In the world of formal wear and custom made suits, ties can often be seen as an afterthought. After all, there’s no rigorous measuring process to find the right dimensions for your body, and ties are only a sliver of fabric in the entire ensemble of a suit. Despite this, it’s a well-known fact that a luxury tie can mean the difference between a merely good outfit and a truly outstanding one.
So what sets passable, good ties apart from great, luxury ties?
For starters: they’re handmade. Despite the avalanche of advances in technology over the past decades, crafting luxury ties is still a meticulous, time-consuming, manual process. Machines cannot identify the subtle variations in texture and the relative “give” of each individual fabric that are paramount to producing the greatest quality ties from the blade to the neck and to the tail. For bespoke tailoring companies, making high end ties is nothing less than an artform. Most of the best ties come straight from the source of fashion and bespoke tailoring epicenters in France, Italy, and England. For example, our bespoke tailor shop in San Francisco offers a TAILORS’ KEEP collection of luxury ties, handmade in Italy.
Another key aspect that sets luxury ties apart from the dime-a-dozen department store variety is the quality of the material. Whether the tie is made from wool, silk, cashmere, linen or some other fabric, it needs to undergo various rounds of close inspection and rigorous standards before being approved. TAILORS’ KEEP ensures that it’s ties are hand-picked Italian silk cloth. Not only does the quality of the material determine how well the tie is put together, but it also impacts how the tie looks, and how well it holds up over time. High quality is about visual appeal, but it’s also about longevity, and those two attributes do not need to be mutually exclusive.
A final key differentiator between low end and high end ties is the question of quantity: there are fewer high end ties to go around. This is due to the high degree of scrutiny and care that goes into making truly world-class ties, and they tend to be produced in smaller batches to maintain tight quality control. This means that ties are valuable not only for their intricacy, but for their exclusivity and rarity as well, such as our handmade ties. Each tie has a unique story and journey before it ever even slides underneath your collar. TAILORS’ KEEP’s first collection of ties available for sale online or in their brick-and-mortar store in San Francisco has already dwindled from 40 to 15 - and going fast!
Knowing the amount of care and energy that goes into crafting a truly great tie, it’s useful to take a look at recent trends and prevailing styles in luxury ties, as well as common tips for getting the most out of your collection and giving guidance that can ultimately bring out the best version of your tie (and you)!
Some of the most popular trends in ties include and prevalence of so-called “skinny” or “narrow” ties that sport a thinner blade that creates more negative space and gives the accompanying suit a greater sense of freedom and movement. However, most luxury ties are still of the traditional wider-blade variety and are valued for their ability to lend a greater swath of color and energy to a suit ensemble, especially if they include playful patterns such as paisley, polka dots, or flowers with high-contrast.
It can sometimes to intimidating to branch out and try new things in fashion, especially when finding a standard, high quality solid tie to “play it safe” is so easy. The good news is, there are a few helpful tips to keep in mind that will enable you to open up your necktie pallet.
It’s a common myth that combining two patterns - one on the tie and one of the shirt - is taboo. However, as long as one pattern is stronger and the other is relatively muted, it is possible to pull it off. For example, if the tie has a bright, elaborate polka dot scheme, and the shirt is a faded pinstripe, the overall look can be rather stunning and effective. Also, to account for the numerous varieties of suit, tie, and shirt combinations, it is helpful to have a collection of ties that span different patterns, textures, and fabrics including silk foulard or grenadine, cashmere, and wool. Throw in a festive pocket square and you’re really in business.
The thought of building an entire versatile, vibrant, high quality tie collection may seem daunting - and frankly, a bit pricy. But the good news is, TAILORS’ KEEP has you covered.