My husband, a scientist/engineer, labored in Tokyo for 13 years the place enterprise apparel for males is pretty inflexible: darkish, well-tailored swimsuit, white shirt and tie. Now he’s in Silicon Valley, the place nobody wears ties. What to do with the 50-plus lovely silk ties in his closet? Even thrift and charity outlets would not have a giant want. I’m pondering of turning them right into a psychedelic quilt. Some other concepts? — Kat, San Jose, Calif.
I think about there may be an ocean of males with the identical drawback: a tie rack stuffed with ties and nowhere to put on them.
Silicon Valley will not be the one trade the place the necktie, as soon as funding dressing and one of many few methods for males to specific their individuality in an workplace setting, has fallen out of favor. Even within the monetary sector, ties are more and more an endangered species, which can be why resale outlets are much less ; the market isn’t there.
That mentioned, there are nonetheless events the place a tie is useful: weddings, courtroom, funerals and Washington, D.C., amongst them. There’s a motive that, when the tech titans testify earlier than Congress, even they emerge in fits and ties. So I’d maintain a handful, perhaps even 10, round for good measure. The very old-fashioned-ness and establishmentarianism of the tie can generally be a bonus.
And ties are nonetheless usually anticipated in job interviews, so there are charities like Profession Gear, Vietnam Veterans of America and Suited 4 Success created particularly to assist males get again to work (they’re the male equal of Costume for Success), that are on the lookout for donations of extra formal skilled costumes. The RealReal can even settle for ties by identify manufacturers like Hermès, Brioni and Ralph Lauren if you wish to go the resale route.
As for the remaining, you’ve the proper thought: upcycle. Ties are sometimes made in attractive silk colours and patterns, and they are often put to all kinds of unbelievable next-use situations. Erin Beatty, a designer whose new model Rentrayage is solely dedicated to upcycled clothes and homewares, advised desirous about a skirt.
“Begin by pinning the ties all along with the narrowest half on high till you get your waist measurement,” she mentioned, and stitch from there. Ms. Beatty additionally advised that the ties may very well be used so as to add some pizazz to a button-down shirt by opening the aspect seams and inserting a little bit of silk. “Abruptly you’ve a one-of-a-kind shirt that everybody will discover,” she mentioned.
If you’re on the lookout for inspiration, Etsy has a complete part dedicated to repurposed ties which were given new life as pillows, pins, patches, scarves, bracelets and so forth.
If all that appears an excessive amount of, or if extra difficult stitching will not be one among your talent units, Ms. Beatty had an easier suggestion: “Merely reduce them up and stitch them on as patches,” she mentioned. “Cowl half the again pockets of your favourite denims or the highest one inch of a patch pocket on a shirt.”
By no means, she added, “underestimate the ability of trimmings.”
Your Model Questions, Answered