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Knit ties - what history and future?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Ich_Dien, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    This forum, of course, loves the knit tie. Although I appreciate that it is a historical thing, coming largely from a military background, their explosion on the blogosphere and other fashion websites has made this tie more popular than ever.

    Personally, I only ever wear wool knit ties with country clothing or tweed. Why have people started wearing them with formal wear? I can understand that maybe if you work in something more creative than usual, but I am yet to see a knit tie on a city worker or someone in a more traditional job.

    So, why their rise to prominence? Is it just because the luxury market is evolving to be even more exclusive and niche, more luxurious in material and craft and simple silk is no longer enough; or is it simply just something that has been made popular by forums like this or internet photography of Pitti Uomo? Is it a signifier of your knowledge of all things sartorial - because I find when I wear one most people are baffled and require explanation.

    Any thoughts on their rise and fall?
     
  2. NOBD

    NOBD Senior member

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    My guess.
     
  3. edmorel

    edmorel Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I am not a clothing historian so I can only talk about my experiences. Knit ties have been a part of mens wardrobe's in America for as long as I can remember. I've seen everyone from college professors wearing them with corduroy jackets to "Preppy" dressers wearing them with seersucker suits and tweeds to now the igent/Pitti Uomo dresser wearing them with everything. It may be more of an American (and Italy to a smaller extent) thing and maybe they are not as prevelant as you think, the internet, with the forums and blogs, many times make us think things are overdone when in reality, about 0.000000000001% of the population are actually doing what we think they are doing. I don't like the unbuttoned buttoned down collar shirts and would swear that "everyone" is doing it. The reality is that I have yet to come across one person in real life wearing their shirt like that and I could not tell you when was the last time I bumped into someone wearing a knit tie.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  4. NOBD

    NOBD Senior member

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    My association is with social workers in the eighties over here, also paired with (large) corduroy jackets.
     
  5. crinklecut

    crinklecut Senior member

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    Hey, if it was good enough for Carl Kolchak...
     
  6. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    +1

    But Ed - you forgot to mention the silly fad of wearing a knit tie with a polo shirt that was popularized by the fashionistas in the '80s. And has had a limited comeback of late amongst the youngsters. :D

    I do think the blogosphere/forumsphere definitely puts forth an extremely specialized point of view - not that this is a bad thing - it's rather the point is it not? However, we should not confuse it with what is actually out there in reality.

    I wear grenadine ties to work during the week and even a knit tie on some casual Fridays. However, I believe I am probably the only person in the entire building who ever wears such a thing. I never see them either in my office nor in the lobbies/elevators of my building. Admitedly my particular building is home to the American branch of a large UK based investment firm. So I would expect a fairly conservative crowd.

    I've certainly never seen a knit tie on anyone in India, the middle east or China either.

    I bet if the truth be told most who work in corporate America would share similar observations. Not that knit ties are avant garde or revolutionary or anything such as that - they simply aren't part of the normal rig for most business men.
     
  7. Parker

    Parker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I've always thought they were an Americana/Ivy League thing adopted by the Italians. Maybe they have earlier origins, but they were definitely popular during the 60s. A couple of my high school teachers wore them in the 80s. And Ralph seemed to always have them.

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    1 person likes this.
  8. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    I see them on the regular but it's not terribly common among average people. Something for the dressers.
     
  9. kungapa

    kungapa Senior member

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    At a reception I was at recently, two out of the 160 males wore a knit tie.
     
  10. NOBD

    NOBD Senior member

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    I like Dustin's jacket.
     
  11. Parker

    Parker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Me too! I've been thinking that a herringbone tweed solid would be a nice versatile jacket.
     
  12. NOBD

    NOBD Senior member

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    Definitely. Or overcoat... Or even peacoat...
     
  13. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    Mastroanni looking impeccable there.

    I thought knit ties came from the British military uniform of the late 1890s.
     
  14. Kaplan

    Kaplan Senior member

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    I think I first saw a (silk) knit tie on Connery's Bond. IIRC I haven't seen one worn IRL yet...
     
  15. SpooPoker

    SpooPoker Internet Bigtimer and Most Popular Man on Campus Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    Grenadines and knit ties came rather late to my vocabulary. I like the art involved in making them, and in interesting colors, I find them real attention getters.
     
  16. blahman

    blahman Senior member

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    I've only ever seen one other person on the street, besides myself, who wore a knit tie. And I'm pretty certain he's a SF member. So I don't see the knit tie fashion explosion at all.

    Hell, knit ties even seems highly unpopular as they seem to be the first ones to be on the discount list and at the steepest discounts in menswear stores.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  17. rms340

    rms340 Senior member

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    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  18. blahman

    blahman Senior member

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  19. CYstyle

    CYstyle Senior member

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    I end up wearing knit ties almost everyday. I like the texture that knit ties provide, I find alot of times regular silk ties to be monotonous flat and dull
     
  20. cold war painter

    cold war painter Senior member

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    I have a navy herringbone tweed that I probably wear too often. I think it's a Dormeuil fabric. I'd quite like a chunky grey herringbone too, like that photo of the Japanese guy that always crops up here. As for knit ties, I too find they are a nice way to vary texture, especially since I'm fairly restrained with colour.
     

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