Bow ties are cool.
April 24, 2015 1:34 PM   Subscribe

 
No ties are cool.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:38 PM on April 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


So I've been tying a half-Windsor all these years! I'm going full-Windsor from here on out, yo.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:42 PM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


No ties are cool.

...Oh you beautiful sweet summer child.

Great post. Definitely trying some of these. I mastered the bow tie a few months ago and I am now a man emboldened.
posted by Sokka shot first at 1:42 PM on April 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


No ties are cool.

I disagree. Next!

I'm going full-Windsor from here on out, yo.

You're going to have a knot the size of a small baby at your throat.
posted by backseatpilot at 1:44 PM on April 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


I love necktie and scarf how-to videos, thanks for posting! Cravats soon, I hope?
posted by peripathetic at 1:45 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Pretty cool!

Not to hijack with another video, but I had a frustrated period of going through about a dozen "how to tie a half-windsor" videos, feeling like an idiot for not getting it, and then I got to this one which finally made everything click. It was as simple as showing things in an overheard POV angle, so your brain doesn't have to do any pesky translating. Something to consider for anyone making these sorts of videos.
posted by naju at 1:46 PM on April 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


As a full-time parent in a casual town, I really have no need to wear a tie, and in fact have not worn one for years, save for the occasional wedding.

But I have to say, I really dig that orange tie in the half-windsor video.

Also, I really like the Prince Albert knot, haven't seen that one before.
Next (well, the first) time I go to Easter dinner, that's what I'm doing.
posted by madajb at 1:47 PM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you're into the math behind knots and ties, I got a copy of this book a few years back.

It delves into the history of ties as well as some of the aesthetics and other criteria behind a good knot.
posted by madajb at 1:51 PM on April 24, 2015


Skipped to the bow tie video, as I am the local expert on tying bow ties for various hipsters and dandy dudes. It's the best explanation I've seen for that magical step where you form the knot with the dominant tail. I've never tried folding the forward-bows before, so I'll have to try that next time.
posted by muddgirl at 1:51 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sweet Baby Monkeys! He did the MEROVINGIAN!
If I can learn that one from him, he wins the internet for this day.
Bonus points if it makes me speak fluent French.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 1:56 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Protip: If you grow a beard of sufficient length, it doesn't matter what necktie knot you use.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:58 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I really could have done with this post last week. My partner and I went to a formal dinner for the first time in twenty years, and we were nearly late because I'd completely forgotten how to tie a bow tie.
posted by HastyDave at 1:59 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


So I've been tying a half-Windsor all these years! I'm going full-Windsor from here on out, yo.

In my experience, it's going to depend on how much time you left yourself to get to work
posted by Hoopo at 2:20 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


OMG! I think I've crossed something something off the bucket something, being the subject of an FPP!
posted by xingcat at 2:31 PM on April 24, 2015 [11 favorites]


Today, I learned that my beloved Shelby (the best knot) is also called the Pratt knot. It gives the best dimples.

The Merovingian knot is just ridiculous, though. I imagine if you wear one in public, you will be kidnapped by a Templar or something.

Also, the Prince Albert knot was a bit disappointing, since I assumed it would involve a Prince Albert in the weave.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:43 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Faint of Butt: "Protip: If you grow a beard of sufficient length, it doesn't matter what necktie knot you use."

Yes, but then you end up tying your beard in the knot. Beards and ties do not mix.
posted by zinon at 2:49 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Never gave bowties that much thought before, pretty keen!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:52 PM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't collect tie knot tutorialists, but I do collect tie knot inventors. My favorites have to be Eric Glennie, master of inventing simple knots[1], and Linwood, a true artist in creating complex, elaborate knots.

