The Ties That Bind Me

If you’re ever in thrift store and see all the men’s neckties hanging about and think, “There’s got to be something I can do with those,” you are not having an original thought.

Every fashion student at one time or another has tackled the question of what to do with ties. Most often, the neckties are fashioned into a skirt of many colors and patterns. How do I know this to be true? I mean, I never attended fashion school.

Why, I learned it on Project Runway. I think it was straight from Tim Gunn’s mouth. Someone came in to audition and had on the “Skirt of Many Ties” and Gunn raked it as being amateurish and basically something every fashion student does while trying to find themselves.

Much to my chagrin. I mean, didn’t I just buy a bunch of ties, hoping to be able to do something with them?

ties2.jpg Instead of fashioning a skirt with my ties, however, I decided to go the more pedestrian route of making belts. But I couldn’t just take the tie and wrap it around my waist because that’s boring. And, I couldn’t just follow instructions from a book I have in which they tell you how to take a tie and make it into a belt because I thought their belt looked bad.

No, I had to deconstruct the ties, cutting off some of the edges, then folding the edges over to make a nice, new edge and sew them shut. This was in order to make the shape of the tie a bit more uniform so that both ends can fit through an antique belt from the 40s or 50s.

You may be asking yourself a couple questions here. First, why does it have to fit through an antique belt buckle? Because I happen to have an entire box of them. A few years ago, when I went through my Making Jewelry phase, I had every intention of using the buckles to make cuffs and I scored a big box of buckles on eBay and at antique fairs and stores. They are all different – most are plastic but some are wood, metal, glass and a few seem to be made of shell. Please forgive the rather bad picture of the buckles; I’m still trying to get the hang of this digital photo thing.

These are some of my buckles:

buckles2.jpgAnyway, I proceeded to make a few cuffs. And then I tired of making cuffs. And now I have a box of buckles and quite a few ties. And these things seem to go together quite naturally.

Also, you may be asking yourself, how long does it take to cut the tie and then pin the edges under and together? A long f’ing time, is the answer.


These are my belts so far. Maybe the only two I will complete. There’s the patriotic red,white and blue one and the fancy gold and orange one.

One thought on “The Ties That Bind Me

  1. OMG! Grey Gardens Edie could totally wear the top belt while doing her flag waving routine!

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