The clip-on tie was the greatest democratization of society of the late 20th century. It enabled men to dress with refinement, even without developing the manual dexterity and concern for appearance that are prerequisites of refinement.
The clip-on tie is worn mostly by:
- Manual laborers who only need to wear ties at a wake once every couple of years or so. (Some of these would have no problem tying an actual tie, but forget how to do so in the intervening time.)
- Web designers, who only wear a tie every few months, and then only to make their managers think they've been interviewing for a job somewhere else. (Most of these would injure themselves if they tried to tie a real tie.)
In view of these constituencies, clip-on ties are usually manufactured from polyester instead of silk. This ensures that, in the vast stretches of time between wearings, moths don't eat holes in the ties.
Clip-on ties can be obtained at any Wal-Mart. By all means, do not go to a real department store or men's clothing store for a clip-on tie. Even if you are willing to bear the scorn and possible public ridicule of the clerk's reaction, the clerk does not want to deal with you. In contrast, the cashier at Wal-Mart will view you as a man on your way up. You might get lucky.
If you can get someone to tie a non-clip-on tie for you just once, you can, at the end of the day, loosen it and slip it over your head without completely untying it. On subsequent uses, reattach it (like the noose that it symbolizes) and re-tighten it. Any wrinkling will be confined to the small tail, which should be hidden behind the large one.
If you buy a second, identical clip-on tie, you may be able to carefully cut it to size and create a fake matching dress handkerchief for the left-hand pocket of your suit coat. (If you have a suit coat. You do realize that dress handkerchiefs are not actually used to blow your nose, right?)
- In which case, do please ask him or her to also shave the back of your neck.
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