Commonwealth Proper was kind enough to send me one of their wool flannel neckties for review about a month ago and after wearing it a few times, I’ve shifted my views on wool neckwear.
Before getting into that, I want to go over the details of the necktie itself. The tie’s fabric is a rather substantially thick wool flannel from Italy. It feels about as heavy as any wool flannel trouser I’ve worn, but perhaps slightly scratchier to give it some slight texture.
The tie’s interlining is what I believe to be wool and is of moderate thickness, giving the flannel even more weight in the blades. This is not a light and airy necktie, it’s definitely denser. The tipping is a vintage silk with an ivory ground and burgundy print that features a floral scenery.
One of the details I always look for on a necktie are the bar-tack stitches. As you can see below, the bar tack on both blades are done quite well. From experience, bar tacks like these won’t come undone — unlike some lesser-constructed ties I’ve had in the past that were surprisingly priced similarly.
In terms of how the tie knots, this is where I go back to my initial thought of changing my mind on how wool ties knot. Frankly, I’ve been slowly more indifferent or against wool neckwear in the past. Either the tie is too thick to be knotted well — even with a four-in-hand — or the tie is too flimsy and the fabric too much like a sponge that it turns into a mushed ball at the knot that lacks substantialness. Other times I found the wool fabric too rigid and lifeless to work.
But, the flannel of this particular tie has worked quite well for me in the few times I’ve found to wear it. It knots well and forms a dimple that looks substantial. The knot doesn’t feel obtusely large nor too compacted. The tie has enough mobility in it not look stiff as a board when worn. It’s my opinion that the tie is extremely well-balanced.
I should note that the tie’s width is smaller than my preferred ideal — measuring in at 3”, whereas my typical preference is for 3.5” — but I found it’s worked well with parts of my wardrobe for the cooler months. I feel the tie works best for casual evenings, against a white shirt and darker jackets in grey, charcoal and navy, preferably with some texture — like a tweed or heavy flannel. I’ve paired it with and OCBD and a chunky-knit cardigan as well as my grey donegal tweed suit (as seen below).
Commonwealth Proper's neckties are made in the U.S.A. and they seem to be producing small numbers of each type of design that arrives in stock. You can find the tie in dark grey flannel (the one they sent me), mid-grey and also black. Check them out as they continue to release new items to their online store.