Category: Necktie Advice

All You Need to Know About the Different Types of Coffee

Are you happiest when caffeinated? Here at Spiffster Tie Club we go through hundreds of coffees every day. Maybe even twice as much on a Monday morning (Needed or we’ll accidentally dip our necktie in our coffee trying to wake up. Good thing we run a tie subscription service). But it got us thinking what the different types of coffee are. So we went ahead and did some researching and decided it’s time for our Spiffster members to learn the differences between coffees. Afterall, coffee is without a doubt, one of the most common and popular types of beverage in the world.

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Espresso Based Drinks

The espresso-based drinks are coffees that can be made using espresso or cappuccino machines. These drinks have the following common ingredients:

  • Steamed milk
  • Foam
  • Espresso

The only difference in these drinks is the quantity of the three ingredients. The main differences between espresso coffee and drip coffee are the fineness of the grind and the brewing time. Espresso beans are ground very finely — much finer than for regular coffee. The consistency of the grind is almost like powdered sugar. The more finely the coffee is ground, the slower the espresso comes out. The brewing time for espresso coffee is much shorter, made possible by espresso machines that generate higher water pressure than your Keurig. What should come out is a dark brown, slightly thick liquid with a small amount of foam (aka Crema) on top.

Types of Coffee

Here are some things you need to know about different types of coffee.

Americano

The favorite among many Starbucks coffee drinkers. Americano is known to have a Latin American origin, dating back to the 1970s. This is also known as Long Black, and making this coffee is extremely easy. All you have to do is add one or a double shot of espresso and hot water. This was made popular by the American soldiers for rationing coffee.

Short Black

Most commonly known as espresso, the espresso is the base of every coffee. This type of coffee can also be enjoyed solely. It is made using a smaller content of the caffeine. You will have to shoot boiling water under high pressure with the help of ground up coffee beans. After that, you can pour it into a mug.
This type of coffee doesn’t require any extras or milk. Though making it seems simple and easy, it is quite challenging to master. This is because it is the purest coffee experience that can only be enjoyed if the brew is good. It is the reason why it is an acquired taste for only some people.

Flat White

This type of coffee can be found in New Zealand and Australia. For making flat white coffee, you need to pour steamed milk from the bottom of the jug on the shot of espresso. The milk at the bottom is creamy rather than frothy and not diluted with foam, which results in a stronger drink that uses a smaller serving size to deliver the same amount of coffee. It is an ideal choice for moms and dads who try to stay awake.

Piccolo Latte

Also known as Macchiato, it consists of a shot of espresso and foamed milk. This drink is topped with foamed milk that is dashed into the cup. It is stronger than cappuccino as steam milk is not added. The serving size is usually small, mostly in an espresso sized cup. Often served with a syrup such as caramel or vanilla that makes a delicious coffee drink.

Cappuccino

In cappuccino, steamed milk is added to the shot of espresso and micro-foam is added on top of the milk. It is an espresso-based drink of Italian origin, that is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 wet foamed milk. Therefore, it is typically stronger than lattes. Usually, it is topped with chocolate and served in a cup.

4 Necktie Knots That Men Should Know

These days, the majority of men don’t buy more ties just because they don’t know how to tie a knot. In fact, the only time they do need to put together a suit and tie, they go to YouTube for something simple, i.e. the Four-in-Hand knot. That’s why we want to change your fashion habit, because as a member of Spiffster Tie Club, you need to look sharp. So below is a list of essential tie knots that men should be aware of.

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Four in hand knot

Are you in an absolute hurry? According to many designers and stylists, this is one of the easiest ways to tie a knot. Like all the other tie knot instructions, the first and foremost thing is to drape the tie around your collar leaving a few inches to hang down below. Now you need to cross the thick and the thin end adjacent to each other. After you’ve wrapped the thick end behind the thin end, you need to cross them both horizontally. Now make a horizontal band by placing the thick end at the front of the knot. Now, slide the thick end beneath the loop around your collar. Tighten the knot gently by tugging on the thin end.

