Wearing Light-Colored Ties

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by unbelragazzo, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    I was thinking about this topic while lounging in the sun today, and have the following thoughts: First, I think DocH is correct that if the tie is an intermediate shade, then you can just treat it (more or less) as a dark tie and it can work fine with a large range of outfits. You might need slightly paler tones than a really dark tie, but it's essentially the same thing. The much more tricky ties are the genuinely light one. There's are basically 4 ways to use these:

    1) Light suit/jacket + light shirt + light tie
    2) Dark suit/jacket + light shirt + light tie
    3) Dark suit/jacket + mid/dark shirt + light tie
    4) Light suit/jacket + mid/dark shirt + light tie

    Each tends to create a certain vibe:

    2 creates a very specific kind of look which verges on the "formal but festive": races, weddings, garden party, church, etc. (think navy suit, white shirt, silvery macclesfield tie). Several pics in this thread illustrate this look quite well esp. CEP's.
    4 can be quite an English-in-the-tropics type of look, depending on the exact shades (think cream suit, blue shirt, pale tie). It can also segue into a garden party type of combo.

    Both the above are potentially not that hard for an average guy to pull off, provided they want to create said effect.

    3, for want of a better phrase, tends to look a bit tony montana-ish and is exceptionally hard for mere mortals to manage well. Probably could look cool in the right hands though (a peacock-dressing uber-master perhaps ;) )

    1 is the most tempting to try because it has potential to a very cool, very chilled out casual summer chic, able to function in a workplace and out. However it really is very, very hard to manage. I think it works best when the tones chosen are warm neutrals (beiges, soft greys, creams, etc). I can only see one outfit in the thread so far that comes close to this kind of look (see below) and these colours also risks feeling a bit mid-90s in terms of palette.

    Will continue following hte thread with interest.

     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012


  2. Tropicalist

    Tropicalist Senior member

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    It is often said that light-colored ties are difficult to wear.
    I can't remember where and in which thread, but Manton had a very helpful post saying that it's much easier with a darker jacket, light jacket + light shirt + light tie is the most difficult of all. I think this illustrates why:
    [​IMG]
    The colors just kind of all get washed out and it looks like there's nothing there. The tie gets lost in a sea of blandness and it just feels like there's nothing to look at.

    I actually think this is the best look of the three. Combination of cream/tan, white, gray, pink, powder blue etc. are quite timeless in the tropics. To my eyes this is a beautiful combination, to be topped off by a nice Panama,

    . I very often pair sky blue ties with white or pink shirts and it works very well with navy jackets.
     


  3. CrAz3D

    CrAz3D Senior member

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    I've got a light-orange seersucker cotton bowtie that I wear w/light blue shirt and light grey suit. It's very...spring/easter feeling. I also have a rather light yellow/gold tie that I wear with white or blue shirt + light grey suit.

    Light colored ties have their place.
     


  4. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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  5. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    ^ I agree, and so I tried out something not altogether dissimilar myself today, though admittedly a couple of shades darker on each item (pic below). That means my tie is perhaps more intermediate than actually light, but it's the same general idea, and I think it still works. Thanks to mymil for posting the pic/inspiration.

    [​IMG]

    If the weather holds - and I remember - I'm going to try a few light tie looks this week.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012


  6. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    At risk of bumping a thread people have now lost interest in, I'm continuing to try light tie combinations this week. Today, following the advice of someone who recently suggested using a striped shirt with light ties. Can't remember who it was, to credit them, but here's my go following their advice:

    [​IMG]

    As a more general point, I'm finding that it seems easier to use light ties with odd jackets than suits. I'm not sure whether this is down to the more informal look of light ties, or it simply reflects the type of odd jackets/suits I have in my personal wardrobe. Anyone else notice this?
     


  7. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    I'm still interested, HF! Thanks for keeping us going here. This one doesn't really work for me. Manton will spank you for a grey odd jacket and navy odd trousers. To me the herringbone weave and the shininess of the tie don't work well together. In fact, I'm not sure if I have interest in any shiny light ties at all. But I'll admit that my interest in shiny ties of any sort is quite low. But as I said earlier, I think texture on a light tie is particularly important, as the variation in color gives interest to grab the eye to take the place of the lack of color.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012


  8. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    Thanks for the feedback. I don't think I'll ever be on board with the idea that navy odd trousers or grey odd jackets are somehow impractical. Non-traditional, maybe (though I can't believe that even a traditionalist like Manton would disapprove a - for sake of argument I'll pick something ultra-conservative to cite - a Harris tweed grey jacket). The one caveat I have with them is that the fabrics and items shouldn't look like part of a suit. Here the jacket isn't remotely like part of a suit, given the weave, fabric & buttons, and the trousers are equally non-suity being a brushed cotton. So yeah, I'm not fussed about that aspect.

    Regarding the tie's sheen, I should probably note that the jacket also has a (very) little sheen as it has some silk in the blend. The full-length pic I think highlights that jacket sheen quite well and you can see it echo the tie a bit better. Of course, that may lower your affection for the outfit as a whole, if you don't like slightly shiny ties! But on the point of colour variegation, it's worth mentioning that sheen can actually create such variegation. For example, look at the close-up pic; the tie certainly doesn't look like one solid colour there. I think I get what you mean re: your preference, but I'm not sure it's not lack of colour variation that you dislike about ties with a sheen but more a visual dryness/wetness thing, perhaps?

    Anyway, good to have the discussion flowing again in this thread. More pics to discuss would be great!
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2012


  9. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    ^Manton might agree with you about this particular grey odd jacket and odd trousers. I think there was some exception made for tweed.

    I think I expressed myself poorly about the color variation. In your tie, there's clearly variation, but it's in kind of broad blocks rather than variation within a given square centimeter. Maybe it's a wetness thing, I don't know. But I feel like texture helps with the sense that there's a real thing there, not just empty space, which is a danger with a light tie.
     


  10. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    yfyf used to have some fantastic lighter tie combinations.
     




  11. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Pale linen tie with what looks like a heavy tweedy cloth? Not feeling that at all.
     


  12. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    Think it may possibly be one of those jersey-material jackets rather than tweed? Not saying that's an improvement, mind you.

    Regarding colours though, it's ok IMO, but the lack of shirt/tie contrast makes it look a bit glum. Also, don't like that square with this tie.
     


  13. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yes, looking again, I think you're right. Still an odd pairing. To have such a cheerful tie, the overall effect is anything but.
     


  14. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    To be clear, I'm just basically posting any light tie images and hoping for discussion, my posting something does not constitute an endorsement. Gdl posted one in the good taste thread recently that I thought was pretty nice.
     


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