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Wearing the Right Tie at Work

A tie can say a lot about your workplace attitude. Eliot Payne, founder of Accoutre, a line of locally handcrafted bow ties, shares his tips for choosing professional neckwear, including how to convey power while still looking current.

Better Off Red

“Reds are always great for denoting power,” Payne says. “Try wearing shades of wine or burgundy for a different take.”

“Tuxedo” necktie, $115 at Brooks Brothers

Power Stripes

“Personally, I prefer solid ties when it comes to looking professional. But if you are going to do a stripe, a red striped tie is always going to work. It still has that traditional look.”

Brioni silk tie, $200 at Neiman Marcus

Seeing a Pattern

“If you are going to do a pattern, like a polka dot, something smaller would work in a conservative workplace. I love floral prints and plaid right now, but they don’t convey the most professional vibe.”

“Dot Repp” tie, $79.50 at Brooks Brothers

Try Texture

“For winter, I love texture on classic, solid ties. So many men wear standard silk ties. Wearing a gray wool or navy knit tie sets you apart in a really subtle way.”

Tom Ford knit tie, $225 at Neiman Marcus

Classic Bow

“For a professional environment, wear a smaller tie that doesn’t stick out. Rich, solid colors and red stripes always work; you’re wearing a bow tie but toned down.”

“Workhorse” chambray silk tie, $75 at

Photographs by Jeff Elkins.

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