We all know that a good tie can make or break an outfit, but what does really separate the men from the boys in this department? Gents (drum roll please), may we introduce you to… the tie dimple! An absolute must have for all you tie-donning Idle Men out there who choose to go above and beyond to add a touch of class to your outfits.
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Perhaps you’ve heard of this elusive dapper dimple before, maybe the term is completely new to you. This tiny touch-up is a sophisticated and unfairly overlooked way to finish your tie with finesse. And here at Idle HQ, we don’t want you to miss out. To help you get the knack of your neckwear, and master your tie dimple with some subtle sass, check out our hints and tips below.
How to Put on a Tie
It often falls upon the tie to bring an outfit together - a heavy burden for such a small piece of material. Your tie is generally the item that attracts the most attention, so choosing an appropriate tie is pretty important when it comes to nailing a look.
Choosing Your Tie
Ties work best when they’re kept simple – you don’t want your tie to clash or be too jarring when combined with your outfit. It’s best to stick with block colours, or opt for a simple pattern when choosing your tie (unless you’re specifically looking to make a statement with something a little more eye-catching!). If you’re confident enough to throw on something attention-grabbing …kudos to you. You go Glen Coco! But if your tie game isn’t super strong, it’s best to steer clear from turning it into a conversation or novelty piece.
A skinnier tie works well with a modern cut suit, but avoid anything too skinny. The same applies for width. Ideally, you want your tie to be between two to three inches at its widest. Extremes in either of these cases can leave you looking dull and dated.
A skinnier tie just feels of-the-moment right now. It's not too mainstream and not too traditional. And there's less material, so there's less potential for a colour or pattern to feel garish or offensive...
- Scott Sternberg (designer, Band of Outsiders) Business Insider UK
How to Do a Tie
Once you’ve gone through the trouble of matching your tie to your outfit (having probably debated whether you should wear one at all), you’re then left with the dilemma of having to tie it. This might not be something you struggle with, however it’s also acceptable to admit that you’re a bit out of practice...especially if you’re the kind of guy who feels ties are an annoying necessity for unavoidably formal situations.
You’ve (hopefully) left your clip on or elasticated school ties behind you. And on the occasion where the smart-casual open shirt just won’t cut it, it’s time to embrace your mature side and show them you mean business with your killer knot skills.
If a tie isn’t one of your go-to accessories and you need a little reminder, follow the simple step-by-step guide on how to tie your tie below.
How to Tie a Tie (The Four in Hand Knot)
- Stand in front of a mirror with the wide end of your neck tie to your right.
- Cross the wide end over the narrow end and wrap it round.
- Pull the wide end up through the gap between your shirt and the tie knot.
- Then pull the wide end through the front loop of the knot.
- Finally, to tighten your tie, slide the knot up, keeping hold of the narrow end of your tie.
You'll be tying ties confidently in no time at all!
Which Knots and Whatnots
Once you’ve finished congratulating yourself for that perfect knot, you can even get a little experimental - you've certainly earned the rights to play around with bolder knots. Whereas tying ties may have had you in knots previously, the more adventurous, daring, or downright brave Idle Man, may well choose to opt for some alternative knots.
The Windsor knot (also referred to as the full or double Windsor knot), or the half Windsor, offer a slight variation on the Four in Hand. Fancier still, knots such as the Merovingian or the Eldredge knot are great if you’re looking to impress, or just really like to be fiddly with your fashion.
But if you’re not feeling overly enthusiastic about some fabric origami, or find the Four in Hand challenging enough, there’s really no need to go learning all the different knot options. For the casual Idle Man, the Four in Hand knot will do nicely. It also happens to be the perfect companion when trying to achieve the legendary tie dimple.
How to Tie a Perfect Tie
To conclude our tie tying section, check out our further tips to help keep your tie style on-point.
- The tip of your tie should extend to the middle of your belt buckle.
- You may find it easier to fold your tie and replace your collar before you fasten your top button.
- If you’re left-handed you might like to reverse these steps.
- Choose a shirt that is washed and worn - avoid anything too stiff and formal.
