length ties which are 61″ – 63″ in length. As far as the width goes, I would suggest to stick to traditional widths (3.25-3.5 inches) as skinny ties may look a bit comical in proportion to his large frame. Colors and patterns are more of a personal preference. Navy as well as burgundy are always a great choice. Solid colored ties are universal, timeless, and easy to mix and match to any pattern. Striped ties are classic, elegant, but can also be slightly conservative. Paisley ties are bold and fun. Checks and plaids are more trendy, and polka dots are playful. I hope this is helpful.

  8. Justyn terry says:

    Hello I need help. I’m 6 foot 230lbs and I wear and xl shirt. Normal size ties seem to not come down as far as I’d like. The bottom rarely meets my belly button and I’d like to have a longer one. Do you suggest to find an xl tie? And if so could you appoint me to a reliable website to purchase them? Thank you.

    1. hendrik says:

      Hi Justyn, thanks for the note! Sounds like you are definitely in need of XL length ties that measure at least 61-63 inches in length (untied length). I suggest you shop online as most online neckwear retailers have a much larger selection for extra long ties than you would find at a traditional brick and mortar store. Take a look at Bows-N-Ties.com website. Here is a link to their XL selection: http://www.bows-n-ties.com/extra-long-ties.php (copy/paste this URL in your address bar). Also, if you subscribe to their newsletter, then you will get $10 off on your first order. I hope this helps!

  9. zim says:

    I’m 6’7″ and even my 63″ ties are too short. The narrow side is nowhere near long enough to reach the tag on the larger side.

    I had never thought to have a tailor lengthen the tie. Great idea.

  10. Syed Jassim Naqvi says:

    Hi there. Great article. I’m almost 6 feet tall, but a bulky kid (240 lbs) I have a black suit made, no jacket and I have my school graduation coming soon. I was thinking of wearing a white bowtie over a black suit and a black shirt. Would that be a good look? Do bowties “work” with fat men? Or should I opt for the necktie?

    1. hendrik says:

      HI Syed, by all means wear a bow tie if you like! Bow ties are suitable for any height and body type. In fact, personally I think bow ties look better on big & tall men than neckties. Just make sure that the bow tie you choose adjusts to fit your neck size.

  11. John Ford says:

    I been seeing guys in bow tie,so I started experimenting with them,the Two times I wore them they seem small on my neck,my neck size is a 17,is there a way to make them look wider ,left to right,am thinking that would make it look bigger for my frame,or should I try a jumbo size ,am not sure if that would work or the ends would look taller but the same width across,just not sure am I just not toeing it properly to look longer

    1. hendrik says:

      Hi John, the width of the bow depends more on your face size. The ends of the bow tie should we as wide as the width of your face (excluding your ears). take a look at this graphic for more info (you need to copy and paste this link):
      http://www.tie-a-tie.net/blog/bow-tie-101/

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