My Dad’s in town this week, and it being summer, we wanted to go swimming. Only thing is, he didn’t bring a swim suit, so he, my siblings, and I all went shopping for one. Three stores later, he found a simple red one.
In the process of looking for said swim wear, my brothers and I got distracted by the tie sections in Ross and TJ Maxx. We all served missions, and after two years during which the tie you wear is your only outlet for expressing personality, you get a taste for ties. Naturally, then, we were curious about what was in fashion these days.
Were we ever surprised: the ties were hideous. And it wasn’t just a few. It was most of them. They were the kind of ties you’d dig up at a secondhand store—only these were new. While I could show you many examples of the awfulness, I thought I’d limit it to three runners up and the hands-down winner.
First runner-up (left): This beauty chalks its hideousness up to an awkward pattern and color. Instead of being a classy diagonal stripe tie, it tries to be multiple diagonal stripe ties—all in the same tie. To add to its gauche, the monochromatic shadings of purple and gray are more drab and nausea-inducing than they are subtle and refined.
Second runner-up (right): Speaking of nausea-inducing, this blue and pink fish-scale-esque tie is downright dizzy-ing. Which way is the pattern going? What exactly is the shape of those scales and what’s with the black dots at the end of them? Its attempt to replicate the fish-inspired aesthetics of Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao museum simply crashes and burns.
Third runners-up (left and right): Admittedly, ugly fish tie was hard to beat, but we found a challenger in this retro-styled Pierre Cardin. Of all the ties we found, this one screamed “thrift store escapee.” Here was a tie so plain ugly that in any Mormon mission it would have become a posterity tie.
. . . then we found its siblings. Apparently, having one “sweet spirit” of a tie in gold isn’t enough—it also needs to exist in pink and purple. It was as if Pierre Cardin took a cue from the ice climbers in Smash Brothers. And while this discovery seemed to be top off the day, nothing could have prepared us for what we would see next.
Grand prize: These days, the skinny black tie is coming back into fashion, and I can respect that. A good, skinny black tie projects “smooth” and “hip.” At first glance, the tie to the right fits the bill, yet on closer inspection, it has so many things going wrong.
While the photo to the left makes it look normal, when I first saw it, I was baffled. It looked like a cross between a belt, a table cloth, and a bicycle inner tube. The thing was made out of a single sheet of vinyl. It didn’t sit flat and felt slippery under your hands. It was, in a word, repulsive.
Now none of us were sure what caused this recent bout of senseless neck ware design. All we could conclude was that right now is not a good time to buy ties. Gentlemen—consider yourselves warned.