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One of things that I’m most drawn to about clothes is their texture, their tactile qualities, and this is especially true of ties. I like picking a tie up from the display table in a department store and feeling it. I started this habit way back when I was a teenager and began wearing ties to church. When I’d hold a tie in my hand, I’d intuitively feel for its quality. I never quite knew what it was I was feeling for that allowed me to deduce that a certain tie was high quality or garbage. It was just a tacit, embodied kind of knowledge that I’d developed over the years, and which consistently steered me right. 

But I recently decided it was time I take this implicit knowledge of how to quickly recognize a quality tie and make it explicit. To learn how to get an even more accurate read on the qualities that distinguish high-caliber neckwear from its inferior lookalikes. Below I share seven things to check for in a tie when you pick one up and heft it:

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1. A “Hand” With Texture and Weight

There’s actually a term in the clothing world that describes the feeling of the fabric that’s used on the outside of a tie (also known as the “envelope”): hand. When you pick up a tie, check its hand, feeling for its texture and weight. Quality ties feel hefty and the fabric — even on the finest silk ties — has a coarse texture thanks to its large weave. Heftier ties will be able to withstand the torture of being knotted over and over again. They bounce back faster and last longer. 

While heft and texture are usually signs of good craftsmanship, don’t automatically dismiss a tie if it lacks these qualities. Cotton and linen ties are lightweight, but in the right style context can be a perfectly appropriate choice.

2. Bias Cut in the Envelope’s Fabric

Envelope fabric is said to be cut on the bias if it’s cut at a 45-degree angle to its warp and weft. If your tie fabric isn’t cut at this angle, then it will twist on itself while you’re wearing it. 

There are a couple ways to test the fabric of a tie to see if it was cut on the bias:

The stretch test: First, stretch the tie length-wise. It should stretch. Second, stretch the fabric at a 45-degree angle. It should NOT stretch. If your tie passes these two stretch tests, the fabric was cut on the bias. 

The hang test: Simply drape the tie over your hand. If the fabric was cut on the bias, the tie shouldn’t twist as it’s hanging. 

3. Tip Is Same Material as Envelope

Ties can either be tipped or untipped. Tipping is the piece of fabric that backs the triangular point of the tie’s main lower section or “blade.” Lower quality ties use a piece of polyester fabric instead of silk for the tipping, so look for tipping that’s made from the same material as the tie’s envelope. 

Untipped ties aren’t a sign of lower quality. Your tie will just lack some heft at the bottom compared to a tipped tie. Some describe untipped neckwear as airy, and it’s an appropriate choice for spring and summer suiting. 

4. Complementary Lining

The lining is a piece of coarser, thicker fabric (usually wool) that tie makers use to give a tie structure and durability. It also helps a tie maintain its shape and gives you a handsome, full-looking tie knot.

The lining of a tie should complement the tie’s envelope fabric: If a tie is using a hefty, textured fabric for its envelope, then the lining should be lightweight; if the tie uses a lighter weight envelope fabric, the lining should be heftier. 

Also, check to see if the lining runs all through the necktie. If it doesn’t, you’re going to have a limp tie that doesn’t last as long. 

Checking the lining is possible if a tie is untipped; if it’s tipped, you’ll want to ask the merchant for details about the lining. 

5. Rolled Edge

Check the edges of your tie. They should have a “rolled edge” with a slight curve that gives the tie more fullness. The edges of the tie shouldn’t look flat and crisp. Round is what we want. 

6. Hidden Slip-Stitch

The slip-stitch is a thread that’s stitched along the entire length of the tie, which keeps its two sides together and helps it maintain its shape.The slip-stitch on quality ties will be hidden, while on lower quality ties, it will show.

7. Two Bar Tacks

Bar tack is a piece of thread stitched across the main seam of a tie which reinforces the slip-stitch. Your tie should have two bar tacks. One near the big point of the blade, and the other near the smaller point of the “tail.”

Read more on ties:

Here’s What Happened When I Wore a Tie to Work Every Day for a YearHow to Tie 5 Tie KnotsHow

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Sunday Firesides. Sometimes the Critic Counts

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“It is not the critic who counts.”

