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Amateur Questions!


Feb 25, 2013
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Just putting together a beginning wardrobe. For the past, eh, 35 years or so, I just wore "whatever" - and never cared about "style" and certainly not quality. Clean and neat and quiet were all I strove for. But I have a special occasion coming up, and thought I would finally Be An Adult, and I have found the journey so far fun and entertaining. Keep all that in mind when I ask these very simple questions:

1. I need some neckties.

Where can I look for some good quality items? As a starting point, although the are a "novelty" perhaps, the Josh Bach ties - I have one - are, I think, nice. USA made, all silk, and about $50. A tie, for me, is a "LOOK" item only, in that there is no comfort involved. Expensive shoes feel great. Expensive ties feel the same as cheap ones when they're around my neck! So I don't really see the point in spending 100 or 200 dollars on a tie. Or am I missing something? I have ties I've been wearing for over 20 years, and they haven't worn out, or fell apart, or even faded (much). And they were likely 20$ at Sears. So - please - educate me on neckties, and what makes one GOOD.

2. I need a belt or two.

I got some nice trousers at Brooks Brothers - but, like the tie, I cannot stomach spending $150 on a belt, when the one I've been using for as long as I can remember was likely a KMart special. It has not fallen apart or otherwise been a weak link EXCEPT on appearance (perhaps...perhaps...). Where can I look for a belt and how much should I spend? And why?

3. A point about both items, and maybe you can all provide an amusing response.

My "style sense," of which I have very little, does not like the diagonal stripes on ties, big stripes, little strips, any color - I do not like that design. I realize it is quite popular, but I do not get the appeal, not of that OR of the little "ameobae" on ties. Is there something wrong with me?? For the belts - my present belt, on the buckle - the buckle is, for lack of a better word, covered or coated. It is not shiny metal. I do not like the shiny metal buckle on ANY belt, but it's very difficult to find one with an understated buckle. Is it asking to much to powder-coat a few, at least? Or - again - I ask, what's wrong with me?

I await your direction...but in all seriousness, thanks much for any advice.


Dubiously Honored
Jun 1, 2011
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Spending more money on a belt can mean you get better quality leather, which will look better for a longer, better stitching and a nicer buckle. I really like the belts I have from Equus:


On ties, I think it's pretty tough to find a nice tie that's less than about $75 retail. Below that, it's usually poorly chosen colors or patterns or just low quality silk, usually at least some polyester in the interlining. The most important impact of the interlining is that they will not tie as nice a knot. This is a helpful article:


The jump in quality between the $75-100 range up to the $200 range for ties is not nearly as big IMHO. Then you're paying for extra folds, which don't really do anything, maybe extras like untipped with handrolled edges, which some people like, but are by no means necessary.

In general, it's good to know what you're getting at different price points for different items, but everyone cares about different things, so "rules" about how much you "should" spend on this item and how much to spend on another aren't really productive IMHO.


Distinguished Member
Mar 15, 2006
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Sierra Trading Post often carries discounted belts and ties (e.g., Altea) of reasonable quality. In general, it is unlikely to find non-junky versions of those items for less than $30 or $35. One note about low-quality ties is often they are very shiny (in 100% silk or otherwise).


Dubiously Honored
Feb 11, 2007
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Don't forget to pick things that complement your coloring. I'm new to the concept, but you definitely don't want to wear cool shades if you're a summer.

I think you're on the right track when it comes to ties. Nobody will know how much you spent, so get the cheapest ones that fit your personal style.


Distinguished Member
Jan 30, 2011
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OP, listen to Unbel. He knows whereof he speaks.

Foo usually does, except when he's not himself, or trying to be ironic.

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