Originally Posted by gringodaddy
The majority of the images here are at least 50 years old. One is a drawing. The contemporary examples are uninspiring, and that is charitable.
Given most on styleforum have a penchant for brown over black footwear I wonder too how much use a black tie will get. Same for blue over white shirts.
Look, I don't mean to be pedantic. I just struggle with the notion that a black tie is such a useful, can't miss garment. In any given outfit, at minimum, where a black tie might look nice, a navy tie would be a better choice. In many others, any dark tie would suffice. That being said, a black tie can of course look good and if it makes you and others happy to wear one than by all means. But really, a top five tie if you are only to own five? Sorry, I disagree.
Add me to the chorus here. A plain black tie may indeed be a useful thing for some to have. But I don't reach for a black tie very often. I reach for black very, very rarely. I reach for some variation on navy, burgundy, brown or green. Those colors are far more useful to me than black. The navy blazer of ties, to me, is a navy neat with little red and white rosette designs. I reach for that one perhaps every 5 times I wear a tie, despite having about 50.
I would also argue against the focus on plain ties. I don't wear them often. Even if I only owned five ties, I would prefer classic patterns, but it's good to have at least one to play against heavily patterned shirts.
So here's my advice. At least one navy and one burgundy, and at least one neat and at least one repp. One plain, with texture, in a conservative color. Probably navy. Then two more ties in classic patterns and colors that you like. Yellow, light blue, green, brown, whatever catches your eye. Make one a madder paisley. Ties are there to add color and pattern to an outfit. Whether you have 5 or 50, variation is key.