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Your Most Essential Ties

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  • pitseleh

    Alright! The vast majority of my ties are worn in casual and casual-dressy settings, and I favor a more collegiate aesthetic, so take my choices as suggestions for such - I own very few (literally one or two, out of two or three dozen) properly "dressy," traditional wear-with-a-suit kind of ties. I'm sure others have much better suggestions for that type of tie than I do. Most of mine are 2-3" at their widest. My most indispensable ones are:

    1. Light gray wool tie (TTB: It can be a solid (the one I used for a long time was), but I think a pattern is fine as long as it doesn't impact its versatility. The one I just bought on eBay is a fairly light plaid one by J Crew (see here: No less than half my wardrobe goes with it.

    2. Navy corduroy tie, but it could be wool (TTB: I got mine at UO. Relatively slim, but not skinny. Like light gray, it goes with a huge chunk of my wardrobe. I think the alternative material/texture lends it an interesting quality normal navy silk ties don't have, and I also like the fact that it (like wool) isn't shiny.

    3. Dark gray cotton tie. (TTB: . Mostly the same as the light gray one, except somewhat less versatile and not wool. I got it from Aldo for like $12 ( Surprisingly staid for Aldo.

    4. Navy/green tartan (not crazy about any of TTB options). Unabashedly preppy, and again, fairly versatile in the colors you can pair it with. Doesn't get quite as much use as the top three, but I wear it often and really lusted after one before I had it. Mine's an unbranded one I found on eBay for like $5.

    5. Navy/red stripe (TTB: That can be a brighter red or a darker burgundy. Gets the preppy thing done pretty well, and ends up being really versatile. Reasonably appropriate even in professional environments, which not all my favorites really are!

    6. Just recently finally scored this one - burgundy knit with navy (and preferably white) stripes (TTB: I'd already had about ten applications for this before I even bought it. Big hole in my tie set before.

    7. Some type of light blue tie - chambray if you want (TTB: Mine's from Gap. Fairly summery and goes with lots of stuff.

    8. Black silk tie from CK. Got at Macy's ( Probably my most normal tie. It's... a black tie. That said, I think the subtle stripes make it more interesting without being too flashy. Could be thinner, but as it's a fairly traditional tie, I don't mind.

    9. Brown herringbone (TTB: Not really the most versatile, and doesn't get worn as much, but lots of character and fairly uncommon. I like that it brings the tweedy vibe without having to actually wear a tweed sport coat. I have a darker wool/silk one I got on eBay for cheap and the lighter (and much thicker) LEC one that was in their classified section a while back. I saw it initially at $70 and bided my time for a few months!

    10. Burgundy wool tie ( The one I had before my TTB one was a Nordstrom one from eBay. At this point it's obvious I gravitate towards wool, and the vividness of burgundy can really add something nice to a lot of outfits.

    11. White tie ( Wanted to keep it to ten, but eh. Mine's a linen one that's maybe *slightly* off-white from eBay. Also summery probably, with limited applications, but when it's appropriate, it's about the only thing I own that is.

    I also think there's a lot more room for various stripes and several more plaid ties as well maybe some polkadot and paisley ones; I have all of these. Those top ten or eleven are, however, my most hardcore useful ones. Pretty much everything else is just used here and there and has much more specific applications.

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  • Pitt_10

    Definitely keeping tabs on this thread....wish I could contribute a bit but I need to get some more ties first haha

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  • j.b.

    I love this thread. I will be bookmarking it and referring back to it frequently.

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  • bruschetta

    I'm about to move to the UK and I whittled my wardrobe down to the essentials. Here is a photo of the ties that I deemed "most essential" and kept:

    I have about 4 more that aren't pictured because they're already packed. The color in the photo is off: the yellow ties are actually gold in person, and the top center tie is a dark burgundy.

    The ties that I'm taking on the plane are the center medium gold, the top burgundy, and the skinny navy tie on the left. The skinny navy tie actually has a paisley texture that isn't visible in the photo.

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  • pratyk

    J Crew Factory has some slim solid ties (2.75") in black / navy for 17$ after 30% off (SHOPNOW)

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  • BB

    And, I heard that the Knottery will have some $50 grenadines soon -- I'll look forward to checking them out this fall when I return to coat and tie every day. But overall, I should restate that Tie Bar is a fantastic value.

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  • BB

    A quick note: I have ordered some ties from Tie Bar, and I think they are all of decent enough quality, but I have also ordered one knit tie from The Knottery and one Wool one, too. They are both of clearly higher quality than my Tie Bar ties, so for the types of ties I tend to wear most often (navy blue knit, black knit, grey wool, light blue cotton -- I like to wear bolder shirts or jackets and so tone it down with solid but textured ties) I will order the Knottery equivalents when and if they are available. About ten bucks more, but worth it in my opinion for a few of your key pieces.

