The red tie has been nicknamed the "power tie", and with good reason. This bright color catches our attention and really makes us focus on the man wearing it.
But just what is it about the color red, and its use as a tie, that makes us so fascinated?
Firstly we have to examine the different cultural views behind the color red. The first thing we have to realize is that the western and eastern views of the color are very different.
In the western, Christian world, red is associated with sin, blood, jealousy, and sex. The Devil is often depicted as being a red creature, and an angry person can be described as "seeing red". In the classic novel "The Scarlet Letter" the protagonist has to wear red letter "A" to mark her adultery. Also, the term "red light district" describes an area where brothels are.
In Chinese tradition however, red is a very positive color associated with money, fertility, and good luck. Chinese wedding dresses are red, and money is gifted in red envelopes during the Chinese New Year.
With globalization and the merging of all of these different worlds, red has come to be a very complex and moving color in modern society.
When we see someone in a red necktie we might think of power, wealth, and a certain ruthlessness. This is a man who means business and will do whatever it takes to achieve his goals. All of these are reasons why a man might prefer a red necktie.
If you are thinking about donning this color, be careful to think about the image you are projecting to the people around you, and if this is the message you want to convey.
When buying a red necktie you have a myriad of choices, from solid red silk to striped knitted wool. Which tie you buy depends on the look you are going for.
If you want an understated, everyday look for work wear try a Wool Tie in a rich burgundy color. It will give off an earthy vibe while at the same time looking rich and sumptuous.
The classic power tie is a red Silk Tie. Silk naturally reflects light and gives the tie a three dimensional look, which can be very powerful with a vivid color like red.
If you want a bit more of an understated look but still want to incorporate the color, try a patterned tie. Paisley looks gorgeous in red, as well as exotic, while Stripes and Geometric patterns can provide conservative alternatives.
Try to find a compromise that makes you happy and that works with your own personal style.
When matching your red necktie to your dress shirt it is important to keep the focus on the tie so as not to become too busy or overwhelming. Your best choice is going to be a plain white shirt, which goes with everything but gives red an especially bright background to pop against.
A more daring choice would be a black shirt, which gives a nice solid background as well, but creates a darker, more mysterious look.
Which solid color dress shirts should you stay away from? Yellow will give you the ketchup and mustard effect, while pink will make you look like a Valentine's day Cupid. Green can work, but stay away from darker shades which can give off a Christmas like feeling. More on Matching Tie and Shirt.
Hopefully, with our guide, you can venture out into public with a fearless heart and a strong red tie. All you need is a bit of fashion sense, a dash of presence, and a sprinkle of courage. Good luck!