Saturday, October 29, 2005

How to tie a Tie?

My old handicap is coming to haunt me again. I didn't think, I would ever have to go back to wearing Ties on a regular basis. But, in my current role, I am kind of forced to wear a Tie almost daily.

Even during the business attarie days, I was never at ease with this Tie business and always had to allocate extra minutes to get it halfway decent. But, the world around me thought of my skills differently..

Even now, I am sulking from my unsuccessful attempt to help a bridgegoom during his Janavasam. On a hot, sultry summer day in

Kumbakonam Mayiladuthurai, the expert services of the US guy (yours truly) was requested to help a nervous bridgegroom, who was expected to wear a Tie for the Janavasam ceremony but didn't know how. As I gingerly strode in to the dressing room, the milling crowd gave way to the tie expert with mouting expectation of a miracle. By this time, there were high decibel shouts from the Sastrigals to get the bridgeroom out to the Mandapam so that, they could get the ceremony moving. The presure and the inquisitive eyes were all on me. I first tried to tie the Tie on the bridgegroom himself, when that failed, I tried to wear it on me on and then tranfer the 'almost' ready Tie on to the bridegroom. Needless to say the entire episode was a fiasco. As I was messing around with the Tie, the all powerful Sastrigals barged in to the room and dragged the bridgegroom to the mandapam. At that very moment, I could feel as though the bottom gave away and I fell in to a deep gorge in the eyes of many people in that room.

That happened a few years ago and nobody ever requested for my Tie expertise ever again. But, now I am having to request the expertise myself. In my current role in Techncial Sales, I travel around Asia Pacific countries where the local customs dictate that I wear a Tie. Like before, I am struggling to tie the Tie properly. I hardly ever get the length correct the first time. It is always 'trial and error'.

I searched around and found some help on the net, but couldnt' find answers to:
  1. Do the length of the Ties vary? I looked around my collection they all seem to be of the same length.
  2. What do you do if the thin part (back portion) is longer than the wider part (front portion)?
  3. How do you adjust the length? What's the formula?
Please.. teach this old dog some new tricks..

Some tips from a image consultant (a consultant for what ??) Martin Kedizor
  • Length.
    One common mistake that men make when adjusting their neckties is to let them hang too long or too short. A properly worn necktie, says Kedzior, will graze the top of a man's pants to cover up the pants button. Up on the belly or chest is too high, while covering the pants zipper is too low.
  • Label.
    Many men also tuck the thin part of the tie into the label sewn onto the back of the wide part. According to Kedzior, this is not what the label is there for. Ties are supposed to have some natural movement. If they weren't, he says, they would come with snaps or staples on the back.
  • The knot.
    Kedzior's biggest necktie pet peeve is the wimpy or narrow knot. He prefers the strong Double Windsor, in which the tie's large end is tied over the small end twice. This results in a fuller knot and a more powerful look.
  • The dimples.
    Don't worry too much about the dimples in the knot, says Kedzior. It doesn't matter how many there are, as long as they are centered in the middle of the knot.
Update # 1 (Nov 1, 05) - Correction of city


  1. Nothing related to tie... Wonder if you work for IBM.. Just curious...

  2. LOL :)

    Funny story about helping the Bridegroom.!!

    I like the single knot.! I like the knot to be small.!! I had to wear it regularly once upon a time. Then suddenly when we had a company dinner last month..we were asked to wear ties.!! Voila.!! I struggled but finally got it.!!

    Martin's tie techniques are nice. The Label theory is funny...I used to do it all the time.!!

  3. Ram, Me too have fond memories of using tie. our company had a 'dress code' of wearing
    dark-trousers, light-color shirt and a tie for all the employess ;-(.
    It was back in chennai in 98-99. I had around 5 ties of different shades to
    match the combination. One weekend, i spent more than couple of hours to tie all 5.
    Then, it was like wearing a chain. Just place it, adjust it and that was it....after 5 to 6
    months, i removed the knot and washed. That time, i decided to tie the
    knot (double knot) everyday and religiously did that till the 'business casual' dress code came
    into effect. It was almost 5 years, so, i dont know whether i can make it with that
    expertiese now. I dont even have one to try and give you some practical suggestion!!!! The only suggestion, i could give you is, trial and error everyday
    (its a practice) make you an expert within two weeks..So, all the best for your new
    exercise :-))

    The tips by Kedzior sounds good!!!

  4. Yes, I work for IBM..

    Narayanan / Sundaresan.. thanks

    The "business casual" thing is yet to catch on in a big way in the AP countries.. particularly in the sales situations..

  5. Hello Ram,

    Hope this link will help u.

    Also i remember the same story happened to my wedding (Raman Sankaran).

    Funny though...


  6. Sudha


    The incident I describe in my post is actually your marriage.. but I got the city wrong.. Sita corrected me..

    It is Mayailaduthurai.. and not Kumbakonam..

  7. If the small part of the tie is can also tuck it in the in-shirt. No one will be able to see it cos the tie hides the shirt buttons, but you have to take care that you don't stuff it!