#2 – Learn to Tie a Tie

I can count the number of times I’ve worn a tie in my life:

  1. My Mom’s second wedding in 1997.
  2. My high school senior picture in 2003.
  3. My Grandparents 50th wedding anniversary party in 2004.
  4. A scholarship interview with the CCNMA in 2004.
  5. My two job interviews with the San Diego Padres front office in 2007.
  6. My college graduation in 2007.
  7. My job interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2007.
  8. My friend Antoinette’s wedding in 2009.
  9. My friend Jason’s (@NievesComedy) wedding in 2011.

For those first 7 occasions I was still relatively young and living at home in San Diego, so my Grandfather tied those ties. For number 8 on that list I was in the wedding, so I wore a suit that was required for the wedding party. The tie that came with the suit was pretty cool because it was fancier than a clip-on, yet it didn’t need to be tied. For number 9 on that list I needed a new suit because of all the weight I lost last year, so I got one when I was in San Diego. I went shopping with my Grandfather, because even at 81 years old he still dresses way nicer than I do. When I tried on the suit he still tied my tie. I kept it tied and took it back to LA with me to slip over my head at a later date. That’s when I realized I needed to learn to tie a tie myself.

I clearly don’t wear ties that often, but I thought I should learn because now that I am 26 years old, everyone around me seems to me growing up by getting married, having kids, buying houses, and getting “real” jobs. While I don’t fall into the expected norms of society by wanting those things, I am expected to attend the celebrations of my friends who have acquired those wishes. And I imagine it wouldn’t be appropriate to wear my customary shorts, t-shirt, baseball cap, and flip-flops to those celebrations.

The weird thing is that I have quite a few ties, and I don’t even know why. So, yesterday I grabbed the first two ties in my closet and got to work.

Pharrell and I are the only ones who can pull off a salmon colored tie

I then typed into Google “how to tie a tie” and this URL popped up first. I clicked it and discovered that there are four different ways to tie a tie. I clicked on the one with the coolest name, Windsor, and got to work. http://www.tie-a-tie.net/

I was happy with the discovery of the site because it provided videos with an English dude, Hendrik, showing what to do in each step. I figured the site was credible because the English are very proper and I assume that applies to formalwear as well. Plus, the name Hendrik is about as English as it gets, so I figured he was a legit English dude. Also, according to Hendrik’s video, his site was featured on CNN, and CNN is where Larry King called home for decades, and no one can argue that he can’t rock a pair of suspenders. Regardless, I don’t have any idea what possessed Hendrik to create the site, but thanks for having a lot of spare time, buddy.

I clicked the video and got to work. Hendrik was moving quicker than I anticipated and I had to track back more than a dozen times to get what he was saying. A number of things went wrong. I went the wrong way through loops, started with the skinny end on the wrong side, and when I did do things right it would be too short. (That’s what she said…OK that’s the only time I will do that). After about 20 minutes I stood with an untied, wrinkled tie and a new hatred for Hendrik, because after each failed attempt he kept mocking me with his finished tie.

I blew off Hendrik’s instructional video, because I didn’t want to develop a hatred for all English people. I figured Hendrik put me on the right path so I closed my laptop and tried to accomplish the feat on my own. Low and behold, I tied the tie on my very first attempt.

Now that I know how to tie my own tie I imagine I’ll be wearing them more frequently, because I think I look pretty damn good in them.

"May I take your order?"

I look so good in them that I think I’ll wear a tie for occasions not commonly associated with formalwear, like when I go to the beach.

Playgirl centerfold? I think so.

The only problem is, I don’t know how I’m going to break the news to my Grandfather that he is fired as my tie tier.

As for Hendrik and me…we’re good.

Slip on ties are like slip on shoes...it's just more efficient than tying them.

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6 thoughts on “#2 – Learn to Tie a Tie

  1. One of my goals as well. I’ve tried the instructional online videos to no avail. I wish they made one for left-handed folk.

  2. Ahhh… the generational split…. I never really realized how the tie is a marker between generations. For years I put one on every day–along with a suit–to go to work, to church, etc. I must say that I like not having to wear one now, but still, when I put one on, I somehow feel dressed up and just a bit cooler.

    Good Lord! I’m gettin’ old….

    • Michael, I definitely feel its a status symbol for those looking at the wearer to respect because people’s eyes are drawn to it and the association it has. When I wear one I certainly feel cooler and more important so I should be on my best behavior, even though that doesn’t always happen, as evidenced by my pictures.

  3. […] I saw the tie rack, and since I taught myself how to tie a tie, I momentarily considered adding a new tie to my collection. Well, technically, it’s a used tie. […]

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