Vanda Fine Clothing

I received a special package last week containing an order from Vanda Fine Clothing. Inside was a selection of items from their first official production run - a brown wool necktie, Japanese kimono silk pocket square, and two orchid lapel pins in my university colors. The pocket square and lapel pins are really nice, but the showpiece for me was the tie. It’s a six-fold, unlined necktie made from an English, Huddersfield wool. It has a dark brown glen plaid pattern with a faint blue overcheck, and it goes wonderfully with my grey flannel sport coat or navy blazer. 

Since Vanda’s ties are all either unlined or made with just a light interlining, they drape and knot very uniquely. Hardy Amies once said that “Good design and making of clothes must always honour cloth; must disturb cloth as little and possible … Undisturbed cloth makes the wearer appear at ease and is pleasing to the eye of the viewer.”  Vanda’s ties strike me as very much “honoring cloth.” Their silk ties feel lighter and airier than other silk ties on the market, and their wools have more heft and drape. The edges aren’t pressed, so they naturally roll, as you can see above and on their website. The result is a very unique tie that indeed feels more at ease. 

Granted, an unlined tie isn’t for everyone, but if you’re an enthusiast for this kind of stuff, you’d be remiss to not try it at least once. I’m already looking forward to my next order. 

Vanda Fine Clothing


Diana Chan and Gerald Shen have been selling well-made, handrolled pocket squares to discerning customers at StyleForum for the last two years. Last summer, they began making neckties under the name Vanda Fine Clothing. Whereas most new neckwear companies rely on a faux-heritage image or “Made in the USA” label to sell their wares, Vanda is about quality in the way that I think a more thoughtful customer can appreciate.

Over the summer, I was lucky enough to get one of Vanda’s first designs. It’s a completely handcrafted, half-lined, six-fold tie made out of Adamley silk, one of the best mills in the world. The edges of the tips are handrolled, which give the tie an artisanal feel, and the half-interlining makes the it feel a bit lighter. Most ties you’ve come across have a full piece of wool or cotton interlining. This gives them a meatier feel and heavier drape. Vanda’s ties, however, feel a bit more airy and scarf-like, and they wear in a more unique way.

Admittedly, such construction won’t be to everyone’s taste. If you’ve never worn an unlined or half-lined tie, you may find it’s a bit too light for your liking. However, if you’re an enthusiast of men’s clothing and style, I strongly recommend you at least try one out. For some people, including me, once you’ve worn one, it’s impossible not to get more. I appreciate such ties in the way I appreciate mechanical watches. They take more time, silk, and handwork to make, and I take pleasure in knowing how they’re crafted. I also find that Vanda’s ties yield a deeper, more handsome dimple, and since the edges aren’t pressed flat, they have nice rolling edges, which give them a fuller three-dimensional shape. 

I’ve liked my tie so much that I recently ordered another from Vanda’s webstore (I bought the brown glen plaid made of Huddersfield wool). I also recently had a chance to speak to Gerald about the new company, their ties, and Vanda’s future plans.

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Yesterday, I made a trip out to the Pasadena City College flea market here in Southern California. Above: the spoils from the trip. A small hand-held megaphone advertising the deco-era Los Angeles department store Desmond’s ($10), a silk paisley scarf ($15) and a tiny 1940s silver airplane lapel pin ($5). Not bad for a morning’s idyll.

Yesterday, I made a trip out to the Pasadena City College flea market here in Southern California. Above: the spoils from the trip. A small hand-held megaphone advertising the deco-era Los Angeles department store Desmond’s ($10), a silk paisley scarf ($15) and a tiny 1940s silver airplane lapel pin ($5). Not bad for a morning’s idyll.