Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I’ve heard that you can distinguish the truly classy from the gussied up slobs by their shoes. It’s a detail that posers tend to overlook. I admit that I’m guilty of it. It makes me feel like I’m wearing a costume sometimes. Another detail that I think demonstrates real sartorial know-how is the tie dimple. For a long time I’d get them by accident or mold them after the fact, but the more I learn about how to make a good one the more I realize that it takes experience and practice. Two things you can’t get if you only wear a tie a few times a year.
For one thing a really good dimple is a sign of a really good tie. A woven silk tie of high quality will seem like a tight spring when dimpled. Ready to burst off your chest. Also, if you consistently wear a tie with a dimple, it will build a fabric memory and will start to do it on it’s own eventually.
I’ve often formed one after the fact, pinching and molding until a fake dimple appears. But a fake dimple doesn’t last. The tie knows. Most novices will tell you that the key is to pinch the tie as you tighten it. That’s somewhat effective but lacks the impact of a true dimple. You can even by a clever little product called The Dimpler that acts like a rippled letter opener. Though, it creates more of a tie vagina than a proper dimple. The key to a real one is hand position.
The tendency is to hold the knot like a screwdriver and push it up to your face. The trick is to hold the front panel between your thumb and four fingers like a flute. Gently pull down on the center of the tie while you move it up your neck by pulling on the back panel with your other hand. See the gent in step 4 of the Half Windsor demo from the Brooks Brothers web site.