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When are Brown Ties Okay? - Page 4

post #46 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Carter View Post

I'm glad you started the thread because it's a good debate to have without getting in to arguments. I'm still not sure of your motivation to start the thread though other than clarifying your belief that they aren't versatile, which going by the answers being all in favour of them except for yours, surely you must now see the appeal of them even if you don't like them yourself?

Sure, they are less versatile than a navy or maroon tie, but that's just stating the obvious. And assuming you have a half decent tie wardrobe, it doesn't matter because how boring would it be to have a wardrobe full of plain navy and maroon ties and nothing else. You would have a wide colour spectrum of tasteful ties.

How far should you take that question? What about yellow ties? Purple? Orange? Green? Pink? All of those colours are far less versatile than brown that's for certain. At the end of the day you have to believe that there are no rules about this and it all comes down to personal preference and in all but a few settings (rare ones at that) like the interviews and dinners you mentioned), brown ties are completely acceptable for everyday business wear and certainly well liked here on SF.

Intellectual curiosity is the reason, and it has been an interesting discussion. As you say, "a wide colour spectrum of tasteful ties" is a good idea (for men who wear ties often), and this company wouldn't rule out brown as part of that (some brown ties are quite attractive). Still it is curious that, actually, brown ties probably are less versatile than bold colors such as purple and pink, which sometimes are seen at weddings and evening events, and maybe they're equally uncommon in business environments. It seems more than "No brown in town" is involved. Random thought: what if men who wear brown ties tend to be different in personality from other men?
post #47 of 72

I think what we mean when we say "versatile" needs to be defined. For example, there are some SW&D looks that utilize ties. I'm not necessarily suggesting we take them in account when we talk about versatility in a tie, but are we referring to a tie that can work in a variety of business contexts or a variety of suit expected contexts (weddings, funerals, parties, etc)?

 

And if we say a rainbow tie is appropriate in X number of contexts, therefore it is more versatile, does it matter if the majority of the X contexts occur rarely?

post #48 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensimageconsultant View Post

Intellectual curiosity is the reason, and it has been an interesting discussion. As you say, "a wide colour spectrum of tasteful ties" is a good idea (for men who wear ties often), and this company wouldn't rule out brown as part of that (some brown ties are quite attractive). Still it is curious that, actually, brown ties probably are less versatile than bold colors such as purple and pink, which sometimes are seen at weddings and evening events, and maybe they're equally uncommon in business environments. It seems more than "No brown in town" is involved. Random thought: what if men who wear brown ties tend to be different in personality from other men?

I do think that brown is a bit more of a clothing connoiseur's color for ties than either purple or pink, both of which appeal to a wider range of people. I'm just commenting from personal experience on this, but I see a lot more pink or purple ties than brown ones. Perhaps the reason is that many people, once they venture outside the classic conservative colors (black, navy, grey, burgundy maybe a bit less so), they want something that is a bit more noticeable. Pink and purple fit into this category nicely and I always get possitive comments from people when I wear them. Brown just looks very elegant without being flashy. It's not for the most solemn occasions and it gets overlooked by many people in other situations. I don't think that brown is in fact less versatile (it looks great on a blue shirt and I think the right brown looks great with pink shirts as well) than purple or pink from a functional perspective, though it probably is less common.
post #49 of 72
Thread Starter 
Yes, or if the rules say almost any tie is fine, many of the men just skip ties altogether.
post #50 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensimageconsultant View Post


Still it is curious that, actually, brown ties probably are less versatile than bold colors such as purple and pink, which sometimes are seen at weddings and evening events, and maybe they're equally uncommon in business environments. It seems more than "No brown in town" is involved. Random thought: what if men who wear brown ties tend to be different in personality from other men?

