I’ve always had a fascination with men’s neck wear. They’re delicious, perfectly crafted bits of fabric finery in diminutive form, fashioned out in every possible color and pattern imaginable. There are neckties, bow ties, and ascots just to name a few. The mere sight of a department store round table filled to capacity with a pinwheel of silk neck wear draws me in like the secret devotee that I am.
Lets’s chat a little about one of these bits of fashionable amuse bouche….
A few years back a mathematician calculated that there are approximately 177,000 ways to tie a necktie. I’m not sure whether I quite believe this number but all you have to do is take a look at Pinterest and you will find a multitude of GORGEOUS knot options to try.
A major creative force in the realm of necktie knotting is Boris Mocka. He has cultivated an entire business on teaching others how to tie unique knots most people have never heard of. The Anubis has got to be my absolute favorite. Have you ever seen anything so elegant and ornate?
This is merely the tip of the iceberg. If you are searching for another option to your four-in-hand knot the possibilities are quite grand.
If you’re feeling as if you'd like to express your more creative and playful side, may I suggest the Magnet Knot? Its curlicue pattern dipping just below the collar suggests the wearer is a gentleman of both intellect and whimsy, a diabolical combination as far as I’m concerned.
Sitting here thinking on neckties and social engagements leads me to wonder where exactly one wears this sort of knot? Do you fashion the Jawbreaker for a jaunt to the symphony? Will it make you the talk of Intermission chit-chat whilst sipping a bit of white wine, discussing Mahler with your concert mate? That is your decision but be prepared to be approached with compliments and questions.
Ah, now the Wicker Knot. The wearer of the Wicker Knot, it seems to me, must be an individual who thinks outside of traditional norms. You are one who does not play by the rules, someone who can’t bear to blend into the background. Or maybe that’s putting too much on a necktie knot?
What I particularly like about the necktie is its versatility. I especially love the individuality and the options of these “alternative” knotting techniques. Just as with the peeking out of a colorful trouser sock or fanciful cufflinks in a professional ensemble, these items allow more of the wearer’s personality to shine through.
There is the Rotated Knot, the Sceldredge Knot, the Bow Tie Cape Knot, the Beast…there’s even one called the Matrix Knot. They are fancy and inventive, putting the simplicity of my old favorite Windsor Knot to shame (no offense to the royal family whose name the knot bears).
While nearly half of all neckties are fashioned from silk, contemporary designers are turning to less expensive fibers like cotton, wool, even polyester nowadays to fulfill their design aspirations. More casual textiles to reflect a more casual vibe for the wearer’s entire look. Neckties are no longer merely statements of professionalism at offices and in private schools; they are for your first night out to a public restaurant in ages, for romantic dates, or just because it’s Thursday.
The next time you leave the house will you tie your neck wear into a Tarantula knot? I assure you, it’s more beautiful than it sounds. Pair up with your local designer/tailor to craft the perfect piece for your tastes and have a go at it.
Sidebar: Ladies, don’t let the gents have all of the fun! Neck wear isn’t only for men. I have several handcrafted pieces in my wardrobe.
All of this beauty and we haven’t even discussed bow ties, ascots, cravats and the like.
Well, another day.
Be an individual.
Boris Mocka can help you with the knotting.
Until next time…
Postscript: All necktie knotting images courtesy of Boris Mocka.
You can check out his website and services: here.
*Vivie V. is a fashion enthusiast from Chicago with a penchant for handmade and vintage pieces. She holds a B.A. from Columbia College, where her passion for the creative arts was heavily cultivated. When she’s not blogging for Tailor Village she’s concocting DIY fragrances, sewing her own clothes, and running her consultancy, Vivie V.’s Adorn Yourself.