Keep Your Ties In Tip Top Shape

by Brett and Kate McKay on February 8, 2008 · 12 comments

in Accessories, Dress & Grooming


A nice tie can bring a whole outfit together. They also allow you to easily diversify your wardrobe simply by mixing and matching ties with different shirts and suits. But ties are delicate. If you don’t take care of them, they can easily become worn and tattered. Instead of being a punctuation point to a sharp suit, an unkept tie will make you look dopey. Here’s a short run down on how to care for your ties.

Untying your Ties

Care should be taken when removing your tie. After a long day of work, I know you probably just want to get the damn thing off. But fight the temptation to pull the thin end of the tie through the knot. While this is the easiest way to get your tie off, it ruins the shape of the tie in the process. If you want to make your ties last, remove your ties by following the tie-tying steps in reverse.

Storing Your Ties

When putting away a tie, many men roll them up, stuff them in a drawer, or lay them over a chair. But ties are made of delicate fabric and are extremely impressionable. So as soon as the tie comes off, drape it over a coat hanger or closet rack. Hanging your ties properly makes it easier for the creases and folds from a knot to fall out.

A nice tie rack is a good investment. Tie racks make storing and organizing your ties much easier. The Executive Ladder is a nice quality rack that sells for under $15. Spend a little on a rack now, and save money in the long run by making your ties last.

When traveling, fold your ties into fours and place them in your coat pocket. That will help maintain your ties’ shape while traveling.

I think one of the reasons I’m popular again is because I’m wearing a tie. You have to be different.” – Tony Bennett

Cleaning Your Ties

A small stain can ruin any tie. Use care while eating with a tie on to avoid getting food on it. If you do stain your tie, take action quickly. Blot the stain with cold water as this prevents it from setting. Seltzer water or club soda works best. If you get any greasy materials on your tie (like juice from that medium rare steak you’re eating), water won’t do. Get some talcum powder on your tie ASAP. The powder will absorb the grease. After a few hours, brush off the remaining residue and clean with a soft cloth.

If you take your ties into a dry cleaner, specifically request that they don’t press your ties. Most dry cleaners do, but ironing a tie presses down on its rolled edges and ruins its shape.

Removing Wrinkles from Your Ties

As mentioned above, ironing ties should be avoided. But it’s inevitable that your ties will start to wrinkle. The best way to get the wrinkles out without ruining your tie in the process is using steam. For easy wrinkles, simply hanging your tie in the bathroom while you take a hot shower will do the trick. For more stubborn wrinkles, consider purchasing a hand held steamer. Conair makes several good ones for a decent price. A couple of passes with this baby and your wrinkles are gone.

Tie Tacks

Tie tacks are nice because they keep your tie in place and out of your food. However, tie tacks leave holes in the fabric of your tie. To avoid these holes, insert the tie tack through the fabric keeper on the back and then through your shirt. No holes, but your tie will be kept in place.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MIKE February 19, 2008 at 1:56 am

I totally agree with Mr. Bennett on this topic. Whenever I go out on a dinner date I make sure to wear a tie. Even though I live in Boston, which is loaded with young professional types, on weekends most times I am one of the few men in the restaurant wearing a tie.
*Big points here for standing out*


2 Keith March 1, 2008 at 11:20 am

Great stuff. Wearing a tie can make the same shirt/suit look like a brand new outfit. This is extremely helpful if you’re on a budget but need to look professional often. I only have 2 suits but alternate ties and different colored shirts to change the look. This will have to do until I can afford more suits.

3 Brett March 1, 2008 at 2:15 pm


I’m one of those people who are on a budget. I’m a law student, so I often have to sport a suit. Having a variety of ties definitely makes it easier to mix up outfits.

4 Jeff Lebowski March 3, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Ties are one of the stupidest affectations ever created, and the sooner they dissapear forever, the better.

5 Jacob April 18, 2008 at 9:26 pm


a man would never say that. Ties have a rich history and are a great thing to wear.

6 Lawdog May 7, 2008 at 8:03 am

Here is my tip for ties. You don’t need to spend $75 to have a tie. TJMAXX and other similar stores offer last year’s ties at a fraction of the cost and really, who can tell if its the current version of a tie or last year’s?

7 Shawn May 20, 2008 at 11:24 am

“A well tied tie is the first serious step in life.”

Oscar Wilde – wit, poet, dramatist 1854-1900

8 Rich May 24, 2008 at 7:22 pm

Here’s another tip for keeping your tie in place: Go to a fabric store and get a yard of rattail cord, black or white (I find white less conspicuous). Cut a length (probably about 4 1/2-5 inches) that will span the space between adjacent buttons of a dress shirt, with a little slack, after a knot has been tied in each end. (I’ve read that you can put a drop of super glue gel on the cut ends to keep them from unraveling, but haven’t tried it.) Put on your tie, undo the button above the keeper, push one knotted end through the buttonhole and rebutton, slip the cord through the keeper, and repeat with the other end in the lower buttonhole. Your tie is in control but also is free to follow your motions, and doesn’t look like it has been stapled to your abdomen. You get a yard of the cord because it’s cheap, and if your tie gadget frays or strays, you’re ready to make a new one.

9 I am Dion June 16, 2008 at 2:49 pm

I think everyone is forgetting the classic tie bar. I went to a private school back in the day, and the uniform required a tie. So I purchased a tie bar. Kept it out of everything, and gave me a very unique look.

10 James Pierce December 1, 2008 at 4:45 pm

As far as taking care of your ties, these guys have AWESOME ties for just 5 bucks. Thats just about as much as dry cleaning. They are great quality as any you would buy in the store, but if you really damage it you can not feel so bad about it. They are at

11 gentleman Joe June 27, 2010 at 10:57 pm

thanx for that

12 anony January 13, 2014 at 5:19 pm

I’m not to hip on the latest revitalized urban youth trends, is a tie chain no longer hip? I have one that I’ve used for years. It lets the tie move vertically, and a little horizontal movement, all the while keeping it in place.

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