Bolder Ties for a Less Boring Look

Bold ties have a bad reputation, and perhaps for good reason. In the 1940s, shortly after the war, wild tie designs took the US by storm, creating what Esquire would later coin as “the American bold look.” Perhaps it’s because livelier ties helped uplift men’s spirits, or because an embattled Britain could no longer supply the US with its usual materials. Whatever the reason, rayon and Dacron replaced silk, and conservative patterns were forgotten in favor of more flamboyant designs. Rummage through the discount bin in any thrift store today and you can see some of them: ties made with African or Indian iconography, large motifs of pin up girls, or just strange designs inspired by art movements from the early 20th century.

There are times, however, when a bolder tie can look good, and just because many bold ties have been designed poorly (both in the past and today), doesn’t mean that every one should be avoided. Just check out some of the examples above, which I took from Anderson & Sheppard’s vanity book, A Style is Born. Impeccably well-dressed men wearing slightly more interesting designs. There’s a bright fuchsia tie that makes a grey suit look more cheery; a paint splattered grey tie that makes a navy suit look more interesting; and a green tie with an unusual motif that looks not too unlike those 1940s designs I mentioned earlier. For an even bolder look, check out this photo of Barima Nyantekyi, who was shot by Rose Callahan for her book on modern-day dandies. Few men will ever look that good. 

There are a couple of companies I like for bold neckwear. Morigi Milano has some old, deadstock Arnys designs, which were made before the company was sold to the luxury conglomerate LVMH. Their old tie designer, Dominique Lelys, has started his own line called Le Lys, which is available at Cuffs, but the designs aren’t as whimsical (they do have contrasting front and back blades, however, like some of Zegna’s ties). In addition, I really like Drake’s and Battistoni, although many of Battistoni’s better designs are hard to find in the US (they’re carried at Barney’s, but the selection is often not that appealing). Our friend Niyi also has a great line using fabrics from Nigeria, and he’s having a sale at the moment, with a new fall line dropping soon. Lastly, our advertiser Chipp has what they call their “conversational ties,” which have cleverly hidden messages. You can see some of them being worn by Voxsartoria.

Of course, I think most men do best with a drawer full of basic, conservative neckwear. Lots of repp stripes, foulards, and grenadines in dark colors such as navy, dark brown, and forest green. But it also doesn’t hurt to have a few more interesting pieces as well. Things don’t always have to be so boring. 

Permanent Style has an interview with Jean Grimbert, one of the head honchos at the Parisian menswear outlet Arnys. Arnys are known for their artistic, eccentric takes on classic men’s style… their most famous piece, the Forrestiere, was designed for Le Corbusier, as a coat that allowed him to comfortably write on the chalkboard during a professorship. Arnys sold out to the luxury conglomerate LVMH last year in a mostly-for-the-real-estate deal, but it sounds like some version of the brand will continue to exist. We’ll see.

maxminimus:

Old England, Paris. R.I.P.

The closing of the legendary menswear retailer Old England and the rumored sale of another legend, Arnys to LVMH means that when I finally get the chance to visit Paris, it won’t be the Paris I’d hoped to visit.

maxminimus:

Old England, Paris. R.I.P.

The closing of the legendary menswear retailer Old England and the rumored sale of another legend, Arnys to LVMH means that when I finally get the chance to visit Paris, it won’t be the Paris I’d hoped to visit.

This is one of the prime thrifting seasons, as the folks who need tax write-offs have just dropped off their year-end contributions. I’ve been working furiously on the launch of my new public radio show Bullseye (you should subscribe now free in iTunes, by the way) the past couple of weeks, and I needed a break, so I headed out for a little thrifting yesterday to a few favorite spots.
I came home with a lovely tie by Gianni Campagna in heavy navy silk. I also grabbed the above: a double breasted blazer by Arnys of Paris. Arnys is a slightly eccentric haberdasher known for its unique Forestier jackets and beautiful printed ties. The buttons on this piece have their unique and jaunty logo.
Arnys clothes aren’t sold in the United States, so half the fun of buying the coat is imagining how it made it all the way to Los Angeles. It’s far too small for me, I should also note. I bought it because I couldn’t bear to leave it on the rack, paying a pretty penny for it. Sometimes, though, you have to follow your heart.

This is one of the prime thrifting seasons, as the folks who need tax write-offs have just dropped off their year-end contributions. I’ve been working furiously on the launch of my new public radio show Bullseye (you should subscribe now free in iTunes, by the way) the past couple of weeks, and I needed a break, so I headed out for a little thrifting yesterday to a few favorite spots.

I came home with a lovely tie by Gianni Campagna in heavy navy silk. I also grabbed the above: a double breasted blazer by Arnys of Paris. Arnys is a slightly eccentric haberdasher known for its unique Forestier jackets and beautiful printed ties. The buttons on this piece have their unique and jaunty logo.

Arnys clothes aren’t sold in the United States, so half the fun of buying the coat is imagining how it made it all the way to Los Angeles. It’s far too small for me, I should also note. I bought it because I couldn’t bear to leave it on the rack, paying a pretty penny for it. Sometimes, though, you have to follow your heart.

It’s On eBay
Arnys Paisley Necktie
Starts at $19.99, ends Thursday

It’s On eBay

Arnys Paisley Necktie

Starts at $19.99, ends Thursday