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Scale of formality in necktie patterns

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
This is just for fun and doesn’t pretend to have any authoritative basis – I just wrote it with my own experience and intuition as a guide. I propose the following as a scale of formality in necktie patterns, in descending order of formality: 1. dogtooth (black & white) 2. pin dots 3. foulards 4. glen check (black & white / gray) 5. polka dots 6. diagonal stripes (non-regimental) 7. paisleys 8. diagonal stripes (regimental) 9. other checks and tartans 10. horizontal stripes Please disagree, if you like.
post #2 of 19
Yeah, I can see that. I thought paisleys might be a little higher on your list. I've seen some nice colors with those that kind of raise the stakes. Foulard? What the hell is that?
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Yeah, I can see that. I thought paisleys might be a little higher on your list. I've seen some nice colors with those that kind of raise the stakes.
Yes, paisley is elaborate and can be eye-catching but I'm not sure that that makes formality. It's very expressive and unrestrained, not very sober, so I put it lower on the list.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HEARTLESS-531 View Post
Foulard? What the hell is that?
Slightly elaborate, old-fashioned, tight patterns that don't fall into any of the other categories. For example:
post #4 of 19
Pretty much wearing any necktie nowadays is going to have the same level of formality, save for novelty ties (like cartoon characters) which ought not be worn. No matter what order your list is, wearing a tie at all will automatically make your outfit "not casual" to everyone. My list of formality would be: 1. White bow tie 2. Black bow tie 3. Black necktie (funerals) 4. Neck tie 5. Bow tie of varying patterns
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by landshark View Post
Pretty much wearing any necktie nowadays is going to have the same level of formality, save for novelty ties (like cartoon characters) which ought not be worn. No matter what order your list is, wearing a tie at all will automatically make your outfit "not casual" to everyone.

Now now, I think I knew that. You took my intentions with this thread too seriously.
post #6 of 19
I'm curious to know why you think regimental stripes are less formal than non-regimental stripes. I would have thought that it would be the reverse.
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will C. View Post
This is just for fun and doesn't pretend to have any authoritative basis - I just wrote it with my own experience and intuition as a guide. I propose the following as a scale of formality in necktie patterns, in descending order of formality:

1. dogtooth (black & white)
2. pin dots
3. foulards
4. glen check (black & white / gray)
5. polka dots
6. diagonal stripes (non-regimental)
7. paisleys
8. diagonal stripes (regimental)
9. other checks and tartans
10. horizontal stripes

Please disagree, if you like.

You consider non-regimental more formal than regimental? And what of knit ties?

EDIT - Blackbowtie beat me to it.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbowtie View Post
I'm curious to know why you think regimental stripes are less formal than non-regimental stripes. I would have thought that it would be the reverse.

Fair question.
As I see it, non-regimental diagonal stripe ties often have smaller intervals between stripes, often look rather precise and cold, and are typically worn for as part of a fully-suited outfit.

I think regimentals are less formal because of their archetypal association with the 'blue blazer' and odd trouser combination. They seem like a playful summery tie to me, albeit more formal than other summery options.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman View Post
And what of knit ties?
Oh yes - they should have had a place on the list! Definitely low on the scale, but it would depend on the pattern, no? I daresay knits with dots are more formal than knits with horizontal stripes, for example... There's something about the playfully off-beat look of horizontal stripes that I love on ties and shirts.
post #10 of 19
I think you can also make the distinction between small-pattern and large-pattern foulards. The former being more formal and maybe higher up on your list.
post #11 of 19
1. dogtooth (black & white)
2. pin dots
3. foulards
4. diagonal stripes (regimental)
5. glen check (black & white / gray)
6. diagonal stripes (non-regimental)
7. polka dots
8. paisleys
9. Small embroidered ducks
10. other checks and tartans
11. horizontal stripes
12. Piano keys
13. Fish tie
14. WWF Character ties
15. Dolphin ties
16. Looney toons ties
17. Bolo ties
post #12 of 19
I am going to disagree on the piano keys tie. Before launching his "Derelicte" brand ("Let me show you Derelicte. It is a fashion, a way of life inspired by the very homeless, the vagrants, the crack whores that make this wonderful city so unique"), Mugatu started in fashion by designing the piano key tie and it was considered quite formal.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Squirrel View Post

To alway be tied with the four-in-hand.



... but is the the Four Horsemen 4-i-H or the Four Demandments of Hulkamania 4-i-H??
post #14 of 19
#1 = Solid.
post #15 of 19
I will. Utter nonsense to try to determine such a listing (though I admire you for trying). For example a funeral might be said to be a formal occasion and by inference a black tie is formal. However many funerals are best graced by coloured ties in respect to either the wishes or ways of the deceased. On the other hand a black tie is normal at a formal dinner below the level of white tie. Just to complete the circuit, a white tie worn with a black shirt is acceptable at some functions.
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