As has often been lamented on this site, ties don’t perform the role they once did. Waistcoats are worn less, jackets are largely taken off when working, and even when jackets are worn they are frequently left unbuttoned. As a result, the tie has lost its place as a pert little dash of silk at the top of an outfit. Without the constraint of waistcoat or jacket, it flops, it twists and it waves.

There are a few posited solutions. You could wear your jacket more or bloody-well do it up; but I am unlikely to change people’s habits here. You could tuck it into the shirt; but this, while perhaps fashionable, is too much a quirk for most. You could switch to bow ties, which I know many do, particularly in jobs where they are often unable to wear a jacket. At least a bow tie remains consistently spruce and taut.

Most obviously, you could wear a tie clip. This can look stylish if done well, though apparently it should always be worn at an angle, rather than parallel to the floor (I can see why this might be more flattering – a horizontal rarely benefits an outfit, unless it is a handkerchief). Tie clips, however, often seem to be strangling a tie. Yes, the top half is now pert, but the bottom half is contorted and – if you listen very closely – emits a small choking sound.

A local tailor around here solves this problem, I have noticed, by wearing a vertical tie pin that enters the tie and then emerges again two inches lower, fastened with a small silver ball. This certainly spreads the area of pressure, reducing contortion, but it does also mean piercing the tie, twice. It’s not something I am eager to try without greater knowledge as to how one avoids damage to the tie.

So, having dismissed all other options, we come to a little something I dreamed up yesterday. Here’s how it works. Tie your tie as normal, then take the rear blade and loop it underneath one of the buttons on your shirt (the third one seems to work well for me) so it emerges from the shirt again on the other side of the button. Then tuck the rear blade into the loop of silk normally attached to the front blade.

The rear blade will be in its normal position, tucked into this silk loop and thus attached to the front blade. But is also anchored to the shirt a little further down, reducing flap, twist and wave.

Having experimented with a few ties, the effectiveness of this technique seems to vary considerably with the height of the silk loop on the front blade. Whatever its position, though, pick a shirt button that is as close to the loop as possible.

Have fun.

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“the tie has lost its place as a pert little dash of silk at the top of an outfit” This is the reason I don’t like how ties are worn today (without waistcoats). They create a very strong vertical line pointing downward that often distracts from the face. This line is even more pronounced by a colourful tie. The role of all the predecessors of the tie (cravat, ascot etc.) was to frame the face and bring the eyes of others up toward the face. Today the tie mostly has lost this very important function. Therefore, I always wear a bowtie when possible, which still achieves some of this. What’s your opinion on this?

Easy and Elegant Life

Very good idea!

And, for the Doctor at work, I would recommend the old military trick of tucking of the whole tie into the third button. Then again, most of my doctors were old military men who used this method when they didn’t have a tie bar as a part of the uniform of the day.

At school, we left them flapping around like windsocks, often at half-staff.


when i started reading this article, iwas like tie clips! u gotta be kidding me, they r so not du jour… then i got to the bottom of the article n i was like hhmn cool, i never thought of something like that all through high school and university where we wore ties.