When you hear the word “tie” what is the first thing you think of? No, not the scene in Pretty Woman where Julie Roberts greets Richard Gere in nothing but heels and a silk tie. And no, not when two teams end a game with the same score. James Bond is the correct answer, which you’d know if you bothered to read the title of this post.
When it comes to gussying oneself up, women have the options of dresses, skirts or pants, as well as all manner of shoes and accessories. (Or, if you’re Miley Cyrus, nothing but a splash of mud and your pet pig.) Men have…a suit.
With such limited attire choices, if a guy wants to express himself, he must do so with neckwear. Or open mic night at the local poetry slam, but that’s a whole other blog. When it comes to ties, there’s a right way and a wrong way to handle them. And if you want to give the impression that you’re a fictional British Secret Service agent, you’re going to need a crisp, quality look—which does not include disheveled ties.
To preserve your 007 appearance, here are a few tips on the best way to store ties when you’re not all tarted up:
How NOT To Store Your Tie
First of all, let’s clear a few things up. If you have no aspirations whatsoever to be in any way Bond-like—charming, suave, sexist—then by all means rip your tie off and toss it on the bathroom floor. Be sure to let it get damp and crumpled, too, before wearing it the next day. This will ensure that people think you are a disgruntled DMV employee.
Believe it or not, ties are made of quite sensitive material—silk, wool, linen—and thus wrinkle rather easily. Throwing your tie on the floor, hanging it on a doorknob, or loosening then yanking it off over your head are also excellent ways to speed up the wear and tear.
Enough said. Now onto the proper ways to store your ties.
Drape Over a Tie Rack Prong
While this might sound like a torture device used by a Bond villain, it is actually the preferred method of storing a necktie. You’ll never save the world, enjoy multiple martinis without getting drunk, and speak in sexual euphemisms if you’re sporting mangled neckwear. Do all your future dates a favor and invest $15-30 for a wood, plastic, or electronic tie rack.
Roll Loosely and Put in Tie Box
Besides sounding like what James Bond does on a Friday night, this is the second-most popular way to store neckwear. Though most experts advise using a tie rack, this method is acceptable, especially if you’re in a bind (get it, get it?). The Esquire-approved technique is to fold the tie in half and then roll it up starting at the narrow end. Stash it in a small box or drawer on its side. This will prevent wrinkles and also give you a nifty hiding spot for all your spy gadgets.
Removing Your Tie
And as long as you’re going to gently and lovingly drape your tie on your newly purchased gentleman’s accessory (not a euphemism), take the time to remove it properly. That doesn’t include ripping it off like it’s a poisonous snake looped around your neck. The best way to remove your tie like a mature adult human being is to unknot it in the reverse fashion you knotted it. How do you properly knot a tie? Check out this fancy-schmancy how-to-tie-a-tie infographic.
The 411 On Bow Ties
Though classically worn with tuxedos (a word, by the way, that comes from Tuxedo Park, a New York country club where the tuxedo was first worn), bow ties have become popular among modern hipsters who wear them with jeans and five o’clock shadow. To store bow ties, roll or fold them and place them in a small box to avoid dust and light. If you get a juicy role in the new Bond movie and thus are required to wear ties more frequently, you should consider investing in a bow tie stand.
Have Tie—Will Travel
Every man, secret agent or not, needs to know how to pack ties for travel. The easiest solution is to roll them up and put them inside your shoes. This works best if your footwear doesn’t stink like rotten cheese in a sulfur factory. As soon as you arrive at your destination, unroll them and drape them over a hanger.
Long-Term Self Storage
Perhaps you’ve retired from Her Majesty’s Secret Service, or maybe you’ve outgrown hipsterdom—whatever the reason, if you decide to put your ties into long-term storage, be sure to place them on a tie rack and cover it with a dust bag or similar. You can also roll them gently and put them in your handy-dandy tie storage box. Either way, you’ll want to make certain that they are secure against dust, dirt, mold, and mildew. Consider renting a climate-controlled storage unit, as that will ensure absolute protection against the elements, especially humidity. And, of course, Goldfinger.
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