Considering the general ‘dress code’ for men has dwindled over the past 20 years, wearing ties has become less and less prevalent except for bankers and lawyers. I don’t wear ties very much. I stick to neckties rather than bow ties, as I prefer the look (note – I can tie my own bow tie. Probably better than you). I always wear a coat and tie to church. I usually have 4-10 weddings a year, and then a few other parties that require a tie. Reading that makes it seems that I am a weekend tie guy. Fine with me.
I have also lost a little weight over the last year (high-five, @skipbrooks9 #dreamyear). I’ve gone through major closet purges and my bill at the tailor’s is on par with a small country’s GDP. With this, I’ve added a few suits, sport coats and blazers. The rule I use for ties is that it should match your jacket lapel. If you have a thick lapel, wear a wider tie. If it’s a thin lapel, go with a 3″ tie. Any more narrow than that looks like a costume (except for knit ties). Most of my lapels are thin, so I’ve been adding 3″ ties.
When I’m thrifting, I always give the ties a good once-over. For a couple bucks a pop, it’s worth it. 95% of the time it’s a bunch of junk, but every once in a while you get lucky. Some finds:
Silk Robert Talbott, Silk No-name, Silk Cravate, Wool/Silk No-name, Silk Brooks Brothers ‘Brooksgate’, Silk Talbott.
Some keys when thrifting ties: First, buy natural fibers. Silk, wool, cotton and linen are all good. Blends of any of those are good as well. Personally, I like a ‘thicker’ feel for any tie (thin silk just doesn’t work for me). Second, check all the corners. Pass if there is any wear. Lastly, give it a good once over and look for any stains or pulls. Considering the price at a thrift store, it isn’t worth trying to get the cleaned or fixed.
Don’t forget Estate sales either…nice finds for a buck a piece:
P.S. Pardon the sub-par photographs. My camera is on vacation.