Kelvin knot

Here’s a tie knot invented by the scientist who also invented the scientific temperature scale of Kelvins. In order to make this knot properly, you are supposed to wrap the necktie around your collar with the thick end on the left and the seam facing outwards. You need to let the remaining tie hang down your chest area two to three inches lower than the desired finishing position. Now you need to make an x shape underneath your chin by crossing the thick end under the thin end. After you’ve done that, you’re supposed to place the thick end on the front of the knot and now you need to continue wrapping from left to right behind the knot. Now bring the thick end horizontally in front of the knot and make a loop. Now pull the thick end through the horizontal loop and tighten the tie by grasping the knot.

Full Windsor knot

This type of neck tie knot is the most popular especially among people who have a large neck size. Often referred to as double Windsor, the full Windsor is often mentioned by stylists whenever someone comes to them for fashion advice. The process of this tie knot also starts with draping the tie around your collar. After that, you need to make an x shape by crossing the wide and the slim end. Now you need to make a loop and cross the wide end beneath it. At the end, you need to create a horizontal band and bring the wide end horizontally across the front of the knot. Slide the tip through the horizontal loop and your full Windsor knot is good to go.

Van Wijk knot

Want to sport a knot that was created by an actual artist? Lisa Van Wijk created this knot to invent the tallest knot possible. The Van Wijk knot is essentially a variation from the Prince Albert knot, except for the third loop around the base. The slender knot creates an unique layered cylindrical effect. Although it is visually striking, it does not do too much to distract so it can be worn even in more formal settings. If you’re getting tired of the common “V” knots, the Van Wijk might breathe fresh air into your tie arsenal.

Choosing the Best Suit for Your Body Type

When a man wants to command attention at a formal occasion, nothing does it best than a well-fitted suit. A suit is a significant part of men’s fashion and the man’s wardrobe is not complete without one. Because some men seldom wear suits, they may neglect making sure it fits their body type. Any girl can tell you, a man wearing an ill-fitted suit is a sight for sore eyes that can remind anyone of a visit to a courthouse.

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In today’s post, we will discuss what kind of suit goes best with what body type. This will give you an idea what a suit can do to enhance your features, which will ultimately transform your personality.

Height

A man’s height can be an important factor in deciding which suit appears best. For shorter men, the suit should be able to produce an illusion of height. For this reason, a peak lapel, shorter jacket, peaking shirt cuff, pinstripes, and micro-checks work well. On the other hand, taller people can make longer jackets, minimum shirt cuffs showing, extra ticket pocket, and big checks work well.

Shoulder-Hip Ratio

Some men have an even shoulder to hip ratio. This means that you have a rectangular body shape. If you also happen to be skinny then it can be difficult to find a suit that fits this shape. Most fabrics will feel like they are cloaking the body. Get a suit that fits close to the body and has a contrast to make the upper body look broader. For this purpose, wider lapels work well.

Triangle and Inverted Triangle

Some men carry the most weight in the gut area while others may have a well-trained upper body. These are the triangular and inverted triangular body shapes respectively. Weight around the gut does not always mean fat, however, accentuating the upper body will take away attention from the belly area. Effective ways to do this include using padding in the shoulders and opting for stripes on the suit. Vertical stripes provide a positive slimming effect. For the inverted triangle, get your chest and torso into balance. Choose a double-breasted jacket and avoid skinnier pants, otherwise you may look like you have chicken legs.

Oval Body Shape

Once again, these are men with concentrated weight around the stomach area. Might be because of all the brewskies ingested during happy hour at the pub, but hey we’re not judging. The same options that work for the triangular body shape will apply in this case too. The concept is about creating a balance. Wear dark colors to look slimmer and choose well-fitted trousers.

Rhomboid Body Shape

This means that a man has a broad chest and equally broad shoulders. Such body shapes tend to slim down around the waist. If you fall into this category, congrats! These men typically can enjoy the freedom of trying out different cuts and designs and almost anything works nicely.

If you have an important event coming up, then you must get a suit that complements your body shape. If you’re confused, consult a tailor. Seriously, they will give you tip-top advice on how to look your best. Once you wear a suit that goes right with your shape, you’ll be excited to go to your next formal soiree looking like a true Spiffster!

