Everyone loves corduroy and tweed jackets in the fall – and the wool and cashmere ties that accompany them – but summer also has its own casual options. A linen or cotton sport coat can give you all the benefits of a tailored jacket without making you look like you just came from the office, and you can pair one with a silk knit or linen four-in-hand for a nice off-duty look.
My favorite ties around this time of year are those made from slubby silks, such as the ones you see above. You typically see them come in one of five varieties:
- Raw Silk: Easily the most common of the five, raw silk – sometimes called shantung – is made from silk fibers where the gummy sericin has been left on (hence, it’s “raw”). When buying a raw silk tie, pay attention to the weave. Something made from a dense weave can feel thicker and heavier than something that has been loosely woven (notice how the dotted raw silk tie above is much denser than the striped raw silk next to it). You can find raw silk ties at any number of places these days, such as Drake’s, Bigi, Vanda, Shibumi, Viola Milano, Fontana1961, Conrad Wu, J. Press, and Chipp.
- Tussah: Sometimes mis-labeled as raw silk, even though the two are not the same, Tussah is made from the silk of silkworms that have been allowed to live on a wild diet. The resulting fabric typically feels softer and airier than raw silk textiles, which makes these ties perfect for the dog days of summer. Drake’s makes some great Tussah neckwear, which you can find at Gentlemen’s Footwear, The Armoury, and Drake’s online store.
- Matka: A rough, basketweave fabric that’s made from the silk of pierced cocoons. Much of Matka’s texture is derived from its weave, rather than the irregularity of the yarns, although it still has some nice slubs. You can find Matka ties at Sid Mashburn, Vanda, Marshall Anthony, and Chipp.
- Bourette: A fabric woven from silk waste yarns, which gives this a knotty and uneven surface. Vanda has some nice bourette ties this season that look like slubby, raw spun versions of grenadine.
- Noile: Made from the broken, short fibers that are leftover when waste silk has been torn up, dressed, and combed. Looks a bit more like textured cotton than silk, even when compared to the matte options above. Available at Mountain & Sackett.
How to wear: As a more casual tie, you can wear slubby silks with any kind of sport coat. If the color is solid, or the pattern conservative, you can even use one to dress down a suit. Whatever you do, keep these to your spring and summer clothes. They’re too warm-weather specific to wear with flannels and tweeds.
(photos via me and Voxsartoria)