Friday, May 15, 2009

Men's Fashion: Tie Styles Part 1

In this segment of Men's Fashion, we'll take a look at tie styles. There are an enormous variety of tie styles to choose from, but it's important that you pick a style appropriate to the rest of your outfit.

Regimental Stripes:

Derived from British military wear, the regimental stripe pattern was used by various regiments to distinguish themselves. These unique diagonal stripes in the regiment's colour were inseperable from British uniforms.

Perhaps not the primary cause of the rift between the British and the Colonies, the American habit of wearing their stripes from right down to the left violated the English rule of stripes running from left to right. Nowadays this conflict has been pretty much resolves, as Brooks Brothers manufactured their ties in the English-style when they popularized them in the States.

Another advantage of the regimental stripe is that it, like other lines that angle across the body, has a slimming power. Its pattern makes the face appear thinner and less soft.


While originalplaid ties were made, like kilts, from wool, the pattern was quickly adopted for other materials. Its best to wear plaid with other stripes or checks of a different scale on your suit jacket or shirt. This combination, done properly, creates an interesting appearance of depth and dimension.

Solid Colour:

Various materials and weaves aside, the solid coloured necktie is often the most underrated and, strangely, most difficult style to wear well. This is not because it is difficult to match, but rather because it forces the wearer to make his entire outfit interesting rather than just the tie, which is relatively easy to do.

A solid tie isn't flashy and won't draw much attention. It's useful in that it allows the wearer to combine various patterns in a way that is more subtle but also more interesting than just wearing a loud tie.


By wool tie, I mean a worsted cashmere or cashmere silk blend, not the English country tie. Best suited for cold weather, this sort of tie is best suited for more casual outfits, such as an odd jacket-pant combination.

Use a wool tie to add interesting pattern and texture to flannels and other casual bases.

Tomorrow, we'll continue with a discussion of patterned ties in Men's Fashion: Tie Styles Part 2.

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