Vincent Kennedy McMahon, founder and supreme overload of the WWE, is on to something new. No, it’s not the recent news about how he’s going to revamp the XFL — a wrestling-meets-football lovechild that didn’t work out the first time because lovechilds (lovechildren?) never do. We’re talking about the contrast necktie — and more specifically, the contrast knot, the sartorial equivalent of Sybil Dorsett.
These ostensibly silk ties, which are often bright paisley and therefore half normal ugly and half really ugly, are complemented with a touch of “what the fuck is this man thinking?” The end result: A necktie with a split personality in which the knot is usually a solid color — often Listerine blue or black — while the pattern elsewhere is similar to the carpeting inside a Vegas casino.
“This tie is… I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m not sure why it exists,” says Rayne Parvis, a professional style coach, when I ask for her thoughts on the dangling technicolor nightmare encircling McMahon’s tree-like neck.
As far as where they come from, our best guess is the Sunshine State. The only ones we could track down are from Palm Beach and the “young minded team of people” at Paul Malone Palm Beach who have, “out of the urge to create ties for men that are of the highest quality,” gifted us with these bilateral fabrics since some time in the 1990s.
How much are they? Cheap — really cheap. These ties can can be purchased in just about any combination of contrast tie for $19.97, meaning you can have a different one for every night of Monday Night RAW for months at a time.
Still, what red-blooded wrasslin’ fan cares what some fancy L.A.-based stylist thinks of McMahon’s fashion? The better question is, how do they feel about it?
“Vince has been a step or two ahead of men’s fashion the last few years,” wrote a since-deleted redditor who has apparently never heard of the 1980s. “He was one of the first guys I saw whose collar was a different color from the rest of the shirt.”
Yet while the contrast spread collar dress shirt is a perfectly acceptable — albeit uber-preppy — sartorial style move, the necktie equivalent comes with less stylistic authority. So it’s heartening to know that not all wrestling fans are hot under the collar for McMahon’s look. “Oh god, he had a (I think) a pink/blue one of the same style on a few weeks ago, it looked hideous like that,” wrote redditor Snerkie on the wrestling subreddit. “Someone needs to help him on his style.”
In fairness, this is a man whose business is more clotheslines than, you know, actual clothes.