Anyone who has compared skinny ties produced in the 50's and 60's to today's slim versions can tell you how special the originals really are. The fabrics come in silk, rayon, acetate and polyester and include unusual printed patterns as well as woven jacquards and brocades. The color combinations are also notable, as are the novelty themes, either splashed across the tie or as an understated flourish. Those aren't the only differences, though. In the interest of caring for your vintage neckwear and making sure you can continue to enjoy it for many years to come, it is important to keep condition in mind as well.
They are 50 to 60 Years Old
The narrow neckties from this era where produced by the millions as they are today. Years later many of them have not survived and those that have are not always in the best condition. Let's start from the worst to the best:
Poor and Fair Condition
Not all ties have been well cared for. The ones with few redeeming qualities are often those found with the knot still intact. The original owner pulled the tie off without taking the knot out, so it has sat there for half a century. Unknotting such a tie results in a mangled mess slated for the nearest trash can.
Also, neckties made of materials such as wool may have a hole or two or maybe even more. These holes make a tie worse for wear than a polyester tie with a similar issue, as they may completely fall apart with wear, let alone a dry cleaning.
Neckwear with multiple issues is also demoted to fair condition. It may have stains, fabric pulls and cigarette burns in addition to the above mentioned or may simply have been over loved, with frayed fabric by the creases. It is barely usable if at all.
Skinny ties in good condition are still functional accessories. A lot can be forgiven, especially if the design is particularly appealing. In general the tie will have fewer problems, say two or three at most. It may have a noticeable pull and some fabric darkening in the area of the knot or a small hole and a touch of fading. It is still in decent shape and can be worn despite these issues.
Very Good Condition
I would say that given their age, most vintage skinny neckties are in very good condition. They may a have one, at most two problems, such as a barely detectible fabric pull and a hole on the back side which is not visible from the front.
This is about as good at it gets for neckwear that has been used at some point. There is nothing wrong with it. Care has been taken for it to retain its luster and good physical shape. The tie has been worn at least once, so its price tag is no longer attached, but it looks great and has years of life left.
Dead Stock or New Old Stock
These ties have never been worn. They were manufactured in the 1950s and 1960s and still have their original wrappers and/or price stickers attached. Often time collectors will opt out of wearing these vintage beauties and will keep them in their pristine conditions while others will enjoy them as they were intended. They are rare finds and make great gifts for necktie enthusiasts
Keep in mind that the best of the best command the highest price and the rest are discounted accordingly. No matter what their condition, vintage thin neckwear has a lot to offer in the way of interesting designs, fabrics and novelty themes and are definitely worth a try.