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The Book of Ties Hardcover – November 8, 1994
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By a French fashion writer--indisputable authority, non?--this oversize, stunningly illustrated book on the tie, which, like the appendix, may seem to have no function. Au contraire insists Chaille; the tie does indeed have a function--it "gives a man his own language." In addition to a full history of the styles and the modes of wearing ties, he discusses contemporary designers, fabrics, manufacturers, retailers, and, perhaps most importantly, ways of tying ties. Chaille also submits advice on maintenance of a tie collection. The sumptuous illustrations are accompanied by captions loaded with interesting details that augment the text proper. This book of praise for "the sole touch of sartorial fantasy allowed in the masculine wardrobe" is not just a frill item but a worthy addition to fashion collections. Brad Hooper
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While the book does have some dated and novelty photos, these too are valuable in determining for yourself "classic" versus "period" pieces which might prevent you from years from now having those old photos of yourself that make you cringe when they are rediscovered. I learned invaluable information on evaluating construction quality and handmade features as well as classic tie categories, and what to look for when considering a tie for purchase. Solid information that otherwise had to be gathered from several different sources.
While not one of my top 10 books on men's wear it did eventually find a place in my library as I revisited this book several times to review its plentiful information. One item of note: I have read and handled quite a few copies of this book and they all share a very weak, even fragile binding so be careful when picking up a used copy. A lovingly used copy from a personal collection, perhaps, but skip used library copies.
"Alas, the world's injustice is such that there is no butler or valet at your beck and call."