To tie, or not to tie? That is the question that every gentleman faces each morning. The answer, of course, is always yes, unless the whole day comprises swimming nude and boxing bare-fist (also nude). The more difficult question is which knot to tie each day. Let’s take a look at some popular ties and for what occasions they are best worn.

Bow Tie

If you know how to tie a bow tie, you’re probably not reading this.

Also known as “The 1%er,” the bow tie is the most distinguishable of all ties. The distinct shape and size ensure everyone knows they have the money to take bow tie-tying lessons, or hire someone to tie their ties for them. Nobody will mistake a bow tie for a half windsor. Like their money, these elites like to keep their ties as close to them as possible, with no chance of it brushing up against or otherwise contacting anything worth less than ten years teacher salary. Recent years have seen the elite’s platinum grasp on bow ties slip somewhat, as hipsters and little kids at funerals claw away at the monopoly. Neither of these groups will ever make the bow tie truly its own, as the 1%ers don’t even realize they exist; hence, they do not know that their territory is even being infringed upon. One of these would-be usurpers should be old enough to know better than to try, and the hipsters, in time, may also attain that self-awareness.

Half-Windsor

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Half-Windsor

Come on. It’s fewer steps than a barn dance.

Where the bow tie is the tie of the elite, the half-windsor is the calling card of the working man. If the bow tie is a martini (shaken, not stirred of course); the half-windsor is a beer. The half-windsor does the same job (keep your shirt from falling down), but without all the bells and whistles, and a little more dangle. This tie will get you through life, not an ambitious life, but a life. Much like your résumé or online dating profile, the half-windsor does not stick out or warrant a second glance. Ties formed into half-windsors often display signs of midlife discontent in their wearers: coffee stains from late nights at the office and permanent wrinkles from having never been cleaned or even fully untied between uses.

Windsor

Windsor

Each time you tie a Windsor, a hair turns grey.

So, you got yourself that office (it’s not a corner office, but hey, still better than Bill in accounting. Screw Bill) and a closet full of dress shirts and sports jackets. To keep things in proportion, you seek a thicker tie for a broader chest. You have an image to uphold now. A well tied Windsor adequately displays your acceptance into the Bourgeoisie while maintaining ties (ha) to your humbler roots.

Eldridge

Pictured: 17 hour of your life you’ll never get back.

There is a time and place for the Eldridge knot: those are never and hell, respectively. This pretentious manifestation of hours of YouTube tutorials is only excusable if you have a face so boat-crash-disastrously crater-ridden that you could stage a fairly convincing moon landing on it; I’m talking something that would bring bile to even Picasso’s throat. If that is the case (I’m truly sorry), it is great for drawing attention towards your more desirable features, like a nice Adam’s apple or well-ironed shirt collar. Hang in there, buddy.

Speaking of which…

Noose

Still popular in less civilized parts of the world…

A favorite among pirates and political dissidents, the noose is not for everyone. Major drawbacks include the ever-present risk of asphyxiation and difficulty to untie after first use. But hey, some people are into that.

Bolo

The least literal “tie” of all.

Congratulations! You’ve been elected to the Texas state senate! Get working on that wall!

Merovingian

Neo-t!

Perfect for data traffickers in computer-generated, simulated virtual realities (such as Second Life or Farmville).

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