Dressing the Neck: The Eleven Looks Every Man Should Own

(Images: Tommy Ton for GQ and used without permission. Let me know….)

I’ve had the luxury of scanning through the GQ website this week. Much more interesting than the magazine these days, especially Tommy Ton’s street style shots of men in NYC and Milan. The images above really jumped out at me for two reasons: the cut of clothing and the choice of how to dress the neck.

In terms of choices, we are living in a golden age of menswear. We can choose to put on the dog or go casual (and we’re all dressing a little better than we have to by now, aren’t we?) The two looks are illustrated above. Thinking of my Friday kit, I glanced into the closet at my wall of ties and was for the moment, completely nonplussed. Does anyone these days need three hundred ties? Especially in varying widths of 2 1/2″ to 3 7/8″?

So I’ve decided to pass along an idea: a capsule wardrobe of neckwear as t’were. If I had to leave the country suddenly, here are my choices. (All four-in-hand ties would be roughly 3 3/10 ” or 8.5 cm wide.)

1) A silk knit tie in either black or navy blue.

2) A silver-grey tie in a Prince of Wales or houndstooth pattern.

3) A regimental or school stripe.

4) A solid navy silk grenadine.

5) One bright tie for day wear when you’ve a spring in your step. It might be yellow, pink, electric blue, lime green or a combination of all of those.

6) A deep purple tie to wear with a navy suit in the evening.

7) A navy and white spotted tie.

8 ) A formal black, grosgrain bow tie.

9) A colourful bow tie.

10) A navy and white spotted silk scarf.

And yes, this one goes up to eleven. A neckerchief in either red and white or midnight blue and grey-blue spots.

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8 Responses to Dressing the Neck: The Eleven Looks Every Man Should Own

  1. Wisco says:

    I think I may have also come to same conclusions. I don’t have several hundred ties, but I seem to consistently reaching for a rotation of 10-20.

    Brown and black grenadines
    A few BB rep ties in maroon, red and navy
    Brown, blue and wine wools
    A textured palate of navy: flat wool, shiny grenadine and twill, white pindots
    A knit brown, blue and a few others

    As you can see the color range is actually quite narrow, but the materials vary from wool to silk, the textures from flat to chunky and the sheen from flat to shiny. I guess I like it this way.

  2. Swell post, Easy. Like it a lot. Only tie I’d add would be a collection of Hermes’ whimsical ones in handsome colors. The ones with the amusing little images printed on them (you know the ones–tiny horses jumping over tiny jockeys and such). I’ve been collecting them since I was in my twenties, and I wear one at least a couple times a week (but then I work at an IBank so that’s no surprise). Reggie

  3. John says:

    Thanks for an interesting list. I don’t see any need for ## 1 through 6 myself. I’d especially be against #3 unless one happens to be a member of the regiment or an alumnus of the school (whichever way the stripes go).

  4. John says:

    I agree with the comment that it is nice to have a few Hermes ties.

  5. Angelika says:

    food for thoughts – de-love-ly 😉

    I have been enjoying/reading your blog for what seems almost two years now.
    as a non-American and non-bloggess I usually do not comment.
    please let me “seize the moment” and do it now.
    and I also like your motto “luxe, calme et volupte”.

    unfortunately I dearly miss “elegance” when I look around me and try to cultivate it daily, in small portions 😉

    thank you for sharing !
    all the best for you and Mrs. E

  6. pedro says:

    I’m a huge fan of ties myself, I think is the most genuine item of men ‘s fashion, one that gives you not only a sense of elegance but personality to your whole attire. Unfortunately I do not wear it too often anymore since I work for a company where that dreadful concept called “business casual” is the ruling dress code; however I wear it to go out for dinner, concerts and even to visit friends even some people can think I get overdressed.

    Since I get carried away but trends and fashion (on ties specifically) I tend to avoid expensive ones; nevertheless I have some valuable acquisitions I wear with pride:

    – solid blue navy bushed silk by Armani Collezioni (perfect “good for all occasion” tie)
    – blue tie with white seagulls by Faconable (my conversation tie)
    – Burberry check pattern by Burberry’s (ideal with a summer tan suit or with jeans and a green Fay jacket)
    – Solid light blue (pastel) by Loewe ( which Spaniard does not have a Loewe tie in pastel colors)
    – Pink with white and blue flowers by Hackett ( my eccentric tie)

  7. pedro, fine choices all. I have a washed silk blue striped tie that goes with everything. The brushed one sounds similar.

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