Vintage Ties

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:

(L-R):
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:

Good luck!

P.S. Pardon the sub-par photographs.  My camera is on vacation.

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  • tim07/16/2013 - 9:38 AM

    I’ll second that!

    I found some great ties in the $1 – $5 category, though sadly never any Hermes ties for $1. I thought I was living large when I got one for $25.ReplyCancel

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