Ties too long? Here’s everything you need to know about wearing ties as a shorter man (including where to buy short neckties).
Neckties typically come in one length: around 58-59 inches.
Some brands also offer extra long ties (61-62 inches), but it’s rare to find shorter ties for sale.
In this article, you’ll learn how to deal with ties that are too long, and I’ll show you where to buy shorter length ties.
Why does it matter?
If a tie is too long for your build, it’s going to hang down past your waistband, which produces a “kid playing dress up” effect.
Similar to your suit jacket being too big, it kind of ruins your formal look.
When you’re wearing a tie, you’re probably doing something important like:
- At work in a formal office
- Going to a job interview
- At (or in) a wedding
- Attending a funeral
We wear suits and ties to signify that we understand and respect the formality of a situation, but all too often they detract from a man’s image instead of enhancing it.
Wearing a Suit and Tie
While suits and dress shirts used to be custom made by default, mass manufacturing has led to ill-fitting garments and one-size-fits-all accessories.
That’s why, these days, so many guys look terrible wearing a suit and tie (especially in the U.S.).
This is the exact opposite effect that a formal outfit is supposed to produce, and most guys don’t even know they’re doing it wrong.
Now, if you’re a shorter man and aren’t sure if your suits are working for or against you, read this guide about suits for shorter men, and consider these shorter guy clothing brands.
The rest of this post will focus on one aspect of the formal look – the cherry on top, if you will – the necktie.
The Perfect Tie Length
How long should your tie be, anyway? Ideally, the tip of your tie will end somewhere between the top and bottom of your belt (or waistband).
If your tie goes past the bottom of your belt, it’s too long. I actually think shorter men should air on the side of too short vs. too long, as it has a subtle heightening effect.
The narrow end shouldn’t be longer than the wide end, although these days it’s somewhat acceptable if you’re going for a sprezzatura vibe.
For regular guys, a good rule of thumb is: make sure neither end of your tie goes past the bottom of your waistband.
Where to Buy Short Ties
Put simply, most neckties are too long for most shorter men. Unless you have a very long torso, if you’re under 5’8″ you’ll have a hard time finding ties that actually work for your build.
Here’s the good news: there are actually a few places that sell shorter length neckties for men.
Mountain & Sackett
Mountain & Sackett carries a large selection of men’s ties, many of which are available in different widths and lengths.
At the time of writing, 43 styles are available in a shorter 54″ length.
All Mountain & Sackett ties are made by hand in New York City. They have plenty of great colors and patterns in their collection, from timeless and basic to colorful and bold.
Their ties cost $60-70, which seems like a great value for this level of craftsmanship and materials.
Fort Belvedere is owned by the team behind the popular men’s style publication, Gentleman’s Gazette.
They make premium quality accessories, so they’re not cheap, but they’re worth it if you can spend the money.
Fort Belvedere ties come in three different lengths, the shortest being 56 inches.
I also love the fact that they make grenadine ties in shorter length. These are extremely hard to find!
If you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, you can always visit Jimmy Au’s, a menswear boutique dedicated exclusively to men 5’8″ and under.
They have a huge selection of shorter length neckties, all of which are very high quality and will fit perfectly.
Of course, you can always go custom…
Custom Length Ties
There are a handful of custom clothing manufacturers who sell custom neckties. Some let you choose the fabric, width and even length:
- Viola Milano – as short as 53.5″
- Shibumi – as short as 53″
- Sam Hober – true bespoke (any length)
Keep in mind, these are made to order and will take minimum 2-4 weeks to deliver, depending on where you live.
So custom ties aren’t a good solution if you need something to wear, say, this weekend. But if you have time to spare, it’s a solid option.
Can you wear boys’ ties?
You may be tempted to buy neckties from the young men’s department, but these will likely be too short for you.
Most boys’ ties come in at 48″ long, which is way too short for most adults (even those who are a few inches below average height).
This is one area where buying “kids” sizes won’t work, unless you’re shorter than 5’3″ and only use small knots like the Four in Hand.
Ties You Already Own
What about all of the ties you already own? Maybe you bought these yourself, or maybe they were gifts, but chances are you already own a few ties.
Maybe you even have one or two that you’d love wearing if they weren’t too long.
Here are a couple of options:
Hide the Excess Length
One great option is to tie your tie so the fat blade hits right where you want it (just touching or just above your belt), then hide the excessively long thin blade inside your shirt.
I do this all the time, and it works like a charm. The key is to pull the thin blade all the way down and tuck it into your pants so it doesn’t bunch up and create visible bumps under your shirt.
In my opinion, this is the best solution for making use of ties you already own that are a bit too long.
Use a Bigger Knot
One easy way to shorter a tie that’s too long is to choose a knot that uses up more length.
For example, if you tie your tie with a Four in Hand knot and find it to be 1-2″ too long, try a Prince Albert instead.
If the Prince Albert (or Double Four in Hand) is still too long, try a Half Windsor.
This is the perfect solution if your tie is just a few inches too long.
Get Them Tailored
Here’s the thing about altering ties: it’s not hard to make a fat tie skinny, but it is hard to make a long tie shorter.
This is especially true for ties with any sort of pattern, like stripes or dots. Solid color ties are easier to shorten, but most tailors still don’t know how to do it.
Unless you have an expensive tie that you absolutely love, I wouldn’t recommend tailoring. It’ll be hard to find tailor who wants to do this (and who can do it), and the cost may be prohibitive.
The choice is yours…
Yes, most ties are too long for short guys. And yes, it’s annoying.
But I hope this guide have you some ideas for where to buy shorter length ties, as well as how to make the ties you already own work for your build.
Got questions? Want to share a tip? Leave a comment below!
As a 5’3″ woman pilot I am having the hardest time finding the right tie length. I look like I’m playing dress up. I don’t want to wear the stupid lady bolo tie thing. I will try the sneaky in the shirt trick. The official uniform vendor doesn’t make them small enough so I would have to pay out of pocket to go buy a kids tie when others don’t. And this is a hill I am willing to die on
Do you recommend the narrow or regular width for the ties from Mountain & Sackett? I’m lean and 5’6″
I’d go narrow if you’re a slender guy.
Zack Pyle says
I actually have a video on how to shorten a tie 😉 it’s certainly not the easiest tutorial I have, but it’s not incredibly difficult either. Best to try with a tie you are ok throwing away (or grab one from the thrift store)