Style & Beauty
Alternatives to the Traditional Tie
12/6/2016 9:34:28 AM


Learning how to tie a tie is a rite of passage for a young man. Oscar Wilde felt so strongly about it that he once stated that learning to tie a tie was the first serious step in life. However, even Oscar Wilde could not have foretold the twists and turns that men’s fashion would take in regards to neck-wear. Today, if the idea of wearing the classic tie drives you up the wall, or you are simply longing for some variety, you will be pleased to know there are some alternatives to the traditional tie.

The Bow Tie: The bow tie is perhaps the most recognizable alternative to the traditional tie. Bow ties come in many different fabrics and sizes, so it is easy to find one that fits any occasion. Black and white bow ties are usually reserved for more formal occasions. If there is a shine to the bow tie, it should only be worn in the evenings, whereas a more casual fabric or a fabric that boasts a very busy pattern should be worn earlier in the day.

The Ascot Tie : Taking a step back in time to the precursor to the tie, you will find the ascot tie, which is a close-cousin of the cravat. Hailing from the 19th century, the ascot is considered a "day cravat,” and can be worn to day-time formal events. It can be worn pleats up or pleats down as long as the pleats overlap the knot. It can be tied in several ways, including the traditional knot, the simple knot, the four-in-hand knot, and the half ascot. The trick is to use an ascot tie with quality fabric, and be sure to unbutton one to two shirt buttons to look your best.

The Bolo Tie: For a casual occasion, the bolo tie is sure to be a conversation starter. This western-inspired piece is made out of braided leather and has metal tips and an ornamental clasp. Bolo ties are considered to be well-crafted pieces of wearable art.

The Scarf: A new trend is emerging where men are shedding their ties in favor of cashmere or silk scarves. These can be worn underneath a sport coat for a sophisticated look, or if you find yourself posing for a Tom Ford ad.

In addition to these alternatives, Connie Seal of Connie’s Menswear in Westlake explains, "Today in the working world, we hear phrases like ‘dress code,’ that are associated with the workplace, but different employers are now offering alternatives to the tie. Business casual can be a nice navy blazer or sport coat with an open collared shirt. We see this at social events as well, however a tie will always have its proper place in the men’s clothing world.” There are many alternatives to the traditional tie, you just have to find that one that is appropriate for you.

Posted by: Lauren Atterbery Cesar | Submit comment | Tell a friend


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