How to wear a suit without a tie – more successfully than these world leaders

WHEN HEAD of State, whose President Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi posed for photos at last month’s G-7 summit in Germany, it was clear they had succeeded in a consensus on at least one question: the links are outdated. Although the seven men wore suits and starched white shirts, there were no scarves in sight.

However, they lacked a unified policy on how to look polished without a silk knot to complement their ensembles. Most only released one shirt button, although Mr. Draghi dared to release two. Outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s shirt collar, undocked and flaring wildly, seemed to fly away faster than his grip on his desk. Collectively, their outfits looked sloppy, as if they had dressed in ties that morning, but had taken them off just before the camera flashed. (Which might well have been the case.)

“Taking the tie off is a way of saying, ‘Hey, I’m relaxed and I’m going to be open with you,'” said Richard Thompson Ford, a Stanford University law professor and author of “Dress Codes: How Laws of fashion have marked history. But the style instincts of the leaders realized the opposite. “They don’t look comfortable. there is something awkward [their outfits]said Mr. Ford.

A missing tie can give men an “unfinished” look.

The scene in Bavaria has amplified a thorny problem that many men face: as dress codes relax and ties become increasingly stuffy, people have to dress without their trusty silk companions for meetings, weddings, cocktail parties and, in Spain, it seems, most governments. business. On July 29, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that he had urged civil servants not to wear ties in the future, “when not necessary”, in a bid to save energy. (presumably on air conditioning, although he didn’t specify).

A missing tie can make men look “unfinished,” said Lauren A. Rothman, personal stylist for politicians and businessmen in Washington, D.C. “I see a lot of my clients struggling…[They’re saying]”I had my collection of designer ties and now [they] want too much. What will I do next? »

When there’s no strip of silk to distract the eye, it’s especially important that the suit fits snugly, said Dag Granath, co-founder of Stockholm tailor Saman Amel. The jacket should sit perfectly on your shoulders and hug the back of your neck, he said, praising the G-7 cut of Italian M. Draghi (far left, above). A calm, unstructured shoulder – rather than a squared-off – is ideal, said London tailor Charlie Casely-Hayford, as the “softer line pairs well with an open-necked shirt.” Among his other tips: high-waisted pants help reduce “the extent of white space in the middle of your body.”

Both tailors were deeply troubled by Mr Johnson’s out of control shirt collar. When you go tieless, Mr. Casely-Hayford said, do everything to ensure your collar stays obediently under your lapels. Opt for longer and wider collars; spread collars; button-down collars or avoid the problem and wear a stand-up collar shirt. Mr. Casely-Hayford’s best solution? A one piece necklace. Cut from a single piece of fabric – rather than two, like regular collars – it has a non-stiff roll that “looks fantastic without ties”.

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Another risk with the sans-cravat: looking jaded without that burst of color. So think about other ways to introduce the character, Granath said. Avoid a shiny, Botox-smooth worsted suit and choose tailoring fabrics with a soft texture: brushed flannel, speckled melange, herringbone or Birdseye, a fabric strewn with tons of little bumps like an armadillo’s armor. No need for bold shades. Navy, chocolate or charcoal work well, Granath said. Textured fabrics “give your eye something to rest on without changing the level of formality”.

Zach Garst, a tax consultant in Houston, applies similar thinking to his support apparel. Since ditching ties after WFH, Mr Garst, 25, has teamed his suits with “more adventurous” button-up shirts, including supple linen-blend shirts and a textured chambray number. He also tries on cashmere and linen polo shirts which he says “enhance this technical Mark Zuckerberg blazer and t-shirt situation that I don’t necessarily want to be a part of.”

For Robert Giaimo, a restaurateur in McLean, Va., it’s all about accessorizing with pops of color. “Once the tie is cut, I wouldn’t leave without a pocket square and some fun socks,” said Mr Giaimo, 70. At weddings in recent months, Mr. Giaimo has brightened up his sapphire blue Canali suit with a dusty pink clutch. and matching socks. “[The suit] doesn’t even seem to be complete without them,” he said. “It’s an eye-catching look.” And, perhaps, worthy of the next stage of the G-7.

KNOT-FREE COMBOS

Three unslick suits with alternate shirts to try


Photo:

F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, styling by Jill Telesnicki

1. A streamlined look

Stand-up collar shirts can only be worn without a tie. A non-shiny flannel jacket looks casual; a pocket square adds flavor. Jacket, $1,835, Drakes.com; Shirt, $280, General Dispensary, 917-472-7018; pocket square, $45, ToddSnyder.com


Photo:

F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, styling by Jill Telesnicki

2. A chic polo shirt makes its entrance

Textured with tiny bumps, a Birdseye suit doesn’t need supporting players. A formal linen blend button-up polo completes the airy affair. Jacket, $895 with suit pants, ProperCloth.com; Shirt, Similar styles for $275, TheArmoury.com


Photo:

F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, styling by Jill Telesnicki

3. A cheerfully naked necklace

A one-piece collar rolls casually inside a brushed cashmere flannel jacket. Saman Amel jacket, around $3,200, available September, MrPorter.com; Shirt, $195, P. Johnson, 917-533-5879; Sun glasses, $385, GarrettLeight.com

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