 

As someone said above, we ought to define what versatile means. It sounds like you might be mistaking versatile for common, which are quite different. I think when someone says "versatile" I think they mean that they can be worn in "good taste" with a wide range of things. Do pink and purple fail this litmus test? I don't really know; I don't own any pink ties (I do own a of purple one which I essentially never wear), and I don't plan on it. So that tells me that it fails my personal litmus test, but that means very little to anyone but me.

post #51 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensimageconsultant View Post

Intellectual curiosity is the reason, and it has been an interesting discussion. As you say, "a wide colour spectrum of tasteful ties" is a good idea (for men who wear ties often), and this company wouldn't rule out brown as part of that (some brown ties are quite attractive). Still it is curious that, actually, brown ties probably are less versatile than bold colors such as purple and pink, which sometimes are seen at weddings and evening events, and maybe they're equally uncommon in business environments. It seems more than "No brown in town" is involved. Random thought: what if men who wear brown ties tend to be different in personality from other men?

Quote:
Originally Posted by archibaldleach View Post

I do think that brown is a bit more of a clothing connoiseur's color for ties than either purple or pink, both of which appeal to a wider range of people. I'm just commenting from personal experience on this, but I see a lot more pink or purple ties than brown ones. Perhaps the reason is that many people, once they venture outside the classic conservative colors (black, navy, grey, burgundy maybe a bit less so), they want something that is a bit more noticeable. Pink and purple fit into this category nicely and I always get possitive comments from people when I wear them. Brown just looks very elegant without being flashy. It's not for the most solemn occasions and it gets overlooked by many people in other situations. I don't think that brown is in fact less versatile (it looks great on a blue shirt and I think the right brown looks great with pink shirts as well) than purple or pink from a functional perspective, though it probably is less common.

Here's a thought or question that perhaps you guys might be interested in discussing, related to the bolded parts of your quotes -

Are you guys not confusing high street influence and to take it further still confusing poor taste with versatility?

To give an example, lets say pink ties are all over the shops this year and we see them quite commonly here in both business, weddings and things like the races in Australia, so they are popular. But because they are seen commonly, that doesn't necessarily mean they are versatile. With respect, most guys I see in pink ties are wearing them either because wife/GF bought them for them, they have no idea or they want to stand out as you point out. None of those reasons translates in to versatility IMO. Also IMO, pink is a poor choice for the majority of complexions especially when alcohol and the rosy cheeks that come from it are involved which rules out weddings, dinners and races (where they are most common), so to me it is less versatile than brown. Pink is just an example though let me be clear.
post #52 of 72
"What's wrong with this tie? I've seen you give it a nasty look before. Speak out like a man! What's the matter with it?"

"Too ornate, sir."

"Nonsense! A cheerful pink. Nothing more."

"Unsuitable, sir."

"Jeeves, this is the tie I wear!"

"Very good, sir."
post #53 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry Carter View Post


Here's a thought or question that perhaps you guys might be interested in discussing, related to the bolded parts of your quotes -

Are you guys not confusing high street influence and to take it further still confusing poor taste with versatility?

To give an example, lets say pink ties are all over the shops this year and we see them quite commonly here in both business, weddings and things like the races in Australia, so they are popular. But because they are seen commonly, that doesn't necessarily mean they are versatile. With respect, most guys I see in pink ties are wearing them either because wife/GF bought them for them, they have no idea or they want to stand out as you point out. None of those reasons translates in to versatility IMO. Also IMO, pink is a poor choice for the majority of complexions especially when alcohol and the rosy cheeks that come from it are involved which rules out weddings, dinners and races (where they are most common), so to me it is less versatile than brown. Pink is just an example though let me be clear.

I think you and I agree that popularity does not equal versatility. What I'm trying to do is figure out a possible explanation for why brown ties are functionally versatile, which I think they are, but not seen as often as something like pink or purple. The wife or girlfriend shopping for the guy is actually probably a pretty decent explanation in many cases and I am sure is part of it. There's just something about brown that does not make it appear to be an obvious color to wear, even though it works very well in a number of cases. You have to really understand a bit more about how to dress for brown to make sense. In general, I don't see brown ever being as popular as pink or purple for ties. I think it's a harder sell to a lot of men, especially those who think that wearing a pink tie will get them noticed in a good way, often by the opposite sex. Brown works through complementing other parts of an outfit and making the whole look good. It's more subtle. Pink is an attention getter and itself gets noticed even when it works nicely into an outfit. It's easier to go for a compliment like "great tie" than a compliment like "I don't know exactly why, but that outfit looks amazing." Maybe your average person focuses more on individual pieces rather than how to seamlessly incorporate them.
post #54 of 72

