How to incorporate a funky tie into your wardrobe
Regular HSS readers know that I have a “thing” when it comes to clothing or accessories that are meant to be silly, ironic or that possess an inherent look-at-me-and-how-clever-I-am quality to them. Rubber chicken cufflinks are my classic easy target, but there are certainly other examples of the sartorial ironic t-shirt.
And ties happen to be some pretty low hanging fruit. Most guys wear them at some point, though I will say that those who don’t need to wear a tie on a regular basis are the worst offenders. Instead of seeing the opportunity to wear a tie as a chance to look distinguished, they’ll choose one in order to be funny and call attention to themselves.
There’s a difference between a conversational tie and a funky tie, in my opinion. A conversational tie falls into that sartorial ironic t-shirt category. A funky tie, on the other hand, can telegraph personal style and personality. I suppose you could argue that rubber chickens say something about your personal style, but since they say awful things about it, we’re not going to entertain that idea.
I, myself, am not much of a funky tie guy. Though I will occasionally wear a tie that’s more adventurous, like one with a bold plaid or loud paisley, if I’m in the mood, I generally stick to classic solids and stripes for the most part. I like them. And they fit my style and personality.
So when my friends at Drake’s sent me the tie you see in this post as a thank you for my honest and true love for the brand, you can imagine my first reaction. Actually, the first reaction was from Robin, who opened the package while I was traveling. “I don’t know if it’s you,” she said. I didn’t really think so either when she sent me a photo.
However, when I arrived home, my attitude changed. Yes, at first glance I was still lukewarm to the idea this particular tie around my neck. But when I actually started styling it in various ways, it just, well, worked. Despite the asymmetrical and inconsistent pattern when viewed up close, from farther away it isn’t screaming out for attention. And you know that particular quality checks a big box for us here at HSS – the things are best when they reveal intricacies up close box.
What is the trick to adopting a funky tie into your wardrobe without coming off as if you’re starved for attention? Be conservative. Now, that might sound like oxymoronic advice given that our subject is a tie that is designed to be anything but conservative, however, there are ways to keep it more or less in the box. Here are a few pieces of advice.
No wild colors. Stick to your classic menswear palette of blues, browns, reds or muted oranges and greens. Avoid overly bright versions of any color and especially stay away from fluorescents.
No crazy patterns. Again, you can’t go wrong keeping it in the classic wheelhouse. Some bent circles. An off kilter diamond medallion print. Scattershot dots. Just please no repeating rubber chickens or M. C. Escher designs.
Consider it a statement. And apply the laws of wearing statement anythings. Let the statement piece be the focal point of the outfit. Which means keeping the rest of the ensemble muted and inconspicuous. Nothing ruins an outfit’s harmony than too much going on.
Thanks, as always, for reading.
He Spoke Style