6 Style Mistakes Men Make

Matching Your Tie to Your Dress Shirt

When choosing a tie to wear with your dress shirt, it is easy to fall into the trap of matching the tie exactly with the shirt. For example, a black tie with a black dress shirt. But rather than looking for an exact match, pick a color that is complementary to the shirt. To achieve the perfect pop of color, set a warm color against a cool color. In a patterned tie or shirt, choose one color to use as the visual contrast. The key is to not appear matchy matchy.

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Wearing the Wrong Belt Color

The rule of thumb for choosing a belt to wear is to match the color of the belt with the color of your dress shoes. If you are forgoing dress shoes for a more casual look, pick a belt that has a more casual look (i.e. thicker versus a thin dress belt). It is important to also consider the finishes of the belt and shoe.

Wearing a Tie with a Short Sleeve Shirt

Unless you are trying to channel Dwight Schrute’s Office style, wearing a tie with a short sleeve shirt is difficult to pull off. Although it would be hard to notice this style mistake when wearing a blazer or sport jacket, wearing this look alone can give off major dorky dad vibes. In the age of hipster cool, if you really insist on giving this look a try, keep the fit of the shirt slim and the tie thin as well.

Square Toe Shoes

There is something about shoes with a blunt square toe that screams the 90s and it is an awkward and clunky style that should have been left there. Opt for a shoe that has a more streamlined look with a more pointed toe that will add to your style profile.

Not Tucking in Dress Shirts

Men’s dress shirts are made with a longer hem for the functional purpose of being tucked in. Tucking in the shirt will allow for a more put together look that is appropriate in the workplace and other formal settings, especially if the shirt is long enough to cover your butt. If you cannot stand the idea of tucking in your shirt in all occasions, the length of your dress shirt should come up about the midpoint of your butt.

Too Many Buttons

When it comes to buttons, you don’t want to unbutton too many buttons (unless you are going for the sleazy guy in the club look) when it comes to your shirt but there are also rules to buttoning up your suit jacket. If there are two buttons, only do the top. And if there are three buttons, you have a few options: top button only, middle only or both the top and middle as long as the bottom button is not done.

But in all fairness, fashion and style are all about pushing the boundaries on what is considered acceptable and what you like individually and being able to express yourself. So take these so-called rules with a grain of salt.

Chris Pine Is Leading the Way in Fashion and Hollywood

In Hollywood where competition is cutthroat, American actor Chris Pine’s stock has been steadily rising and his star has been shining more and more brightly. As Pine has undeniably become one of Hollywood’s premiere leading men, it’s not only his many silver-screen portrayals that have been turning heads and receiving positive feedback.

Last October, GQ identified Pine as a true fashion icon naming him the International Man of The Year. As he is the brand ambassador of Armani, Pine has consistently put forward wardrobe ensembles that many men can take their style cues from.

One of the many trademark elegant looks of his includes rocking bowties. While you may be thinking that this kind of traditional necktie may only fit a certain individual, Spiffster offers a retort, emphasizing that wearing a bowtie can set you apart and instantly inject confidence into any formal look. For Pine’s appearance at the recent Golden Globe Awards, USA Today highlights and applauded his choice of a classic black bowtie for the esteemed event.

Pine certainly seems to have also significantly spearheaded the bowtie resurgence. Esquire explains that men should follow Pine’s lead as it seems wearing wide neckties are making a comeback. Not sure about the difference between a thick and thin necktie? Here’s a quick fashion tip: sticking to a width that’s between 2.75 and 3.15 inches is the wide-necktie standard you should go for.

The 37-year-old actor has definitely forged his own indelible imprint in the fashion scene—the same way he did for one of pop culture’s most iconic characters: Captain James Kirk. While the role will always be closely associated William Shatner’s original portrayal, Pine took the role and made it his own in the Star Trek reboot film series between 2009 to 2016. Many new fans of the show have grown up with his version of the character. Star Trek is one of the most enduring franchises and it took someone with the star power of Pine to lead the rebooted series. This year the sci-fi classic has once again been revisited on the small screen through Star Trek: Discovery.

Beyond the television and film landscape, the Star Trek influence has also boldly gone to the gaming industry. Star Trek Bridge Crew was released this year, which allowed players to sit in the captain’s chair and command their own ship using VR technology. It is the closest experience fans of Star Trek can get to being Captain Kirk. The Star Trek franchise has expanded to many digital avenues to cater to its global audience. Slots title Star Trek: Red Alert from games platform Slingo, uses iconic imagery from the original series that allows fans to interact with the Space-Western universe in a different form. Like the Chris Pine Star Trek films, the game takes elements from the original series and updates it for a modern audience.

Needless to say, Pine is the face of the modern Star Trek multimedia and his embodiment is something that fans will follow for many years to come. Moreover, Pine is redefining how a modern man should carry himself, even when it means going for a classic look. While many may claim the bowtie to be out-dated, remember that they said the same thing about Star Trek, and with Pine leading the way, the franchise came back bigger and more popular than ever.

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Bow ties for Men: Our arguments for why men should wear bow ties

“Whenever I wear one, women smile,” as stated by Cooper Ray, founder of Social Primer.

The bow tie has been a fashion statement for years, despite being unpopular among some people. They think it is a difficult cravat to pull off that is yet to be well accepted in the fashion industry. However, bow ties have descended from a neckwear style worn by Croatian mercenaries for various reasons: it was meant to keep the collars of men’s shirts fastened and closed together – it played a bigger role as a short scarf than an accessory. The bow tie commonly seen today was innovated by French fashionistas seeking a new, unique way to tie a short neck scarf. The invention was much embraced in the fashion industry and has trended since. Why then should men wear bow ties?

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The bow tie is trending

Bow ties are quickly creeping back to the top of men’s fashion segment. It is becoming a necessity in every man’s tie collection. If you do not believe it, check out the sudden uptick in sales of bow ties that came about after the release of the series “Doctor Who” and each James Bond film. Keep up with the trend that has led actors like Ryan Gosling to wear the bow tie to red carpet events.

Elegance and Confidence

The bow tie reflects back to a time when men were considered well-dressed. In the era when bow ties were popular, men were attentive towards the accepted norms for appropriate clothing and their importance to occasions. Today, these rules rarely apply or are adhered to. Stand out and pair your suit with a bow tie and bring back elegance. By the way, how often do you see men wearing a bow tie? Not too often. Therefore, it does take a lot of confidence for a man to wear a bow tie. You’ll be bolder than that Taco Bell Fire sauce.

Diversity

It is about time that you juggled up your wardrobe. Alternate between regular neck ties and bow ties from time to time. If you put on your bow tie with the right outfit, you will be outstanding and memorable from this sign of confidence and elegance.

Pull off patterns

Bow ties come in a variety of patterns that can barely be pulled off on neck ties. Therefore, if you are attending a cocktail party, you have different patterns to try out without looking tacky. As long as it’s not a shiny glitter tie, your design will probably be acceptable at a social event. Yellow dogs, dolphins, and smiley faces sometimes will work depending on how casual the event is. The bow tie is extremely flexible. So go get some, man.

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Simple Tips to Dress up the Best in Your Interview

As they say, “the first impression is the last impression”, this phrase holds absolutely true if you are heading out for a job interview. You should dress your best if you want to leave the best impression during your interview. The impression that you have created with your personality or dressing is further cemented with your communication skills.

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In this blog, we will cover some useful dressing tips that you can follow before an interview to leave the best impression and enhance your chances of landing that job you want.

Dress Code

The first thing you need to do is find out the dress code of the company. By following the dress code, the interviewer will get the impression that you are well-equipped about their company’s culture and values of the company. Do not rely on last moment preparations as it can be chaotic. Prepare your wardrobe for your interview well in advance to save yourself from last minute hassles.
In case, if the company does not follow a proper dress code, you should stick to the safest option i.e. appear for the interview in a suit and tie. Opt for a white color shirt if you are confused about what to wear. It should be neatly pressed with not a single wrinkle. Pair it up with the traditional black suit and tie to leave the best impression.

Shoes & Accessories

Neckties are one of the most importance and noticeable accessory that a man wears. In fact, it would not be wrong to state that it is the first thing that people notice about you in your outfit. So make sure you are getting it right with the necktie. Opt for a simple and decent necktie rather than going all out with bright colors and large patterns. Simple dots or classic stripes pattern is the most recommended option. Avoid bow ties, even if you want to make a different impression. The other accessory that you must wear is a wrist watch. However, opt for a sophisticated one rather than flaunting your Rolex or sports watch. Give your jewelry some rest for a day as it might not go with the professional look you are vying for.

Pay utmost attention to the shoes you are wearing. Avoid loafers at any cost and opt for properly polished black lace-up shoes for the best impression. They shouldn’t be too pointy.

Hair

Trim your hair a few days before your scheduled interview to get a neat look. Opt for a rather simpler look and save your trendy hairdos for some other event. If you have facial hair, make sure they are trimmed on the day of the interview or a day prior to it.

Apart from following the tips mention above, there are some other things you need to consider as well.

  • Properly cut your nail, if possible get a manicure.
  • Use neutral deodorant after taking a shower rather than cologne.
  • Don’t forget to keep a handkerchief (preferably plain in light color) in your pocket along with a pen.

After creating an impressive first impression by following the tips mentioned above, impress the interviewer with your communication skills and knowledge of the subject matter to get that job.

How To Keep Your Neck Ties In Great Shape

Getting ready for a social function, you realize your blue-green plaid neck tie would be the perfect complement with your light green dress shirt. You hunt for it in your closet, only to see that it has fallen victim to the carpet floor and has developed some creases! Oh the horror. You realize the unfortunate situation has taught you one important lesson: Keep your ties well-maintained and organized! Although, most of us don’t own a tie rack to keep our neck ties in tip-top condition, we’re here to offer you tips so you won’t be stuck in that horrid situation ever again.

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Untying the tie

As soon as you get off work, the first thing that you would love to do is take off your tie and throw it on a chair so you can relax. However, if you could take an extra minute to accomplish this procedure it will make all the difference. A few things to remember:

  • Never pull the thin part out of the knot when removing the tie
  • Never leave the knot in the tie when not in use because it will create a permanent crease
  • Always remove the tie by following tie-tying steps in reverse

Storing the tie

Once you are done with removing your tie, make sure that you hang it up. It will make the creases fall out and you will notice a reduction in the wrinkles of the tie. You should never leave your tie at the back of the chair or rolled up in a drawer. You can invest in a tie rack like Aidan here to ensure you ties last for a long time!

Packing the tie

When you are away from home on business, sometimes it’s better to take multiple ties along for your business trip. When packing up your tie, you should carefully roll it. Yes, it’s acceptable to roll a tie when traveling because you will be utilizing the tie very soon. Start rolling the tie from the small end and then you can secure the tie in a zip lock bag. In order to keep them safe and sound during the entire journey you can even place them carefully in your shoes.

Cleaning the tie

Even a small stain on the tie will reduce its elegance. However, you should only clean your tie when it is dirty and not after every time you wear it. Just stay attentive of the fabric from which your time has been made and you’ll keep looking spiffy.

During the cleaning process, be sure to be extremely careful. Your tie’s ability to last depends on how carefully you handle it while washing. Your tie should be hand washed or dry cleaned, despite the material from which it has been made. For more advice on cleaning, visit our blog here.

Remove wrinkles from the tie

Ironing the tie can damage its looks. So for the easy wrinkles, you can hang your tie in the bathroom while you are taking a hot shower. On the other hand, when the wrinkles get stubborn you can buy the steamer and make your tie look as good as new.

In order to keep your tie from unwanted food stains, you can use the tie tacks. However, they might leave a hole in your tie. To avoid these holes, apply the tie tacks through the shirt. Use these tips to elongate the life of your tie, and continue to look spiffy!

Necktie Fashion Mistakes You Should Be Completely Avoiding

A necktie collection has always been mandatory for me ever since I graduated out of college from the University of Minnesota. Before the graduation ceremony, I received two neckties, a stripped yellow tie and a navy blue foulard tie with green circles. That was the moment when I finally understood the power of a neck tie. Not only do they add value, grace, and elegance to a person’s looks but also enhances their personality. I felt more confident as I strolled across the stage to receive my diploma. After that of course, I had to pair my suit with power ties and go through many job interviews until I landed here at Spiffster. Now I own more than 50 different types of ties, and I even have a revolving tie rack!

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Although wearing a necktie is mandatory in corporate life, it has also become the norm to wear it as part of an informal look or to flaunt your fashion sense. There is a diverse range of formal and informal neckties you can find easily (especially when you subscribe with Spiffster) that can go with any occasion you are heading out to. In fact, we offer many tips about how to tie informal knots for more casual occasions. However, there are some common mistakes to avoid that might cause a negative effect of what they were hoping to achieve. Let’s have a look at those mistakes you should be completely avoiding when wearing a necktie.

Clashing Colors and Patterns

While selecting a tie you are going to wear for the event, make sure the colors or the patterns of the tie don’t clash with the color of the outfit you are wearing. It shouldn’t be in contrast to the shirt or suit, rather it should complement it. Similarly, if the shirt you are wearing already has some patterns, opt for a plain colored tie as a patterned tie with a patterned shirt will give you a very loud appearance that may not leave a positive impact on others. For example, if you’re wearing a plaid-patterned suit, do not wear a plaid neck tie!

Awkward Width & Length

Is the tip of your neck tie touching your belly button? In that case, it would be too short. An awkward width or length of a neck tie can single-handedly ruin your appearance no matter how much you spent on that Hugo Boss suit. Make sure that the width of the tie is proportionate to your body type and your overall appearance that includes your suit, shirt, and the tie knot as well. When it comes to the length of the tie, it should end towards the buckle of the belt; wearing it shorter or longer is a big fashion blunder that you must avoid at any cost.

Neglecting the Dress Code

There is a wide range of neckties available and wearing an informal tie with a formal suit or vice versa is considered to be a big fashion mistake; hence, you should have an idea about the types of neckties and wear them accordingly.

To sum it up, neckties make for an essential accessory in man’s wardrobe. A tie can reveal certain things about a man’s personality, fashion sense, and abilities. However, one must avoid the mistakes mentioned above for getting the perfect and the most graceful look when wearing a necktie. Because looking like a chumbolone is not the Spiffster way.

The Origins and All We Know About the Trinity Knot

A relatively recent innovation, the Trinity Knot has a flashy, trefoil-shaped knot that is guaranteed to bring you some attention. This beautiful knot is a three-way symmetry and resembles the Celtic Triquetra. The Celtic Triquetra symbol is used as a religious symbol adapted from ancient Celtic images, and is also similar to Odin’s symbol, the valknut.

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But there are also many other meanings of the Trinity Knot, and most of them have to do with love and romance. Here they are:

  • It is a unique symbol of Ireland’s ancient culture.
  • The endless intertwining curves represent eternal love.
  • The Trinity knot can even be used to outline the stages of a woman’s life; youth, motherhood and old age.
  • It is sometimes called the Irish Love knot.

But enough about history, let’s talk about fashion. Imagine yourself at a cocktail party. Showing up with a Trinity Knot will definitely get you the attention you deserve from the ladies. After all, the Trinity Knot is also known as the Irish Love Knot. However, don’t wear this tie knot to business meetings, as the Trinity Knot is used for more social and informal occasions. Bringing this knot to a board meeting will make you appear as a showoff.

Because you use the small end to start tying the knot, it is one of the most difficult ties to master. Also, pick a tie that does not have too much thickness, due to the knot being on the bulkier side of the knot-thickness spectrum.

The best patterns for this knot include solids, stripes, and smaller patterns. Once you master this knot, try creating a pinwheel effect by getting the stripes to converge at the center. However, if there is a noticeable diagonal taper to the sides of the tie down near the narrow end, the threefolds will not converge towards the center and the effect will be ruined.

If you would like to tighten the knot, you can accomplish this by holding the knot in one hand and pulling down slowly on the wider end. Use caution though, and adjust the folds of the knot as you go. You don’t want to distort the shape of the knot.

Check out the image below on how to tie the Trinity Knot below and look spiffy, fellow Spiffsters!

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