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  • pratyk

    How do you all store your ties?

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  • Kittiwake30

    Great thread. I really struggle with tie pairings and have arrived on the fact that you get a lot more mileage with subdued ties you can pair with a lot of shirts (I wear a suit almost daily.)

    I probably have close to 30 ties but it’s really only a chosen dozen that get a lot of rotation. I have at least a half a dozen from the Tie Bar, which provides great value for the price point, but of late I took advantage of special promotions involving a free tie with Charles Tyrwhitt. They have thick, luxurious, well made ties and I can’t foresee myself buying from anywhere else for the foreseeable future.

    With a suit, chances are you are wearing white or light blue so there’s plenty of flexibility with neutralish ties.

    In the last month, I received these from Charles Tyrwhitt:

    Pairs brilliantly with a white shirt's-ties/Royal-_and-white-puppytooth-woven-tie-?q=usddefault||TW736RWH|||||||||||||&page=2

    Well made and can play all five positions on the floor's-ties/Navy-plain-woven-tie?q=usddefault||TW782NAV|||||||||||||&page=3

    Color is a bit go to hell, but if you keep everything else simple and subdued, it rocks. Not sure if I can get away with wearing it out of summer season.'s-ties/Strawberry-_and-white-spot-woven-tie-?q=usddefault||TW752RED|||||||||||||&page=4

    I actually wanted a navy Churchill dot tie with more spacing on in the pattern, but this works out well enough.'s-ties/Navy-_and-white-spot-woven-tie-?q=usddefault||TW749NAV|||||||||||||&page=6

    For summer and dressed down, I have this one. When gingham inevitably goes out of style, I’m ruined. yPages%2FRed%5FTies%2Easp&pg=0&categoryIds=31,24&o ptionValueIds=

    I also heard somewhere that red conveys power. In the absence of chiseled pectoral definition, I compensated by getting these three in various shades of Satan’s Bicep/Angry Communist red. yPages%2FRed%5FTies%2Easp&pg=0&categoryIds=31,24&o ptionValueIds= yPages%2FRed%5FTies%2Easp&pg=0&categoryIds=31,24&o ptionValueIds=

    This last one pairs really well with a light blue shirt, though some would claim that’s on the edge of matchy-matchy. yPages%2FRed%5FTies%2Easp&pg=0&categoryIds=31,24&o ptionValueIds=

    Also got this nautical number en route from LEC which will be deployed in the fall. Have high hopes for it.

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  • nicholascrawford

    Whoa, thanks a lot. This is a lot of great information to sift through.

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  • pratyk

    I do like this solid aubergine/dark purple tie: Has a bit of a texture to it as well..

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  • thmage

    I need way more ties. But fortunately, I feel like ties are one of the only style things that I actually "get" (shoes, on the other hand... not so much).

    Here are some types of ties I plan to get when I can spend the money.

    Knit - casual, pairs well with cardigans:

    Navy with red horizontal stripes - Slightly nautical, very casual and will work over several shirts. They also have similar ones with slightly larger stripes.

    Solid red - Solid red silk would be quite hard to pull off, but the natural texture of a knit tie makes this a good pick. Again, a color that's pretty easy to match.

    Wool - Semi-formal, pairs well with a blazer or vest:

    Gray wool with chalkstripes - This is one of the best looking ties I've seen. Wool can be dressed up or down, while the stripes make it a bit more fun than a solid tie.

    Silk - Formal, wear with suits:

    Eggplant with texture - Cause (eggplant) purple is the best color ever. The slight texture makes it really pop. I have a tie similar to this and I love it. However, silk is for the most part limited to suits.

    Patterned red - In my opinion, red looks best with a somewhat stronger pattern. This is the perfect professional tie to go with a navy suit. Pair with a gray square and make some money.

    Cotton - Generally casual, pairing depends on the tie:

    Cotton gingham - Perfect summer tie. Wear this with a well-fitting white shirt, rolled sleeves, and maybe a tie bar and you have a perfect summer barbeque tie. I'd have to see it in person, but I would lean toward the full-width one.

    And a decent plain black tie goes without saying.

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  • pratyk

    One tip i'd like to add: If you're not skinny but want to for a slimmer tie, go for the 2.75" or 3" ties vs. the 2" ties. 2" ties don't look good at all on anybody who's got a moderate width on them.

