How to Tie a Necktie, and Other Skills Men Should Know Before Turning 30

These are skills every man should know before they hit 30.
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There are many men who are well into their 30s, but don’t know how to tie a necktie. For most Filipinos, learning the skill does not come as a necessity because occasions that demand the use of neckties are few and far betweenbut so are flat tires. At some point before turning 30, men should know how to tie a necktie or how to change a flat tire.

The following are 14 essential skills that men should know.

1| Tying a Necktie

ILLUSTRATOR: Roland Mae Tanglao

Although there are many ways of tying a necktie, at the very least, you should know how to do the simple knot, which is best used for skinny ties. Skinny ties are paired with slim suits with lapels no wider than two inches. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to tie a necktie.

2| Changing a Flat Tire


We cannot overemphasize the importance of knowing how to change a flat tire—you do not want to find yourself on the road with a flat tire not knowing how to operate a car jack or use a wrench.

Just as important as knowing how to change a flat tire is having the right tools for the job. In every car you have, there should be the following items: spare tire, early warning device, car jack, and lug wrench

3| Opening a Wine Bottle

Men are often asked to open wine bottles at parties because they have stronger grips, but it tends to get embarrassing when no one at the party can open a corked wine bottle even with a corkscrew. Even worse is when the cork falls inside the bottle, damaging the wine’s flavor.

Many fine wines have been ruined by people who can’t uncork a bottle. As a tip, if you have a pocket knife with a cork screw attached to it, don’t volunteer to use it if there is a legitimate corkscrew around, which is more stable and easier to handle.

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4| Opening a Bottle Without an Opener

IMAGE: Pexels

This is one of those tricks our uncles used to do and we eventually learn on our own. An ancient adage goes, “Never use a tool for a job it is not made for.” Well, this time, you can forget that old adage because there is no way to open a beer bottle without an opener other than being resourceful and using whatever solid object is near you, apart from your phone.

Men who can open beer bottles without bottle openers are the real MVPs at drinking sessions. They can use anything: another unopened bottle, a spoon, a fork, a lighter, a coin, what have you.

5| Lighting a Charcoal Grill


Setting charcoals alight is a very tedious job because of its very high flash point, which means you have to maintain high heat for a long time before the charcoals catch fire.

Typically, to light a charcoal grill, you will need a box of matches and plenty of newspaper. Newspaper is a very good material for starting fires because it burns easily. Pile a few lightly crumpled pieces of newspaper on the grill, place the charcoals on top of them, then light the paper with matches. Keep adding newspaper until the charcoals are alight.

6| Playing Poker

Along with beer, cards, and grilled meats, poker is staple at boys’ nights out. It can be an intimidating game of cards for people who are not familiar with it—the rules themselves can be confusing. You can practice playing poker with friends, or play it online just to know the rules.


7| Giving a Firm Handshake

There is nothing more off-putting in business affairs than a weak handshake: It projects lack of confidence, lack of enthusiasm, and shyness. In other words, it projects weakness. In fact, a 2015 survey revealed that some people failed at job interviews because they did not know how to give a firm handshake. We are not telling you to employ the “Trumpian handshake”—forceful grip, yank, and release—which he does to project power and authority, albeit awkwardly. On the other hand, a separate research in 2014 concluded that people who are more educated have a firm handshake.

A good handshake has the right pressure—firm but not crushing, with minimal or no shaking. It should only last three to five seconds. Maintain eye contact—do not look at the hands you are shaking—and smile. Apart from knowing how to tie a necktie, learning how to give a firm handshake is one of the simplest power moves you can use in business affairs.


8| Cooking a Signature Dish

Your signature dish does not have to be an elegant roast chicken or paella. A signature dish can be as simple as scrambled or poached eggs, as long as you know how to cook it right. We say simple, but no, hotdogs and noodles don’t count. Here is a list of Filipino recipes you can make for your mates.

9| Parallel Parking


Ah, the parallel parking—the bane of many drivers’ existence. Mastering this skill earns you the respect and admiration of your passengers and surrounding motorists, but more important, spares you from the embarrassment of a doing a parking trial and error amidst the judging gaze of other people.

10| Driving Stick

Driving stick shift or manual transmission is both a skill and an art. Although most cars today have automatic transmission, it wouldn’t hurt to learn how to drive stick.

11| Setting Up a PC


This is one of the technical tasks that people ought to know how to do. It’s tedious but essential because you need to clean your desktop computer once in a while, and doing so requires you to disconnect your computer’s components. Here is a simple guide on how to set up a desktop computer for Windows and Mac.

12| Hooking Up Surround Sound

Aside from having great speakers, the key to a great surround sound experience is the correct placement of the speakers around your entertainment area. Before connecting wires, consider the positioning of your front-left speakers, front-right speakers, and subwoofers. Subwoofers should be placed near the center of the home theater, while the front speakers should be placed on either sides of the television or screen. Center channel speakers should be placed on top or under your TV or screen.

Next comes the tricky part: Connecting the wires. Once you have all the cables and wires you need (optical, HDMI, AV), connect them to the receiver, which should be connected to your TV. Here is a detailed guide on how to do it.


13| Changing your Car’s Batteries

You can always call your car battery provider to give you on-site assistance when you need a new battery, but in case that’s not practical, you should know how to do it yourself. Changing a car’s battery is one of the simpler tasks under the hood, so it shouldn’t be a big problem. Here is a guide on how to change car batteries.

14| Suiting Up


Every man should know how to choose a suit and how to wear a suit. Contrary to what many guys think, good suits don’t have to be expensive. The key to looking good in a suit is perfect fit—this makes you look snappy and dashing. Good suits are ruined because they are either too loose or too tight. If you can, have a suit tailored for you. Closely associated with knowing how to tie a necktie is knowing how to rock a suit. Here are 10 rules in wearing suits.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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