Donegal Tweed Ties
As conventional wisdom goes, grenadines are some of the most useful ties you can own. The reason is they’re (typically) solid in color, but also textured in weave. The textured weave allows you to wear it easily with solid colored shirts and jackets, while the solid color allow you to pair it with patterns. There are few jacket, shirt, and tie combinations where a grenadine would not work.
The same principle can be applied with other ties, although they’re slightly more seasonal in use. A tussah or raw silk can be worn in the summer with cotton or linen jacketings, while a boucle can paired with tweed or flannel in the fall. A Suitable Wardrobe just launched their end-of-season sale, and all three types are available at pretty attractive prices. Slightly similar are lightly patterned ties, such as the speckled Donegal tweed my e-friend Voxsartoria is seen wearing above. From a distance, it appears solid in color, but upon closer look, it has little flecks to keep it interesting. Again, something you can wear with solid colored shirts and jackets, or ones with patterns.
Or so I think, anyway. I wanted to get a Donegal tie this past season, but wasn’t able to. Berg and Berg launched their winter sale yesterday, and they had this very lovely speckled navy tie that someone bought before me. Brooks Brothers also had this knit tie that sold out before I even had a chance to consider it.
There are other options still available though. Vanda Fine Clothing has them in Air Force chevron and pebbled grey patterns. Those come in their signature, lightly lined construction, which allows their ties to feel a bit more “true” to their shell fabrics. There’s also Drake’s and E.G. Cappelli – two of my favorite tie makers. Drake’s is a high-quality, no-nonsense construction, while E.G. Cappelli is typically lightly lined and has a bit more visible handstitching. Additionally, there’s Howard Yount and Sid Mashburn. I have no experience with their neckwear, but both companies have solid reputations. And if someone doesn’t mind the skinny widths, there are these options by Gant Rugger and Alexander Olch.
Hopefully I can get one before winter ends. 
(Picture via voxsart)

Donegal Tweed Ties

As conventional wisdom goes, grenadines are some of the most useful ties you can own. The reason is they’re (typically) solid in color, but also textured in weave. The textured weave allows you to wear it easily with solid colored shirts and jackets, while the solid color allow you to pair it with patterns. There are few jacket, shirt, and tie combinations where a grenadine would not work.

The same principle can be applied with other ties, although they’re slightly more seasonal in use. A tussah or raw silk can be worn in the summer with cotton or linen jacketings, while a boucle can paired with tweed or flannel in the fall. A Suitable Wardrobe just launched their end-of-season sale, and all three types are available at pretty attractive prices. Slightly similar are lightly patterned ties, such as the speckled Donegal tweed my e-friend Voxsartoria is seen wearing above. From a distance, it appears solid in color, but upon closer look, it has little flecks to keep it interesting. Again, something you can wear with solid colored shirts and jackets, or ones with patterns.

Or so I think, anyway. I wanted to get a Donegal tie this past season, but wasn’t able to. Berg and Berg launched their winter sale yesterday, and they had this very lovely speckled navy tie that someone bought before me. Brooks Brothers also had this knit tie that sold out before I even had a chance to consider it.

There are other options still available though. Vanda Fine Clothing has them in Air Force chevron and pebbled grey patterns. Those come in their signature, lightly lined construction, which allows their ties to feel a bit more “true” to their shell fabrics. There’s also Drake’s and E.G. Cappelli – two of my favorite tie makers. Drake’s is a high-quality, no-nonsense construction, while E.G. Cappelli is typically lightly lined and has a bit more visible handstitching. Additionally, there’s Howard Yount and Sid Mashburn. I have no experience with their neckwear, but both companies have solid reputations. And if someone doesn’t mind the skinny widths, there are these options by Gant Rugger and Alexander Olch.

Hopefully I can get one before winter ends. 

(Picture via voxsart)

It’s On Sale: J Press Grenadines

J Press has been having a 25%-off sale for a while now, but they just put up a new four-day “flash sale” code. Get an extra 10% off by punching in EXTRA10 at checkout. The code works on a number of items, including the grenadine neckties you see here

The shipping charge is about $15, which negates some of the savings. For comparison, know that Drake’s and EG Cappelli grenadines run between $125 to $150 at full retail, but sometimes can be had for about $90 on sale. More affordably, Sam Hober’s are $80, Kent Wang’s are $75, Knottery’s are $55, and Chipp2’s are $49.50. The last four almost never go on sale, so you should expect the full price to be standard. 

A Shop for All Sizes

As a guy who’s unusually thin, I know some of the frustrations that can come with being an irregular size. Which is why I’m happy to see the launch of a new online retailer called Gentlemen’s Footwear. The company’s founder Young Yoo tells me that he initially wanted to open a shop for men of shorter stature, as he himself is 5’6” and was having a difficult time finding shoes in his size (6.5). Since coming up with the idea, however, he’s expanded the company’s scope to include both smaller and larger sizes, as well as everything in-between. The store’s opening collection of Carmina shoes, for example, is currently stocked from 5.5UK (6.5 US) to 9UK (10 US), but in the next few weeks, that’ll expand to 12UK (13 US). Prices are fairly competitive for this level of footwear, and the store can take made-to-order requests from people who need something truly special. 

The shop also currently carries neckties and pocket squares by leading makers such as Drake’s and EG Cappelli, shoe care products by Saphir, and shoehorns by Abbeyhorn. Additionally, Finamore shirts are coming soon. Given the company’s mission, I assume these will come in sizes made for men of all builds. 

Starting tomorrow, I’ll talk this week about what ties should be part of a basic, minimal collection. First, however, I thought I’d post these photos from StyleForum member whnay’s trip to EG Cappelli. These photos should give you a sense of what to aim for - simple, understated elegance.

EG Cappelli is a Neapolitan tie maker famous for high-quality Italian ties. The last photo is of Mr. Patrizio Cappelli himself, the founder of the company. He left his family’s chemist business in 1995 to start his Naples atelier, and gentlemen from around the world have been coming to Italy just to buy his wares ever since. 

Notice how his ties are all elegant, simple, and somewhat restrained. Though there are some colorful ties in there, nothing is forced or particularly excessive. Nothing screams attention to itself, nothing is a gimmicky, nothing is driven by any particular trends. Everything is simple and understated. 

Much like Mr. Cappelli himself, actually. Notice his simple suit, conservative in cloth and color, showing a bit of drape in the chest (read: not overly slim). His shirt is a simple blue and the collar is soft, not stiff, showing a comfortable, relaxed elegance. 

This is the kind of feel you should aim for in your tie wardrobe. We’ll continue tomorrow to discuss what patterns and styles can help you achieve that.