We've found two universal truths about menswear: First, it's all about the details, and second, when it comes to the traditional four-in-hand necktie, there are precious few ways to alter those details without looking like an idiot, a peacock or worse.
So we were happy to discover a delightfully simple -- and subtle (almost to the point of stealth) -- design that strikes the perfect balance:
With the standard-issue striped (diagonal, horizontal or vertical) necktie, by the time the tying is done, the stripes in the knot will run opposite to the stripes in the long end of the tie. There's nothing wrong with that; it provides a bit of visual contrast that makes the knot stand out a bit.
What Glennie has done, by simply flipping the direction of the crucial 7 1/2 -inch segment that forms the tie knot, is create a design that has both parts of the finished product -- knot and tie -- headed in the same direction. Not only is this a smart-looking design, but once you see the tie you will instantly scrutinize your neighbor's neck knot -- something you probably wouldn't even have noticed otherwise.
Never heard of Eric Glennie? That's because even though the 40-year-old resident of Apple Valley, Minn., has been doodling designs and making prototype pieces since age 14 -- that's when he tapered his trousers to fit his hockey socks -- he's spent the last two decades in the trucking business. He was laid off last May and hatched the congruent necktie design five months later.
Eric Glennie's "congruent" necktie
$59.95 (plus $5 shipping) available in skinny and traditional widths and a variety of patterns at ericglennie.com or by e-mailing designs@ericglennie .com.