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One of the leading neckwear manufacturers and suppliers in China, Shengzhou Jinfa Necktie Co., Ltd is specialized in producing and customizing competitive and quality neckwear products either OEM-based or self-branded, including Jacquard or woven, yarn dyed or printed silk or polyester neckties, scarves, shawls, stoles and bow ties, etc. more>>

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Political neckTies(1)

Font Size:big - mid - smallejinfatie   Release time 08-10-17 09:38     view:1355   coomment:0   source:

Political NeckTies1

How the presidential candidates knot their neckties, and what it says about them.

Tony Dokoupil


"Show me a man’s neckties and I’ll tell you who he is or who he is trying to be," fashion guru John T. Molloy claimed in his 1975 best seller "Dress for Success." So it’s odd that no one has paid much attention to the neckwear sported by presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. True, there are more significant items to focus on before Nov. 4. But presidential style is no trivial thing. It’s a matter of elaborate care and subtle signaling, with each commander in chief wielding their closet, consciously and unconsciously, as an advertisement for themselves.

Those who read neckties like tea leaves, using them as a window on their wearer, have tended to focus on the tie itself: solid or striped, paisley or plaid, skinny or wide? But it’s the knot, obvious and yet overlooked, where the real insights lie. At the ill-fated Battle of Waterloo in 1818, for example, Napoleon donned a large, loose knot that his soldiers understood as a show of optimism.

So what does the knot say about today’s presidential candidates? In McCain’s case, it screams old-guard Washington establishment, like a bolo screams cowboy. According to his top adviser, Mark Salter, the Arizona senator wears his tie with either a Windsor or the related half-Windsor knot--a configuration long favored by Beltway elites and, at least judging by the photos, nearly every U.S. president in the 20th century.

Perfectly tied, the Windsor is a balanced equilateral triangle with a neat dimple and trim finish, according to Mark-Evan Blackman, head of the men’s department at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, who calls it "the most elegant knot." McCain’s Windsor might seem like an odd choice for a self-proclaimed maverick, but it reflects the senator’s public struggle to remain true to himself despite the distorting pressure of the presidential campaign. He does give his Windsor a maverick tweak, choking the normally large and lush knot until it looks small and hard.

Obama, on the other hand, still hounded by charges of elitism, takes a less formal, more middle-class tack. Based on an unscientific sampling of recent photos--including the Men’s Vogue cover--he most often wears his necktie with a four-in-hand knot, an awkward and asymmetrical cinch invented by 19th-century carriage drivers (who held four reigns in hand) and popularized by Dilbert-types looking for a no-hassle way to spruce up for work. "It’s a knot for someone who has 30 seconds for his necktie in the morning," says Blackman, "a knot for the masses."

The Obama campaign didn’t respond to NEWSWEEK’s inquiry about his ties (the nerve!), and the use of varying fabrics--which hold folds differently--make it tough to be certain about the senator’s knot. But this much is at least clear: the Obama knot marks a definite break from the geometric Windsors of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Today, there are more than 100 knots to choose from, including the mathematician’s knot (so-called because it takes an advanced geometry degree to tie) and the Gastrome’s knot, made for big eaters because it adjusts as a person swallows. So, in an era of such sartorial plenty, why does Obama opt for the pedestrian four-in-hand?

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