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Knit ties - what history and future?

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
This forum, of course, loves the knit tie. Although I appreciate that it is a historical thing, coming largely from a military background, their explosion on the blogosphere and other fashion websites has made this tie more popular than ever.

Personally, I only ever wear wool knit ties with country clothing or tweed. Why have people started wearing them with formal wear? I can understand that maybe if you work in something more creative than usual, but I am yet to see a knit tie on a city worker or someone in a more traditional job.

So, why their rise to prominence? Is it just because the luxury market is evolving to be even more exclusive and niche, more luxurious in material and craft and simple silk is no longer enough; or is it simply just something that has been made popular by forums like this or internet photography of Pitti Uomo? Is it a signifier of your knowledge of all things sartorial - because I find when I wear one most people are baffled and require explanation.

Any thoughts on their rise and fall?
post #2 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ich_Dien View Post

simply just something that has been made popular by forums like this or internet photography of Pitti Uomo?

My guess.
post #3 of 58
I am not a clothing historian so I can only talk about my experiences. Knit ties have been a part of mens wardrobe's in America for as long as I can remember. I've seen everyone from college professors wearing them with corduroy jackets to "Preppy" dressers wearing them with seersucker suits and tweeds to now the igent/Pitti Uomo dresser wearing them with everything. It may be more of an American (and Italy to a smaller extent) thing and maybe they are not as prevelant as you think, the internet, with the forums and blogs, many times make us think things are overdone when in reality, about 0.000000000001% of the population are actually doing what we think they are doing. I don't like the unbuttoned buttoned down collar shirts and would swear that "everyone" is doing it. The reality is that I have yet to come across one person in real life wearing their shirt like that and I could not tell you when was the last time I bumped into someone wearing a knit tie.
post #4 of 58
My association is with social workers in the eighties over here, also paired with (large) corduroy jackets.
post #5 of 58
Hey, if it was good enough for Carl Kolchak...
post #6 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by edmorel View Post

I am not a cltohing historian so I can only talk about my experiences. Knit ties have been a part of mens wardrobe's in America for as long as I can remember. I've seen everyone from college professors wearing them with corduroy jackets to "Preppy" dressers wearing them with seersucker suits and tweeds to now the igent/Pitti Uomo dresser wearing them with everything. I may be more of an American (and Italy to a smaller extent) thing and maybe they are not as prevelant as you think, the internet, with the forums and blogs, many times make us think things are overdone when in reality, about 0.000000000001% of the population are actually doing what we think they are doing. I don't like the unbuttoned buttoned down collar shirts and would swear that "everyone" is doing it. The reality is that I have yet to come across one person in real life wearing their shirt like that and I could not tell you when was the last time I bumped into someone wearing a knit tie.

+1

But Ed - you forgot to mention the silly fad of wearing a knit tie with a polo shirt that was popularized by the fashionistas in the '80s. And has had a limited comeback of late amongst the youngsters. biggrin.gif

I do think the blogosphere/forumsphere definitely puts forth an extremely specialized point of view - not that this is a bad thing - it's rather the point is it not? However, we should not confuse it with what is actually out there in reality.

I wear grenadine ties to work during the week and even a knit tie on some casual Fridays. However, I believe I am probably the only person in the entire building who ever wears such a thing. I never see them either in my office nor in the lobbies/elevators of my building. Admitedly my particular building is home to the American branch of a large UK based investment firm. So I would expect a fairly conservative crowd.

I've certainly never seen a knit tie on anyone in India, the middle east or China either.

I bet if the truth be told most who work in corporate America would share similar observations. Not that knit ties are avant garde or revolutionary or anything such as that - they simply aren't part of the normal rig for most business men.
post #7 of 58

I've always thought they were an Americana/Ivy League thing adopted by the Italians. Maybe they have earlier origins, but they were definitely popular during the 60s. A couple of my high school teachers wore them in the 80s. And Ralph seemed to always have them.

 

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post #8 of 58
I see them on the regular but it's not terribly common among average people. Something for the dressers.
post #9 of 58
At a reception I was at recently, two out of the 160 males wore a knit tie.
post #10 of 58
I like Dustin's jacket.
post #11 of 58

Me too! I've been thinking that a herringbone tweed solid would be a nice versatile jacket.

post #12 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker View Post

Me too! I've been thinking that a herringbone tweed solid would be a nice versatile jacket.


Definitely. Or overcoat... Or even peacoat...
post #13 of 58
Thread Starter 
Mastroanni looking impeccable there.

I thought knit ties came from the British military uniform of the late 1890s.
post #14 of 58
I think I first saw a (silk) knit tie on Connery's Bond. IIRC I haven't seen one worn IRL yet...
post #15 of 58
Grenadines and knit ties came rather late to my vocabulary. I like the art involved in making them, and in interesting colors, I find them real attention getters.
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