When are Brown Ties Okay?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mensimageconsultant, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. Loathing

    Loathing Senior member

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    I suppose they are just about outside the comfort zone of Average Joe. But then again good old AJ is trapped almost entirely within the blue/red binary when it comes to ties.
     
  2. Dewi

    Dewi Senior member

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    It's a crappy picture, but I've got one on today.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Veremund

    Veremund Senior member

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    +1
     
  4. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    Surely this is related to "No brown in town." If anyone can show that historically brown ties were exempt from that....
     
  5. Gerry Nelson

    Gerry Nelson Senior member

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    Point 4 in http://www.cutterandtailor.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=2542 covers the historical aspect but what does this have to do with versatility? This has also been quoted with respect to shoes but again, is not a hard and fast rule.

    Your argument was that brown ties were versatile in theory but not in reality.

    The responses here have shown otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  6. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    (the sigh of duplication)
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  7. mensimageconsultant

    mensimageconsultant Senior member

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    Versatility of course takes into account dress codes. The chart is from an unspectacular clothing retailer, so (even accounting for the likelihood that "No brown in town" is exaggerated) it has little credibility re dressy standards. By the way, regardless of dress code, some of the color-coordination on that chart is dubious.
     
  8. cptjeff

    cptjeff Senior member

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    I would disagree. I really dislike tone on tone for most situations, at least without a strong difference in shade. So I don't wear gray ties with gray suits or navy ties with navy suits much at all- but I'll wear brown with both gray and navy. Which makes them more versatile. I don't have a brown suit, and neither do most others, but I wouldn't wear them with that. Red is easily the most versatile tie color, but brown is, IMO, ahead of at least gray. I'd put it on par with navy, since while I try to avoid it, navy against navy is generally fine when I see other people wearing it.

    As for formality, I've worn a brown tie to an interview, (navy suit and black shoes, blue shirt). Got the job. Wear the right one, and it comes off as just another nice, subdued, tie. The no brown in town crap is way exaggerated, at least as it pertains to the US. London is a bit of a different matter, and I'm not convinced it really allies to neckwear much anyway, since it allows for such expression and variety. I chalk brown ties not being common in normal life up to the same thing I chalk green, orange and purple ties not being common in everything to: People are, generally, boring. People who don't care about dressing cover a range of the most common colors and leave it at that.
     
  9. Gerry Nelson

    Gerry Nelson Senior member

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    I wanted to say that I'm really enjoying this discussion - very civil and no name calling. Thanks for kicking it off!

    Ok, with regard to your point, I can see what you're saying but that chart was just a counter-example to the premise that "no brown in town" is a hard and fast universal rule. This is the part I think is interesting:

    Quote: Out of interest, have you found anything to contradict this?

    A question for you: do you find brown ties to be "not as versatile" with regard to colour matching or in a contextual sense?
     
  10. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Preaching to the choir as far as my personal taste is concerned; my favorite suit combination involves a gray suit, blue shirt, and brown tie.

    But as I wear a suit maybe twice a month, as opposed too odd jackets/trou 4-5 times a week, I tried to account for the fact that I perhaps overestimate the expected conservativeness of a suit.
     
  11. Elegantly Wasted

    Elegantly Wasted Senior member

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    Or maybe the opposite: they dare to wear any color/pattern/etc without giving it a second thought.
     
  12. Henry Carter

    Henry Carter Senior member Affiliate Vendor

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    I'm glad you started the thread because it's a good debate to have without getting in to arguments. I'm still not sure of your motivation to start the thread though other than clarifying your belief that they aren't versatile, which going by the answers being all in favour of them except for yours, surely you must now see the appeal of them even if you don't like them yourself?

    Sure, they are less versatile than a navy or maroon tie, but that's just stating the obvious. And assuming you have a half decent tie wardrobe, it doesn't matter because how boring would it be to have a wardrobe full of plain navy and maroon ties and nothing else. You would have a wide colour spectrum of tasteful ties.

    How far should you take that question? What about yellow ties? Purple? Orange? Green? Pink? All of those colours are far less versatile than brown that's for certain. At the end of the day you have to believe that there are no rules about this and it all comes down to personal preference and in all but a few settings (rare ones at that) like the interviews and dinners you mentioned), brown ties are completely acceptable for everyday business wear and certainly well liked here on SF.
     
  13. TM79

    TM79 Senior member

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    I really like a brown tie against a navy suit and light blue shirt.

    I don't think we're buying them for the versatility - we have plenty of staples to cover that. It's totally fine to own a few items that aren't very versatile as long as you own plenty that are.
     
  14. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    Thanks for starting this discussion; it's a good one. IMO, black, navy, grey and burgundy are probably the most versatile tie colors and I'd consider the first three to be the most formal. Brown is not on that list, but they again neither is pink, green, lilac, yellow, orange, etc.

    If I need to be very conservatively dressed, I'll be wearing black oxfords, a white shirt and either a black, navy or grey tie depending on the color of suit I am wearing. Outside of this, I think there are a lot of tie colors that are great and that I include in my wardrobe. For any circumstance where a pink, green, lilac, yellow, orange or other colored tie is acceptable (the vast majority of circumstances where a suit is called for IMO), I think brown is just fine.
     
  15. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    This, especially for ties. I might even go a step further. Once you have even five basic versatile ties, I think you are fine to start experimenting. Especially since a lot of ties that one may not buy for versatility reasons go just fine with the blue shirts that are wardrobe staples for many around here.
     

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