As everyone knows, tie width is in a constant state of evolution increasing and decreasing slowly over time as a result of some larger fashion trend.
Although it is no great confession that I’m firmly on the side of style and not a slave to fashion, I keep an eye on that fickle beast to see what will be thrown at us next. That being said, ultimately you should be the one decide what works for you and here are a few things to consider that will help you reach your own conclusion.
Firstly, tie width should not exist in a vacuum. There should be a direct relationship between the lapel width at the widest point and your tie (again at the widest point). If your lapels are particularly slim you may want to dip below 3″ in width but I personally prefer a lapel that works with a 3″ to 3 1/4″ tie.
The reason for this is not simply based on the overall look, but also because you want to tie a proper knot. I prefer the four in hand knot because it has a certain asymmetry and does not scream “look at me” the way a full Windsor knot does. This can present a problem if your tie gets too skinny and there is just not enough fabric to make the knot look the way it should.
Another consideration is the fabric. Even a slimmer tie at 3″ in width for example will tie a nice four in hand and will not look odd with a spread collar shirt if the fabric is thicker. Related to this is tie construction which is a topic on its own but should be considered if you are thinking of bespoke. A bespoke tie is far easier to afford than a bespoke suit!
Lastly, you may want to actually measure the width as some ties may be slimmer than stated.