You can now wear a necktie that will help you deal with the people in your office, newcomers who you don’t know, as well as colleagues and associates. The secret to choosing the most effective necktie has been uncovered through decades of research on the way that people from different social backgrounds react unconsciously to tie color, fabric, and design.

One of the first things you’ll discover is that wearing the correct styles can have a dramatic effect on the way that people interact with you at work, and also in social situations, such as on weekends or on a date. Of course, most men who wear ties at work during the week prefer to go tieless on weekends; however, sometimes you’ll want to wear a tie on a Saturday or Sunday, and this blog post will explain how to do that and achieve maximum effectiveness.

Five basic types of ties can be worn, when you get right down to it: (1) plain solid colors, (2) rep ties, which have stripes, (3) ivy league ties, which have a repeating design inside a circle or square, (4) polka dot ties, and (5) paisley. Knowing what effect each tie has can exponentially boost your self-confidence.

Plain solids are avoided by many men because they think they’re dull. This couldn’t be further from the truth! Solid colors are not only easy to match with your suit colors, but they’re also effective with people from all social backgrounds. So, if you’re not sure who you’ll be meeting on any given day, a solid will serve you well. They’re also beautiful when matched with contrasting colors in suits and jackets. For example, a maroon tie and a navy jacket look terrific together.

Striped ties also are effective with people from all social backgrounds, and they allow you to introduce more color into your outfit. Avoid stripes that are too wide and gaudy. Look at Brian Williams or other newscasters to get a sense of what kinds of rep ties (as striped ties are called) can be tasteful.

Ivy league ties contain a small symbol or geometrical design that repeats. Symbol ties could pertain to a sport, such as golf, with repeating little golf clubs. Holiday ties, for example with little repeating Christmas trees, can be fun. But the most typical ivy league designs are an icon of a school or a repeating little circle with a square inside it, or a similar pattern. These ties will antagonize working class and middle class people, and even upper class people who didn’t go to an ivy league school. But if you know a judge went to Harvard or Yale, for instance, wear an ivy league tie when appearing before him, and you’ll be more effective. He’ll feel you’re on the same wavelength.

Polka dot ties are also good with people from all social backgrounds. The key is to select dots that are small and unobtrusive. Huge dots look clownish. You can select dots to match your shirt or your jacket.

Paisley ties are informal and good for weekends or when you’re not having a meeting at work. Smaller paisley patterns work better than big gaudy ones.

For dates with women, pink ties work well, although this color is ineffective at work. By the way, that goes for pink shirts, too. They will antagonize people at work, but on dates they’re effective with almost all women.

Two last tie tips. Avoid red ties at work. Blue, yellow, and darker colors are all much more effective than solid red. Red stripes mixed with other colors are effective, but again, not solid red. And last but not least, the best fabric is 100 percent silk.