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Unexpectedly good neckties

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm curious about answers to this one, because posters on this board are just fanatical about wearing the best ties. I have my fair share of expensive ties -- Zegna, Talbott, etc. -- but every once in a while I'll be at Marshall's and see a fantastic City of London or Perry Ellis for like 10 bucks. Case in point, I picked up a Perry Ellis Portfolio for 10 bucks the other day. It is tarheel blue with white and darker blue stripes. It has a wonderful glow and ties a great knot. The third party observer, I'm sure, could not tell it apart from my much more expensive ties. Does anyone else ever find that "lesser brands" can sometimes produce gems? Also, if you don't, what qualities do you think such brands ALWAYS lack?
post #2 of 16
I think the "lesser" mass market brands can produce a solid tie. My two main criteria are: 1. Does it coordinate with a shirt/suit or sportcoat combo i have? 2. The quality of the knot and whether it holds the dimple well or not (half windsor guy myself). I think it also helps to think of ties as "disposable" unless you're a Hermes collector or a 7-fold silk tie guy. I'm of the opinion (thanks to the info on this board) that the majority of funds should go to shoes and suits first, shirts and ties second.
post #3 of 16
Quote:
It is tarheel blue with white and darker blue stripes...
Well, that's why you found it at such a good price. You should only wear Kentucky blue.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm an AZ fan personally. But I hate UNC a whole lot more than I hate Kentucky.
post #5 of 16
People on the board have mentioned Nautica as having good quality ties for a low price, around $40 retail I think. I don't wear a lot of ties, but most of mine come from thrift stores as the classics don't really go out of style and for $2-3 a pop they really are disposable. I have found some amazing stuff there, including an Arnys in pink with bright colored horseshoes on it, very similar to Hermes in quality and style (and retail price, as far as I can find), for a couple of bucks.
post #6 of 16
If you don't want to go lesser brands, give eBay a shot. Occasionally, you can get pretty good deals on good ties. All the usual caveats, of course... make sure the seller is reputable and ask lots of questions, etc.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
I wholeheartedly agree about the Filenes basement deals. I bet 60% of my ties have come from there, and I usually refuse to spend more than $12.50. I also agree that $40 is exorbitant -- I bought the most beautiful Talbott tie yesterday for 37.50 and I must admit to having some desire to return it, even though I know it was a screaming deal and was exactly what I was looking for. The only problem with the Basement, etc. is that the very expensive ties that are on markdown aren't in all the color palletes and patterns, which is why I supplement my collection with "lesser" ties that I get for good deals. But I refuse to buy anything that doesn't have a nice weave, which is why Nautica is hit or miss for me (I have a couple of really cool Nauticas though). Speaking of thrift stores, I just discovered Keezer's the other day. I found a brand new, never been worn, Villa Bolgheri in a gorgeous merlot and navy stripe for $8. I hope to find an Oxxford suit in my size there before leaving Beantown.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
I'm of the opinion (thanks to the info on this board) that the majority of funds should go to shoes and suits first, shirts and ties second.
Personally I've been approaching wardrobe upgrade with a focus on ties, shirts and shoes first. I think quality in those areas dress up mediocre clothing otherwise and serve as a foundation for upgrades like suits. A nice tie, a quality shirt and great shoes will make your clothes look better. A bad tie, a poor shirt and bad shoes will destroy the look of a great suit. The goal, of course, is quality everywhere. As to ties, I've purchased XMI, Ike Behar, Altea and others at TJ Maxx/Marshall's for less than $15 each. I'm also a recent convert to thrift stores, having picked up Hermes, Breuer, Brooks Brothers, Gucci, Etro, Robert Talbott, Holliday & Brown, etc. for a buck each. You can make big improvements in ties for not a lot of outlay.
post #9 of 16
Over the years I have purchased a substantial quantity of ties, some very cheaply priced, and some quite expensive. However, the one thing I always looked for was quality. While I generally paid some attention to the label, the reality is that if I thought the tie was well made and it was one that I desired, I purchased it regardless of the label. Although there have been some purchases that were regretable in hindsight (the quality was misjudged) I am proud to say that I still have the majority of all my ties. In fact today I wore a tie that is 10 years old and was asked it this was a new tie. As others have stated, the key is to look for quality.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
I agree. But that begs the question for me. What are the marks of a good quality tie? Putting aside cosmetic qualities such as the colors or patterns, here is what I look for (tell me if I'm right or wrong here). (1) Richness of color -- is the fabric vibrant (does it hold the color well) or does it look like it will easily fade. (2) Is the silk cut on the bias. (3) Is the silk "tight" on the lining, or is it loose (and thus likely to wrinkle quickly; plus it looks sloppy). (4) Is the weave tight, or are there looseness that will cause major flaws in the end. (5) Is the stitching good. (6) Is the silk substantial.
post #11 of 16
Personally the areas I concentrate on are the vibrancy of the color(s), the lining, the stitching, and my perceived impression of whether the silk is "substantial" . This may sound extremely silly, but the tie must feel like is it one of substance, and not simply a piece of light fabric cut into a tie.
post #12 of 16
Another thing to keep your eye on is how easily a tie will snag (along the lines of how loose or tight the weave is I think). I have several Charvet ties which I love, but have found that they tend to snag quite easily-- usually just a little loop of silk thread that is barely perceptible, but enough to annoy me each time I look at my tie and wonder why I paid so much (even at a step discount) for the tie. Good luck on your quest.
post #13 of 16
On the cheaper end of things, I have Nautica and Izod ties that look great and tie a good knot. Altea, Ike Behar and Robert Talbott ties can often be found at very good prices. Altea makes for some much pricier labels. Behar and Talbott are even better. My woven silk Behar ties knot better than anything else I own. I buy almost all my ties at consignment stores. Most are new, I generally pay $10-$20 for the very best. $45-$50 max, and I rarely go that high. I just picked up a 7-fold Kiton for $45 last week, but it was a great fabric so it was worth it.
post #14 of 16
my sentiments run with what 'classic' said above, it has to have some substance to it and look outstanding, so i don't really get caught up in who makes it, so long as it has 'that look' of quality but vibrancy but not so outstanding that it overwhelms the suit i will drop full retail price if i find a tie that i really can't live without, my one weakness in life (especially hermes woven ties) i suppose that and good vodka
post #15 of 16
I really like Hermes woven ties as well.  I have to admit I really like the (orange) Hermes H ties, and hate myself for likeing logo-wear.  Looks great with a navy or grey suit.  I also have this thing for small pattern paisley ties.  The best one I have, oddly enough, is from Zegna - a burnt red and autumnal colored paisley on a burnt orange background, bought on double discount in an otherwise uninteresting Macys.
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