If this line from Theodore Roosevelt’s famous “Man in the Arena” speech is taken to mean that the individual who takes action has far greater worth than he who merely casts stones from the sidelines, then it can be adopted as an unassailable truth.

If, however, it’s taken to mean you should never listen to your critics, then it’s a mantra that cannot be universally applied.

T.R., after all, was a critic himself, and when he called individuals “fragrant man swine,” “little emasculated masses of inanity,” and “beings who belong to the cult of non-virility” — you can bet he wanted to be listened to (and probably should have been).

While adopting a blanket “f**k the haters” mindset may anesthetize the pain of receiving negative feedback, it comes at the cost of two key things:

First, you surrender a potentially helpful perspective.

We’d all do well to heed our inner voice and scorecard over that of the crowd. But we can lose track of that voice or allow ego to convince us we’re doing a better job than we are, and it can take an external observer to point that out.

Second, you forfeit — at least if you apply the “never listen to critics” standard with integrity/consistency — the right to be heard yourself.

Because if people shouldn’t listen to anyone else’s opinions, they shouldn’t listen to yours, either.

Little credit belongs to the masses of heckling, grandstand-riding spectators, who nine times out of ten, have nothing valuable to say. But to avoid developing what Teddy called “a mind that functions at six guinea-pig power,” it’s wise to recognize that sometimes the critic can count: when he’s someone you respect; when he’s someone who also has skin in the game; when he’s someone who’s got, well, a point.

The post Sunday Firesides: Sometimes, the Critic Counts appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

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How to Diagnose and Treat Heat Stroke & Heat Exhaustion

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heat boy

It’s been freaking hot around the world this summer. Here in Oklahoma we’ve had more than a dozen days in July alone with temperatures over 100 degrees. 

The chances of suffering a heat-related illness like heat exhaustion and heat stroke go up during extreme heat. According to the CDC, between 2004 and 2018, an average of 702 people died annually from heat-related causes, and thousands more ended up in the hospital. Small children and adults over 65 are most susceptible to heat-related illness. However, it can hit anyone who works or exercises vigorously in the heat. In fact, heat stroke is one of the three most common killers of soldiers and athletes in training. 

Below we share how to recognize heat exhaustion and heat stroke and what to do to treat both conditions. 

How to Recognize & Treat Heat Exhaustion 

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms

Heat exhaustion occurs when your body can no longer cool itself down through sweating due to a loss of water and electrolytes. Heat exhaustion needs to be treated as soon as you recognize it in yourself or others. Left untreated, it can develop into its more severe sibling: heat stroke.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include: 

Heavy sweatingCold, pale, and clammy skinFast, weak pulseNausea or vomitingMuscle crampsTiredness or weaknessDizzinessHeadacheBrief fainting (passing out)

How to Treat Heat Exhaustion

The goal of treating heat exhaustion is to cool the sufferer down and restore their fluids.

Move to a cool room. If you don’t have access to an air-conditioned room, at least move to a shady spot.Take a cold shower or bath. If that’s not possible, drape (do not tightly wrap — this will trap heat) cool, wet towels/cloths on the body. Turn a fan on these towels if you can. Remove extra clothing.Sip cool fluids, like water and Gatorade.

If heat exhaustion symptoms continue for an hour despite your treatment, seek professional medical assistance.

How to Recognize & Treat Heat Exhaustion 

Heat Stroke Symptoms

Heat stroke is the most serious of heat-related illnesses. With heat stroke, the body has lost its ability to cool itself down, resulting in a dangerously high internal body temperature (above 104 degrees Fahrenheit). High internal body temperature is potentially life-threatening as it can cause seizures, organ failure, and rhabdomyolysis. Even if you recover from heat stroke, you can still suffer long-term damage to your heart, brain (creating cognitive deficiencies), kidneys (requiring lifelong dialysis or a transplant), and liver (also requiring a transplant). Heat stroke victims often die months after they’ve “recovered.”

