Rescuing the Long Tie
- Eric Twardzik
Whenever I see Donald Trump in a tie, a slightly altered Blazing Saddles line comes to mind.
“But how does he tie such long ties with such little hands?”
He’s found a way, and it’s a tragedy for appreciators of the long necktie everywhere. For years those who prefer their neckties to fall a bit on the lengthy side have existed on the fringes of sartorial acceptability, and now the ex-game-show-host’s public adoption of the style threatens it with outright extinction.
But I will not allow the long tie to go quietly into that dark night. In fact, I’m going to propose a rescue mission. This is how to save the long tie.
I. If you’re still going to do it, do it right.
Most arbiters of men’s fashion consider any tie that falls below the belt to be an automatic demerit. On most occasions, on most men, this is true. But there are exceptions to that blanket statement, and those exceptions are wonderful. Take, for instance, these old Italian dudes:
Or this younger, presumably also Italian dude:
What they all have in common is classic tailoring and a high-waisted trouser. These classic proportions give them balance and make the extra couple inches a playful exception to the otherwise thought-out look. What’s key is that those gentlemen are doing everything else right, and that’s what turns a potential faux pas into aplomb.
It’s also possible that no matter how much you fine-tune your ensemble, the long tie’s association with Trump is just too prominent to shake off. It may take years to recover. In that case, consider these two alternate ways to wear the tie long.
II a. The Underside Long Tie
This method reverses the lengths of the tie’s two components. Tie the front side to a normal, just-above- or directly-at-the-belt-line length, and leave the underside long so that it falls a few inches below. Like the long tie, it’s a more playful look, though the casual ante has been considerably upped. It’s too bon-vivant-ish to get away with in a boardroom, but looks rakishly fun at weddings, receptions and other environments with open bars.
II b. The Tuck
In contrast to the aggressive sprezzatura of the last example, the tuck is a dose of mid-century modernism. It’s best done with lean, square-bottomed ties that don’t involve too much texture and won’t add any bulk to the trouser. Minimalist icon Thom Browne has made it one of his style signatures.
Though you can feel free to ignore the above advice if you’ve got the right go-to-hell ensemble and attitude.
II c. Both
Well, why not?
Note: chances of this move being successful increase 200% if you are Gianni Agnelli or a direct recipient of his genetic code.