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Aesthetics of a dimple?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Since I've started reading on this board, I've become (too?) conscious of ties and, in particular, they way they are tied. Needless to say, there's a variety of styles co-existing (the more European and fashionable thick tie/loose knot versus the 80's leftover thin tie/tight knot, etc.). In the course of this, I've come to appreciate the effort put in by the wearer of well-dimpled ties (although there seems to be in some quarters men who eschew dimples -- seemingly trying to create a smooth stretch of silk coming out of the knot -- I've notice this a lot with professional athletes such as American football players). Nonetheless, to me, there is something disconcerting about a perfect broad, deep dimple. Somehow it's too perfect and oddly distracting. Am I alone in this feeling? Maybe I'm thinking too much. Any thoughts?
post #2 of 15
I think it has to do with the weight of the tie. If it's a heavier tie, the dimple would be deeper. If it's lighter, I'm guessing the dimple would be a bit more shallow. Still, I do prefer dimples over no dimples. The tie with no dimples looks amateur-ish to me. Even worse: the tie with the dimple off on the edge of the side.
post #3 of 15
Arced: Most knots (maybe not the bow tie) look best with a dimple. This is the mark of a well tied knot, showing that the tie was tied with care, knowledge and not haphazardly. Well dressed men (and women) look for the dimple in other's tie knots. I understand that dimples are not permitted in knots in ties as part of a US military uniform. Maybe that's where some guys get the wrong idea about dimples. Andy
post #4 of 15
Even worse: the tie with the dimple off on the edge of the side.
actually there are 2 schools of thought on this. i have an uncle who is a very sharp dresser and a few months ago i noticed that the dimple on his tie was way off to one side. i thought it looked sloppy so i told him it should be centered. his reply was that the dimple should look like you just put the tie on quickly and didn't put too much care into centering the dimple. in other words, centering the dimple would look foppish (i looked it up). since then i've noticed that many well dressed men have the dimple off to one side. do you recall the thread a while back about luigi cimmino the master neapolitan tailor? i looked at his picture and his dimple was off to the side. for some reason, though the article is still there, you can't enlarge the pic any more so you'll have to trust me on this.
post #5 of 15
I know this may seem like a stupid question, but can anyone provide some advice/tricks on getting a proper dimple?
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies and the history. I didn't know about the military restrictions. I'm glad to know that there are at least two schools of thought on dimples. Does this mean that the type or style of dimple should change with the outfit or venue? I can easily imagine a 'perfect' dimple with a business suit, but maybe a tweed jacket calls for more individuality such as a dimple off to the side or a looser knot?
post #7 of 15
To make a good dimple, as you tighten the knot, put a finger in the middle of the tie just under the part of the tie that crosses over the knot. Yet another piece of wisdom that I learned from Andy. Steve
post #8 of 15
For me the dimple MUST be centred - aethetically it looks much better. I HATE the off-centre dimple (and I don't hate too many things). For me, what it comes down to is how it looks not waht the fashion "rules" say. The side dimple looks silly, ridiculous and quite frankly really ugly to me. I would prefer no dimple to the side dimple such is my disdain for it. Those who have the luscious Richard James ties will know just how aesthetically beautiful and perfect a centred dimple can be (very deep but not lengthy). Reminiscent of a women's private parts. The central problem with the centre dimple is that sometimes you will get side "bubbles" (as it comes out directly on the side under the knot). Takes a while to fix it by pulling each or both sides down or overlaying more fabric into the sides of the dimple.
post #9 of 15
This is bordering on thinking way too hard, but then again it is something I would notice. The dimple and knot should IMO match the meticulousness of the rest of the kit. While wearing a three-piece pinstripe suit with lace-ups, pin collar and point-folded linen handkerchief, a perfectly centred dimple under a tight symmetrical knot would look proper. On the other hand while wearing (e.g.) a deconstructed suit with loafers or suede shoes but still wearing a tie under a more casual shirt, perhaps a button down collar (although I hate those), a looser knot with a haphazard dimple and some asymmetry may be called for. It's not a matter of putting less effort into it; rather, it's about looking perfectly messed up. If it just looks sloppy, it won't work. Sprezzatura.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the replies. Just to move it from the abstract to the concrete, are there opinions of this?: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws....me=WDVW It's one of those 'dimpler tools'. In my opinion, the dimple is too long and deep for everyday wearing. When I see dimples like that, I tend to think of tuxedoes or morning suits. Any thoughts?
post #11 of 15
I like a nice symmetrical knot done pretty tightly with a nice even dimple - this makes the tie come out from your collar a bit rather than hanging down limply like a dog who managed to break his chain :-) ...that's for a suit. For casual I've come to like the informality of a looser knot, maybe in a less 'serious' tie - something like a cashmere/silk blend loosely tied with a sweater or vest over it. That look can blend together in a way that says 'I dress great even when I'm not tryin."
post #12 of 15
Owen Edwards, formerly the columnist at GQ who wrote Details of Style, had an interesting take on tie tying that was handed down to him from his father: Always stick with the first incarnation when tying in the morning, no matter how it looks- like a gentleman's honor sort of thing. I confess to trying this, and being successful on the first try about 95% of the time. Owen also felt that SOMETHING in your ensemble for the day should be askew. He maintained that Gable, Astaire, the Prince of Wales- all those guys who REALLY knew how to dress believed that perfection was unachievable and an affectation.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 
Carlo/Chuck, A couple quick questions, do you consider the type of knot when you design your ties? Looking at your latest creations on AskAndy (quite nice, I must say), is the knot for a cashmere blend tie going to be different than a pure silk? Will it necessarily be looser? Can one over-tighten a tie? Thanks.
post #14 of 15
Arced - Yeah, actually i think for long hours about that. We do two seperate styles of seven-fold, a traditional 7 with no liner and the Double-4 design which we've tweaked and modified some with each iteration. Anyway I recently did an evaluation of about 8 different liners and cut open some 'expensive' ties to see what they were using. Surprisingly, a lot of folks are using synthetic liners these days (shocking I tell you, shocking.). For an unlined tie you have to be very certain to use the correct silk weight - I screwed that up on a few of my early ones. On the double 4 you have to be sure not to get the tie too thick - you also have to use a very high quality wool liner. We have one of each of our ties always knotted for dressing mannequins and hanging on a hook in my workroom - a terrible sin I know (You should always untie your tie, not by YANKING the loose end but untie it carefully by reversing the tying process) Here is why the lining is critical - the synthetic ones and cheaper wool ones will get distorted - synthetics tend to warp from heat, cheaper wool liners will shrink or fall apart. A properly made premium wool liner will form a smooth, beautiful crease that even after several months will release to it's former state with a little steam. As to thoughts about knots, on a more serious looking tie I will make sure that it can be tied tightly so that below the knot it comes outward ever so slightly before 'breaking' downward. For something like the 65/35 cashmere/silk blend I've been experimenting with I envision a slightly less formal, looser knot and built that accordingly - but I wanted that one to be somewhat substantial and thick anyway :-) Thanks for a good question. From my side the answer is to keep checking with customers and keep tweaking the product until I, and they, are satisfied.
post #15 of 15
Owen also felt that SOMETHING in your ensemble for the day should be askew. He maintained that Gable, Astaire, the Prince of Wales- all those guys who REALLY knew how to dress believed that perfection was unachievable and an affectation.
I know what you're saying, but I would think deliberately making one thing askew would be almost the definition of affectation. I usually don't have to worry about causing one thing to be askew, though.
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