By Guest Writer
on 8.27.10

The necktie. Thanks to a timely rebirth of vintage styling, what was once the largely vilified mascot for corporate enslavement has become an expressive wardrobe necessity. But in a world full of cheaply made factory-assembled neckwear, do yourself a favor and buy a tie made by someone who cares about the fabric, the function, and making something you’ll actually want to wear.

Two years ago while preparing for a solo cycling trip across the country, 20-something film student Otis James had a goal: to invent and assemble as many of his own supplies as possible, drawing from his knowledge of materials and man’s innate desire to build things by hand. He fabricated a custom luggage rack and panniers for his bike and when he finished his trip four months later, he began making unique pieces of clothing for friends. Through word-of-mouth he found himself creating a set of custom neckties for a wedding – then another, and another – and he was honing his craft. To keep reading more about Otis James’ products on the next page.

Every Otis James tie is made entirely in his one-room studio. Each is cut from high-quality natural fabrics according to his homemade pattern, lined and stitched by his own fingers and a second-hand industrial Singer, and finished with a white linen label he hand-letters with the recipient’s name. The label itself takes nearly as long as the tie, but James wanted every detail to be a representation of his passion.

After nearly two years of making pieces solely by commission, James is releasing a full line of neckties and bow ties available for purchase on his website by mid-September. He will feature six different designs in quantities of 3-5 each and if you don’t see a pattern that suits you, call or e-mail him personally and request a tie in the color, pattern, or fabric of your choice.

Buy Now: Cost: $110 for Neckties, $80 for Bow ties.

By Becka Blackburn