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Too Many Ties

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

Being a cheap and a avid thrifter, I tend to accumulate too many similar ties. I'm thinking about get rid of some, but I can't decide. Do you think redundancy is necessary?

Is this quantity of grey woven ties an overkill?

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post #2 of 39
"Too many" is a relative quantity, and the variables in the equation would include how often you actually wear suit and tie in any given month, week, etc., as well as how often you wear an outfit that calls for a grey or silver tie during those occasions.

If you wear a suit to work every day, and occasionally to social functions, then no, this number of grey ties may not be excessive. On the other hand, if you wear a suit and tie once or twice a year, then you can do the math and realize that at least some of these ties may never get worn in the course of nearly a decade (which would make such unworn ties excess, by definition).

Everyone's equation will look a little different. But crunching your own is sometimes a very useful and informative exercise, and can provide a reality check against wanton purchases.

Hanging out at a place like Styleforum can lead us to purchase a lot more than what we actually need, especially when we draw inspiration -- and it's hard not to -- from some of the board's luminaries, who may wear suits a lot more often than most. Remember that your needs differ from everyone else's, requiring you to own significantly more or significantly fewer ties (or shirts, or suits, or shoes, or cufflinks, etc.) than others here.
post #3 of 39
I'm currently working on selecting the items I really love and enjoy wearing and getting rid of the rest. Life's too short to wear 'meh' clothes
post #4 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Master-Classter View Post

I'm currently working on selecting the items I really love and enjoy wearing and getting rid of the rest. Life's too short to wear 'meh' clothes

This.

post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie Treehorn View Post

"Too many" is a relative quantity, and the variables in the equation would include how often you actually wear suit and tie in any given month, week, etc., as well as how often you wear an outfit that calls for a grey or silver tie during those occasions.
If you wear a suit to work every day, and occasionally to social functions, then no, this number of grey ties may not be excessive. On the other hand, if you wear a suit and tie once or twice a year, then you can do the math and realize that at least some of these ties may never get worn in the course of nearly a decade (which would make such unworn ties excess, by definition).
Everyone's equation will look a little different. But crunching your own is sometimes a very useful and informative exercise, and can provide a reality check against wanton purchases.
Hanging out at a place like Styleforum can lead us to purchase a lot more than what we actually need, especially when we draw inspiration -- and it's hard not to -- from some of the board's luminaries, who may wear suits a lot more often than most. Remember that your needs differ from everyone else's, requiring you to own significantly more or significantly fewer ties (or shirts, or suits, or shoes, or cufflinks, etc.) than others here.

You are right. In fact, I mostly wear odd trouser and a blazer or a sportcoat, grey ties see very little use, since I rarely need to wear a suit. I think I'd better just keep the good ones (I've got all of them for cheap) and donate the rest to charity. I'll expand my already big selection of casual ties, the ones that are better worn with more casual jackets and trousers.

post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Master-Classter View Post

I'm currently working on selecting the items I really love and enjoy wearing and getting rid of the rest. Life's too short to wear 'meh' clothes

This is a worthy project, if indeed you do have some 'meh' items that you don't derive much pleasure from. But towards the more general idea of how much clothing is "enough" (in this case it's ties, but could just as well be anything), answering this question based purely on utility, that is, interpreting it as, how much clothing is the bare minimum of what I'll need to meet all my life's exegiencies, will inevitably lead to an answer of, very little. You could certainly limit yourself to 1 grey necktie, and perhaps 5 neckties in total, especially if you are not wearing ties to work very often. You could even get 5 identical navy ties if you wanted foo.gif. I don't criticize that strategy, but I also maintain that it's perfectly acceptable to have clothing beyond what is needed, assuming of course that you are not extending yourself beyond your means. Once this is accepted, the answer to this question lies in how much pleasure you get from having a variety of items to wear, or even just own. If they sit in your closet and you don't care about them or think about them, then get rid of them. But if you enjoy them, it is not a personal failing to keep them. It's OK to enjoy building and having a tie "collection" as long as you understand it and enjoy it as such.
post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by bafe View Post

Being a cheap and a avid thrifter, I tend to accumulate too many similar ties. I'm thinking about get rid of some, but I can't decide. Do you think redundancy is necessary?
Is this quantity of grey woven ties an overkill?

