It was Oscar Wilde who originally said that a well-tied tie is the first serious step in life. While more and more men are abandoning the tie in favour of the dull open-neck shirt, ties are still a boardroom fixture that can say a lot about the guy wearing it.
You might be thinking that they’re uncomfortable, fussy, and serve no true functional purpose. That might be true. But what we can verify, gents, is that a quality tie can seal a good impression. They give you an opportunity to express some sartorial creativity and show your boss that you put in a little bit more effort. No one wants to be the bloke in the corner office whose reputation is limited to his shit ties (and co-incidentally, hasn’t seen a promotion in a few years).
If your not spending your week days climbing that oh so high corporate ladder, ties can be a cool and fun way to smarten up your outfit. The streets of Florence confirm that even for casual wear, there is a place for a tie in the modern man’s wardrobe.
Whether you’re heading to the races for a punt, hustling at a hedge fund or hitting the catwalk, there is a tie for you. Here are some of our top tie brands:
Originally famous for his work at Ralph Lauren, J.Crew and the GAP, in 2011 Todd Snyder released his own label which has become synonymous with the artisanal quality of Savile Row, yet with an edgy cool of New York. His latest collection focuses on knitted ties, a staple of the ‘smart-casual’ aesthetic.
Classic Silk Knit Tie in Olive $78
Drake’s embrace heritage values that are a sad rarity in today’s landscape of dodgy sweatshop-sourced fast fashion. Everything they produce is hand-crafted in a London factory, in this case woven from pure silk. The furthest thing from a one note accessory, it has versatility on its side – wear it with a sports jacket on the weekend, or a charcoal suit for the upcoming job interview that has you sweating buckets.
Floral Foulard Silk Tie in Red $175
It isn’t often that you see a tie’s design inspired by a pair of shoes, but, Gucci has perfectly paired their famous ‘horsebit’ with the rhombi pattern to create a formal tie that will set you apart in the office. The fully lined, Italian silk-twill construction will ensure this tie lasts you a lifetime.
7 cm Printed Silk-Twill Tie $288
While you’ve hopefully gotten over your 007 aspirations, dressing like the man himself isn’t something you’re quite ready to give up on. If you think bowties look dweeby or you’re too useless to learn to tie one, this French-made velvet tie by Lanvin can step in as a dashing substitute. Wear this with a peaked-lapel tux jacket, or if you’re an especially brave sartorial pathfinder, a velvet alternative. But seriously, keep it to black tie. At night, nursing a vodka martini, you’ll look the business.
7 cm Velvet Tie $170
Richard James is something of the young man’s clothier on the Row – he brings English sartorial heritage to the mix alongside slim, contemporary cuts and bolder colours more relevant to a youthful audience. This knitted brown tie is Italian made with a linen-silk blend, at a slim 6cm width. However you choose to wear it, you’ll find its versatility outpaces most other ties on the market. It can subdue the formality of a two-piece suit and alternatively, smarten the hell out of a casual blazer-chino combination.
7 cm Knitted Mélange Silk and Linen Blend Tie $162
Alexander McQueen infamously caters to the audience that doesn’t do understated, discreet, or modest. This 6cm silk-jacquard tie combines two disparate sartorial motifs – a subdued check and skull pattern – demonstrating the AQ design team’s flair for mixing trusted, old-school tailoring with ominous symbols you might see on a pirate ship. We have no doubt this probably wouldn’t fly in the office.
8 cm Skull and Polka-Dot Jacquard Silk-Twill Tie $205
It’s hard to discuss menswear without paying Tom Ford his dues. This houndstooth tie is Made in Italy from a silk-linen blend. This number is slightly different from your typical formal tie, it will complement any monochrome outfit nicely and inject your day-to-day outfit with some subtle flair.
8 cm Dogtooth Silk and Linen-Blend Tie $290
Dunhill occupies a coveted space as one of menswear’s leading authorities on traditional masculine style. Paisley has a well-established history in men’s tailoring, and this Dunhill 8cm silk-blend number can rescue a dull weekday outfit if you’ve been pushing your luck with the same tie three days in a row.
7 cm Paisley-Embroidered Herringbone Linen and Mulberry Silk-Blend Tie $213
When your wearing a quality suit and shirt, you need quality accessories to complement them. Canali produces ties in Italy to the highest standard, this particular piece, made from an exquisite silk-jacquard combines a shades blues to create a bold print that looks subtle from a far. It will pair nicely with navy, black and charcoal suits.
6 cm Silk-Jacquard Tie $188
Famous for his multi coloured stripes, Sir Paul Smith elegantly showcases modern British style. His ties, available in an array of different patterns and colours, built to the highest of qualities allowing you to look smart, without being boring. This classic striped tie is quintessential Paul Smith and a worthy investment.
Navy Embroidered ‘Dog’ Motif Silk Tie £100
A quintessential British brand, Hackett, should be your go to when it comes to traditional menswear. Their great range of ties will suit any occasion and style. If your going for a preppy look, this red and white striped tie will pair perfectly with a navy blazer and chinos. Alternatively, it will look great with any suit for your 9-5.
Bengal stripe Silk Tie £60
Turnbull & Asser
Turnbull and Asser have been producing menswear since 1885, fitting out big names like Winston Churchill and James Bond. Looking to harness your inner Christian Grey? This puppytooth silk tie combines grey and white threads to deliver a sharp and refined look. Pair with a grey suit and you are well on your way to becoming that businessman with a ‘Hidden life’.
Navy Grenadine Tie $233
Hugo Boss, a name synonymous with modern luxury makes ties that will sharpen up any outfit. Their clinical tie range perfectly suits formal and business occasions. This solid black tie in wool will pair nicely with a black or grey suit to make you look cutting edge.
Italian-Made Tie in Silk with Geometric Micro Pattern £69
If you looking to up your tie game but haven’t got the budget to stretch to some of the more exotic brands, T.M. Lewin might be the answer for you. Whilst they might not have the cache of Gucci or Drake’s, T.M. Lewin have been making high quality garments at an attractive price since 1898, surely their heritage and experience counts for something. Picture is a green with white polka-dot knitted tie, a superb casual choice for those who like to look a bit dressier than most.
Knitted Green V-Spot Silk Slim Tie $65
Whilst Reiss is rather new to the menswear game, having only been established in 1971, they have rapidly made a name for themselves creating modern, high quality garments. This ‘gold’ medallion tie is a perfect pick for those wanting to hark back to a cooler, by gone era.
Sterling Silk Medallion Tie in Gold $120
Suitsupply is a dutch company taking an alternative perspective on the production of men’s clothing and accessories. Their vertical integration means you can have high quality italian fabrics at a reasonable off-the-rack price point. If you’re looking for a tie that looks comfortable in a boardroom and at the races, this is the tie for you. The navy, brown and white stripes in a cotton, linen and silk blend creates a great mix of traditional and modern materials, colours, patterns and textures.
Navy Tie Cotton Linen Silk $69
Ermenegildo Zenga, the brand name no one can pronounce. This family run label creates some of the most luxurious ties in the game. Whilst you are paying twice the price of other normal ties, at least this one is reversible, so you’re getting two ties for the price of one.