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The Tie Dimple Debate

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by designprofessor, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Well-Known Member

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    You mean more like this? [​IMG] This picture also made me rethink my opposition to double-soled blucher wholecuts with lounge suits. Note also the link cuff. Maybe Kabbaz can use this shot in one of his mailers.
    Yes, exactly like that. Really it is hard for me to get past the pugs, but the whole getup is extraordinary.
     
  2. Jovan

    Jovan Well-Known Member

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    Aww c'mon. You know pugs are cute. :3
     
  3. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Well-Known Member

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    Aww c'mon. You know pugs are cute. :3


    We have an eight year old. He is the best natured, cutest animal in existence.
     
  4. Steve B.

    Steve B. Well-Known Member

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    Completely agree [​IMG].

    Except about the pugs...

    Owen Edwards, formerly of GQ (and thank God not The Style Guy), maintains that one should go with the first knot of the day and live with it- sartorial perfection is contrived and Astaire, Windsor, were never perfectly put together.
     
  5. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Well-Known Member

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    To say, as Manton did, that "Most men contrive their knots so that there is a small dimple...." (Italics mine), is hardly the same thing as characterizing the dimple as a contrivance in the negative sense you seem to be suggesting here--artificial, odd, or scheming, or whatever it is you are suggesting. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to contrive means: "to form or create in an artistic or ingenious manner."

    I dont think i was suggesting anything. You introduced manton's quote into a conversation about tie dimples. I wasn't sure if you were introducing it as authority or because it was confusing you. I simply am not sure why you placed it here. However, I took it on its face value. I understand that it is a chronic theme with the book that the author's meaning needs to be explained and maybe you are correct that he meant it as "ingenious". To me, taken in the phrase's totality with what follows, I would find it hard to imagine that "ingenious" could replace "contrived".

    But Im not suggesting anything, I was working off of what you placed here for me to consider. I suppose only the author can clear this up. Perhaps he would be so good?

    I see that Steve B. above also thought the phrase used "contrived" in the common alternative sense. I think many people would see it that way. I also stand by my first and most important assertion that most men cannot dimple a tie, and to suggest that their lack of savoir faire has in fact been the height of style all along is an injustice to someone trying to learn how to dress well. What the Duke of Windsor did after 60+ years of experimenting with and obsessing over clothes and style is hardly authority for someone who doesnt know what a dimple is.

    If the author wants to explain to me what he meant, that's his business. I certainly do not owe him a scientific analysis of what he meant. When I write, I write clearly, or at least I do my best. If people dont understand what I write, let me know and Ill clear it up. I hope I am not writing for people who can only follow an "expert".

    I dont need to prove anything to anyone. That might sound awful at first read but in fact I think Im most in everyone's corner. If people dont like what I write, dont believe what I write, or dont like me personally, youre going to find as some did on another forum, you are wasting your time. I have no ego invested in this, and my track record in the community proves that. I say what I say, and I have no profit or end goal out of any of this beyond sharing my thoughts/experiences and observations. Certainly, I will never need anyone to say that I am the only voice of elegance.

    In the occasional instance where what I wrote is misunderstood, I appreciate being able to clarify what I wrote. Which of course, Roger, you are permitting me to do.

    Im also not trying to "make" anyone do anything. Maybe thats what separates me from "others" here most of all. I will wear what I will wear, Im giving a few observations and suggestions. Wear a dimple, wear none, or wear the tie around your head like a pirate.

    People want to copy what I wear in real life. It doesnt flatter me. I havent much interest in dressing the world and it is often a time consumption for me to give advice and pick clothes for people, or talk about my clothes source. Which is why writing about it has been such a therapeutic outlet for me.


    I dunno what to tell you here. Im not overlooking the style, I just haven't the time to commit to unravel it in every circumstance. It comes down again to the target audience. If he was writing the book for someone like me, I suppose it's a light titter or maybe he is doing a variation of Old-Boy cigar smoking, table thumping. However, the average man is going to be very confused with the subtleties of meaning that haunt the book. I am constantly trying to write things which are useful for an intelligent but perhaps unitiated audience interested in style (as I once was), there isnt anyone Im trying to impress, including myself.

    A paragraph like that says to me that a very small clubby audience was intended for that particular message. Maybe going forward, people should write books about style without the contrivance of copying the wit of long dead writers?


    As to the dimple, No. But I see what youre saying. The way the tie is knotted by the DOW is quite pleasing, the way it is by the headless figure is not pleasing. It is not the dimple or absence of one which is distracting, it is the singularly clumsy example in the photo, which I find an improper focal point. Maybe the wearer does not want someone to concentrate on his face. If that is the case, he has achieved this effect with aplomb.

