Navy blue tie

lord willys ties

The necktie is the centerpiece in men's fashion today.

When someone is wearing a nice tie, tied right in a classic look, it tells the world "this person really knows what they're up to," says Alex Wilcox, owner of Lord Willy's, a British men's clothing shop in New York City. "It's a little bit like a private club."

To look sharp and professional, there are three signature ties every man should own, he says.

The first is a navy tie, in a deep blue. A navy tie works just as well with a grey suit as a plaid one.

"The beauty of a deep navy tie is that it's going to allow all the other colors [around it] to breathe," says Wilcox. "The tie itself is the grounding element and the other fabrics breathe around it."

First published December 18, 2015: 11:35 AM ET