Almost as predictable as getting a tie for Father's Day is getting at least one destined for the back of the closet, be it covered in penguins or wide enough to top a flagpole.
But choosing a good tie doesn't have to be an exercise in luck. The answer lies in mixing a bit of the old with the new - co mbining classic patterns to appeal to dad's safer side in slimmer, modern shapes that nudge his fashion forward.
"The slimming trend is probably one of the most significant things," explains Jerry Balest, vice president of men's fashion for Macy's Merchandising Group. "Thin is in."
Macy's recently resized its men's ties; now a tie that had traditionally been 4 inches at its widest will shrink to 3 1/2 inches.
"It's all about younger attitudes," says Balest, who sees the trend from Calvin Klein to Tommy Hilfiger. "People are more fit, they are working out, and they really do want to get credit for all the work and effort they're putting into taking care of themselves."
Today's ties are a major shift from the 4-inchers of decades past, when skinny neckwear was reserved for Hollywood.
"It used to be that you had to spend a lot of money on them because they were trendy and high fashion. Now everybody's jumping on the bandwagon," says Jim Moore, with GQ Magazine.