The Origin Story of the 'Short Tie' and the History Behind the Design.
March 14, 2017
THE ORIGIN STORY OF THE SHORT TIE (ShorTie):
Told by: Jonathan Loth ( Founder of Mr. ShorTie)
The beginning of the Short Tie started one night in 2009. My beautiful girlfriend, (who is now my wife), and I, decided to go out for dinner. We were going to go to a pretty fancy place so I got dressed up and put on some of my nicer threads. I then went to put on a tie but it had been a while since I tied one of those bad boys. So naturally, the first time I went to tie it, it wasn’t a success. Or was it???
The way I tied my tie was so far off, that I made it look like a short tie. I thought it looked ridiculous, because I had the backside of the tie hanging down past my waist, and the main part of the tie was up to my chest. I remember laughing at myself for tying it so wrong, but before I went to untie it, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. ‘This long part hanging down looks foolish,’ I thought to myself, ‘but the short part actually looks pretty fly.’ So I retied it even a little smaller on purpose, and tucked the long part behind my shirt. ‘Ahhh shit, now that’s fresh.’ I turned to my girl and she said, “Baby, do you need help tying your tie?” “No,” I laughed, “this is how I wanna rock my tie tonight.” I always strive to be a little different than the mainstream by adding a little flava to my get up, so she didn’t seem too shocked by it. She did, however, have a confusing look on her face. But... after she looked me over again, she said, “ I think I like it!”
So we go out to dinner, and I felt like I was getting an abnormal amount of attention. I realized all the waiters and waitresses just kept staring at my chest. ‘My eyes are up here,’ I kept wanting to tell them. Later that night when we got home, I untied my tie in the mirror with a huge smile on my face. "This could be something…."
Founder of Mr. ShorTie, Jonathan Loth, with his lovely wife Bryn.
That was only the beginning. From there on out, I wore a short tie almost every time I dressed up. It felt weird at first wearing something so abstract from the norm, knowing that the classic gentleman's look makes fun of people for wearing a shorter tie. But, being the kind of guy that I am, that seeks for opportunity to go against the grain, I figured it was just who I was.
So I’d wear my short tie out all the time, and people would come up and ask where I got my tie. “You can’t get them anywhere,” I’d tell them, “it’s just my style.” My family would tell me that they wanted to buy me a short tie for a gift, but they couldn’t find any. They would come back and ask, “Where did you get your short tie? I couldn’t find one anywhere.” I’d respond, “That’s because they don’t sell them, I tie it that way. It’s just my style.” Since I personally felt so good when I wore a short tie, and after getting asked about it enough, I thought to myself, maybe I should try to make these so other people can rock em’.
THE CREATION PROCESS
I went out and bought a bunch of ties from thrift stores in my area, and started cutting them up. I would always notice when I wore them, that you could see some fabric sticking out around the neck. That fabric would still be there even if I cut them short, so I knew if I wanted to make it look legit, I would have to redesign the measurements. Go figure. I guess ties weren’t meant to be tied that short and then cut.
From there I proceeded to do research on what it takes to make ties. How to design a new cut, where to look for fabrics, what designs would people like, how to start a fashion label, who can help me make them, the list goes on and on. For the next few years, I engulfed my mind in learning all about the details of neckties and making a quality product.
And eventually, after tweaking out the sizing, and lots of trial and error, I finally felt like I had a design that would make wearing a short tie look legit. Not only did I make it shorter, which is obvious, but also in order to resolve the issue of seeing fabric poke out in the neck area, I had to taper in the width at a different spot than a traditional tie. I also wanted to provide different sizes, so that anybody that wanted to wear one, could have the option of different lengths.
GIVING IT A NAME
So now that I had my design, I scouted out a badass local woman, who had been sewing all her life, to help me finish up my pattern. With my design complete, and my pattern in hand, it was time for me to finalize what I'm going to name these bad boys. I wrote down a bunch of names and asked friends and family for their suggestions. After months of debate, I ended up with ‘ShorTie’ and ‘the Chub’ as my favorites. I envisioned this being a whole new category of neckties, and so coining the term in relationship to what it is, just made sense. I mean it really is a ‘Short’ ‘Tie’ after all. And so boom! From that day forward the short tie turned into the ShorTie, and the brand Mr. ShorTie was born.
MAKING THEM IN NEW YORK CITY
Now that I had the name finalized, it was time to find somebody to help me make them. After doing all the research about the fashion industry, it was shocking to me to find out that more than 90% of the clothes we wear are not made in the USA.
I’ve always been extra conscious about what I support, and where I shop, so I knew that if I was going to actually start a fashion label, that I would have my products made in the USA. It was critically important for the integrity of the brand that I was creating that I give back to my local communities as much as possible.
It took quite a while for me to find an American contractor, but I eventually found a great one in New York to work with. My family is from New York City, and my great grandpa and grandpa used to manufacture men’s clothing in the Empire State Building, so it felt perfect going back to my roots in New York to have my ties made.
FINDING UNIQUE FABRICS
After finding the best people to help me make our gear, it was time for me to start huntin’ for fabrics. I flew out to both the Los Angeles Garment District and the New York Garment District, to look for unique fabrics that would look fly for ties. I wanted to find fabrics that not only looked good, but also felt good, and could handle the abuse of being worn. Searching for fabrics is always an adventurous and fun process for me. I just walk around for days, bumpin’ beats in my headphones, getting inspired from all the fabrics around me. Since I knew I only wanted to make a limited number from each fabric, I made sure to look for those fabrics I really thought would be diamonds in the rough.
BUILDING THE BRAND
With my fabrics picked out, and the basic processes set up, I was ready to introduce the ShorTie to the rest of the world. I started multiple social media channels, trying to put out value with the content we produced. It wasn't just about selling gear to the public, it was about creating a culture of like minded people that wanted to express their individuality. I wanted the Mr. ShorTie brand to showcase the connections we have on this planet, and speak the truth about self awareness and just expressing who you are.
THE END OF THE STORY IS ONLY THE BEGINNING
And now when people ask where I got my tie, I smile deep down. I smile because I know it’s no longer just ‘my style’. I smile knowing that I represent a brand that makes quality products and supports the communities in which I’m involved. I smile when I see people tie a ShorTie on, look in the mirror, and feel fly. I smile knowing I can help bring someone that feeling. I guess I have a lot of reasons to smile.
Before I end this thing, I just wanted to give a couple shout outs. Mad love to my wife, who has been my biggest fan since day one and has helped with so many decisions along the way. Much love to all my friends and family that have supported me along my journey. From the constant encouragement from everybody, to the homies that shared my posts, and everybody who let me crash on their couch from New York to Los Angeles and everywhere in between... I thank you for everything!!
Well, that's the end of the story of the ShorTie, but only the beginning of what's to come. Now it's time for me to give back to the communities that helped us thrive and continue to grow. And now it's time for you to go rock your Mr. ShorTie threads all around the world. Go be 'Curiously Unconventional'.