Finally, A Tie For Everyone.
With the advent of the internet, customization for practically every article of clothing is readily available; yet ties remain strangely left behind. Trousers can be hemmed, shirt sleeves come in different lengths, jackets come in short, regular, and long, and even socks are sized. Ties, though, usually come in just one length, leading to awkwardly abbreviated points above the beltline or floppy back blades, the latter of which is so common it’s tolerated with a shrug and even charmingly dismissed as calculated carelessness. But it doesn’t have to be.
A few companies, like Vecchio Anseatico, furnish ties in various sizes to accomodate the shape and preferences of most men. Currently they offer four lengths (in 140, 145, 150, and 155 cm) and two widths (8 and 9 cm). Between all the sizes, there’s something for almost everyone. Steffen, from Hamburg, Germany, launched the company about two years ago, and whereas now it offers various menswear accessories, it all started with ties.
“Most ties are too long for me,” Steffen tells me over cappuccino in North Beach. The statement is little puzzling, since he towers over me by at least a foot. Personally, I have the same complaint, but as I’m just shy of average height, I also have the problem of pants pooling at my feet.
“I’m serious. With trousers sitting at my natural waist, the blades’ end is halfway down my fly,” he explains. “For many years, I had frequented StyleForum, local forums, Tumblr, but hardly anyone offered ready-made ties in my preferred length, which is 9x145cm. Of course, there is bespoke, but it either costs a premium or sacrifices the details.”
A few companies do offer more options, such as Drake’s, where you can select from their archive of fabrics and choose between seven widths and sixteen lengths, but the cost (starting at over $200) can be prohibitive for some. Sam Hober and Chipp offer customization as well, but their fabric selection — while classic — is a bit uninspiring. Steffen does include time-honored standards such as grenadine, but he also sources uncommon fabrics, such as bamboo or cashmere, in tasteful designs.
“My initial idea for Vecchio Anseatico was to create a platform for classic menswear aficionados where they can acquire affordable custom-made accessories by using the principles of crowdfunding. Each piece would still be made to individual specifications yet all background activities are consolidated.” Of course, to crowdfund, one needs a crowd. To help with that, Steffen started a thread so he could propose products and solicit opinions on various designs.
The name Vecchio Anseatico originates from the Hanseatic League, a union of merchants from Northern Europe in the 13th to 15th centuries. It was a powerful economic alliance whose legacy is recalled by companies even today, such as Lufthansa (literally AirHansa). “It also references classic menswear designs and traditional trade values, and it’s Italian because…” Steffen smiles. “Because I like Italy and most of our products are made in this beautiful country.”
Ties are handmade with delicately rolled edges and an interlining that, while light, is slightly more dense than normal, which Steffen says makes for a dimple that is “just perfect.” Having several myself, I can concur that they do make a fine knot that, when undone, bounces right back, unfazed and mostly unwrinkled. One of the best things is the price: less than $100, which, frankly, is a steal, and probably the strongest impetus to swap out all my overly-long ties in favor of those properly sized for me.
While Steffen plans to keep things as-is for now, he does have a few plans for the future, such as offering even more customization of dimensions, interlining, and folds. “When doing group made-to-measure orders, I’ve noticed some sizes are extensively more popular than others,” he reveals. “The 8.5 cm width seems to be the sweet spot for width for many.” I thought it was just me.
Right after putting the last remaining cobalt blue Ashoka silk tie in my cart, Steffen tells me that he plans on offering the tie in even more colors in time for summer. Good news for my closet, bad news for my wallet.
You can find Vecchio Anseatico’s ties for sale on the official website.
Vecchio Anseatico is a Styleforum affiliate; browse the thread to read about the products in detail, ask questions, and see other members’ photos.
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