Missing the Mark, Ties, and Tie Clips: #30folds30days, Three Point Fold, Day 12

“I think the wedding is in Chatham” I said with confidence to my friend I was visiting, making a “th” sound. “Oh…you mean Chat-ham.” My local friend said, with a hard “T,” and a quick “am” making the “h” virtually silent. “Yup.”

Stupid New England towns.*

I am certain that I’m not alone in missing the mark on things. There are some details that are obscured by local custom, rule, or dialect. And a person can walk around completely confident that they have it right, only to have their world later rocked by the realization that they were wrong. And if it’s particularly public, you can get egg on your face. Luckily, there are friends there to correct us on our mistakes. In the world of style. I’m here to be that friend to you dear reader, in regards to many things. For suits, it comes down to tailoring. Shoes, good leather and good quality. And for pocket squares, well, by the end of this series you’ll never have to fold your square the same way twice in a month. But today, ties and tie clips.

You can have everything right, but if your tie or tie clip is out of place, it’ll just look wrong. Ties and tie clips come down to where they’re positioned. Don’t miss the mark.

The right spot for a tie is just on the top of your belt buckle. It should not rise way above your belt buckle above your navel. It also should not fall far below your belt buckle either. It’s tip should just barely touch the buckle, like so.

Right Length Tie

Some people have a hard time figuring out appropriate length before you tie. I have my methods, but really, it depends on the knot. Now, this is a blog series about pocket squares, not tie knots, so I’m not going to go to deep into it. What I do, is when making my knot, just before placing what will be the front through the knot, I measure to see if it meets the crease where my leg and groin meet. A little weird, sure. But it works for me and my body, and keeps me from having to undo my whole knot.

As for Tie Clips, they should go about an inch or two above your sternum. Somewhere between the third and fourth button from the top on your dress shirt. This is too high.

Tie Clip Too High

this is too low.

Tie Clip Too Low

This is just about right.

Correct Tie Clip Position

The tie clip is more important than the tie. If you’re just wearing a tie, people might think, hey, he just doesn’t know how a tie is supposed to sit. A lot of people have to wear ties for work, he’s probably one of them. Poor guy.

If you’re wearing a tie bar, and it’s out of place, then you’ve made an effort to go above and beyond, and failed. You’re trying to be stylish, but missed the mark badly. Signaled to the rest of the world: “hey, look at me!” then face-planted.  There’s something that just stings more about that. Like confidently asking for the basketball from a group of kids with a smirk, wearing sweet new basketball sneakers, only to completely airball a layup. You ended up in ChaTHam.

Luckily though, you now know where to put your tie clip. But don’t screw it up by using a tie clip that is wider than your tie. Or not actually clipping your tie clip to your shirt. It’s meant to hold it in place, and is very useful for that purpose when not wearing a jacket. (See, Utility).

Today’s fold is the three point or crown fold. The first post was a post that ended up with three peaks, and this does as well, but it is stylistically different.

1. Start with a  pocket square. Most fabrics can work for this fold.


2. Fold in half diagonally.


3. Bring the lower left corner up and over, so its point is slightly (an inch or so) to the right of the main point.


4. Repeat for the right corner.


5. Fold in the sides. You may also need to fold up the bottom so it fits in your pocket.


6. Viola. This fold needs little fluffing.


There you have it the three point fold. Any questions, comments, or requests: Seamus@smkstyle.com

*Not really, I love everything about New England, including that Worcester only has two syllables.

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