Are those all your ties or just the greyish ones? If those are all your ties, it doesn't seem like too many if you wear ties frequently. If they are only part of your collection, should probably consider choosing your favorites and selling/donating the rest, depending on the volume of your overall collection.
post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sportin_life View Post


Are those all your ties or just the greyish ones? If those are all your ties, it doesn't seem like too many if you wear ties frequently. If they are only part of your collection, should probably consider choosing your favorites and selling/donating the rest, depending on the volume of your overall collection.

It is just a part and I've already donated some. I have even more striped ties and some knits. I'm keeping the one I wear the most on a separate hanger (I really need a proper tie rack) and I noticed that I never wore some ties. I'm starting the process of selecting the ones I want to donate or sell. I don't worry too much about costs, since I got all of them from thrift store and the whole collection probably did cost as much as a single tie bought from a retailer.

post #9 of 39

I have around 30 ties in varying colours and the bigest is around 3 inch wide at the widest point. Some are plain but most have some kind of patern on them, usually microdots. I only have around 3 striped ties and these tend to be large patterns. I have a thing for plain knitted ties at the moment. I generally go for a pocket square with a complimentary colour to that of the tie, sometimes the same colour but not the exact same shade.

post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by bafe View Post

Being a cheap and a avid thrifter, I tend to accumulate too many similar ties. I'm thinking about get rid of some, but I can't decide. Do you think redundancy is necessary?

Is this quantity of grey woven ties an overkill?

IMG_7217.JPG

IMG_7216.JPG

 

I would hazerd a guess that you wear quite a lot of pastel coloured suits, typically linen?

post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

This is a worthy project, if indeed you do have some 'meh' items that you don't derive much pleasure from. But towards the more general idea of how much clothing is "enough" (in this case it's ties, but could just as well be anything), answering this question based purely on utility, that is, interpreting it as, how much clothing is the bare minimum of what I'll need to meet all my life's exegiencies, will inevitably lead to an answer of, very little. You could certainly limit yourself to 1 grey necktie, and perhaps 5 neckties in total, especially if you are not wearing ties to work very often. You could even get 5 identical navy ties if you wanted foo.gif. I don't criticize that strategy, but I also maintain that it's perfectly acceptable to have clothing beyond what is needed, assuming of course that you are not extending yourself beyond your means. Once this is accepted, the answer to this question lies in how much pleasure you get from having a variety of items to wear, or even just own. If they sit in your closet and you don't care about them or think about them, then get rid of them. But if you enjoy them, it is not a personal failing to keep them. It's OK to enjoy building and having a tie "collection" as long as you understand it and enjoy it as such.

It's fine to own more clothing than what you need, at a bare minimum. I don't think anyone on SF would be here if he intended to own just the basics, no more, and to derive no pleasure in a tiny bit of excess. Nevertheless, too few people -- especially beginners here -- take any cognizance of their true needs.

The difference between a wardrobe, and a random assortment of clothing, is superficially small but practically enormous. Compiling a well-curated wardrobe means starting with a conscious and considered accounting of one's needs. Straying too far above one's actual needs is no more admirable a feat than being perpetually underdressed for lack of the basics. Restraint is an art form seldom practiced, but immensely important.

Let's take the example of a man who wears a tie maybe once a week. At a bare minimum, this hypothetical iGent could get by on about a dozen ties, assuming they were all variations on the basics. But this is no fun, and it's at stark odds with the tastes of most of us here (myself included). So lets's say this man acquires a selection of somewhere in the range of 12 and 50 ties. Toward the upper end of that range, he's probably got some ties that he'll never get around to wearing, unless he makes a deliberate attempt to wear each tie in succession (which means he'll wear each tie once a year). More likely, though, our man will have favorites in the bunch, and he won't wear each tie only once in the rotation. So there will be a lot of ties that lie fallow for years on end. Now, let's take things even further. Let's say he owns 75 or more ties. There will now be ties in his closet, taking up valuable and presumably limited space in said closet, that will practically never see use. The opportunity cost of each of these marginal tie purchases, coupled with the space they take up, places a legitimate constraint on his ability to buy, maintain, and store other sartorial items.

