Originally Posted by DocHolliday
Naturally, some places have better stuff than others. That goes without saying. But I can't sign onto the implication in this thread that a brand's label can substitute for good taste cultivated from within.
If you buy Charvet ties, is that good taste? I'd say most of those are horrible. What about Brioni's gaudy ties? Hermes' cute patterns? This number
from Jay Kos? This Drake's?
Or this handsome specimen?
Dangerous business, trusting the tastes of others instead of our own.
My good doctor, I see that you've decided to be ornery for Christmas. I approve.
Nevertheless, I stand by what I say: Drakes (or Drake's now, I guess) offers (1) very well made ties that (2) reflect a degree of curation that is excellent. In any given season, Drakes offers nearly all of the basics of the Atlantic style classics in a wide range of appropriate colors, patterns, and widths. And that Atlantic, Anglo-American style comprises not only the soporific but the wild. Their knit silks are unsurpassed. They make fine bows. There are madders. There are slubby Shantungs. There's the tipped and the untipped.
In a normal store carrying nice items, one in which you walk in and look at physical ties sold at retail, the Drakes rack will always be the smartest. A dud here and there? Sure, but it's not nearly all duds like brands that you name above. And that's it: it's not that Drakes is 100% good; its that so many others are 100% bad (or, if you prefer, 97% bad.) Those are good odds favoring Drakes over, oh, Hermès or Brioni.
If you are armed with personal good taste, knowledge, and confidence, sure, you could do as well shopping out the best options from historical re-enactment sellers like Ralph Lauren, or if you are unimpressed with marginal differences in the quality of make, Brooks or Press or Silver or Lands' End. You can snipe eBay; you can summon your innner Dr. Seuss and speak for the Yoox. You can seek out that chick on Etsy who weaves her own shephard checks.
So, how much is this Drakes difference worth? The necktie, the sock, the square: the three are the gateway drugs to get the high, real or only perceived, of possessing the plateau product. Attrition is the main enemy to your wallet among all three.
That attrition might not disappear with a set of Drakes ties, but I still think your lucre in the form of neckties will find safer harbor there than elsewhere.