Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tie Society Reviewed

Welp, we are back with a brand new review! Today’s subject is Tie Society, and is coordinated with Wide Eyes, Tight Wallets’ first ever promotional giveaway

Brand Background: Have you heard of Netflix? I hope so, or you’ve been living under a rock. Well, Tie Society offers a very similar service adapted to provide neckties for the well-dressed gentleman instead of DVD’s. Founded by Zac Gittens and Otis Collins, the idea started as a simple tie-swap among friends and has developed into the next big thing in menswear subscription services. With three pricing tiers, you can opt to ‘borrow’ one, three, five, or ten items at a time, with subscriptions starting at a very affordable $10.95/month. After you build your ‘Closet’ (very similar to a Netflix ‘queue’) from their extensive collection featuring a variety of designers, widths, patterns, and materials, Tie Society will ship your first selection off to you. Whenever you have had enough of your current selection, you just ship it on back in their pre-paid packaging and they send you the next item on your list. I believe they started out just offering ties, but they’ve been diligently developing their service and now offer a variety of other accessories such as pocket squares, tie bars and cuff links. Their newest service allows you to sell your quality ties back to them to be entered into their ever-expanding rotation (and I’ve heard lots of rumors that they have big plans for the future).

What I’ve Bought: Obviously, I haven’t actually bought anything (although you do have the option of purchasing the ties for something like 40%-60$ off MSRP), but I have borrowed a wide variety of ties. As far as I know, there isn’t a list of your borrowing history, so I’m writing this completely off of memory, but some of my favorites have included the Bloom Minidot by Bear vs. Bull, which I actually just (very reluctantly) sent back this weekend. I also really liked the Raven Stripe by Laurant Bennet, and the Mosaic plaid ties are all awesome, although they run a bit long for my body type. My only disappointment really was one tie that was a silk/polyester blend. I hate polyester in ties, but honestly I just missed the inclusion of polyester in the description when I was ordering, so that one’s on me. Here are some of my past choices:





Quality: Every tie I’ve gotten has been of solid quality. While you can tell that some of them have been used and washed, nothing that I’ve recieved has looked ‘old’ or worn out to the point where I wouldn’t be proud wearing it. Like I mentioned before, I wasn’t real impressed with the one polyester blend tie I borrowed, but they had noted that in the description so I could really only blame myself. Additionally, these ties are made by very reputable designers and manufacturers. Most of these would run in the $75 range if bought new and are all very well made. When I buy ties, I usually spring for the $15 ties from TheTieBar.com, which I love, but you can really tell the difference in quality when you hold one of those ties up next to a Charles Tyrwhitt or Bruno Piatelli that dimples just right and hangs like a dream. So yep, I’m a fan of the quality.

Customer Service: I think this is where Tie Society really shows it’s worth. Their customer service is incredible. I’ve never not once gotten the wrong tie, and all my orders are processed quickly. Over the Christmas holiday, I had picked out a green knit tie to wear Christmas day and there was a shipping delay returning my previous tie. I was worried I wouldn’t get the green tie before we left for vacation, so I got ahold of the customer service team and they not only hustled the tie into the mail for me, they sent it to my vacation address just to make sure I’d have it for Christmas day. Even better is their ‘advice’ feature. They have dedicated an e-mail account to giving tie-related advice, and in this aspect they truly excel. The first time I wrote, I had just gotten a dark blue plaid shirt from Ben Sherman and was new to the tie game and unsure how to match with it, so I shot them an e-mail. I was expecting a quick “try grey, maybe something in wool” type of response, but Jake sent a fully personalized, page long e-mail. Not only did he give color and material pointers, he picked out a few example from their website and sent me links, telling me why he liked each one and how he would wear it. Even more surprising and appreciated was the fact that he also recommended a few ties that Tie Society didn’t even offer as kind of ‘templates’ for what to look for if I was out shopping for myself. Since then I’ve written to Jake countless times, he’s a great guy and gives solid (and friendly) advice every single time. Definitely take advantage of this feature, I think it’s part of what sets Tie Society apart.

What’s To Love: Personally, I think if you read ‘Netflix for Ties’ and don’t see what’s to love, you’ve got some issues. Really though, this is an incredible service for the young gent trying to expand and develop his personal style. It’s a great opportunity to be a little bolder with your tie selection than you might be comfortable with when making permanent purchases. Order something exciting! If it’s too much, your worst case scenario is to send it back and move on to the next one. Combine this with their ‘advice’ service and you have an incredibly stress-free method to stepping outside your personal fashion boundaries and exploring textures, colors and patterns that will help you stand out amongst your peers as a truly dapper dude. I also am a big fan of the fact that they call your selection your ‘Closet’ because ‘queue’ is an obnoxious word that always takes me ten tries before I get the spelling right.

What’s Not To Love: Honestly, not a lot to put here. It can be a pain to build an extensive closet only to have ties go out of availability before they reach the top of your queue, but if you’re patient it’s not too much of an issue. I’ve also just gotten in the habit of only having 5 or 6 things in my closet instead of picking out every single thing that I like. Every time I return a tie, I just add one more thing to the list, and that’s kept me pretty happy so far. My only other beef is really more of a beef with USPS, as sometimes it seems like the shipping takes forever. Really though, I notice this way more when I’m sending stuff back, and don’t think there’s anything Tie Society could do to make it any better, as they seem to be pretty on top of processing orders and getting the shipments out. I’m sure they could use a faster shipping service, but the price would probably come back to the customer and as of now they offer free shipping both ways, so I really can’t complain about their methods.

So that wraps it up! If you are interested in Tie Society, be sure to check out our giveaway to win a free one-month subscription!

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