I received a question from bbgahman about neckties and what some of my recommendations were:
My question is about identifying and purchasing quality ties. I’m very Ivy/Trad in tie collection, and I want to incorporate grenadine/silk knit as well as four/six/seven fold ties. Can you point me in the right direction in terms of brands, price points, and retailers? Appreciate it man.
First, I want to point you toward Derek’s necktie series at Put This On. You’ll get a great amount of background on identifying quality neckwear and some recommendations. Many of those same recommendations will overlap with my suggestions. I don’t want to retread that ground.
I’ll address each type of tie type. Keep in mind I don’t have hands-on experience with all of these and sometimes a trip to a high-end retailer like Saks, Neiman Marcus and Barney’s just to take a look at the luxury neckwear can give you a better idea of what they feel like that you just can’t get from photos online.
If you’re into shinier silk knits, then I’d recommend looking into offerings from Kent Wang ($65-75), Lands’ End ($60), Drake’s ($145-160), Ben Silver ($85), Brooks Brothers ($80) or Polo Ralph Lauren ($75-95). I’m more partial to the wider widths of Kent Wang and Lands’ End. The latter two tend to have skinnier widths. Most of these seem to be made in Italy and be rather “crunchy”.
If you’re just looking for solid basics though, you should take a look at The Knottery's line of silk knits. For $25 each, these look like an incredible deal. I've talked to Jay, one of the owners, about the choice to use a supplier from China rather than the traditional Italy or England. Frankly, it came down to the fact that to offer silk knits at their pricepoint, using a high-quality manufacturer from China was the way to go. We're all aware of the skepticism of “made in China” on clothing and accessories, however, I've yet to see a menswear blogger express their dissatisfaction with buying a silk knit tie from The Knottery.
If you’re looking for softer, less-crunchy, less-shiny silk knits, then take a look at J.Press ($80). Both my J.Press silk knits are made in England and are a lot softer, which gives them a slightly different textured knot alongside with their 3” width. Also, there’s several silk knits at O’Connell’s ($65) that are made in Ireland.
But say you want to get away from just solid silk knits and traditional designs. I’d check out designs from Howard Yount ($48-65), Cravatta Pelliano ($102-153) and Berg & Berg ($54-90). There’s some more non-traditional colors and designs that you might find add a particularly colorful accent.
I’ve only had hands-on with Drake’s ($160) and Kent Wang ($75), so I can’t recommend personally much more than them, however, I feel that if you’re going to be buying a grenadine, then you probably can’t go wrong with any of these choices.
If you really want to specify construction, then go with Sam Hober, who’s baseline solid grenadines start at $80 and are four-fold construction standard (prices go up if you prefer different constructions, but he recommends four-folds). They also have striped and pindot fabrics available.
This is pretty tough, to be honest. Again, I’d point you to Kent Wang ($85-95), who has six-fold ties in some pretty good staple designs. If unlined 7-fold ties are your thing, then check out Vanda Fine Clothing ($110-$135). Panta Clothing ($120) does six-fold ties.
Seeking something Italian? Check out Shop The Finest and eHaberdasher for a variety of multi-fold neckwear that’ll be discounted to around $100. Same goes for Exquisite Trimmings, who has been getting in quite an impressive stock. You could also bide your time on eBay, looking for 7-folds from Kiton, Isaia, Barba, Borrelli, Tom Ford and other Italian-made ties.
If you’re looking for something bespoke, Sam Hober obviously offers such construction to your specifications. Obviously, more folds, more work, more silk will cost you more money.
OK, but what do you recommend?
I really loathe to make a definitive recommendation. It depends on the shirt you’re wearing and the collar. It depends if you like thicker knots or thinner knots. Maybe you like unlined ties or perhaps thicker ties. Is multi-fold worth the premium for you? Do you want the tie within a week — shipped — or are you willing to wait for something bespoke to your specifications?
I’ve explored a lot of options and set out to learn as much as I can about what’s out there and see what works with my style. I’ve slowly learned my preferences for things like color, width, thickness, pattern, etc. If you’re going to spend a lot of money on a tie, then it certainly helps to give it an ample amount of thought about what will work best for your wardrobe and style.
So, consider this list “Step One” in just learning about where to buy, what is out there and what it costs.
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- thinkingwins said: for the original questioner, J Press has 25% off right now on their silk knits and their grenadines. jpressonline.com/neckwea…
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- mypantalones said: Sid Mashburn knits are awesome. Just picked one up.
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