T-shirts and hoodies are great, but sometimes college events require a tie. Fortunately, it’s possible to look sharp on a college budget. Here’s how to wear a tie and dress for those dapper college events.
Fraternity or group events
Classic two-color striped ties are perfect for fraternity or other organization events. These ties stand out, especially when an entire group wears the same tie. Standard ties, skinny ties, bow ties, socks, suspenders, pocket squares. Striped ties come in a wide variety of styles and color combos, so it’s easy to match group or college colors.
Giving a class presentation or thesis is about more than quality content. Impressions count. No fidgeting, make eye contact, avoid saying ‘like’ or ‘um’ and don’t wear distracting clothing. Even if it’s not required, it’s a good idea to skip the joggers and instead put on chinos or slacks, a button-down shirt and wear a tie. Plaid or geometric pattern ties are great neutral designs that won’t distract the audience. (A neon-colored tie or bold novelty print, on the other hand, would be a distraction.) Since it’s important to look at ease in front of an audience, choose a tie style that’s comfortable. This may be a slim 2.5-inch tie or a contemporary 3.25-inch tie.
Hopefully, it goes without saying that college formals and semi-formals require you to wear a tie. Whether this tie is worn with a tux, suit or simply a dress shirt and slacks varies from school to school. Definitely ask around to find out the level of formality expected.
If a tuxedo is suggested, a black bow tie and black or white pocket square is traditional. If wearing a suit, either a necktie or bow tie is acceptable. Though optional, adding a pocket square is a nice touch, too. Paisley, tone-on-tone stripes or textured solid ties are great for formal events. For those with dates, the tie should coordinate with her dress. This isn’t prom, so it’s not necessary to perfectly match a solid tie to the dress color. However, a pattern tie in similar colors is a great choice.
A dress shirt and slacks allows the most flexibility. A necktie or bow tie will do, but it doesn’t have to coordinate with a date’s attire. Unstained, unwrinkled and proportionate for one’s body type is what counts.
Sometimes, the fraternity, club or organization hosting the formal will have custom ties made for its members. These ties are typically worn with a suit or dress shirt and slacks, not a tuxedo. However, if given a tie to wear, check to see if there is an additional dress code. (Suit color, shirt color, etc.)
As senior year winds down, the job search begins. Landing a job interview is a huge accomplishment, so it should go without saying that this is not the time or place to dress casual. In fact, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed at a job interview. A dark-colored suit paired with a conservative necktie (i.e. 3-inches to 3.5-inches wide) are the most appropriate choices. Tie colors shouldn’t vary much from navy blue or burgundy in solid or subtle designs.
Wear a tie for graduation
Graduation is a time to celebrate. And that means looking good, even if a cap and gown is covering an outfit for most of the day. Give one last hurrah to the alma mater with a solid or striped necktie or bow tie in college colors. Novelty ties relating to one’s major are perfect for graduation, too. (Yes, math, teacher, engineering, lawyer, doctor ties, etc. are a thing.) Or, shop smart and purchase a pattern tie that can be worn to a new job post-graduation.
Tiemart, Inc. is an online neckwear and accessory retailer located in northern Illinois. The company specializes in budget-friendly ties for any occasion, from fashionable everyday attire to group wear and formal events. Shop www.tiemart.com for affordable neckties, bow ties, socks, suspenders, pocket squares and more.