I'm reviving this thread to raise a question. The sartorial adepts here and at AAAC tend to agree that it's hard to make a satin tie look good, especially in the daytime, and that they aren't very versatile. Even for black tie, where you'd think satin is a natural fabric, most knowledgeable commentators prefer black grosgrain over black satin.
I used to agree with this, probably because I'd seen too many pictures of bright red or gold or cream satin ties worn with dark, matte-finish suits. Those ensembles, IMO, are egregious.
I think the problem is that the tie's having both a bright color and the shiny finish of a satin weave contrasts too much with the matte finishes and dark or neutral colors of most suits. It's an unholy combination of Beau Brummel's subdued wool dress coat and the Scarlet Pimpernel's peacocky satin court suit. The effect is that the tie is thrown in your face. The only way to avoid the enormous contrast while keeping the peacocky tie is to wear a high-sheen suit or a bright-colored suit. And even with a cream linen suit, Trump's tie would still make an eye-popping contrast. So it seems that the consensus is right about bright-colored satins.
But is it right about dark or neutral-colored satins? The more I think about it, the more I wonder whether a black, midnight blue, or gray (but not silver) satin tie isn't an excellent way to liven up a boring daytime suit-shirt combination.
C. P. Snow liked black or dark navy satins with his sober suit-shirt combos:
So did Joseph Austen Chamberlain (Neville's half-brother):
Connery Bond did it in a mid-to-light-gray with his otherwise dreadfully dull navy 2pc and white shirt:
Sober but not severe, as it would have been had that tie had a matte finish.
Look how this black satin subtly livens up Alexander Korda's gray flannel 3pc and white shirt:
Had he worn a bright blue satin like Trump's, the effect would have been garish: enormous contrast with the flannel, equivalent to jamming the tie in your face. Had he worn a solid reppe in navy or black, the ensemble would have been dreadfully dull. (No accident that this is from asuitablewardrobe.dynend.com, Will being a discerning fan of certain satins.)
Ralph works the texture contrast of flannel and satin in this SF post.
Not bad, but would have been better with a navy satin.
I'm on the fence about this Pacific blue satin worn by Moore Bond (stolen from Matt S's excellent bondclothes blog):
I think it works, but only because the 6x3 DB coat has such a high wrap that it hides most of the tie.
So I am wondering whether the conclusion is: black, very dark blue, and non-silver gray satins can subtly liven up severe suit-shirt combos.
But what about dark purple? Here we come to a difficult and controversial area, as purple always is. I would say that George Osborne's mildly-dark purple satin with sober suit-shirt combo the other day
is still too close to Trump. While miles better, it still over-presents the tie. A grenadine in that shade and hue would have been much better. But what if we swapped that shade and hue for something two or three shades darker, or with a navy undertone to it, like dark indigo? What say you, SF?Edited by Testudo_Aubreii - 10/3/11 at 7:40pm