(How) To Tie or Not to Tie

by Megan Hayes | November 12, 2015


Anyone who’s shot commercials with Creative Services at cj Advertising knows that we take wardrobe VERY seriously. From lint rolling you head-to-toe, to steaming every last wrinkle in your suit—we fuss over every detail. Our goal is simply this: to make sure you look your absolute best.

Some lawyers wear ties on camera and some don’t. But all male lawyers have to wear a tie at least some of the time. When it comes to length, knots, or style, the possibilities are endless; however, it seems most men just learn one way and stick with it.

GQ, the authority of men’s fashion, released this video revealing their secrets for tying the perfect tie and the latest tips in tie fashion. If you’re a “tie guy,” this video is a must-watch.

Tie Length

The experts at GQ say the bottom of your tie should hit somewhere between the middle of your waistband or belt—not too long, not too short. There should never be a space below your tie where your shirt can peek through. No argument here.

Tie Knot

In the GQ demonstration, the stylist ratchets all knots ridiculously tight and recommends creating a ‘dimple’ just below the knot. In fact, the dimple is so important that GQ requires it for every magazine photo where a tie is visible. During our cj shoots, this is probably the detail we critique the most. We use the tie to hide the lav microphone, but we also want to make sure the knot is tight enough that we don’t see any hint of your shirt showing above it. (In-house tie counsel, Jimmy Bewley, will never let us live it down.)


According to GQ, silk is out; wool is in. The must-have wool patterns are houndstooth, dress checkered, retro, tartan, and striped. Unfortunately, TV limits us a bit in the pattern area. The colors and patterns that you see in person may appear differently through a camera lens. Designs that are too busy will cause an undesirable video effect that we TV pros refer to as “moiré.” We want to eliminate all distractions so that the audience is focused on you and the message. Buzzing ties are a no-no.

Whether or not you wear a tie on camera, I think we can all agree on one thing: clothes are a major factor in public perception. Think about it. If I need a lawyer, am I going to call the schmuck whose suit is too big and bunchy? Or the one who appears to have his s*** together in a crisp, lint-free, tailored suit? You guessed it… the latter.

So even if you’re not an aspiring male model for GQ, we hope you find these tidbits helpful. The only thing we ask you to ignore in this video is the man bun. Trust me when I say, man buns are never lawyerly. NEVER.