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  • bruschetta

    1. A solid navy textured tie. You can wear these with a white, blue, or pink shirts. They work equally well with solid and patterned shirts. Pair them with navy or grey suits. Some options:

    TheTieBar Grenafaux Midnight Navy 3":

    TheTieBar Skinny Solid Midnight Navy 3":

    TheTieBar Solid Texture Midnight Navy 3":

    TheTieBar Skinny Solid Navy 3":

    Charles Tyrwhitt Navy 3.3":

    Charles Tyrwhitt Navy 2.75":

    2. A navy tie with thin stripes or dots that match the color of your shirt. They work equally well with navy or grey suits. Keep in mind that these ties paired with white shirts are considered power ties.

    White shirts:

    TheTieBar Double Stripe Navy 3":

    TheTieBar Navy/White Satin Dot 3":

    TheTieBar Wool Stripe Navy/White 70% Wool 30% Silk 3":

    Charles Tyrwhitt Navy and White Stripes 3.3":

    Charles Tyrwhitt Navy & White Grenadine 3.3":

    Charles Tyrwhitt Navy fleur de lys 3.3":

    (TheTieBar has a version of this classic tie, but it's hideous. I'm mentioning it so that people can learn. Notice how the fleur de lis symbols are too large? They're spaced so that some of the symbols are partially off of the tie. Not good.

    Blue shirts:

    TheTieBar Solid Stripes Navy 2.75":

    Charles Tyrwhitt Navy & Sky Herringbone 3.3":

    3. A classic red tie. Solid red ties can be paired with either a white or blue shirt. Some red ties should only be paired with their secondary color. They also work with navy or grey suits, but I prefer them with navy suits. I'll include examples below. These ties with white shirts are considered power ties.

    White or blue shirts:

    TheTieBar Grenafaux burgundy 3": (More red than burgundy)

    TheTieBar Solid Satin burgundy 3": (More red than burgundy)

    TheTieBar Herringbone burgundy 3.5": (More red than burgundy)

    White shirt:

    TheTieBar Satin Dot Burgundy/White 3": (More red than burgundy)

    TheTieBar Wool Stripe - Red/White 70% Wool 30% Silk 3":

    Blue Shirt:

    Charles Tyrwhitt Red & Sky stripe 3.3":

    Charles Tyrwhitt Red & Sky herringbone 3.3": (I'm not thrilled with this tie, but it's a classic pattern.)

    4. A classic gold tie. Choose one that is not too shiny, and not too light. A darker gold looks best. Light, shiny gold ties look cheap. These are considered power ties with white OR blue shirts. Some people consider these ties to be too aggressive. It takes confidence to wear them successfully.

    White or blue shirts:

    TheTieBar Travel Stripes 3.5":

    TheTieBar Solid Texture Marigold 3.5":

    TheTieBar Big Tooth Yellow/Ivory 3": (Borders on being too light.)

    White shirts:

    TheTieBar walking paisley gold 3.5": (This takes panache to pull off.)

    Blue shirts:

    Charles Tyrwhitt gold fleur de lys 3.3":

    Charles Tyrwhitt gold matte 3.3": (I own this tie. I wouldn't recommend it unless you're exceptionally cocky. It's hard to pair.)

    Charles Tyrwhitt gold and sky grenadine 3.3": (This is not a power tie: the gold color is too muted. However, it is beautiful.)

    5. A wine or dark burgundy tie. These typically go with white shirts and grey suits. I would be hesitant about pairing them with navy shirts or suits.

    White shirts:

    Charles Tyrwhitt berry plain grenadine 3.3":

    TheTieBar Solid Satin Wine 2.5": 3.5":

    TheTieBar 70% Wool 30% Silk Burgundy 3":

    TheTieBar 70% Wool 30% Silk Wine 2.5": (I own this)

    TheTieBar Solid Texture Burgundy 3":

    TheTieBar Solid Stripe Wine 3":

    TheTieBar Satin Dot Burgundy/White 3.5": (I am including this because it's an example of a bad interpretation of a classic tie. Notice how the dots are poorly spaced so that there is an extra column on the right side. Also, the dots should not go so low on the tie. It looks like a mistake.)

    The 5 ties that I listed above are the classic staples in a gentleman's wardrobe. Styles beyond these five are a matter of preference.

    I would recommend a dark Irish green tie with a white shirt and grey suit (, a few paisleys, and some interesting stripes.

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  • LesserBlackDog

    I've been wearing ties to my work 5 days/week for a while now and here's what I can tell you:

    I have two ties that I wear a LOT more than all the others. They just go with everything, and they're conservative but not boring.

    The first is a simple navy with small white pindots. The second has thick, alternating stripes of charcoal, navy, and dark red. Both are matte silk with very little shine. Each goes with pretty much everything I own. I have about 20 ties but I these two at least once a week.

    Here are some old photos:

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