How to Tie a Tie with a Dimple
Congratulations! You've made it this far. We’re hoping that we’ve shed some light on tying ties and you’re now a master in the art of getting dressed efficiently for a fancy do. But if tying a tie has been a struggle for you in the past, it’s no surprise that your thoughts have not immediately raced to the concept of creating a tie dimple too. In fact, you may not have even heard of the term before.
What is a Dimple?
The tie dimple is very much a neglected little fashion quirk and is no longer considered a necessity when it comes to your smart and formal get-up. Put very simply, a tie dimple is created in the final stages of tying your tie when tightening the knot. The wide end of your tie is squeezed, close to the knot, causing the material to pucker and create a small dimple that lies just beneath the knot when the tie is complete.
It is elegant, stylish, and demonstrates some real fashion knowledge. So if you’re looking to impress with your dress, and be the talk of the town, don’t forget this classy companion.
Why Have a Tie Dimple?
With all the complications surrounding tie choices and which knots to use, you’re totally justified if you’re concerned that the tie dimple is yet another fashion beast to try and conquer. But you can relax. The great thing about tie dimples is that they’re practically effortless.
A tie dimple works to add dimension to your tie, transforming it from a piece of limp and lifeless material hanging around your neck, into a tie that is precise, polished and full of character. It’s a very simple touch, but it’s sure to catch the eye. It’s the signature style of a man who knows exactly how to dress. And if you don’t believe us? Just ask Bond. Yes, James Bond. The man that’s quite literally dressed to kill…
How to Get a Dimple
Whatever lengths you go to in the process of tying your tie, take comfort in the fact that the tie dimple is an incredibly easy addition, designed simply to give you a touch of class and sophistication. Tie dimples work with any of your chosen knots. So regardless of whether you’re more Four in Hand or Eldredge, you have no excuses not to give this little touch-up a go.
Furthermore, the tie dimple can be achieved regardless of the material you might be dealing with. Whether your tie is knitted, or made of wool, silk, or cashmere, you can still effectively create a tie dimple and help keep your outfit looking suitably stylish.
When forming your dimple, you want to encourage the material to fold and crease in order to accentuate it. However, you also want to keep it looking casual. So try not to spend hours in front of the mirror obsessing over getting this look perfect. You want to avoid letting your tie dimple look too placed.
For the true Idle Man, a dimple clip may well be of interest. It is a small plastic device that pinches the material into a dimple shape, and then slides beneath the knot. It might be cheating a little bit, but it’s a sure way of achieving a tie dimple without any excessive fuss.
To really get to grips with your tie dimple, follow our step-by-step instructions below.
How to Dimple a Tie
- Begin the steps to tying your tie as you normally would, placing the material around your neck.
- To your right you should have the wider blade, to your left the thinner blade (making sure that the wide blade is slightly longer than the thinner blade). You may wish to reverse this if you're left-handed.
- Cross the wide blade over the thin blade and wrap it around once.
- Pull the wide blade up from behind the knot and pull it through the gap.
- Pinch the sides of the wide blade, creating a dimple effect as you pull the blade down and tighten the knot.
- The tighter you pull the knot, the tighter the dimple will be.
And voilà! In no time at all you’ve achieved a look that’s dashing, dapper…and dimply.
Your Quick Guide to Tie Dimples
For the no-nonsense Idle Man who just wants to skim-read the basics, whiz through our quick guide below for a brief summary of all our handy hints and tips...
- Tie dimples can be achieved with any material or choice of knot.
- Avoid choosing ties that are wide or super skinny.
- Get creative and experiment with alternative knots for extra panache.
- Keep your tie dimple looking effortless rather than focusing on absolute perfection. You could even opt for a side dimple!
- Choose a shirt that has been worn previously to avoid your style looking too formal and stiff.
- And finally, consider purchasing a dimple clip for an instant, fuss-free dimple.
On That Note
By now you've probably realised that the tie dimple is the perfect finishing touch to any formal outfit. Consider it your tie’s cleavage if you will – a tie dimple is simple, yet eye-catching, and is guaranteed to define your look as effortlessly suave. With just a simple pinch of material you can smugly demonstrate your fashion knowledge and show them who means business. Forget the phrase: ‘icing on the cake’, when it comes to your style, this little flourish really is the ‘dimple in your tie’.