To guide me on the intricacies of identifying and treating heat stroke, I talked to Dr. Sean Langan, a research assistant at the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut. The Korey Stringer Institute specializes in research in preventing heat stroke deaths among athletes. 

Heat stroke symptoms include: 

Central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction:ConfusionAggression/agitation (Dr. Langan says you frequently see heat stroke victims bite and punch people)DizzinessFaintingSeizuresVery high body temperature (104 degrees F or higher)Red, hot, dry skin (no sweating). Sean notes that you rarely see dry skin in people with exertional heat stroke (caused by exercising or working in the heat). Those exerting themselves in the heat may still be sweaty, and you’ll need to be on the lookout for other symptoms, particularly CNS dysfunction.Throbbing headacheNausea/vomitingRapid breathingRapid pulse

According to Dr. Langan, the critical heat stroke symptom to be on the lookout for is CNS dysfunction:

You can have really fit people who have an internal body temperature of 104 degrees Fahrenheit at the end of a marathon who are fine. Their body is adapted to having that high of an internal temp so they don’t have any CNS dysfunction and they cool down quickly after they finish their race. 

You can also have someone who has an internal body temperature of 103, but they’re experiencing CNS dysfunction. This person has heat stroke and needs to be treated. 

If you see someone who’s been in the heat who’s showing signs of CNS dysfunction, your best bet is to start treating that person for heat stroke. To confirm, take their temperature with a rectal thermometer (it will give you the most accurate reading)

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Podcast #678 Physical Benchmarks Every man should meet at every age

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As men, we all want to be physically capable. We want to be able to save our own life in two ways: in the more metaphorical sense of wanting to preserve it in healthy, fit form for as long as possible, and in the more literal sense of being able to make it through an emergency unscathed. How do you know if you do possess that kind of lifesaving physical capability?

It’s time to do more than wonder, and really check in with yourself. My guest today has some helpful benchmarks that guys from age 8 to 80 can use to see if they’ve got an operative level of strength, mobility, and conditioning. His name is Dan John, and he’s a strength coach and the author of numerous books and articles on health and fitness. Dan walks us through the fitness standards the average male should be able to meet from childhood to old age, beginning with the assessments he gives to those who are 55 years old and older, which includes carrying their body weight, a long jump, and something called “the toilet test.” We then reach back to childhood, and Dan discusses the physical skills kids should become adept in, which were inspired by a turn-of-the-20th-century physical culturist who thought every individual ought to be able to save his own life, and which can be broken down into the categories of pursuit, escape, and attack. We end our conversation with the physical standards those in the 18-55 range should be able to meet, including how much a man should be able to bench press, squat, and deadlift, and the walking test that’s an excellent assessment of your cardiovascular conditioning.

My first and second interview with Dan“10 Things Every Lifter Should Be Able to Do”AoM Article: Don’t Just Lift Heavy, Carry HeavyAoM Article: Take the Simple Test That Can Predict Your MortalityAoM Article: The 10 Physical Skills Every Man Should MasterAoM Podcast #663: How to Achieve Physical AutonomyAoM Article: The History of Physical FitnessAoM Article: Every Man Should Be Able to Save His Own LifeAoM Article: 12 Balance Exercises You Can Do on a 2×4Shaker PlateAoM Podcast #508: Break Out of Your Cage and Stop Being a Human Zoo Animal

Connect With Dan John

DanJohnUniversity.com Dan on IGDan’s website

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Brett McKay: Brett McKay here, and welcome to another edition of The Art of Manliness podcast. As men, we all want to be physically capable. We wanna be able to save our life in two ways. First in the more metaphorical sense of wanting to preserve it in a healthy fit form for as long as possible. And second, in the more literal sense of being able to make it through an emergency unscathed. How do you know if you possess that kind of life-saving physical capability?

Well, it’s time to do more than wonder and really check in with yourself, and my guest today has some helpful benchmarks that guys from ages eight to 80 can use to see if they’ve got an operative level of strength, mobility, and conditioning. His name is Dan John. He’s a strength coach and the author of numerous books and articles on health and fitness.

Today on the show, Dan walks us through the fitness standards the average male should be able to meet

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