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Ties 101

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

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!

post #2 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbird13 View Post

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...
post #3 of 29
First, what is the setting in which you will most often be wearing ties?
post #4 of 29

I'd wear ties for formal afffairs or business settings, dinners or client meetings.

post #5 of 29
Derek's necktie series for Put This On has a lot of good information:

http://putthison.com/tagged/The-Necktie-Series

Honestly, the best way to learn about the difference between a cheap tie and a good tie is to go handle and tie on some neckwear from the more renowned makers. I know that retailers like Barneys and Neiman Marcus carry Drake's London ties.

Brands I would look into include (in no particular order):

Vanda Fine Clothing
Panta Clothing
Kent Wang
Howard Yount
Henry Carter
Marshall Anthony
Rubinacci
E. & G. Cappelli
E. Marinella
Ralph Lauren Purple Label
Sam Hober
Kiton
Isaia
Breuer
Borrelli
Barbera
Sette Neckwear
Louis Walton
Charvet
Turnbull & Asser
Barba
Nicky Milano

Over time you'll get a better idea of what types of fabrics, construction, styles and details you prefer and that fit your wardrobe needs.
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by knoll45 View Post

I'd wear ties for formal afffairs or business settings, dinners or client meetings.

I was talking to the OP...as in, your tie collection depends on whether you have to wear them to work every day, if you want to wear them more casually with odd jackets in social settings, etc...
post #7 of 29
all the brands on silentist's list are good, but most of them you will never find in a retail setting in the us
post #8 of 29
Member Digmenow has done an excellent job of compiling some of MCs most useful threads. Follow this link and scroll down to the tie section.
post #9 of 29
Very General Rules


100% silk
Woven, not printed patterns
Navy is the most versatile
Classic patterns like solids, stripes, dots and geometric are the best
Width should be between 3.2-3.75", largely depending on your body size and thus lapel size
Four in hand knot is best

Obviously there are many exceptions, but if you follow those, you will be better dressed than your peers in Law/Government/Finance/Tech/Engineering.

In fact you could just pick up a navy grenadine, rep, navy with white spots, black grenadine, some kind of repp stripe, maybe navy satin and call it a day. It would be boring, but perfectly correct and nice looking. You can get all of those on Sam Hober's website for $80 each in very high quality.
post #10 of 29
Quality: the higher the quality of silk, the more the texture feels like skin. Had this pointed out to me a few months ago, and damn, with your eyes closed, its hard to tell truly good silk from the skin on your hand.
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone! The help is much appreciated.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

First, what is the setting in which you will most often be wearing ties?


I'm currently studying to become a teacher, so I will most likely have to wear them to work regularly. Of course, there will also be an occasional social function in which I wear one

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threadbearer View Post

Member Digmenow has done an excellent job of compiling some of MCs most useful threads. Follow this link and scroll down to the tie section.

Wow. This looks like a gold mine. Thanks for the link!

 

post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thesilentist View Post

Derek's necktie series for Put This On has a lot of good information:
http://putthison.com/tagged/The-Necktie-Series
Honestly, the best way to learn about the difference between a cheap tie and a good tie is to go handle and tie on some neckwear from the more renowned makers. I know that retailers like Barneys and Neiman Marcus carry Drake's London ties.
Brands I would look into include (in no particular order):
Vanda Fine Clothing
Panta Clothing
Kent Wang
Howard Yount
Henry Carter
Marshall Anthony
Rubinacci
E. & G. Cappelli
E. Marinella
Ralph Lauren Purple Label
Sam Hober
Kiton
Isaia
Breuer
Borrelli
Barbera
Sette Neckwear
Louis Walton
Charvet
Turnbull & Asser
Barba
Nicky Milano
Over time you'll get a better idea of what types of fabrics, construction, styles and details you prefer and that fit your wardrobe needs.




I don't suppose any of these can be found at Nordstrom Rack or the like? I'm a broke college student, so I can't afford to shell out for a full lineup at retail prices shog[1].gif

 

[sorry, double post]
 

post #13 of 29
They will have zegna and canali in a lot of locations which are well made as well
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbird13 View Post




I don't suppose any of these can be found at Nordstrom Rack or the like? I'm a broke college student, so I can't afford to shell out for a full lineup at retail prices shog%5B1%5D.gif

[sorry, double post]

 

Nordstrom Rack usually has Robert Talbott and Brooks Brothers, which are great options. If you're on a budget, you should also try thrift stores. It takes some time to build up a collection, but you can usually find one or two quality ties each time you visit.
post #15 of 29
If you are targeting the Rack, then be sure to look at Facconable's ties - some, not all, are made by Bruer and are high quality and can be had for a great price.
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