Review: Sette Neckwear — Several months ago during the StyleForum 10th Anniversary Meetup, I discovered Sette Neckwear at the vendor showcase and bought what is probably the most expensive necktie I’ve purchased in my life.
I didn’t plan on doing this and I’ll admit to it being a bit of an impulse buy, but it’s genuinely one of the most exciting pieces of clothing I had the opportunity to get.
As I walked by their table, I took the time to handle their true 7-fold ties. While some so-called 7-fold ties are actually 6-folds, Sette actually uses a single piece of silk that it folds seven times to make its neckwear. In fact, the company’s name means the number seven in Italian.
The construction is completely done by hand — hand folded and hand sewn. It’s unlined and feels delicately lightweight. The stitch down the back is done in a high-constrast thread with signature bar tacks in the shape of the number 7.
Adding to the exclusivity, Sette ties are made in very limited numbers. Only 21 in the “classic” line and only seven in the “pure” line. Each tie is individually numbered on a printed area of the silk. And each tie comes boxed in a hard case along with an ID card that can be registered on their website so you can see who else shares the same tie as you in the collection.
All of this is pretty cool, but not typically something that convinces me to put down three figures for a necktie. What sold me on making a purchase was something that I actually had in common with the company’s founder: we both had a prior career in politics. Founder Peter Watkins spent half a decade in the White House and it was really cool to meet someone who shared a passion for both politics and neckwear.
As I looked over the designs on the table, none at the time caught my eye. Naturally, several Sette designs are targeted toward politicos, including elephants for Republicans and donkeys for Democrats (actually, only the blue donkey tie was on display at the time). I lamented out loud that I’d seen their red Republican tie on their site, but wished it came in another color other than red, as I only wear blue or navy ties now.
Then, I was treated to something really special.
"We didn’t put the Republican ties out as we’re here in California." True, it’s probably a bit rare to expect to find a Chicagoan who’s a Republican wandering around in a San Francisco hotel. "We were saving these for the convention. They’re not even on the site yet."
From under the table came a blue elephant print tie still in a plastic sleeve. My eyes lit up.
"Oh, and it’s the first one! You’d be the first one to have this style."
At that point, it was game over. The tie went from an expensive indulgence that’d be nice to have to a must-have item that would hold a unique place in my wardrobe. So, I bought it.
The tie is definitely different from any other I own. In fact, I have to knot it differently than every other tie I own. The combination of the tie’s slightly longer length plus its unlined nature makes it a bit too long for the four-in-hand and even the half-Windsor.
Instead, I spent a good hour trying to come up with a unique knot that was asymmetric, had a decent volume and held a correct length on my torso with back and front blades being even and at the waist. I may make a video in the future, who knows.
Those who are taller or have wider necks may find they can go to their standard knots. Or if you’re a full-Windsor guy, then this tie will work well. I just can’t stand the look of a full-Windsor knot, so I kind of went a bit overboard on developing my own.
Obviously, I’m an unabashed fan of the tie. I wear it with a striped shirt, navy blazer, trousers and wingtips. I plan on wearing it during the fall election season and at moments when I want to show off my subtle political affiliation.
If you’re looking for a unique tie to give as a gift or for yourself, then definitely check out Sette Neckwear.
Furthermore, if you visit Sette’s Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter page, you can find out information about a contest they’re having where they’re giving away a free necktie (all you have to do is like, share, reblog or retweet). Definitely check it out.