In a November 2010 issue of Business Week, I read a small article about two college students who converted their business school project into a legitimate business.
Through a strange course of events, a random email and a crazy idea for expanding their business, I ended up on a phone call with Brett Nicol and Nathan Tan, owners of Forgetful Gentleman, whose focus is helping the men of today restore the gentlemanly polish that was once very common among our predecessors. My idea for expanding their business never took off, but I recall their enthusiasm for exploring new ideas and very much appreciated their entertaining my ranting.
Earlier this year, Nathan Tan published his book, The Forgetful Gentleman: Thirty Ways to Turn Good Intentions into Action. This is a must-read for the would-be gentleman of today who aspires to be something more than his hipster dressing, video-game playing, Axe body spray wearing, ROTFLMAO texting, failure to launch contemporaries.
Mr. Tan dedicated an entire chapter of his book to the resurgence of the necktie, which has declined in popularity since the mid-1990’s. In my work with the police department as well as in other events, both social and corporate, I occasionally find myself in need of sporting formal neckwear. Perhaps from my days in the military, I have always been keen on having a neat and impeccable appearance, but I go the extra mile when I know formal attire is in order.
For many men, the temptation to don a pre-tied tie can be great, especially if they lack real tying skills or wardrobe prowess, but I encourage you fellows to invest the time learning one of the four most common knots, which will give your appearance that extra lift and give you reason to hold your head high when draping a little silk around the collar.
For the sake of space, I’ll forego going into detail, but the How to Tie a Tie Video is a great resource for learning to tie a necktie. The four most common knots are: 1) The Windsor; 2) The Half-Windsor; 3) The Four-In-Hand; and 4) The Pratt. My personal favorite is the Pratt, for its uncomplicated, small-medium sized, symmetrical knot.
Learn to tie these knots and understand how they each complement your wardrobe in different ways. Once you’ve learned to tie and wear each of them, it will be quite apparent who else hasn’t.