The Most Versatile Knit Tie

Jake over at Wax Wane already wrote about black silk knit ties this week, but I thought I’d give them another plug anyway. Black is, unexpectedly, one of the most versatile colors for knit ties. Better than the standard go-to colors for neckwear, such as brown, burgundy, and bottle green. Better even than the always wearable navy. The black silk knit was perhaps most famously worn by the literary version of James Bond, who was often described by Ian Fleming as wearing a dark suit, clean white shirt, and a “thin, black silk knitted tie.” It’s also heavily associated with other mid-century icons such as the fellas in The Rat Pack. In fact, one of the first ties I bought as an undergraduate student was a black silk knit, precisely because I thought Sammy Davis Jr. looked so great in them.

You can wear almost anything with a black silk knit tie: brown tweeds, navy jackets, or grey suits paired with white or light blue shirts in solids, stripes, or checks (knit ties are especially nice with checks). Given that many men today want to wear a tie without looking too formal, the black silk knit is about as good as you can get. Versatile in color; casual in form.

There are many places to score one. On the high-end, we have Drake’s, who makes them in a rather unique weave. They’re also commonly found at traditional American haberdasheries, such as Ben SilverBrooks Brothers, and J. Press (the last of which is having a 25% off sale right now). Additionally, Howard YountKent Wang, and Sid Mashburn sell them for between $60 and $75. For more affordable options, consider Land’s End and KJ Beckett. The stock at Land’s End doesn’t include black right now, but they regularly restock their knit tie inventory in wide range of colors and their navy blue’s more like a midnight blue. If you join their mailing list, you’ll be notified of when they do their 30-40% off sales (which happens a few times a season). That will knock down the price of their knit ties to something around $25. Not bad for a tie you can wear with almost anything. 

The Suits of James Bond has a great interview with Oscar Udeshi of the British clothier Udeshi. He talks about how James Bond has inspired his business and his own big rear end, among other things.

The Suits of James Bond has a great interview with Oscar Udeshi of the British clothier Udeshi. He talks about how James Bond has inspired his business and his own big rear end, among other things.

James Bond, in what Will Boehlke calls: “The most basic of lightweight combinations: blue tropical weight suit,  white shirt, black shoes and a solid satin or knit necktie.”

James Bond, in what Will Boehlke calls: “The most basic of lightweight combinations: blue tropical weight suit, white shirt, black shoes and a solid satin or knit necktie.”

Matt Spaiser at The Suits of James Bond covers some of JB’s favorite cream-colored shirts.
I wear a lot of earth tones - brown and burgundy, particularly - and I love cream shirts because they suit that palette well and aren’t as harsh as white.

Matt Spaiser at The Suits of James Bond covers some of JB’s favorite cream-colored shirts.

I wear a lot of earth tones - brown and burgundy, particularly - and I love cream shirts because they suit that palette well and aren’t as harsh as white.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve been enjoying reading The Suits of James Bond. I’m not a Bond nut by any means (if you want to target me, try The Suits of James Brown) but the blog is chock-full of fascinating information. Not only does Matt Spaiser break down specific Bond outfits, he does it with a well-informed eye for men’s tailoring. I always learn something reading his posts. It’s a blog that’s about the what, but also the why. I wish more menswear blogs had actual content.

I can’t tell you how much I’ve been enjoying reading The Suits of James Bond. I’m not a Bond nut by any means (if you want to target me, try The Suits of James Brown) but the blog is chock-full of fascinating information. Not only does Matt Spaiser break down specific Bond outfits, he does it with a well-informed eye for men’s tailoring. I always learn something reading his posts. It’s a blog that’s about the what, but also the why. I wish more menswear blogs had actual content.

Don’t miss this remarkable dissection of the clothes Sean Connery wore as James Bond in Dr. No. A wonderful piece, and a tribute to the basics - navy blazers, dark blue grenadine ties, forward pleats, elegant black tie.

Don’t miss this remarkable dissection of the clothes Sean Connery wore as James Bond in Dr. No. A wonderful piece, and a tribute to the basics - navy blazers, dark blue grenadine ties, forward pleats, elegant black tie.