Untouched for three decades, I pulled the slim ties by a brand called Rooster, from my father's closet. He no longer wears ties to work and was offering me his entire lot. But I was only interested in these few slim, square-cut ones. He said the brand was known for their distinctive shape and unique patterns and colors. My favorite was a madras fabric with small chess pieces printed on it. That sort of subversive take on preppy standards still rings true of Rooster, which quietly relaunched this summer. The square tips may've been replaced by a slim 2 ¾ inch wide swath of silk, but the black-and-white line still boasts ironic Ivy League favorites (Repp stripes and embroidered martinis). And the price ensures you'll still have some cash in your pocket for beer. Or books. Rooster University ties, $35 each, at AbsoluteTies.com.
FYI: Don't let the terrorists win. The Taliban banned neckties in 2001. (Source: CNN)