All posts in Ties

True Confessions of a Trad: The Blunt Cut

Featured

I have been holding this secret in for a while now. From time to time I have thought about writing about it, but feared that it was beyond forgiveness. Two things made me change my mind. First, commenter Hollywood Argyle asked me how I make a four-in-hand knot work being 5’8″. The second was a comment made by Paul Winston of Winston Tailors and Chipp Neckwear fame.
Khaki SurcingleHollywood Argyle is correct in that when I tie a four-in-hand knot at the correct length (example of the correct length above) that it will often result in the tail hanging far beyond the blade. My shameful secret is that I have addressed this issue on countless occasions by simply taking a pair of scissors, cutting the tail to a length that works, and crudely sewing it back together. I wanted to share this technique as I am sure that others have had the same problem, but I held my tongue.

Last week there was a thread about shortening ties in which Mr. Winston said that he offered to shorten his customers ties for free with a blunt cut. As soon as I read that phrase I had a feeling that he was referring to the same technique that I described above. A message from him confirmed this to be true.

“Hello Jerrod,
Blunt cut is exactly what you are doing. I cut it straight across and then bind the end. If one wants me to re-cut the end to a point, there is a $15 charge – it takes about 1/2 hour to re-cut and fold the edges and tipping under and finish the “point”. Almost all my customers who request shortening choose the “free blunt” – when you feed the narrow end through the label and pin it to your shirt no one can see how it is finished. You can tell your followers they need not worry about the “clothing police” if they do what you do.”

There you have it. The blunt cut is a quick and easy way to shorten a tie. It is also free when done at home (or if you are a lucky enough to be a customer of Paul Winston’s!). You can also re-cut the end to a point as Mr. Winston noted. It feels good to get this one off my chest.

I couldn’t do a post on ties with help from Paul Winston without highlighting his wonderful selection of ties that won’t break the bank (everything’s under $60) over at Chipp Neckwear. He makes a great product at fantastic price point. They are also my preferred width of 3.25″. I have been thinking about this Teal & French Blue Shantung tie one for the summer.

Switching it up

Fox Tie

I have often been described as consistent, dependable, and reliable. I am proud of these traits as they are a big part of who I am, but…yes, there is a but. Often these characteristics translate as predictable. While I ¬†myself am a big fan of predictable I also aim to please. Cue the tie.
Fox Tie 2I purchased the tie above over a year ago and it has hung on my tie rack ever since waiting for the day it gets to see some action. When I first saw the tie I was enamored with the playful pattern presented in a deep rich red made of wool challis. I knew that it was a little outside of my comfort zone, but I was drawn to it and it cost me around $10 on the second hand market if I remember correctly.

Last month I woke up with the intent of wearing it. I just wasn’t sure how. I tried a solid blue OCBD first. Something didn’t look quite right. I thought that a white OCBD would work, but I have an aversion to white shirts outside of formal settings where they are required. My trusty blue university striped OCBD was just right. It provided the right mix of pattern and color to serve as a backdrop for this bold tie.

I learned a few things about this tie during its first outing. The first is that it is a beautiful tie. I admired it all day long. I also learned that it would look best with my navy blazer and grey flannels. There is something about it that is a little too something for chinos. I also thought that if I had that camel hair sport coat (or any tan colored sport coat) that I have been lusting after that they would look terrific together.

The moral of this story is to not be afraid to wear something that you would not normally wear. You could surprise yourself and find a new look to add to your repertoire. At the same time, remember that you are creating your look so look the way that you want to look. I am often known for wearing the same thing day in and day out. I am more than okay with that. I know that it is one of my strengths.

Four-in-hand knot with a Dimple Every Time

IMG_4676

I have had quite a few requests for me to demonstrate how I knot my tie. Well this week I relented. I took a video as I got ready for work last week. There are two things that I want to note about this video. The first is that I exaggerated the way in which I ensure a dimple in my tie during the recording, I do this by pinching the tie between my thumb and middle finger while using my index finger to shape the dimple. This second is something that I only learned after watching the video myself which is my four-in-hand knot form could use some work.

Pink, Grey, & Patterns: A Look in Review

Featured Image

I rarely post a what I wear on a regular basis unlike I do on my Instagram account (see here), but as I have said before one of the best ways to learn is by watching others. I people watch in real life and on the internet where I have found style mentors such as Billax (Wearing the Ivy League Look Since 1958). All of this watching has helped me learn how to put together a good looking rig (at least, every now and then). In fact, a rig that I wore the other week garnered so much positive feedback (both online & IRL) that I thought it was worth sharing.
Grey Tweed, Pink tie, and chinosGrey Tweed & Pink TieGant TieThere are a few reasons why I think that this outfit was a hit. One, is that I did not grab my typical striped tie, but instead reached for a beautiful medallion tie from Gant. Two, the tie is pink. This is not a color that I wear very often. Especially when it comes to ties. Third, the grey tweed sport coat besides having all the Ivy details has lines of blue and green running through it that work well with the tie. The final reason is that it all just works really well together.

All in Together Now

FullSizeRender

Earlier this week while I was wearing the look pictured here I realized that what I was wearing was the result of several blog posts. I did not have this blog post in mind when I assembled the rig. I was merely excited to break the new-to-me green tie.
FruitionThe top half of the look contains references to two blog posts. As I mentioned above, the most notable is the green tie that I very recently featured in Going Green Part 1. This was its first outing and while some my find the combination too bold I enjoyed the tie immensely. The tie and shirt combination illustrates my fondness for wearing striped shirts with striped ties which I posted about as well (see here).
Green Tie & BlazerThe third and last post brought to life in this picture is about solid surcingles. I have learned over time that solid surcingles provide the best bang for the buck for me. While striped surcingles may be more fun I don’t wear them very often. On the other hand I will wear a solid surcingle everyday of the week (Solid Surcingle Post). In the that post I mentioned that my next purchase would be a natural colored surcingle. I purchased a natural one from Leatherman belts, but quickly learned that it was khaki that I was after. You can see my new khaki surcingle below.
Khaki SurcingleI like several things about this look. It is simple, but still interesting. It is formal enough for today’s dress codes, but still very casual. It embodies so many of the reasons why I am drawn to traditional American style.