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Tie basics 101

post #1 of 361
Thread Starter 

Hi Gents,

 

I am building a wardrobe and could use some guidance on the basic ties one needs.

 

I have the basic suits - navy blue, grey and charcoal.  And the basic shirts - white, blue, white and blue....  

 

So I guess my question is what are the essential ties a gent should have, say his first 6-8 ties?  There are so many choices I am a bit overwhelmed.

 

Thanks

post #2 of 361
Stick to solids at first.. Woven silk, grenadine, twill, diamond weave, doesn't really matter. The important thing is that the ties are clearly solids as solids go with everything and are the foundation of your tie wardrobe. I prefer anything but a plain woven silk as I find a bit of texture adds something, but this is up to you.

As far as colors are concerned, I'd want black, navy, silver / grey and burgundy to be my first four. Perhaps not exactly exciting, but they're the most versatile and essential ties you'll own.

After you have these basics, think about the types of shirts you wear most often. A light blue solid is absolutely stunning with a white shirt but not super useful for blue shirts. Green looks great with blue (also with lilac) but not as good with white shirts. A midnight navy tie with pindots or a subtle pattern will go with both and I think is without doubt a top six purchase.

My choices would be the midnight navy pindot at #5 and whichever of the green (prefer darker green, either solid or with a subtle pattern) or light blue you'd consider most useful at #6. Now you have six versatile and subtle ties which you can wear anywhere without attracting too much attention. After this, you can get more colorful (pink, lilac, burnt orange, yellow) or continue to play it safe by opting for subtle patterns on dark grounds (tasteful stripes could here).
post #3 of 361
Thread Starter 

archibald - thanks for a very insightful answer.  

 

I will compare my current ties with you suggestions and see where I should start filling in.  

 

I definitely need a burgundy one and the midnight blue with pindots.  And light blue grenadine sounds very nice.

 

I could also use a  solid silver with some texture.  My grey wool twill is fun but probably not a core tie.

post #4 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ennius View Post
 

archibald - thanks for a very insightful answer.  

 

I will compare my current ties with you suggestions and see where I should start filling in.  

 

I definitely need a burgundy one and the midnight blue with pindots.  And light blue grenadine sounds very nice.

 

I could also use a  solid silver with some texture.  My grey wool twill is fun but probably not a core tie.

Not light blue, but I found the Hober slate blue much more versatile than I was expecting (https://www.samhober.com/grenadine-fina-solid-ties/slate-blue-grenadine-fina-silk-tie-12.html).  

 

My top five solids are very similar to Mr Leach:

 

Navy blue.

 

Burgundy (very dark).

 

Silver grey.

 

Slate blue.

 

Black.

 

Also agree about the dark navy / white pindots.

post #5 of 361
Balfour, I'd agree that the slate blue is lovely; I have a swatch of it and don't think anyone would go wrong with either one of our top 5 lists. The key, I think, is versatility. Only reason I'd do light blue first is that it is more obviously differentiated from navy (though if one wears light blue shirts, the slate blue probably is a better choice than light blue).
post #6 of 361
Thread Starter 

Thanks again archibald and and Balfour.  You have given me exactly what I have asked for.

post #7 of 361
Pretty much copied from a response given to a similar question a few months ago. Most of the links should still work. I'd throw in a brown tie as well--no idea why I didn't originally.
 
Quote:
Black knit or grenadine
It's basically the most versatile tie you could own. The rougher weave of the knit and grenadine allows it to be dressed down, while the black ensures it can work with suits as well as with any colors.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Navy Solid/pin dot
A general standard of a tie collection. A pin dot navy can pretty much fill the same role as a solid here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Burgundy Solid
The other half of the navy/burgundy essentials. I don't think that pindots work as well here, but I have no clue as to why I feel this way.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gray micro pattern
Patterns are good, but I dislike loud ones. I like my ties to be subtle, so I'm a big fan of micro patterns. They also tend to look solid but textured from afar. With burgundy, black, and blue out of the way, I'd probably go gray here.
 
 
 
 
 
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Stripe
 
 
 
 
post #8 of 361
Thread Starter 

thanks claghorn.  that helps seeing actual examples.

 

I think I will order a few ties from Sam Hober - they look very nice! It sounds like folks here like Mr Hober and his prices are reasonable.

 

Any guidance on rep ties or plaids?  I am focusing on the basics discussed but like reps/plaids, too, which would seem to liven up a solid suit and tie.

 

Putting the whole look together aint easy.... 

post #9 of 361

I'm in the same boat as OP looking to get the first 5 or so ties covered. Where should I be looking with a budget of £20-£25 per tie? Just starting my business wardrobe as a recent graduate and bulk of budget went on suits and shoes!

post #10 of 361
Plaid ties are unnecessary for a workplace rotation. (Which also means that virtually any kind of plaid is acceptable if the office isn't very formal.) Repp ties should include colors like blue, yellow, and red, and not feature two loud colors (for instance, orange with pink).

To answer the UK-based question, TM Lewin has some low-priced ties. But don't buy everything from one brand.
post #11 of 361

Can someone elaborate on what makes black such a staple tie color? I can see it for a lighter grey or camel jacket, but for darker tones (charcoals, navys) it doesn't seem like it would pair as well.

post #12 of 361
It isn't. Style Forum is an echo chamber about some items.
post #13 of 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by briancpotter View Post
 

Can someone elaborate on what makes black such a staple tie color? I can see it for a lighter grey or camel jacket, but for darker tones (charcoals, navys) it doesn't seem like it would pair as well.

 

Yeah....I don't understand the black tie thing at all. The only people who should be wearing a black tie to work are Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. 

post #14 of 361
For the sake of conversation what about occasion, seasonality, texture and materials?

Midnight navy Grenadine - Spring
Midnight navy Macclesfield - Autumn
Midnight navy cashmere - Winter
Midnight navy shantung - Summer
Midnight navy knit - Business casual
Grey & black glenplaid - Weddings


A black knit is a really good Swiss Army knife of a tie. It's just about suitable for any occasion that demands a tie. Rarely ideal but if you could only had one tie you'd struggle to find a better alternative..........
post #15 of 361
A black tie, especially in a knit or grenadine weave, is kind of like a navy blazer. It's classic, understated, versatile and is what you want if you can only have one tie. Once you own enough ties, you may not reach for it too much, but when you're starting out, versatility is key. A black tie also looks fine with navy and charcoal suits in addition to light grey.
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