One of the most exciting rites of passage for a young professional is assembling a wardrobe for the office that you can be proud of.
This is your chance to experiment and develop a style that works for you. You'll be shopping for dress shirts, trousers, suits, shoes, dress boots, as well as business-casual wear.
One thing is for sure; you'll need a collection of classy ties to keep things exciting, show off your style, and draw attention.
Complementing your outfit with a tie can be an excellent way to get people to notice you; just make sure it's for the right reason. A well-chosen tie shows that you're smart and pay attention to the details.
It also shows that you know how this young professional thing works. An ugly or gaudy tie draws attention for the wrong reasons.
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Worse yet, a sloppy, wrinkled tie sends the wrong impression altogether. A wrinkled tie says that you know what you're supposed to do, but that you don't care about the details.
At that point, it doesn't matter if it's a great tie that works with your shirt, suit, and skin tone perfectly. It sends the wrong message. That's not something you want the VP of Marketing or a potential customer to notice.
Instead, you need to learn how to store ties so your expensive collection stays in great shape and lets you choose the best tie for the occasion or outfit quickly.
If you're wearing a tie, it will play a huge role in the overall outfit. Make sure it stays in excellent condition with these methods for storing ties.
Table of Contents
How to Store Ties: The Preparation
It doesn't matter which of the following tie storage methods you choose; you can't store a sloppy tie and expect it to come out in better condition. You need to ensure that your ties are in excellent condition before you tuck them away for the best results.
Get to know your dry cleaner
If you're a messy guy, or some grease from the office pizza party hitched a ride on your tie, you need to have it cleaned right away.
The longer you let a stain sit on your tie's material, the worse your odds will be of saving it. You may be able to wash your tie if it's a cotton or synthetic material, but you're almost always better off taking it to a pro.
Dry cleaners know all the tricks for removing stains while preserving the tie’s material. They'll tell you if the tie is worth saving and if they can get the stain out. Your tie will also come back to you in tip-top shape—a real benefit to dry cleaning.
Iron Out the Details
Depending on how you store your ties, wrinkles can get worse over time. They can even become relatively permanent, discoloring your tie's material and your outfit. Before you store a tie, iron or steam the wrinkles out.
One important thing to keep in mind is that you need to use the right temperature setting for your tie's material. Silk and synthetic materials require a low setting, while cotton ties can take a much hotter iron. Wool lands somewhere in the middle.
Also, use a pressing cloth between the iron and the tie. A thin, cotton cloth helps to dissipate the heat more evenly and avoid scorch marks.
It also prevents that shiny appearance that some materials end up with after ironing. In short, a pressing cloth protects a handsome tie during ironing.
If you're nervous about taking an iron to your tie collection, here's a hack: Hang your ties on your bathroom towel rack and crank the shower to its hottest setting. Let the shower run for a while until the steam builds up.
The steam will loosen the material while gravity pulls it back into shape. It's an excellent solution for ties that have wrinkled around the neck and knot area from wearing, but don't necessarily need to be dry cleaned yet.
How to Hang Ties for Storage
Hanging your ties is a great way to store your collection conveniently, while also keeping them in great shape. There are a ton of ways to hang your ties, but let's look at some common products and methods that make the most of a small amount of closet space.
How to Use a Tie Rack
Tie racks are a nice option for walk-in closets or those with custom cabinetry. The most common style of tie rack features pins or dowels that stick out from a wooden board or plaque.
The pins are usually in a straight row or two offset rows. They allow your ties to hang without bunching up on other ties below them. This helps avoid wrinkles.
There are also sliding tie racks that tuck away when not in use. They're an excellent option for smaller closets, but they still require some space to avoid wrinkling and twisting.
They mount to the side of a cabinet or shelf and slide out when you need a tie. Once you choose your necktie, they slide back in and out of the way.
Hanging tie racks are also popular for smaller collections. They work like standard clothes hangers, hooking onto your closet pole. Instead of the traditional triangle shape, they use plastic racks with slots on both sides.
The ties slide into the slots, hanging free of the other ties to reduce wrinkles and keep your ties in excellent shape.
There are even motorized versions of hanging tie racks that work like necktie carousels. When you press a button, the ties begin to rotate, allowing you to see all of your ties one at a time and make a perfect choice.
All of these options also work well for belts, effectively solving two storage problems at once. The one thing to keep in mind is that your belts will hang lower than your ties. They may hang up on clothing or shoes underneath, which can then cause them to twist around the ties.
For the best results, pass on racks that store ties in vertical rows. They'll work for storing your ties in a tight space, but they're also more likely to cause wrinkles.
