Three tips on ties
21 January 2010
This post refers to ‘three more tips’ because way back in April 2008 I wrote a post called Two Tips on Ties. I think the alliteration rather pleased me at the time.
That was a discussion about the best way to get a nice dimple in a tie knot. And it does work: you just have to create a memory of the fold in the tie’s lining (assuming it is lined).
This post is about getting your tie to stand upright in the collar, arching out from the neck to create a flattering curve. The three tips are: keep it at the top of the collar band, tighten it horizontally and make sure it remains central.
None of these will keep your tie at its proud, priapic best all day long. No matter how well tied, or how great the quality, no silk necktie will stay in its ideal position permanently. It will need occasional adjustment. But the alternative is a tie bar or pin, which rather stifles the silk in my opinion. Rather, let it hang and adjust when needed.
The first tip: make sure that the neck of your tie is at the top of the collar band of your shirt. While most ties won’t be much narrower than the shirt collar, making sure it is right at the top will make a surprising difference to the curve of the tie. Once the knot is tied, you can check this by tucking one finger in each side of the collar and pushing the tie up. This is most important on high collars, and is easiest with spread collars.
Second tip: when you tighten the tie, do it horizontally, parallel to the ground. Lift up the rear blade and push the knot flat into the collar. The initial angle will subside after a while, but it still makes a perceptible difference.
Third tip: make sure the top of the knot is central in the collar gap. Because a four-in-hand knot (assuming that’s what you’re using – you should) is always skewed to one side, the bottom of the knot will not be central if the top is. The tie will come out of the knot slightly to one side. Some men, not realising this, keep the tie central and the top of knot slightly under one side of the collar. As it is therefore slightly constricted, the knot will often pull slightly away from the collar or not curve as it could.
Three tips on ties.