Looking for New Ties
May 17, 2008 7:48 PM   Subscribe

Where do you get your ties? Are there any that you recommend?

I'm looking for some new ties to wear at work and I need some ideas of what to wear.
posted by toaster to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (21 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
posted by dobbs at 7:58 PM on May 17, 2008

I buy Geoffrey Beene ties for my fiance. They're available at Macy's. He's an IT executive, so these are quite conservative and classic. It would be helpful if you gave your profession or level of formality at work.
posted by desjardins at 8:06 PM on May 17, 2008

JC Penney's had some surprisingly interesting ties IME. Haven't been in one in years, tho.
posted by tachikaze at 8:26 PM on May 17, 2008

Silk ties definitely have a nicer look. They're going to cost more (not outrageously so), but they have a far better appearance than polyester.
posted by netbros at 8:56 PM on May 17, 2008

The only ties I've ever found that I really love have been Jerry Garcia ties. I think you can find them all over the place. I'm sure I got mine at Macy's or J.C. Penney or some such.
posted by madmethods at 9:03 PM on May 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

I really like the ones at Brooks Brothers.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 9:09 PM on May 17, 2008

Clearance or outlet shopping from the high-end department stores like Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom can net you top-quality silk ties for $50-75 apiece. Midmarket men's stores like Men's Wearhouse and Jos A Bank will tend to run you about the same at regular price. Their quality isn't quite as good, but still all right.

I'd recommend keeping it a little conservative with your ties. Don't be Ted Stevens. Look for interesting patterns and textures, nothing gimmicky.
posted by shadow vector at 9:13 PM on May 17, 2008

Art museum gift shops often have interesting ties... Met, MFA, Getty, Philly, Brooklyn, British Museum. And of course the Museum Store.

Also: Burl Veneer's Tie Blog.
posted by staggernation at 9:56 PM on May 17, 2008

I buy ties almost exclusively at discount places like TJ Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls -- they carry well-known designers for ~$20-30/tie. It requires being selective, of course, but I'm always able to find at least one or two I like. YMMV depending on your taste.
posted by camcgee at 10:03 PM on May 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

I buy Hermes ties off of eBay. You can get them well below list and they're usually clean and well-taken-care-of ... the ones I buy seem to be sold by people who either are in a job where they don't need them anymore or who are selling the ones they got tired of in order to buy new ones.

I only buy the ones that are skinnier than your average american tie because I have a relatively small frame and normal american cut ties look like a bib on me.
posted by SpecialK at 10:11 PM on May 17, 2008

Take a look at Josh Bach ties. Some are whimsical; some are beautiful; some are both.
posted by wryly at 10:47 PM on May 17, 2008

Simply the coolest ties ever: ToyBreaker.
posted by Ugh at 10:59 PM on May 17, 2008

This is a pretty impossible question to answer if we don't know your tastes.

Anyway, I really like Drake's of London. Thick woven silk in small patterns or regimental stripes. I guess they can look boring online. You really need to see them in person so you can appreciate the texture and quality.
posted by mullacc at 11:10 PM on May 17, 2008

I second the Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshalls trio - what my wife and I like to collectively call "Garbage Town." You never know what you'll find, but I've snagged some serious European-made ties from those places - D&G, Valentino, and some others. They almost always have CK ties, which are surprisingly nice, and even oddities like the most conservative tie I own which is (oddly enough) made by Sean John.

I'll echo Ebay, but with the caveat that almost all of the high-fashion clothing that's on Ebay nowadays is fake, and if you don't know what you're looking at specifically it's easy to get ripped off.
posted by 1adam12 at 4:54 AM on May 18, 2008

One thing you must do, no matter what brand you go with, avoid polyester as if you are superman and it is kryptonite. Make sure your tie is entirely natural fibre, be it silk or maybe a smart knit.

Your answer is Hermes; inject some whimsy and a sense of playfulness. This one is particularly fetching.
posted by oxford blue at 6:09 AM on May 18, 2008

If you're looking for something relatively inexpensive, buying quality ties from a designer discounter like Nordstrom Rack, Saks Off Fifth or Loehmann's is easy, and the quality will be much higher than what you'd find at the Marshall's of the world.

If you're looking for classic, hand-made ties for a very good price, try Sam Hober. Their ties are the absolute finest quality you can buy, for a very reasonable price. They're also bespoke, so if ties usually run a little long or short for you, or you'd like to adjust the width a bit from the typical, you can. Grenadine ties are one of the most classic items you can add to your wardrobe. Their solid color means they're very easy to match and extremely versatile, and their texture makes them visually interesting, without being too casual for business or formal situations. Club or college ties are another classic that will stand the test of time.

Generally speaking, you should be looking for something in silk, with some texture in the weave (no shiny, printed Bugs Bunny ties, no cheeseball Regis ties). Some signs of a very high quality tie: you want it to be supple, but substantial, so it'll tie a nice knot. Don't be afraid to tie it to see how it knots. A cheap tie will be fused (fabric glued) together, which will age poorly and look lousy when tied. Also: the ends of fine ties' keepers (the loop on the back) are sewn into the center seam, rather than sewn onto the back of the tie. The finest ties are "self-tipped," meaning they are lined with the same silk on the outside -- so the back of the tie, including the end, has the same fabric as the front of the tie.

