There is no time at which ties do not matter
Posted: Mar 17 2014
“What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this?
- There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter”
We’re going to look at the menswear accessories that bring an outfit together. We’ll focus on the smaller details where you can add some color, show some character and balance a look between formal and casual, playful and businesslike.
Now, hold on to your hats (expertly crafted fedoras and all-straw panamas, of course?), because there is a lot to learn and much creativity to get flowing!
Let’s start with an item most of us have worn at some point, many of us every day. This most classic menswear accessory can certainly make or break your look. Low quality, poor matching or an uncomfortable feel are immediate letdowns, so let’s look at the keys to good tie usage.
First off, ties are versatile and do not have to be uncomfortable. Make sure your shirt collar fits (a smaller collar to get a slimmer fit just doesn’t cut it – get your shirt tailored) and identify a type of tie that fits your style and frame. You can wear a tie casually, for a smart off-duty look, but beware the ‘tie around the head’ after-work style.
Now, there is much to consider:
Silk is the classic option and our top choice, appropriate for business and all occasions. Everything else is less formal.
Linen and cotton are less formal options, mostly for summer use. The rougher texture, linen often with ‘slubs’, creates a nice contrast to a crisp shirt and goes well with a heavier oxford button down.
Wool and cashmere are also less formal. Fine woven wool, like suiting fabric, could be used for business. Many wool ties are knitted, giving a rougher texture and consequently casual styling. Cashmere might seem like an excess for something that will essentially never touch your body, but there is an undeniable sheen, thickness and touch – and of course you know you’re wearing a luxury product.
Polyester: No. Never. Plain as that. Manmade materials always look ‘fake’, cheap and mass-produced. It doesn’t help that designers who deign to produce plastic ties rarely have much sense of, well, design.
2. COLOR AND PATTERN
This is where personal style and preference shines through the most. Choose colors that complement your coloring and wardrobe. To keep it simple and classic, there’s one keyword: navy. Plain, polka dot, striped… These are all incredibly versatile, as they will go with almost any suit and shirt, while looking very sharp indeed.
If you are feeling more creative, go for anything that catches your eye. Just avoid novelty/cartoon ties, please…
Keep in mind that ties should complement or contrast the rest of your outfit; it should not be the exact same color as other garments. Avoid anything that looks like the ‘color matched’ shirt/tie sets you get in the supermarket. And, as a general rule, going for a tie that is darker than your shirt but lighter than your suit is a very safe bet.
Think about regimental stripe, simple stripe, pin dot, spots, paisley, broken paisley, tartan, geometric, floral…
Slim to wide, choose what suits your shape, shirt collar (a small collar normally looks good with a slim tie) and style (e.g. trim cut suits with slim lapels demand a narrow tie). We find a modern, but not skinny, 8 cm to be the ideal width.
Square-end ties are more casual and usually found in knitted versions.
There is a myriad of tie knots, but you really just need to know two or three. The go-to should be the four-in-hand. If you just know one, it’s probably this one and it works for most ties. Arguably, it lacks substance when worn with a cutaway collar.
Half Windsor is the next step up. Slightly thicker but still slightly asymmetric.
The (full) Windsor is the classic “wide knot”, and as such suitable for a spread collar. Being entirely symmetrical, it borders on looking too perfect, but it can certainly give a very clean-cut look and is appropriate to give a thin tie a bit of weight in the knot.
“Fun” tie knots should, in this author’s opinion, be avoided. Your tie should speak for itself.
No debate here. The tip of your tie should just touch your waistband/belt buckle.
The only exception is a square-end tie, which might be allowed slightly shorter, due to its shape and casual styling.
BOW TIES: A WHOLE CHAPTER IN ITSELF!
There are both retro and modern versions (often overlapping, with the rise of vintage trends), as well as the classic bow tie; the black silk one, which is the only option for black tie (tuxedo) dress codes. It’s elegant, looks great and, yeah, it makes you feel like James Bond. Ours have been handmade in Italy from the finest silk.
Despite the rise of 60s style, bowties are still not quite office friendly, unless in creative occupations. You do risk a little bit of a hipster look, but a simple-patterned bowtie in a well-considered color certainly adds a dash of sartorial panache to a semi-dressy outfit.
Bowties are available in all sorts of patterns, colors, materials and shapes; pick what you like and what suits your face. Maybe avoid the biggest ones…
Learn how to tie a bowtie! Or use our expertly pre-tied one.
SO, WHAT'S A GOOD TIE?
A good tie is one that you like! Ideally, it also suits your coloring and complements your wardrobe (at least the pieces you were planning to wear it with)
You should opt for good quality, as in natural materials with a good feel and texture. It’s worth making a knot to see how it ties.
Sometimes you find ties made from a single piece of silk, folded several ties to create a thick tie without any other material. This is a fantastic indulgence but an expensive one. Our ties are made with a double interlining, creating a perfect balance and a knot that almost ties itself. They are also self-tipped, replacing that ugly piece of polyester at the back of the tie with pure silk.
Our ties are handmade in Italy, which in itself may not mean that much. But handmaking is a sign that the producer takes care in the creation, channeling generations of experience into making the finest ties. The best colors and weaves are achieved and the craftsmen are equally discerning when it comes to materials and design.
Italy can hardly be beaten when it comes to anything regarding menswear, which is why we source our fabrics, pocket squares and ties from some of Italy's most renowned producers.
Ties are elegant and classic, but can be equally playful, through color or pattern. Take some time to get used to what ties you like and how you like wearing them, and don’t be afraid to experiment. Always keep a smart navy silk tie ready, for a simple and stylish look.
WHAT CAN WE DO FOR YOU?
Here at Tailor On Ten, we offer handmade Italian silk ties for only 1500 THB. What? Yeah, you heard us right. That is a bargain. We are also always happy to give advice on what suits you and your new bespoke garments. Go ahead, explore the world of ties, literally; you can buy them all over the planet and they are easy to transport!
Click through to read more about The Tailor On Ten Accessories Collection!Tweet