The timing couldn't have been better; while I was working on my Dapper 101 menswear post, I was approached by Bows-n-Ties.com to do a review on some manly neckwear. Of course, I agreed!
Bows-n-Ties carries a wide assortment of neckties and bowties (obviously) in a number of colors and patterns (from classic solids and stripes to more adventurous paisleys and plaids), with skinny ties, child sized ties, and extra-long ties (for the big and tall gentleman!), and a number of related accessories like cufflinks and scarves. They also carry ascots and handkerchiefs, which I know some of my steampunk-affiliated friends will be pleased to know! I was sent two neckties to be reviewed; I love ties, but I'll admit to not knowing that much about what makes a good tie. Luckily, there was just such an expert in my house: my dad.
Daddy Zowie took this tie (you get a much better idea of the pattern from that than my pic) for a spin at his office and came back with only positive reviews. He loved the color and the texture, and was impressed with the heft of the fabric and the way the tie laid through the day. When he untied it after a long day's work, he noted that the fabric wasn't wrinkled where it was knotted, thanks to a very subtle texture in the fabric. All in all, he was very impressed with the quality and with the price (there's a wide variety of ties priced generally ~$10-25). The tie he wore was Chevalier brand, which didn't really mean anything to me, but made him go "mmm" approvingly, so I'm guessing it's a good one!
He wore the other tie today and pointed out that the smoother texture showed some more wrinkles from the knot, but that they were both "very good" ties. I haven't taken one for a spin yet, and I'm not sure I'll be able to: Dad doesn't seem too willing to part with them!
Basically: these are very nice ties for a nice price. But to be honest, I'm especially impressed by the website itself. It allows you to search for ties by color so if, for example, you're a gentleman (and twitter follower of mine) looking for fiery orange ties, you can quickly find a variety of ties in your color story of choice. Even better are the tie descriptions: far from your standard catalog copy, each listing provides tips on the appropriate occasion for the tie and what color shirt/suit would go best with it. The site sports a "how to" section that demonstrates several different necktie knots, how to tie a bowtie, how to fold a handkerchief, and more! There's tips for caring for your ties, a guide to the appropriate attire for black tie, white tie, business casual, weddings, funerals, etc. It's definitely a great resource for men and other people interested in menswear; I don't expect to see this much content on a retail site, so I was very pleasantly surprised.
If all this is making you think that you need some ties right now, you're in luck! Bows-n-Ties was nice enough to offer a coupon code for all my readers! Just use the code ficklekitsch between now and 11/30/11 and save 20% on your purchase. I think I might pick up a tie of my own, since my dad doesn't seem likely to share with me...
Disclaimer: These products were provided to me free of charge for review. I was not compensated in any other way for the post, and the opinions stated above are my own (and my dad's).