[1]If you really have trouble tying a tie, I recommend Glennie's overhand knots. They're a ridiculously obvious solution, but only in retrospect.
posted by yeolcoatl at 3:04 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


yeolcoatl, I have never seen that overhand knot technique, and it's amazing!
posted by xingcat at 3:06 PM on April 24, 2015


Women, like the 6'5" Amanda Zahui B. at the WNBA draft, wear bow-ties, too. And suspenders!
posted by Carol Anne at 3:28 PM on April 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was one of the most popular guys in my dorm because I was one of the few who knew how to tie a tie. Full and half Windsor. Your choice. Thanks for the beer.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:28 PM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was kind of surprised to see that all of my poor attempts at decent knots ended up actually having names... particularly the Pratt. This knot in particular seems really... lazy.

When I actually wear a tie these days, it's full windsor...

but that's because I didn't have anything to teach me a more complicated knot! Gonna make notes on that Merovingian...
posted by jefflowrey at 3:31 PM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


This knot in particular seems really... lazy.

Are you calling the Pratt/Shelby lazy? That is foolish talk.

The Shelby is elegant, sleek, symmetrical, and, if tied right, makes a lovely dimple. It is a knot of quiet confidence. It is not off-kilter, like so many knots, staggering around drunkenly under your collar like a sailor unable to find the way back to the ship. It does not pack so much cloth into your neck that a casual observer might imagine that your feared an attack to your throat. It is not weird or esoteric, requiring 30 yards of fabric to make a knot that demands more attention than your face. It is, quite simply, the knot.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:00 PM on April 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Tie Fighters.
posted by dhartung at 4:01 PM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wear bow ties pretty frequently, and they generate a surprising amount of positive reactions: smiles, remarks, whatever. They spread joy, and look good, too!
posted by wenestvedt at 4:14 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


You're going to have a knot the size of a small baby at your throat.

My dad taught me how to tie a full windsor and a half windsor when I was a kid, and while I always liked the symmetry of the full windsor, I always ended up with a big fat knot and a really short tie.

Consequently, despite a preference for the full windsor, I generally ended up with a half windsor because it didn't look quite so odd.

This video was really useful though, because it showed me the relative lengths of the two ends of the tie. xingcat's windsor knot wasn't a great big fist-sized knot at all -- it was bigger than the simple knot that most kids learn how to tie and it had the shapeability you expect from a windsor knot. It looked like a good windsor knot should look. And it didn't have one end of the tie looking ludicrously short either.

I've no idea why it's taken me nearly fifty years to get the answer to this, but I'm grateful for it.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:20 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Fan of the four-in-hand and trinity, myself. One of the sad things about bowties/stringties, for gentlemen's furnishings geeks, is there are just two knots. The one in the video, and a variation where the center wrap is done a full extra turn around and behind the starting half-squareknot, to add more bulk in the center for thin or unlined fabrics.
posted by Dreidl at 4:27 PM on April 24, 2015


I always wear a four-in-hand, mostly because it's all I've ever bothered to learn, but also because I am lazy and sloppy (so it suits me) and if I'm wearing a tie, it's probably a wedding reception or something, and, well, open bar. It's a good knot for that "slovenly salesman" look.

(I've only had one job that required me to wear a tie: Stocking shelves at a supermarket.)
posted by Sys Rq at 4:43 PM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wish bowties were cool, because I have a drawer full of them, but George Will and especially Tucker Carlson rendered them permanently off-limits.

I wear a day cravat instead (usually a woman's (because that's all I can find) 23-inch-square (ish) scarf tied in a loose four-in-hand. Sure, I look like a complete tosser, but at least I don't look like a conservative commentator.
posted by Fnarf at 4:46 PM on April 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


My life suddenly changed the day that I realized that the bow tie knot is how you tie your shoes (and that the length setting is super key).

I also quite liked the thing on agreeordie.com about making a standard necktie into a bow tie at the cost of not being able to wear it as a regular tie ever again (not necessarily a problem for old ties).

I spent a few years working in a place with cold winters. That's a great way to get into wearing ties.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:00 PM on April 24, 2015


It's a good knot for that "slovenly salesman" look.

