Tie construction, perception, and expression

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Tie construction, perception, and expression

I would first like to give a brief intro to tie construction, followed by thoughts on perception and expression. I am by no means an expert, but consider this basic knowledge i've acquired and wish to share. I hope not to offend, only to add my $.02 regarding personal preference...All in good fun!

A typical tie consists of the following:

  • 3 main pattern pieces that form the outer fabric body of the tie
  • an interlining, either cotton or wool, varying in thickness, used similarly to a suit canvas, giving the tie it's shape and heft.
  • an anchor loop, usually made from the same fabric as the tie, used to keep the tail end in place 
  • bar tacks; usually a decorative crocheted hand sewn thread placed at each end of the tie
  • Tipping- either self tipped ( using the same fabric as the tie) e.g., a contrasting fabric sewn to both ends and visible on the back of the tie, or Un-Tipped with the raw edges of the fabric rolled into a hem, much like a pocket square
  • A tension loop- a long thread moving up the spine of the tie that allows for tension when knotting.

My current ties forego using tipping, anchor loops, and the wool variety have no interlining at all.

Why? Personal preference! As far as interlining goes, i've found certain wool ties to be less bulky, whilst still being able to maintain their shape without an interlining because wool is a magical textile from the gods.If ties are tipped, I prefer them to be self tipped, and usually of the silk twill variety. My Matka silk & wool ties are untipped because I love being able to see the open weaves of the fabric and it adds another dimension. There is also something romantic and old world-esque about rolled edges. 

Which brings me to "Expression"

As far as anchor loops, my ties have a label sewn on, which can be used as an anchor, but I like  the body of my tie to have some natural slope, curving from the collar with a nice dimple in the knot, and letting the tail end of my ties protrude a bit. Hence not needing an anchor loop ( Neapolitans tend to do this...where do you think that over-used "sprezzaturra" word comes from?)  It looks elegant and effortless. The Italian's answer to "I woke up like dis"

e.g. This

Now let's discuss "PERCEPTION"

I can't begin to count how many times i've been out and people have given my tie an unsolicited "adjustment".  Many people are used to seeing ties with the tail end hidden behind the larger portion, secured with the anchor loop, pressed flat to the chest,  and believe it or not, without a dimple! They perceive this as the "proper" way to wear a tie.

e.g. This

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Some even use a tie clip to secure the tie to their shirt. I used to use them, but threw them out along with my shirt collar stays. The absence of a dimple + a tie pressed flat looks like a vampire sucked the life force out of your tie. It lies flat and lifeless. Does it still do it's job? Sure, but it has no soul. Again, this is just "perception". Take it with a grain of salt.  Although there is no definitive way to wear your tie, I do prefer one to the other. Style is about individuality after all.  As a friendly reminder for the uninitiated: DO NOT be the guy that purposely wears your tie loosened, and at the very least try tying it with a dimple in it :)

Cheers!