They say the clothes maketh the man, but too few of us understand how to tell the quality of a tie. That’s a real shame since wearing a tie of inferior quality can easily mar the appearance of an otherwise on-point outfit. Luckily enough, there are a few red flags that can warn you of a substandard tie, and here are just three of the most common.
- Twists or Turns
A tie should hang straight downwards and drape evenly. This is exactly what will happen when the tie is cut at a 45-degree angle, but many manufacturers try to cut corners and make the most ties possible out of the same amount of material by cutting at different angles. As a result, the tie will hang improperly. If you hold up a tie by its narrow end, it shouldn’t twist or turn; if you stretch it, it should stretch evenly along its entire length. If a tie doesn’t pass those tests, it hasn’t been well made.
- Lack of Symmetry
Next up, check whether your tie is symmetrical. Symmetry can be surprisingly hard to judge, even when you actually hang the tie in question around your neck, but the more dapper individuals you socialise with will be able to tell that something is amiss. Try laying your tie flat on a table. A good quality and well made tie should have equal sides. You should be able to spot if one side is longer than the other – if so, back it should go.
- Loose Threads or Runs
Finally, take a close look at the material to check for any loose threads or runs. These might sound like obvious flaws, but they’ll often be quite hard to spot at first – it’s over time that such flaws develop into noticeable imperfections. Run your fingertips along the length of the tie to check. It also helps to hold the material up very close to a light – any slightly loose threads will cast a shadow and stand out more clearly.