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Can you explain thick ties to me? Not wide ones, but thick ones. I hate them due to the large knot they make, but I wonder if there is a time and place for them?

There is a certain kind of guy who likes a thick knot: He's generally a guy who likes luxury and wants to show that his taste is expensive.

There is something impressive about thick silk, something excessive, something meaty and bursting. It's all in the weave, rather than in the origin of the threads: You can weave silk into a smooth or into a ribbed fabric; ribbed will make a thicker knot.

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You can even leave the slightly wider sections in the natural threads known as slubs; this will give your tie a bumpy texture - it will be called a slubbed tie. I love slubbed silk, and not just for the word; added texture often renders a conservative outfit more sensual. There are some who believe that engorged knots are appropriate for wide-spread shirt collars, but I disagree: Very large knots are not in current fashion.

Russell Smith's latest novel, Girl Crazy, was recently published. Have a fashion question? E-mail .

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