As the third in a three part series based on selecting the proper neckwear color, pattern and texture, we've teamed up with Mr. Rishi Chullani, a men’s necktie entrepreneur and formal wear fashion blogger with The Dark Knot, a line of ties that is focused on helping gentlemen dress better. The Dark Knot provides approximately 120 designs across a range of patterns, in both hand made woven and printed silk tie categories.
The importance of texture cannot be overlooked when choosing the proper neckwear fabric. Whether you are choosing a certain fabric because of seasonal considerations, or because it contrasts well with the existing color and pattern in your suit and shirt ensemble, we present this guide to proper tie texture for your line of life or leisure.
Silk is by far the overwhelming choice of necktie fabrics in the marketplace. Silk happens to be one of the most strongest fabrics known to man. Despite its soft appearance, it has high tensile strength, resulting in greater durability. It also exhibits a natural drape, and can be found in both woven (grenadine) and printed selections.
Therefore, a silk tie is considered the most versatile piece in your neckwear arsenal. As such, silk can be worn year round. During the summer months, it pairs nicely with light woolen suits. During winter the smooth sheen of silk contrasts well with a tweed jacket and woolen trousers.
Insiders Tip: When choosing a silk tie based on season, summer colors such as pastels (blue, pink, lilac) with floral or paisley designs are best suited for casual wear. A more conservative motif such as a strip or polka dot, in a dark tone such as olive green or burgundy is better suited for the fall and winter months.
Linen and Cotton ~ Summer Ties
Line and Cotton are considered ideal fabrics for the Spring and Summer. These ties are often offered in light pastel colors, and their lightweight properties make them ideal for warm weather dressing. A drawback of wearing these ties is that they tend to wrinkle easily. Hence, it is of paramount importance they have been lined properly (interlining consists of materials inside the tie that allow it to retain its shape). Both linen and cotton ties should be avoided with power/business suits, and are best paired with seersucker, cotton or linen.
Insiders Tip: For a semi-formal, yet fun setting, such as a beach wedding, consider wearing a seersucker suit with a cotton shirt and a linen tie.
Woolen Ties – Fall / Winter Ties
Woolen ties are ideal for Fall and Winter, and can be worn both formally and casually. During cooler months, thicker textured clothing is generally preferred due to their insulation properties. As a result, woolen ties are considered ideal during this time of year. As a result of their texture and depth woolen ties are extremely handsome paired with flannels. Full in body and drape woolen ties hold thick knots, making them perfect neckwear for any formal setting during Fall/Winter months. While woolen ties add a level of elegance and formality to a traditional suit, they can be worn equally as well with less formal attire such as a tweed jacket, adding to their versatility.
Insiders Tip: Avoid pairing a woolen tie with suits that have more sheen, as the natural subdued look of a woolen tie is best complemented with a suit that absorbs light rather than reflects it.
Knitted ties are at the less formal end of the neckwear spectrum and can be used to either dress down a suit or dress up a more casual outfit. Knitted ties are characterized by their textured, loosely woven appearance and absence of interlining (as a result of their texture). Most knitted ties have square ends and are usually constructed of either silk or wool, with the latter being best during Fall and Winter
Because knitted ties are generally considered less formal than their woven and printed silk counterparts, they are best worn using a four-in-hand knot. Moreover, their thicker texture automatically results in a thicker knot than a standard silk tie would yield, thereby further necessitating the four-in-hand.
Insiders Tip: While Knitted ties wouldn't typically be worn in a formal business setting, they are ideal for casual ensembles such as chinos with a buttoned-down shirt and blazer for a casual wedding. Even if others are without a tie, you will not feel overdressed. It’s a win win.
• Introducing fabric variation with respect to your neckties will give your ensembles extra kick during both warmer and cooler months.
• Silk is considered the most formal piece of neckwear, but can also be worn to less formal occasions. It is largely considered the most versatile necktie fabric in the market and can be worn year round. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that they constitute the vast majority of ties in the marketplace.
• Linen and Cotton ties are ideally suited for Spring/Summer. Because of their lightweight properties and casual look, they are the perfect complement for casual occasions such as a beach wedding.
• Woolen ties are heavier in texture and best suited for Fall/Winter. Due to the textural variation, depth and level of elegance that they can add, they are ideally paired with suit with a bit of sheen, providing great textural contrast. However, they can also be worn during less formal settings with a tweed jacket.
• Knitted ties are at the less formal end of the neckwear spectrum. While silk knitted ties are great for year round wear, woolen knitted ties are ideal for fall and winter months.