I imagine a lot of it is that 80% of the people wearing ties are also wearing black shoes (I might be over estimating this as I live in a city where that number is at least 95%). Regardless of whether a brown tie would work with black shoes and a black belt, there definitely is the conventional wisdom of "no brown with black" that people will be basing their clothing decisions on.

post #55 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claghorn View Post

I imagine a lot of it is that 80% of the people wearing ties are also wearing black shoes (I might be over estimating this as I live in a city where that number is at least 95%). Regardless of whether a brown tie would work with black shoes and a black belt, there definitely is the conventional wisdom of "no brown with black" that people will be basing their clothing decisions on.

+1. This is a good point.
post #56 of 72
I have been drawn to brown ties for a long time, not sure why but I seem to remember a scene from American Gigolo that impressed me. After seeing the movie I went out and bought a brown wool tie. Being of fair skin and sandy hair, I also believe they compliment my natural coloration. Today I must own at least 15 ties that could be categorized as brown and not a single pink or purple. I wear them with odd jackets, mostly blue or gray, but also with some lighter brown or tan as well.
post #57 of 72
Black, navy, brown: the holy trifecta in my book. Brown definitely takes brown shoes, though. I'm with Claghorn on that one.
post #58 of 72
Thread Starter 
(unintentionally padding post count)
post #59 of 72
Thread Starter 
"Versatile" has to take into account "common." Fitting in is an essential instinct. Men don't see brown ties worn on TV or by peers or sold at stores, so they don't wear brown ties.

Meanwhile, realistically when women shop for men, that doesn't mean men will wear whatever is bought for them. A disliked gift might get a few wears and then sit in a closet. In other words, the wearing of garish ties is mostly male choice.

The reason purple and pink are worn at weddings and evening events is that those colors are more festive than brown. Similarly, the feelings that pink gives people makes men wear it maybe more than they should in other settings, whereas brown likely conjures negative associations to some and positive to only a few. Edit: while some men probably follow the dubious no-black-with-brown rule, brown shoes have increased in popularity and yet brown ties don't seem any more common, thus leading to the discounting of that theory.
post #60 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensimageconsultant View Post

"Versatile" has to take into account "common." Fitting in is an essential instinct. Men don't see brown ties worn on TV or by peers or sold at stores, so they don't wear brown ties.

Meanwhile, realistically when women shop for men, that doesn't mean men will wear whatever is bought for them. A disliked gift might get a few wears and then sit in a closet. In other words, the wearing of garish ties is mostly male choice.

The reason purple and pink are worn at weddings and evening events is that those colors are more festive than brown. Similarly, the feelings that pink gives people makes men wear it maybe more than they should in other settings, whereas brown likely conjures negative associations to some and positive to only a few. Edit: while some men probably follow the dubious no-black-with-brown rule, brown shoes have increased in popularity and yet brown ties don't seem any more common, thus leading to the discounting of that theory.

You sound like you're trying to take into account whether something is, for lack of a better phrase, "socially versatile," i.e. commonly seen / worn / accepted in a variety of circumstances. Myself and others seem to be paying more attention to whether something is versatile purely from a color matching perspective (I think I used "functionally versatile" to try to get at this point but that phrase doesn't sound quite right). I agree both are worth considering (though if it looks good and isn't too out there, I care less about the former), but think this is where some confusion is arising with use of the word versatile.

I agree that pink and purple do seem more festive than brown. I'd also agree that wearing garish ties is largely male choice, but I am sure "Honey, you should wear your pink tie" contributes a little to pink ties being more common. I think the no black with brown theory has some weight, though probably not too dramatic based on you not observing brown ties. Perhaps men who start wearing brown shoes can't be bothered to or don't think to change their tie wardrobe? I think that there are a number of small issues that combine to make brown relatively rare, which in turn reinforces itself. Probably not just one culprit.

This has been a pretty interesting discussion so far. Thanks for starting it.
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