How to Roll and Store Ties
There are a lot of reasons why a man would prefer to roll his ties instead of hanging them. For one, rolled ties can take up less space. Also, rolling ties can provide a better view of your collection, allowing you to choose the perfect tie for the outfit.
How to Roll a Tie
Rolling a necktie is a pretty straightforward deal, but here are a few pointers for the best results:
Be sure the tie is wrinkle-free before you start rolling your tie. Steam or iron it if needed.
Lay the tie out on a flat surface, face down.
Lightly fold the tie in half. Don't crease it at the fold. It's best to leave the fold as a loose loop.
Starting at the fold/loop, lightly roll the tie towards the ends, keeping the tie in a neat roll.
Only roll the tie as tightly as it needs to be to fit in whatever box or cube you're going to store it in. This will help remove the odds of wrinkles and creases.
How to Store Rolled Ties
Storing your neckties in rolls can be a major space-saver. For tight closets, it might be the only viable solution. Some men might even find their necktie storage solution adds a certain touch of class to their bedroom.
Tie storage boxes are great for keeping your tie collection organized.
They work similarly to a watch box, with cubbies for each tie. They come in a variety of sizes, but you can store quite a few ties in a box about the size of a shoebox.
Choose a tie box that allows you to store your ties rolled loosely, as the tighter you have to roll them, the harder it is on the fabric and more likely they'll be to wrinkle.
Some of these tie boxes allow you to hang them on a bedroom or closet wall, but this also depends on your space and style. You can also leave the box displayed on a dresser top if it matches your bedroom style well.
If you have the available dresser space, you can consider storing your rolled ties in a drawer as well. Once you've rolled your ties, place them inside the drawer, side by side.
Be careful not to crush any of the ties' loose rolls. This creates a colorful drawer, no doubt, but also allows you to peruse your collection quickly before heading to the office or out for a date.
If you'd prefer to mimic the organization of a tie box, you can create your own dividers custom fit to your drawers. You can buy spring-loaded draw organizers that use tension to stay in place, or cut and assemble your own from quarter-inch cedar boards.
Cedar smells great, lasts forever, and repels bugs like moths that might like to snack on a silk tie.
How to Store Ties While Traveling
If an important business trip is on your horizon, you've been making the right impressions at work. Don't let the boss down by greeting your client with a perfectly pressed suit and shirt, only to ruin it with a wrinkled tie because you decided to store it in your dress shoe.
Most hotels have an iron available, but if a delayed plane or traffic made you late, you might not have time to press your entire wardrobe. The good news is that if you pack your ties properly, you won't have to worry about them wrinkling while you're on the road.
One option is to purchase a single tie box, available at many men's clothiers. These cardboard boxes store a loosely-rolled tie securely and protect it from getting crushed by your other garments or by airport baggage handlers.
They're lightweight, so they'll only add ounces to your checked baggage. Their telescoping lids stay closed during turbulence or a good jostling on the baggage claim belt.
You can also use a tie travel case for your expeditions. A travel case is like a big wallet for your ties.
They'll keep your ties folded nicely inside, and many come with extra storage for cufflinks, pocket squares, and spare cash.
They're slim, so they can slide into your carry-on or tuck away nicely inside your suitcase. You can often find matching Dopp kits, as well. These travel cases can significantly level up your luggage game.
How to Store Bow Ties
Bow ties are certainly a style of their own and require a certain degree of confidence to wear. Paired with the right outfit, however, they look fantastic.
Bow ties don't necessarily need their own storage method, but their reduced size, awkward shape, and tying complexity do change things slightly.
Let's be very clear about one thing: Bow ties aren't easy to tie, but you should never wear a clip-on or any other style that doesn't require tying. Imposters are obvious, and they negate the touch of class that a bow tie can create.
It's unlikely that you'll be able to slip a bow tie off without untying it, but in the off chance that you can, never store a bow tie in a knot. It will undoubtedly wrinkle, and you'll never be able to tie it exactly the same way twice.
Bow ties hang on racks just fine, but some racks work better than others. If stored on a sliding rack, they can fall off while sliding in and out.
Also, if you hang bow ties on a rack with dowels or pins, you're likely to knock them down when removing longer ties. The best practice is to move bow ties to one side of your tie rack and longer neckties to the other.
While their size seems more manageable, don't be tempted to roll a bow tie from one end to the other. You should still fold them in half first. Rolling from one side to the other means you'll curl one end of the tie too tightly, and that will result in a sloppy mess that impresses no one.
Final Thoughts on Necktie Storage
Treat your neckties as the investment they are. An excellent necktie, made from high-quality materials, can last years, and there's no telling how many impressions they'll make along the way.
Storing your neck or bow ties properly will help you make the best possible impression that you can. It also helps to ensure that people are noticing you for the right reasons.