Every time I think of August and the Atlantic, even in Vancouver, I think of the Hamptons and Cape Cod, of distinctly American vacations with the Kennedy‘s. It’s fitting that the Atlantic knot, when tweaked and made more structured, actually forms a Cape knot and becomes a fuller, more luxurious version of its own self. This week, we tie the Cape knot using a classic American luxury designer tie by Bill Blass.
A son from the working class, Bill Blass rose to prominence making classic women’s wear that, while they never boasted the cheek and verve of his European contemporaries, specialized in clean lines for American women. One could wear his sportswear to transition easily from day to night, and his was a line to invest in from a young age to retirement without ever going out of style. One never goes wrong with timeless, understated luxury like Bill Blass.
Widely credited to Alex Krasny of Agree or Die (and he himself admits he is unsure if he is the true originator), the Cape knot begins similarly to the Atlantic. Start with the cravat just below your navel, and tie with the narrow end. The distinction is that after making the first loop on the right-hand side, bring the narrow end around the front and loop it again, thereby giving the knot a more rigid structure than the Atlantic knot. This better anchors the knot. Once you loop and form the triangle on the right after that, you’re actually on your way to creating the more complicated Eldredge, which we shall cover in a later blog post. The key is to think “form triangles”, which makes the knotting logical and symmetrical. The overall effect, with the narrow end resting behind the rest of the cravat, is akin to having your tie wear a cape. I like to think of my ties as fashion superheroes, and most superheroes have capes (do not tell Edna Mode).
The Cape knot works well with solid colours, as they are better with which to show off the intricate knot. It is suited to two-toned ties as well, with the narrow end contrasting the rest of the tie and creating layers that will surely make your wardrobe a conversation piece. The Cape also works surprisingly well with wider ties, but only if the fabric is fairly thin so that it does not bunch up. I tend to avoid patterns and hushed dark shades with this knot, as the detail may get lost unless one gets up close (and what’s the point?). If the Cape gets you in literal knots, start with the Atlantic and work your way up. You’ll get there eventually.
And remember that despite the extra loop around the base of the knot, the Atlantic and the Cape end the same way: flip up the wider end of the knot over your shoulder – as if you were flinging your cape – and bring the little end through the loop in the back. Even if it’s not summer weather, nothing feels as good as flinging a cape.
Tie carefully, yours in knotwerk,
(All photographs by Helen Siwak of THEClosetYVR)