More often than not on SF, we encounter this sort of problem: the problem of having too much in one area, and, perhaps, not enough in others. This is an imbalance in a wardrobe. Even for someone who really, really fancies collecting ties. Let's take even ten excess ties, purchased for about $50 apiece (on B&S, say). That's $500 in excess ties. Surely that same $500 could have been saved, or else spent on a decent pair of shoes, or something else altogether. Is $50 a tie too high? Even if he paid $25 a tie, that's still $250 in excess. That $250 could purchase a respectable pair of shoes, or a very nice set of cufflinks, or a mid-high-end custom shirt, or an excellent bottle of wine, or a few boxes of great cigars. The point is, the money could have been put to better use than collecting dust in the darkened corner of a cramped closet.

If I had a dollar for every SFer who owns 100 ties and 2 suits, for example, I'd have enough dollars to purchase those SFers some more suits. smile.gif

Balance is everything. In between the two extremes of too much, and not enough, lies a grey area that should be navigated carefully and deliberately. It may seem like a more "boring" path than simply making purchases, here and there, as the heart suddenly and occasionally desires. But it's a more rewarding path, even emotionally, in the long run.
Edited by Jackie Treehorn - 7/15/12 at 10:24am
post #12 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Mulberry View Post

 

I would hazerd a guess that you wear quite a lot of pastel coloured suits, typically linen?

I wear pastel colored linen in summer, but as sports jackets, not suits.

I almost never wear suits, I just like grey ties as objects and always find them cheaply at thrift shops. Since my closet space is quite limited, I need to prune my collection a bit.

post #13 of 39
JT's post (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackie Treehorn View Post

It's fine to own more clothing than what you need, at a bare minimum. I don't think anyone on SF would be here if he intended to own just the basics, no more, and to derive no pleasure in a tiny bit of excess. Nevertheless, too few people -- especially beginners here -- take any cognizance of their true needs.
The difference between a wardrobe, and a random assortment of clothing, is superficially small but practically enormous. Compiling a well-curated wardrobe means starting with a conscious and considered accounting of one's needs. Straying too far above one's actual needs is no more admirable a feat than being perpetually underdressed for lack of the basics. Restraint is an art form seldom practiced, but immensely important.
Let's take the example of a man who wears a tie maybe once a week. At a bare minimum, this hypothetical iGent could get by on about a dozen ties, assuming they were all variations on the basics. But this is no fun, and it's at stark odds with the tastes of most of us here (myself included). So lets's say this man acquires a selection of somewhere in the range of 12 and 50 ties. Toward the upper end of that range, he's probably got some ties that he'll never get around to wearing, unless he makes a deliberate attempt to wear each tie in succession (which means he'll wear each tie once a year). More likely, though, our man will have favorites in the bunch, and he won't wear each tie only once in the rotation. So there will be a lot of ties that lie fallow for years on end. Now, let's take things even further. Let's say he owns 75 or more ties. There will now be ties in his closet, taking up valuable and presumably limited space in said closet, that will practically never see use. The opportunity cost of each of these marginal tie purchases, coupled with the space they take up, places a legitimate constraint on his ability to buy, maintain, and store other sartorial items.
More often than not on SF, we encounter this sort of problem: the problem of having too much in one area, and, perhaps, not enough in others. This is an imbalance in a wardrobe. Even for someone who really, really fancies collecting ties. Let's take even ten excess ties, purchased for about $50 apiece (on B&S, say). That's $500 in excess ties. Surely that same $500 could have been saved, or else spent on a decent pair of shoes, or something else altogether. Is $50 a tie too high? Even if he paid $25 a tie, that's still $250 in excess. That $250 could purchase a respectable pair of shoes, or a very nice set of cufflinks, or a mid-high-end custom shirt, or an excellent bottle of wine, or a few boxes of great cigars. The point is, the money could have been put to better use than collecting dust in the darkened corner of a cramped closet.
If I had a dollar for every SFer who owns 100 ties and 2 suits, for example, I'd have enough dollars to purchase those SFers some more suits. smile.gif
Balance is everything. In between the two extremes of too much, and not enough, lies a grey area that should be navigated carefully and deliberately. It may seem like a more "boring" path than simply making purchases, here and there, as the heart suddenly and occasionally desires. But it's a more rewarding path, even emotionally, in the long run.

