Reader question: Looking after ties
16 April 2012
Having read with great interest all your articles (over many, many hours – I am a late-comer to your site) I have been amassing information. Now that I have actually started to purchase clothes etc, the question I have of ties, which I intend to start wearing to work again, is how to look after them. With my latest acquisition, from Drakes, it came presented in a lovely box when ordered through the email. This lead to me think should it be stored flat. Then I remember reading that they should be stored rolled, on the other hand one can buy tie hangers almost everywhere which leads to even further confusion. Maybe I should go back to your Le Snob for there may be some comment in there as I am sure I recall reading something about storage.
So perhaps from time to time, you may wish to consider these points and inform those, like me, that know very little about decent clothes and how to look after them, for there is little out there to advise us. For example, I read a lovely little article in The Rake some time back in which Tim Everest explained how to store suits/jackets against moths. He advised using breathable suit covers (previously mine had all been cheap plastic) from Morplan, and then to use scented cedar balls and top them up from time to time with refresher oil. This instruction I have followed and feel a sense of duty to my better quality clothes which ultimately leaves me feeling, well, great.
Thanks for your question, Bradley. I’m pleased you are finding such reward in slowly building a high-quality wardrobe.
The answer on ties is pretty simple. Most ties should be stored hanging up, so that the day’s wrinkles fall out of them. The only exception is knitted or heavy woven ties, which can stretch if hung up – they should be rolled.
That is the stock advice. But I should also say that I usually hang my knitted ties, because I have no easy place to store them rolled, and I have noticed no deleterious effects over the past decade or so. People always say that knitted ties are cut shorter for that reason too – because they stretch over time – but I’ve never found any to stretch substantially and I wish they’d make them to a regular length.
Also, the beneficial effect of hanging a tie is largely worked out after a couple of days. So if it is easier for you to store ties flat or rolled up, just hang up the most recently worn and periodically slide them away into a drawer.
Tim’s advice on storage is good too. I like buying my favourite fragrance in an oil and using that to top up the cedar wood – it makes my clothes smell ever-so-subtly of me. And wards off moths. Do make sure to store your clothes clean as well – if you wear your suits rarely, you can dry clean them just this once a year.
Pictured: Cedar tie organiser, The Hanger Project