There's certainly no knot that works as well with the top button of your shirt unbuttoned and whisky paid for out of an expense account.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 5:16 PM on April 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


I associate bow ties with a certain sort of insufferable man who mistakenly thinks a bow tie makes him cool instead a twit. The comments here suggest my experience of bow tie wearers may have been sadly skewed.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:44 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was so excited when I figured out how to tie a bow tie but then a year later, I had to figure it out all over again because it's something that you have to build into muscle memory by repetition and I don't wear them often enough to do that.
posted by octothorpe at 6:05 PM on April 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


It looks like his head is only 3" below the ceiling in all of those videos.
posted by sblom at 1:28 AM on April 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


First, mathematicians found "all 85 ways" to tie a necktie. But that was 2000. Just last year, they found over 177,000 more.
posted by sblom at 1:37 AM on April 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


It looks like his head is only 3" below the ceiling in all of those videos.

Part of why I started doing these was to learn how to film things, but I also have really low ceilings. :)
posted by xingcat at 3:18 AM on April 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fnarf, PM inbound...
posted by wenestvedt at 4:32 AM on April 25, 2015


I associate bow ties with being 6 and having to go to church, so they've always been a non-starter.
I wish I'd seen this YouTube collection 40 years ago, since I wore a tie most workdays from 1973 to 2003, and I only knew the four-in-hand, and experienced the same drawbacks mentioned in his video.
Since then I've worn a tie about 4 times, but the next time I will try one of the Windsors.

I learned to tie a tie in 7th grade. I was elected to be my home-room's male representative to the May Day celebration at my Junior High. I had to wear a blazer and a tie. While we were practicing lining up, a very popular girl showed me how to tie the four-in-hand. This marked the full extent of my interaction with popular girls while I was in Junior High. Thanks, Chris!
posted by MtDewd at 6:40 AM on April 25, 2015


because it's something that you have to build into muscle memory by repetition

If you'd gone to a grammar school where they beat you with a cane for not wearing your school tie, you'd definitely have it built into your muscle memory.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:32 AM on April 25, 2015


It's so odd - my father taught me how to tie a double Windsor, and it was for the longest time the only one I knew. It's still my go-to knot. I was an adult before I figured out the half windsor and four-in-hand (mostly out of necessity as they don't make ties all that long much of the time).

I love the Merovingian for its sheer kookiness. Thanks, xingcat!
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 9:42 AM on April 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Fnarf: I wish bowties were cool, because I have a drawer full of them, but George Will and especially Tucker Carlson rendered them permanently off-limits.

Dip Flash: I associate bow ties with a certain sort of insufferable man who mistakenly thinks a bow tie makes him cool instead a twit.
Over the last five or so years I think the bow tie hate pendulum has swung away from "conservative pundit/That One Insufferable Bow Tie Guy" to "Those f'ing hipsters and their bow ties."

Really, though, bow ties have definitely made a comeback since I started wearing them about 7 years ago. At the time they were impossible to find in all but the most traditional menswear shops; I wound up buying my first one on Ebay. You couldn't wear one anywhere without people making stupid Orville Redenbacher/Pee Wee Hermann comments. Now you can find them in most department stores, and I think I even remember seeing them at Target not too long ago. They're still a little bit outré, I guess, but I can't remember the last time someone made a derogatory comment to my face about my choice of neckwear.

The basic key to looking good in a bow tie is not to use a clip-on. Also: Don't whinge about how hard they are to tie, because they're really not. This is the concise video I originally learned from and have been referring people to, but I'm going to start steering people to xingcat's from now on - really nice!
posted by usonian at 10:30 AM on April 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


First, mathematicians found "all 85 ways" to tie a necktie. But that was 2000. Just last year, they found over 177,000 more.
posted by sblom


There are far more than that. A lot of the new knots on youtube these days (including about half of Linwood's linked above) can't be coded in the UWT system at all. The random tie kmot generator is still cool, though.
posted by yeolcoatl at 11:38 AM on April 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


After a lifetime of only being able to tie a bow tie and a four-in-hand, I just tied a Windsor knot for the first time, after only watching this video one time. Thanks so much xingcat!
posted by 4ster at 2:56 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


« Older Probably the first time Cromagnon has been...   |   "This child’s name is William" Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments