If men only realised how much women can tell about them by their ties, they would pay more attention to what they knot around their necks. A tie that is witty hints of a man who is trying too hard; one that has any sort of club crest on it means that the man has no friends and will be too busy rowing/bowling/ playing bridge to pay you any attention. Width matters too: very wide, and he will undoubtedly run to fat; very thin and he will have dodgy musical tastes. A tie should be discreet, but playful. Hermes does some excellent ones, but they cost. Until you can afford them, these woven silk ones are just right. AB

Discreet but playful woven silk ties, pounds 36 each, Boden mail order, tel: 0181 964 2662.