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.


  1. Oh.. "tie vagina" really cracked me up!

    I have come to really detest ties without a dimple. It's the snob in me. But I think it just looks wrong without a dimple.

    The type of knot is also revealing. I used to love Windsors. What symmetry. But I think that they tend to be too symmetrical. The dimple alleviates this somewhat.

    Now I almost exclusively use the four in hand. The dimple is rarely centered because I often wrap the blade twice for heft in the knot. You would think that with an English spread collar a windsor would be best, but the four in hand has a more relaxed feel. Like you threw it on without any thought.

    Which ever knot one uses is all personal preference of course, but the dimple is not an optional least in my opinion.

  2. I enjoy mixing it up when it comes to knots. I avoided four-in-hand's for a while because, as a catholic school vet, it was the only knot I knew and learning new ones made it feel very beginner level. Like you said, without any thought.

    I default to a half windsor most of the time. I'll throw in a 4, windsor, prince albert and small knot from time to time. It depends on the tie and the collar and my mood that day.

  3. Like a collar stay for your necktie,
    Dimple Clip~ solves the problem of uncooperative neckties that just don’t seem to want to hold a dimple. Dimple clip folds the fabric of your necktie creating the perfect dimple and sits concealed inside the knot making sure your dimple stays perfectly formed all day. The Dimple Clip is great for anyone who wears a necktie. While currently available online only at, as popularity continues to grow we expect to be seen in fine department stores very soon.
    Although the particular design of the Dimple Clip was created only recently, the concept of a product to assist with the formation of a dimple in ones necktie is nothing new. Many similar products have existed over the years, the earliest, called the Tie Former, patented in 1939, evidence that gentlemen have been dealing with this annoyance for years. However, the Dimple Clip is the first to be designed to remain inside the knot of the necktie. Just like a collar stay holds the wearers’ collar in perfect form throughout the day, the Dimple Clip keeps your necktie looking its best throughout the day. Best of all it does this quickly, easily and most important, inexpensively. The Dimple Clip retails for $9.99 for a pack of three high quality reusable Dimple Clips.

  4. check out the dimple clip at