Tie basics 101

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Ennius, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. Academic2

    Academic2 Senior member

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    I think this is a valid point. After all, as far as color schemes go, black can't clash with anything, so by that criterion it's about as versatile as it’s possible to be.

    However, I’m not sure I agree that given the wardrobe the OP’s asking us to consider (viz., “I have the basic suits - navy blue, grey and charcoal. And the basic shirts - white, blue, white and blue”) that I agree that a black tie “is what you want if you can only have one tie.”

    Given the three abovementioned suits, I’d go for a navy tie myself if I could “only have one.”

    Cheers,

    Ac
     


  2. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    I can see this, but black and navy would still be 1 and 2 or the other way around. I don't think anyone would disagree that a navy tie is essential too.
     


  3. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    I wear a black tie only for funerals. I think burgundy or light blue (really, any blue that provides significant contrast to whatever shade of navy your jacket may be) are more interesting and just as versatile, in the sense that they can be worn with a navy, charcoal, or gray suit. In contrast to black ties, I find it surprising how often I wear my navy blazer, so I disagree with the blazer/black tie analogy (I like my blazer because it's custom and a terrific fit. I'll never get the same feeling from wearing a black tie).
     


  4. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    Thinman, I'll admit it's not a perfect analogy but I can't really think of a garment that is more analogous to a black tie. I love navy blazers but only like black ties, so the diminishing value of versatility as one's wardrobe grows affects black ties but not navy blazers in my case. It may be the same for you.

    I love navy blazers and wear them often (3 of my 10 odd jackets are navy blazers of some sort), but I know there are a decent amount of people on here who don't once they acquire enough odd jackets / casual suits. A blazer is a versatile garment that can be worn often without attracting too much attention, which is important when one is first acquiring odd jackets, but this rationale slowly fades away when one has enough odd jackets. At some point, continuing to wear blazers is a sign that you like the look or the particular garment vs. a tribute to their versatility.

    I also own two black ties (grenadine and madder twill from Hober), but don't wear them too often even though I see a lot of great looks that use a black tie. That said, I would never want to be without either a navy blazer or a black tie and if I had a smaller collection of ties, I'd probably wear black a good bit more. There are times when a black tie just looks fantastic and also occasions (funerals) where it really is the most appropriate thing and there isn't a good substitute.

    I agree with you on the value of both burgundy or light to medium blue. Ultimately I think one wants all of these colors early on and can get pretty close with 5-6 ties. And, unlike some shopping lists recommended on SF, 5-6 ties really is reasonable for pretty much any man who has occasion to come near tailored clothing.
     


  5. Ennius

    Ennius Senior member

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    Interesting discussion.

    Thanks for all the insights.

    Off to the Sam Hober website for several core ties - burgundy, grey/silver, navy with pindots....
     


  6. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    I agree with everything you wrote, except I must admit that my opinion of black ties is colored by my personal, low-contrast coloring and blue eyes. I'm sure others can look great in a black tie, but I just look better in blue.
     


  7. Garasaki

    Garasaki Senior member

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    I'm just saying, I think this is a great thread.

    I aquired a bunch of thrift and otherwise cheap ties early on. I've come to the conclusion that over 90% of those ties won't see the light of day again as I've developed some basic knowledge and personal style (and a more refined idea of what looks good).

    I'm actually struggling to make outfits out of my current tie stock, when a few months ago I thought that was my best and deepest inventory.

    I had actually recently come to a conclusion echoed in this thread, simple ties in staple colors are extremely elegant and versatile.

    What this thread has done for me, is take the basic concept (elegant ties in solid or primarily solid staple colors) and give me a shopping list, how to sort of thing.

    Thanks
     


  8. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    :cheers:
     


  9. karwoski

    karwoski Active Member

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    If you wear a lot of blue shirts, and especially if you wear navy suits or jackets often, brown is a great tie color. I actually prefer something like a Hober bitter chocolate grenadine to the redder burgundy. A brown with light blue stripes or dots also looks great. They don't go with white shirts or grey jackets, so they're not quite as versatile as burgundy, but brown goes so well with blue, I'd consider a top 5 contender.

    For example, from MalfordOfLondon in the WAYWRN thread:

    [​IMG]

    There's a lot good with that outfit, but the tie is clearly the star. I don't see how a brown tie can't be top 10, at least.
     


  10. black_umbrella

    black_umbrella Senior member

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  11. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    Brown ties can be lovely (wore my Hober dark chocolate grossa yesterday), but I don't think anyone really needs one as a core staple. Brown is a bit more discretionary; it can look great but you are also fine without it. Like green, pink and lilac, it's a great complement to the staples, not so much a staple itself IMO. Brown is similar to burgundy but less versatile, and if I only have five ties, I want to be able to put together a variety of looks and that means having ties that are very versatile or at least work extremely well in a particular situation.

    The sky won't exactly fall if you happen to love brown ties and have one in your top five, but I don't think they make it into the top five on the merits for the average person. To me it's more a matter of taste and saying that you happen to really like brown, which is fine, but I don't think I'd recommend a brown tie for the average person's top five. Black, burgundy, greys and blues are colors everyone should have in a decent tie wardrobe because they either fill an important role or work with a variety of different looks and don't attract too much notice. I wouldn't fault someone for omitting brown, green, pink or purple ties based on personal taste.
     


  12. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I probably wear brown more than any color, followed by navy and burgundy. I have three black ties, a knit from Rag and Bone, a grenadine from Henry Carter, and a...dunno....black on black floral tie from Banana Republic (it's a magnificent funeral tie; I've gotten complements from the immediate family of the deceased on several occasions. And this is why I go to funerals in the first place).

    Funerals are really the only occasion that everyone, at some point, will attend and that everyone, regardless of job or social position, will need to be wearing a tie. And there really isn't any other option than black. Navy won't cut it. I suppose dark charcoal might, but black is what is prescribed and there is more at work here than what visually works best.

    For myself, I think a brown fina grenadine would be my first tie. Then maybe a navy pindot. Then a solid burgundy. And only then a black grossa grenadine. One of the factors that hasn't been discussed is formality. A black necktie works better in the evenings than other colors (not in a formal wear context, mind you, but going out to a nice dinner, a black tie with a gray/navy suit and white/blue shirt is going to look better than any of the other colors.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013


  13. Academic2

    Academic2 Senior member

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    There seems to be a general consensus emerging regarding what would be the five ties to own if you could own only five.

    What would be next, if you could own, say, ten? Would you include any striped ties, such as repp or regimental ties?

    Cheers,

    Ac
     


  14. gringodaddy

    gringodaddy Senior member

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    I find a blue grenadine to be the most versatile tie I own.

    I find burgundy nearly as equally useful.

    I wear a hunter green tie a lot as well.

    Navy with pin dots ups the formality nicely when needed.

    I need to buy a brown knit, and a grey woolen tie.

    I own a black grenadine, but absolutely never wear it, apart from funerals.
     


  15. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    My top 5 would be a black grenadine, navy diamond weave or grenadine, silver / grey grenadine, burgundy grenadine or twill and a midnight blue with white pindots. Afer the first 5 or so, you should have your core staples covered and start looking at other options based on your personal taste.

    6 and 7 would be a light blue non-grenadine solid and a dark green grenadine.

    8, 9 and 10 would be a subtle pattern on a dark navy background, a solid pink diamond weave and a burgundy pindot.
     


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