Also: unless you're a clown, I would avoid funny ties. I know some guys like to wear a novelty tie, or a "whimsical" tie to cover up the fact that they're uncomfortable wearing a tie, but it has exactly the opposite effect.
posted by YoungAmerican at 8:12 AM on May 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

IANAM(male) Are you an adventurous shopper? Goodwill & Salvation Army often have gorgeous ties for a dollar or 2. It's hit or miss, but the day you buy 5 gorgeous ties for for 5 bucks is a great day. I kept my husband in beautiful ties back then. (unintended double entendre) Sartorialist is a great source of inspiration.

Really dull ties and really interesting ties work well, but not middle-of-the road. Theme ties - Disney, holiday, etc., should only be worn if they were a gift from a child. Never, ever wear polyester ties.
posted by theora55 at 8:26 AM on May 18, 2008

Honestly, Kohl's and Men's Wearhouse. I shop around, pick out a few that look good, and that's that.
posted by fogster at 10:31 AM on May 18, 2008

I like Cyberoptix quite a bit. They might not work in a staid, conservative office setting, but I wouldn't call them flashy.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 11:22 AM on May 18, 2008

YoungAmerican, While I agree with avoiding 'funny' (aka tacky) ties, there is nothing wrong with a little whimsy, such as in the tie I suggested; if anything it shows one is confident, and knows the rules well enough to break them a little. Whilst I'm sure you weren't rejecting my suggestion, I just wanted to make sure that people realise that the world, occasionally, doesn't need another red and blue striped tie. Of course, Hermes ties, generally, don't fall into the tacky category (although, some come very close)! They are certainly a lot more suitable for general business use than some others posted in this thread!
posted by oxford blue at 5:07 PM on May 18, 2008

Not really a suggestion, unless you're around this area. Just something somebody might find interesting :) (skip to the bottom for a more reasonable suggestion)

I served as a missionary for the LDS church (Mormon, those annoying guys on the bikes :)) in South Texas for 2 years. DEEP south as in Rio Grande and the Gulf of Mexico. I was placed in many different cities around in that region such as: Brownsville, Mcallen, Pharr, Laredo etc.

Throughout these cities, there are literally hundreds of "Bodegas" or basically stock piles or dumping grounds for clothes. I'm not sure exactly, but my guess is most of the clothes get to these places via fabric makers getting rid of their left overs when lines go out-of-style or "season", as well as basic donations and some that have come out of production with "defects".

These warehouses range in sizes from small gynasiumish to 747 airplane hanger-ish sized. Some have literally small mountains of clothes.

Anyhow, on any given day when these places are open, there are a ton of people (mostly local hispanics) sorting through the clothes, finding those gems or defective-gems that can be easily repaired and sold at the flea-market.

So as missionaries we'd go there for guess what, ties! And missionaries in that area have been going to these places for years, and the owners / workers are aware of this and the best places typically set aside ties when going through the mountains of clothes. Usually we'd find large barrels full of ties they had seperated. Each barrel-full on average would have 10-20 $100-$300 ties. Of course most if not all would have a stain or 2, or a loose thread, but 80% or so of them were easily repaired ourselves. Half the time they'd give us the ties for free, or they'd be sold by the pound, so 2-3 ties would be a nickel or so.

I arrived there with a few Stanford print ties I bought from JCPenny for $20 each, and left with a hundred or so, half of which are in prime condition, hand woven, amazing looking brand-name ties. Gucci, Hilfigher, Armani, Zegna, Burberry etc etc.

Anyhow... if you're ever in that area... those places are awesome to go to stock up on amazing ties for life, for practically nothing (or sell them after doing repairs). (however the trick is knowing where those hard-to-find warehouses with the most ties are at, and keeping them a secret :P) Oh and the same is with any type of clothing in those places. Like for example in brownsville, there's this place you can buy bails of basically any type of clothing, for $20-$50. Bails as in hay bail sized; 100lbs each. Ties, jeans, dresses.... leather jackets even.


But aside from that, the best place to get great ties at logical prices, as already mentioned, are stores like Marshalls, TJ Max, Ross etc. You'll find plenty of brand name ties that are probably just a season behind the big expensive stores when it comes to styles, for $15-30 instead of $80-200. I'd also suggest always passing on the "printed" ties and stick with "stitched" ties. Just feel them you can tell which is which. Plus they look much better than printed ;) And of course, silk >>>>> polyester or what we called, "Napkin" or "rainy day" ties.

ps. Some of the most outrageously expensive ties (in catalogs), Gucci's and Armani's, tended to be the most hideous looking ties we could find :p
posted by rasmerack at 6:07 AM on May 20, 2008 [2 favorites]

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