Despite Pitti's reputation for peacockery and flamboyance, Italian neckwear, while often beautiful and well-made, can be, well...kind of boring. Row after row of printed ties with neat designs are interrupted only by the occasional solid grenadine or dotted knit. Perhaps some striped ties intended for odd jackets. For eccentric yet tasteful ties, no one does it better than the English. And in particular, Drake's of London. This fall they'll have colorful and bold polka dot boucles, 30 ounce ancient madder ties featuring large prints, and other byproducts of designer Michael Hill's imagination. Many of these ties have unique and distinct textures as well, an explicit choice by Drake's to adapt to the tweeds and other textured jackets worn frequently in today's cities. Drake's still produces all of their ties in London, by hand. Their silks are also printed by hand, which is much more expensive, but adds to the richness of color that you'll find in a Drake's necktie. Drake's also maintains tradition by recycling their most popular patterns in different colorways or using different fabrics. For instance, the Kelim print scarves will find new life on 100% silk, to supplant the wool and silk blend of seasons past. These are joined by cashmere and ancient madder print scarves in various colorways. The contrast in texture between the two sides and the weight of their combination produces a scarf that maintains all of the advantages of the cashmere-jacket-and-madder-tie in one neckwarming accessory. For the less adventuresome, Drake's also produces all the classic conservative patterns. Visit the Drake's store at any point in the year and you'll find plenty of solids and pindots to round out a banker's weekday tie wardrobe. The only thing you won't find is a tie that doesn't knot well. With my own Drake's ties, the knot comes out perfect every time. No pinching, pulling, or squeezing necessary. This comes from the hefty pure wool interlinings that Drake's uses. No wafting in the breeze unlined ties here. Many men will go their entire lives bewildered as to why anyone would pay $150 and more for a tie, or $400 for a scarf. But there is a difference. Peruse the gaudy disasters that result when cheaper tie-makers attempt to wrap a creative design around a polyester interlining. You feel the ghost of Cary Grant staring down disapprovingly, as you shy away from the offending piece of shiny silk and privately recommit to wearing nothing but solid grenadines for the rest of your life. Then look at Drake's shelves. You'll find ties that are a joy to see and touch, that send your imagination running to the jackets and shirts which could best surround the masterpiece marvelously knotted around your neck. In addition to their own online store, Drakes products can be bought through Gentlemen's Footwear, The Armoury, and Exquisite Trimmings.