Originally Posted by Redbird13
I've recently begun my sartorial journey, and I realized that I know next to nothing about ties. After searching through pages and pages of topics, I could only find bits and pieces relating to the basics. Could someone fill me in on the do's and don'ts? What should I look for in a tie? Is there much difference between cheap and expensive ties? What about different fabrics (wool vs cotton vs silk)? Wide or skinny? And what exactly is the the deal with knit ties?
Help me MC, you're my only hope!
I'm by no means an expert on ties but I have certainly developed an (some may say unhealthy) fascination for ties since I started my sartorial journey a few years ago. I used to thunk that a tie is a tie, but as with much else one usually gets what one pays for. This, I have realised, is more true for ties than for just about any other menswear item out there.
I have a pretty modest tie collection (~20 ties) but I find that I keep returning to a few favourite ties over and over and these are inevitably my more expensive ties. I have a a floral print Marinella silk tie (in brown and blue) that I absolutely love. Another favourite is a 50 oz paisley silk tie from Holliday & Brown which is really heavy and that ties a beautiful, full knot. Both of those ties cost me >£90 a piece, which might seem like a steep price, but man they are worth every penny. It's actually hard to explain until you have held and handled a really high-quality tie - after that nothing compares in my mind.
When it comes to materials I find that different materials match with different things. Heavier silk, wool, cashmere is typical of A/W ties and match winder fabrics, like tweed and flannel. Linen OTOH is more typical for S/S ties. Tie width is also a highly personal preference and depends on your physique - tall/short, heavy/slim I tend to prefer ties that have a width around 3.5", wider and it looks like I'm carrying a bib. I find that I don't like the look of narrow ties (<2.5") on me as I'm very tall (6'6") with a fairly slim build.
Just my .02...