There is much wisdom in your words. The opportunity cost is certainly something to consider. One must weigh, as you suggest, the extra pleasure gotten from an extra 10 rarely worn ties and an extra shirt or bottle of scotch or weeklong cruise, depending on the price of said ties. And there are some clear examples of unbalanced wardrobes, such as the 2 suit, 100 tie wardrobe you hypothesize, that could only be arrived at through poor planning. We have now strayed from the topic of the OP, who apparently is thrifting ties, but let's continue the conversation nonetheless. My only point is that sometimes you see a tie that you don't need, can't think of what you would wear it with, don't know how it would fit into your wardrobe, but are so struck by that you go home with it, which is what happened to me here. The advantages are that 1) now you have an object whose beauty you admire greatly 2) it's possible at some later point this will inspire an expansion or innovative combination within your wardrobe that wasn't there before. This second point may lead to disaster, but such is the cost of experimentation. If your entire wardrobe is comprised of items acquired for this purpose then you've got the "random assortment of clothing", which is indeed an unfortunate circumstance.
post #14 of 39
I have about 50 ties due to the thrifting bit, and am working on cutting some down. Despite the many ties, not a whole lot overlap- 10 plain silver ties is WAY too many. There's simply no point in having identical ties. I love burgundy and I love paisley, but do I need three burgundy paisley ties? No, I have one, it's a good one, and I wear it relatively frequently.

Also, at that number, some are seasonal. I have wool ties, I have linen ties. I don't wear the wool ones in the summer and I don't wear the linen ones in the winter. I have a few skinny ties for odd occasions and five bowties for when I'm in that mood.

I simply don't understand having so many of the same tie. If you pick up new and interesting designs, great! If you're picking up something nearly identical to what you already have, unless it's a better quality replacement, it's a waste of money no matter how little it cost.

Pop some up on the B&S and pass a few along to friends. And on future thrifting trips, remember that variety is the spice of life and diversify your collection a bit.
post #15 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post

I have about 50 ties due to the thrifting bit, and am working on cutting some down. Despite the many ties, not a whole lot overlap- 10 plain silver ties is WAY too many. There's simply no point in having identical ties. I love burgundy and I love paisley, but do I need three burgundy paisley ties? No, I have one, it's a good one, and I wear it relatively frequently.
Also, at that number, some are seasonal. I have wool ties, I have linen ties. I don't wear the wool ones in the summer and I don't wear the linen ones in the winter. I have a few skinny ties for odd occasions and five bowties for when I'm in that mood.
I simply don't understand having so many of the same tie. If you pick up new and interesting designs, great! If you're picking up something nearly identical to what you already have, unless it's a better quality replacement, it's a waste of money no matter how little it cost.
Pop some up on the B&S and pass a few along to friends. And on future thrifting trips, remember that variety is the spice of life and diversify your collection a bit.

They all are sublty different, but the patterns are so small that the differences are barely noticeable. I have so many because I often find better ties and never get rid of the low-quality ones. It is about time to clean up my collection and add some variety. I just have striped ties, some knits and some wovens, I completly lack paisley and other print. I realize i have some ties I've  worn  maybe once, which doesn't justify keeping them but I have them in my closet "just in case". Which is a bad attitude for thrifter, since it leads to collecting lots of crap.

 

PS if someone wants a grey tie, just let me know.


Edited by bafe - 7/15/12 at 3:04pm
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