Ties with cartoon characters on them. Ties that play music. Ties to celebrate certain holidays. They might not be for everyday wear (your boss might not share your affinity for Mickey Mouse, after all) but novelty ties still have a place in every man’s closet.
If you’re struggling with whether to purchase an unusual tie or not, consider these good reasons to add at least one to your wardrobe:
Novelty ties show your personality. Sure, you might be an accountant, but that doesn’t mean you’re boring. A tie with the Batman logo on it shows off your fun side, and gives others some clues about your personality.
Novelty ties liven up otherwise boring outfits. We all love casual Friday, but really, how interesting is it really to just wear khakis and a more casual Oxford shirt? You might not be required to wear a tie on dress down or casual days, but if you have a fun novelty tie, you might want to so you can stand out among the sea of golf shirts.
Novelty ties enhance the festivities. Holidays are a great time to pull out your novelty ties. Your red and green necktie that plays “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” is sure to spark some conversation at the company holiday party. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, the Fourth of July — if there’s a holiday, you can probably find a festive novelty tie to wear that day.
Novelty ties are conversation starters. In some professions, novelty ties are actually encouraged; for example, teachers and other professionals who work with kids often find that a silly or unusual tie can break the ice and get kids to respond. If you work with the public or in a position where you need to get attention or encourage people to open up, a novelty tie can spark a conversation and help you establish a rapport with others.
So even if you think that novelty neckties are silly, or you’ll never have the chance to wear one, be sure to add at least one or two to your wardrobe anyway. You never know when the situation will call for Superman or some rubber duckies.
While the spread of the collar is, perhaps, the most important consideration when it comes to knotting a necktie, the fabric and pattern can also influence which knot is best. British striped ties tend to look best in a Four-in-Hand knot, while thicker designer ties are often best suited in a larger Windsor knot. You may need to try knotting your tie in several different configurations to determine which looks best — in most cases, when it’s not right, you’ll be able to spot the problem right away.
Of course, that requires learning a few different knots, which takes some practice. If you take the time to do so, you’ll find that your men’s neckwear looks more stylish — and you look more pulled together — than ever before.