Ask Andy’s Trad Community: The Tie Swap Box

Regimnetal and Repp ties

I have been lurking on Ask Andy’s Trad Forum since 2006. I have learned so much about traditional clothing from the gentlemen over there simply by watching and listening. However, this December I decided to take the plunge and register as a member so that I could participate, instead of just lurking in the background. I have to say that I have had a great time participating in this forum. I have yet to see or experience any overt negativity or nastiness simply for the sake of being nasty– which is so common on other forums. In this post, I am going to highlight an amazing accomplishment of the Trad Forum, the Trad Tie Swap Box.

Trad Tie Box

BowtiesThe contents of the box.

What I gaveWhat I added

Leatherman beltI also added this belt

Trad Tie Swap Box-Took

What I took

The Trad Tie Swap box is a simple concept. Here are the guidelines:

“You’ve been given a great gift, George: A chance to see what the world would be like without you.”

You’re not George Bailey, and this isn’t necessarily a wonderful life, but you have been given a great gift: A box filled with ties. Take as many as you like, then send the box along to the next lucky recipient. Our hope is to keep this box circulating indefinitely, sprinkling sartorial splendor throughout the nation. This will take require some dedication, perhaps a little luck and, by necessity, a few rules that have already been posted on the Ask Andy website, where this all began, and are repeated here as a gentle reminder.

Leave as many ties as you take, and if you take a bow, leave a bow. If you are just starting out with your wardrobe and don’t have many ties on the rack, it’s OK to take without leaving—there are many here among us whose closets groan and can easily make up the difference. It is better to leave nothing than pass on a J. Garcia or Cocktail Collection or some other monstrosity that will only add to shipping charges and end up being culled by the Keepers Of The Box.

This box is for folks who favor the so-called Trad, or Ivy League, look, and so no ties wider than 3.5 inches, and no ties made in China. Except for emblematic ties, synthetic materials are no-no’s. Try to leave ties that are the same approximate value as the ties you take—i.e., it isn’t cool to take all the J. Press and Brooks Brothers and leave Croft and Barrow (and you shouldn’t be leaving CB no matter what). It should go without saying, but no damaged or stained ties. If you wouldn’t wear it yourself, it has no business being in this box. The faster the box moves the better, so please forward it to the next person post haste.

Finally, post photos of what you took and what you left on the website and, ideally, of what arrived. This part is absolutely critical. If you don’t know how to post photos, it’s easy to learn, and folks on the site are happy to help if you have any questions. So post photos.

And that’s about it. Enjoy the box.

PaisleyPaisleys

Regimnetal and Repp ties

Repp and Stripe tiesRegimental, Repp and Stripes

A few close-up pics of some emblematics (below)

Fox emblematicFox

Bull & BearBull & Bear

Chipp EmblemaitcMoney bags (you have to love the Chipp’s sense of humor)

Chipp TagWe all know and cherish Chipp

I just received the box on Saturday. I spent at least an hour, if not two, lost in a world ties. I especially enjoyed looking at all of the labels that referenced both current and defunct men’s shops. I added 4 ties and 1 belt to the box. The ties I added were a kelly green/navy Nautica repp tie, a yellow foulard PRL tie, a 100% wool tartan tie by Pendleton, and 100% wool plaid tie by the Windsor Shirt Company. The belt I added was a Leatherman web belt with a nautical theme. I took three ties: A beautiful vintage YSL foulard tie, a navy/yellow 346 repp tie, and a green/burgundy/ yellow striped Ferrell Reed for Harold’s tie. It was so cool to be a part of the Trad Tie Swap Box project. On Monday, I will be sending the box to its next stop and it will continue to make its way through the Midwest and East Coast. I have included a few pictures in this post that highlight the contents of the box.

oxford cloth button down
is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

One Comment on "Ask Andy’s Trad Community: The Tie Swap Box"

  1. When I changed jobs in 1985 and moved from a logistics/repair facility In Oklahoma City to my employer’s regional headquarters in Chicago, I think I owned three ties. One USAF blue, one I bought for my wedding, and one I had for church (but found people dont wear ties to church in OK.)
    My new position as engineer-in-training required me to work in a professional office, commute to university for classes, and wear a neck tie every day. So my first week in Chicago I was registering for classes at UIC, moving into temporary housing, getting my family set up in school, shopping for a house (fortunately my full time wife/mom was very capable, ex-realtor ex-GI, expert with five kids), and I went to Marshall’s and bought eight striped silk ties on clearance for around $1 each. I wore those exclusively for the next four years (except for inevitable gift ties).

    So the tie swap box is one heck of a concept! I love it, and wish it existed somehow before. But we didnt even have the internet back then. We did have thrift stores.

I would like to hear from you