Over the decades, ties have always been the if all else fails gift to Dad, Granddad, Uncle and any other man in your life that wears the occasional suit. But what ever happened to the elegant pin or shiny tie clip to go along with it?
Actually called tie tacks, the pin has a 300 year history and pins were made in solid gold decorated with pearls, onyx and opals. The problem with buying a tie pin along with that tie you purchased for Granddad’s special occasion is that little hole that got bigger and bigger in the expensive silk you spent hours picking out for him. Unfortunately, the new tie wins out over the pin to keep it in place.
So how do men avoid getting their tie caught in the desk drawer at work or worse yet, landing in the mash potatoes and gravy at that family dinner? Actually, a lot of men seem to spend a great deal of time smoothing their tie in place as they were work, eat and drive seemingly reacting to a pain in the gut. My father always liked the tie clip that he would receive with his new tie at Christmas but again, unless you were careful about placing that clip in the same place every time, you could damage the tie. In recent years, tie bars have become more popular and less likely to cause chaos. Isn’t it better to ruin your tie with an attractive clip or bar than with spaghetti sauce?
And what about those beautiful cuff links; another great gift for Dad. Some of you may not even know what cufflinks are; the decorative little fasteners that were placed on two sides of the cuffs of men’s long sleeved shirts and women’s dress blouses as well. You could actually have a set of cufflinks monogramed with your Uncles initials. Eventually, buttons began to replace the need for cufflinks. But shirts are still made today with a French cuff that do require cuff links. Generally, young men may be able to experience cufflinks with the first Tuxedo they rent for prom or even for their wedding. And like everything else, the Internet can easily show how all these male accessories can be used efficiently.
As jewelry for women tends to define their personality and tastes, tie clips and cufflinks do the same for men. When I would observe my father dressed to kill, the type of tie, clip and cufflinks identified Father’s character and said something important about his feelings on life, love and business. He would always claim that his accessories were messy and my mother and I would always admire his ability to suit up in elegance.
So if you need a gift for that special Granddad, think about purchasing a tie clip, cufflinks and shirt instead of just a plain old tie. Maybe that stainless steel clip or rose gold links can be engraved with just a few letters reminding your Grandfather what he really means to you.
The Tie Chest an Ebay store, offers a great collection of vintage tie accessories.