    The occasional photo of the Duke in his later life wearing a more relaxed, dimpleless knot proves my point exactly, and i am thankful someone else took the time to post it.
     
  6. Roger

    Roger Well-Known Member

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    I dont think i was suggesting anything. You introduced manton's quote into a conversation about tie dimples. I wasn't sure if you were introducing it as authority or because it was confusing you. I simply am not sure why you placed it here.
    Just to point out that an authority on style and dress (Manton) has indicated that there really is no "rule" on the dimple, and that knowledgeable and well-dressed men can differ in their opinions about its use. (This post was made near the beginning of the thread and after a number of posts suggesting that not to dimple was sartorially barbaric.)
     
  7. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Well-Known Member

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    Just to point out that an authority on style and dress (Manton) has indicated that there really is no "rule" on the dimple, and that knowledgeable and well-dressed men can differ in their opinions about its use. (This post was made near the beginning of the thread and after a number of posts suggesting that not to dimple was sartorially barbaric.)

    Point taken.

    If youre the DOW, then not wearing a dimple is stylish. If youre doing it well after a long spell with the dimpled knot, then maybe youve moved to a new level of style. If youre doing it to be different, then youre my version of "contrived".

    And if youre the millions upon millions of men who have no idea that you should be dimpling your tie, then the absence of a dimple is slovenly, if not barbaric.

    So, if you want to impress that rare person in the know, lose the dimple. Itll work if everything else youre wearing is beautifully done

    ,
     
  8. Roger

    Roger Well-Known Member

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    Point taken.
    If youre the DOW, then not wearing a dimple is stylish. If youre doing it well after a long spell with the dimpled knot, then maybe youve moved to a new level of style. If youre doing it to be different, then youre my version of "contrived".

    And if youre the millions upon millions of men who have no idea that you should be dimpling your tie, then the absence of a dimple is slovenly, if not barbaric.

    So, if you want to impress that rare person in the know, lose the dimple. Itll work if everything else youre wearing is beautifully done.

    Interesting analysis. Do you feel that a very well-tied half-Windsor or FIH knot in a tie that is not dimpled represents a slovenly presentation? It seems, from your "millions upon millions" paragraph, that not dimpling is barbaric simply because the wearer doesn't know about the dimple. But what if, while not knowing about it, he does a beautiful job with a lovely undimpled tie, and the rest of his ensemble is great? Is that man slovenly? What if you're a guy who knows what the dimple is and chooses to eschew it, all the while dressing very well in all respects? Is that contrived? Or if you're like many who, like Iammatt, go with the presentation that looks good when first tied, dimpled or otherwise? It seems as if losing the dimple would not cause too much harm by your reasoning since you have indicated that the rare person in the know might be impressed with this presentation and the millions upon millions of others in our world will never know that such a thing exists!
     
  9. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Well-Known Member

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    Interesting analysis. Do you feel that a very well-tied half-Windsor or FIH knot in a tie that is not dimpled represents a slovenly presentation? It seems, from your "millions upon millions" paragraph, that not dimpling is barbaric simply because the wearer doesn't know about the dimple. But what if, while not knowing about it, he does a beautiful job with a lovely undimpled tie, and the rest of his ensemble is great? Is that man slovenly? What if you're a guy who knows what the dimple is and chooses to eschew it, all the while dressing very well in all respects? Is that contrived? Or if you're like many who, like Iammatt, go with the presentation that looks good when first tied, dimpled or otherwise? It seems as if losing the dimple would not cause too much harm by your reasoning since you have indicated that the rare person in the know might be impressed with this presentation and the millions upon millions of others in our world will never know that such a thing exists!

    I thought we were discussing the merit of the advice gleaned from the paragraph from manton's book? I think it is poor advice to the general audience. First of all some may never have heard of a tie dimple, then it gets quickly dismissed as too studied. What would the average suit wearer get from that paragraph? Maybe he needed a chart on dimples and dimpleless knots?

    I rarely see men tie their ties well, dimple or otherwise. Can someone tie their tie well without being in the know? Of course. I learned to do it with little more reference than my Dad's clumsy full windsor as an example. It worked on him, I dont like it. Plus with a 17.5 inch neck, lots of luck wrapping it around that many times without it ending at my sternum. Can the absence of a dimple work on people who never learned to tie ties? Of course, there are always exceptions.

