18 December 2013

Tie Game

For those of you who first came around here because of something that I wrote about clothing, shoes, or shopping, I haven't forgotten about you. My financial situation over the past year or so has made it harder for me to shop with the same fervor I used to have, but every now and then I'm still going to have something to say about an item of clothing.

I occasionally go on job interviews and attend events that require getting dressed up, so I need ties. I like ties; I wore them in high school. I have about 30 of them, which some might think is too many for someone who isn't required to wear them to work daily, but I've found that having choices works better for me when I'm trying to put together an outfit.

I just bought two ties from The Tie Bar, an Illinois-based online store. They first came to my attention several years back because of their tie bars, which are featured in the fashion layouts in nearly every issue of GQ. They also offer a wide selection of inexpensive pocket squares (around $8 for the cotton ones).

And for ties, they are a terrific resource. They have a huge variety of ties, almost all of which are $15 each (extra-long styles are $20). Many are offered in a choice of standard or skinnier widths. They also sell other accessories like cufflinks, socks, and suspenders. Standard shipping is a flat $5.99 for any size order, and with prices as reasonable as theirs, it makes sense to order several items at once.

You might think a $15 tie would be a piece of junk, but part of what makes The Tie Bar an appealing place to shop is that their products offer excellent value and are nicely made for the price. You could go to Macy's and pay $40 to $50 for a tie with some designer's name on the label, and there wouldn't be any difference in quality between it and a tie from The Tie Bar. I'm not saying their stuff is on the same level as something by Ferragamo or Zegna, but it sure costs a hell of a lot less.
These are the two ties I got last week. I have never cared for striped ties; I tend to favor geometrics, paisleys, or solids with texture. For the past several years I've been inclined toward simpler designs, and both of these are definitely in that vein.

It's difficult to go wrong with a polka-dot tie (unless you choose a weird color); while I've never liked navy, I really like royal blue, and I've been wanting a tie in this color for a while. The silver tie has a very fine basket-weave texture that catches the light nicely. This would be a great choice to wear to a wedding, with a dark pinstripe suit and a white shirt. As a bonus, it also works well with some of my striped dress shirts (if you're going bolder with your shirt, then you should probably go more subtle with the tie).

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