The Playbook For The Modern Man

This Is The Most Versatile Tie A Man Can Own

You’re on a budget. No wait, you’re at the pearly gates and you can only take one tie into the afterlife…ok, maybe that’s taking it too far.

Let’s just say you’re going on a business trip, you’re packing light and you only want to take one tie. Whatever your situation or occasion, there’s actually one tie which you can wear with almost any suit. 

Want to know what colour it is? It’s black. Yes, a black tie. Big deal.


But wait there’s more…

Secrets Of Tie Versatility

Not all black ties are created equal. Some black ties are more suited to evening wear. These are your plush velvet ties that have a high sheen, although they’re definitely not the most versatile tie. Other ties are skinny (5cm) – think Saint Laurent – and they’re definitely not suitable for business use.  

But what if you want to wear this black tie with evening wear and business attire? That adds another complexity to your quest for the most versatile tie of all time. The optimal width is 8cm, not too skinny, not too wide. This will see you through both trends and seasons. 

We asked Sydney-based stylist Jeff Lack for his opinion on the matter.

“First up it has to be a long tie mid-width, not too narrow or too wide as fashion changes so frequently. Also, a mid-width tie can produce a decent knot. A black long tie pairs back with black, tan, white, grey or navy suits. Bonus points if it has some texture.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jeff Lack (@jefflackstylist) on

Yes, you can wear a black tie with a boiler suit too. Pure genius. 

The best fabric of course is still silk and will always be silk.

A plain black tie is remarkably boring so you’re going to want to find one with a slight texture. A horizontal pattern/weave like the Turnbull & Asser example below or a grenadine texture from Drake’s will ensure your versatile black tie never looks boring.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Blake Scott (@blakescott) on

Versatile Tie Combinations To Know

So we’re on the same page and you don’t walk away empty handed, you can wear a black tie with the following suits and smart casual combinations.

  • Black tie with a black suit: yes!
  • Black tie with a grey suit: yes!
  • Black tie with a tuxedo: yes!
  • Black tie with a blue suit: yes!
  • Black tie with a khaki suit: yes! 
  • Black tie with a green suit: yes! 
  • Black tie with jeans and a white shirt: yes!
  • Black tie with a black shirt: yes!

You get the picture. Invest well in your black tie. If you do, you’ll own it for many years without needing to spend another dollar. 


Shop The Most Versatile Tie A Man Can Own

A fine specimen from Turnbull & Asser

SHOP NOW  US$150.00 / AU$190.00

A grenadine tie from Drake’s

SHOP NOW  £135.00


Show More



The playbook for the modern man

Get the very best of men's style, health, travel & culture delivered to your inbox.

Dont show me this again