    I admit I find these "rules" tiresome, they seem to exist when they are convenient and then vanish just as quickly when they get in the way of including some advanced exceptions. You (all of us) should learn certain dress basics like dimpling your tie, then you can wear them any way you like. I have seen dimpleless ties worn well by the rare person. However, that paragraph only makes sense to someone who knows a lot about the world of tie tying. Now, why a book about the rules which I would imagine was for new entrants would give confusing advice about tie knots without demonstrations or further explanation is beyond me.

    Lets pin the book down, does it speak to the "millions and millions" or does it speak to a handful? Until that's settled once and for all, how could i ever be expected to explain my take on its meaning?
     
  10. tattersall

    tattersall Well-Known Member

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    Lets pin the book down, does it speak to the "millions and millions" or does it speak to a handful? Until that's settled once and for all, how could i ever be expected to explain my take on its meaning?

    The book can be read and understood at its face value by the simple-minded. Those who are erudite will appreciate the brazen contradictions and the outright lies. [​IMG]
     
  11. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Well-Known Member

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    Dear Roger,

    In respect to the foregoing repartee ..... ROFLMFAO!!!

    And one short bit of advice:

    You'll never be able to teach a pig to sing. To try to do so will only serve to frustrate you and severely annoy the pig.

    Best, as always,
    Alex
     
  12. LabelKing

    LabelKing Well-Known Member

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    The book can be read and understood at its face value by the simple-minded. Those who are erudite will appreciate the brazen contradictions and the outright lies. [​IMG]
    The masses are never erudite.
     
  13. Jovan

    Jovan Well-Known Member

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    I think that we're thinking way too hard on this subject. If you look good without the dimple, fine. If you do with, fine as well. We're reading way too much into this whole thing of knowing how to dimple or not, choosing to do so or eschewing it even if you know. Basically it all comes down to whether you tied a good knot or didn't. In Brandon Routh's case, for example, he didn't do a very good job. The absence of a dimple didn't look bad to me, it was just the general sloppiness. Now, many of you are quick to point out that dressing should be effortless. I agree. You should effortlessly be able to tie a good looking knot. Practice makes perfect. [​IMG]
     
  14. Mike C.

    Mike C. Well-Known Member

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  15. Mike C.

    Mike C. Well-Known Member

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    Other authorities have weighed in in other arenas. Wear a dimple if you like it. Don't if you don't like it. There's no "rule" here, just personal preference.

    What authorities?

    Also, I don't think anyone is debating a "rule" on this. They just seem to be saying that it looks unsophistocated dimpleless.
     
  16. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    That doesn't look like a silk tie. I have a few cashmere ties and wool ties that aren't able to dimple. I think that's the case in the photo above.
    The scan is sort of grainy. Based on the original photo, I would say that it is clearly silk.
     
  17. Mute

    Mute Well-Known Member

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    I don't really care much what the rules says. For me a tie just doesn't hang properly without the dimple. Don't like it at all. Personal preference.
     
  18. Roger

    Roger Well-Known Member

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    What authorities?
    Those I have already mentioned: Manton, the Duke of Windsor, Michael Alden. I'm sure that if I took the time to look, I'd find others.
    Also, I don't think anyone is debating a "rule" on this. They just seem to be saying that it looks unsophistocated dimpleless.
    You've misunderstood my point. It was simply to note that no rule actually exists wrt dimples in ties, and that the somewhat definitive assertions that began this thread might be seen as suggesting that there is a clearly correct position, and that is that ties must be dimpled, when in fact no such hard consensus exists. It does a disservice to those young guys starting out and trying to learn the fine points of style and dress to suggest that there is definitive agreement on this matter since they will then think that they must dimple their ties. The fact is that it is purely a matter of personal preference, and some undeniably authoritative, well-dressed, and knowledgeably stylish men choose to go dimpleless. That was all I intended to contribute to this thread. You and many others may think "that it looks unsophisticated dimpleless" (in which case you should dimple your ties), but let's all be clear that many others think differently, and they are not wrong; they merely have a different opinion about a subject that, in reality, permits both opinions under the rubric of good style and dress.
     
  19. Tomasso

    Tomasso Well-Known Member

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    Where can I find out how to dimple a tie?

    Forget about learning, just use"The Dimpler".

    http://www.dimpler.com/
     
  20. Film Noir Buff

    Film Noir Buff Well-Known Member

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    What authorities?

    Also, I don't think anyone is debating a "rule" on this. They just seem to be saying that it looks unsophistocated dimpleless.



    In general this is true, a well done dimple is a sign of a natty dresser. I dont have a problem with the occasional dimpleless knot if it is done well like the Duke employed it, but I havent seen anyone els's version look good here.

    The Duke also did his Charvet bowties up in that looser knot which I rather liked.
     

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