It was 7:55 in the morning and I was sitting at my desk preparing my day. Looking through my calendar and trying to perform triage, immensely focused with ninja-like intensity, I’m jarred out of my concentration when my phone rings. “This is Claudio,” I answer. The voice on the other side of the receiver was familiar; it was a co-worker.

“Hey dude, can you tie this tie for me?” Puzzled and instantly reminded of high school, I agreed. I walked over to his cubicle and took the tie from him, and in a few robotic flips the task was done. My co-worker, who will not be named for the sake of discretion, didn’t know how to use a necktie. A man in his early twenties was clueless about how to use the most basic male tool. I was in shock, but apparently this is a common trend in most men my age.

This incident got me thinking. What else does the average man my age not know how to do that, in my opinion, makes a man a man? This is by no means the beginning of a chauvinistic tirade about the apparent loss of the definition of what it means to be a man; after all, there are entire websites dedicated to things of this nature. The following is the beginning of a new Gozamos series, Modern Macho, written in conjunction with Abraham Velázquez Tello, on what it takes to be a man in the 21st century.

Let’s start with the basics: getting presentable.

I am by no means a fashionista (fashionisto?). I’ll leave that to the Indumentarian. But if I know one thing about men’s fashion, it is what looks good in a formal setting. There are many ways a man can tie his necktie, and I feel that how this is accomplished says a lot about the individual wearing it. There are a few different types of knots that one can choose from:

  1. Four in the hand
  2. Half Windsor
  3. The (rare) Shell Knot
  4. The Windsor

The first three types of knots are not the type that I use; therefore, I equate them with sleazy used car salesmen. They are tiny knots made with thin-material ties generally with some sort of cartoon or ugly print. The Windsor, however, is the knot worn by businessmen, presidents and James Bond. This knot is to be worn with hearty neckties made of thick material with subtle patterns or solid colors.

Remember to always match your tie length to your torso. It should never cross your belt or match the color of your shirt. This being said, you the fine reader of this digital periodical have now received a lesson in how to wear a tie. For a step-by-step pictorial lesson on how to master a Windsor knot, visit Off the Cuff!

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