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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll be honest - my tie buying in the past was buying a couple of ties that the sales guy at the men's store recommended when I bought a new suit. I haven't worn ties regularly for 7+ years now; I might wear a tie once a month if the client calls for it (I'm in the financial services industry). My work attire is a wool sport coat and wool trouser. So after a lot of wardrobe turnover and a collection of old ties bought specifically to wear with suits I don't have anymore, I find it harder and harder to find a tie that works.

I'd like to get two basic ties that will go with basically everything I have (grey/brown trousers mostly; navy, grey and brown coats; if I have to wear a suit, it's a navy or charcoal). My thought was a solid red/maroon and a solid blue (navy or maybe sky blue).

So I began searching the forum for quality tie makers. I found myself on Sam Hober's website after seeing the name frequently pop up. But I have no idea what kind of tie to buy. I didn't know there were so many different kinds. What fold? What weave (reppe vs Jazquard)?

So after feeling like an ignorant hick once again, I turn to the learned gentlemen on this board for some advice on what to buy for what I'm trying to accomplish.
 

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The prices on many ties have become absurd! Sam Hober's ties are fine quality, but more sanely priced.

In your situation, I'd get one wine colored, and one navy. While I have a fondness for wool, silk is likely the better choice for wear with most suits, and can still be worn with sport jackets.

Grenadine ties are very nice, but have become a fad. Nothing wrong with those if you wish it, but other choices are just as nice. You could get solid ties, but I'd be more tempted to get each with a simple white of grey stripe to avoid looking too somber in less formal use. They still will be suitable for almost everything, and easy to accessorize.

A tie should look rich, knot well and hang straight. IMHO, all else is superfluous, which is why I see little point in 7-fold ties and the like.
 

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Faddish or not, my current favorites are grenadine ties from Chipp Neckwear. For what it's worth, I have never noticed anybody else wearing grenadine. They are quite thick but after tying a few times become very easy to tie with that little dimple some folks like so much. I think they go really well with sports coats with some texture, and although solid look neither too shiny as some solids do nor too somber.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The prices on many ties have become absurd! Sam Hober's ties are fine quality, but more sanely priced.

In your situation, I'd get one wine colored, and one navy. While I have a fondness of wool, silk is likely the better choice for wear with most suits, and can still be worn with sport jackets.

Grenadine ties are very nice, but have become a fad. Nothing wrong with those if you wish it, but other choices are just as nice. You could get solid ties, but I'd be more tempted to get each with a simple white of grey stripe to avoid looking too somber in less formal use. They still will be suitable for almost everything, and easy to accessorize.

A tie should look rich, knot well and hang straight. IMHO, all else is superfluous, which is why I see little point in 7-fold ties and the like.
I was planning on going silk. What's the difference between reppe and jacquard? Is one more "normal? If that even makes sense.

I've always had a fondness for small dots on ties. Maybe one with dots and one with a stripe as you mentioned.

So is the standard a 3 fold?

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How about The Tie Bar? I can only assume the quality is better with Sam Hober and Chipp Neckwear, but I’m interested to hear a comparison from someone that has experience with all three. The bow ties, at $19, from The Tie Bar have impressed me, but I don’t have much to compare them to and I haven’t purchased a neck tie from them.


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I also recommend grenadines from Chipp. They offer tasteful visual interest and harmonize with a wide range of rigs, and the weave can stand up to a decent amount of abuse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Have you ever thought about buying pre-owned ties? I... umm... know a friend who has a bunch of them and sells them for a fraction of the retail cost. :hidden:
I did look on eBay but just didn't have the time or patience to wade through it all. Tell your friend to send me a PM if he has anything that might work.

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I was planning on going silk. What's the difference between reppe and jacquard? Is one more "normal? If that even makes sense.
Rep is dull or lustrous, midweight silk fabric, which is typically one-color. Has transverse, longitudinal or angled ribbing; is in linen or rep weave and from fine lustrous or dull silk.

Jacquard is cloth woven with a pattern woven into it.

Rep silk is the most common.

I've always had a fondness for small dots on ties. Maybe one with dots and one with a stripe as you mentioned.
Polka dot ties look great. It is a fairly formal pattern for a tie. Stripes slightly less so to my eye.

So is the standard a 3 fold?
It is most common, and entirely adequate if the tie is properly made.
 

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How about The Tie Bar? I can only assume the quality is better with Sam Hober and Chipp Neckwear, but I'm interested to hear a comparison from someone that has experience with all three. The bow ties, at $19, from The Tie Bar have impressed me, but I don't have much to compare them to and I haven't purchased a neck tie from them.

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All 3 are good options.

I have had no issues with either.

I think tie quality is not that important IMO and overstated by menswear forums and blogs. It's not like the difference between cheap corrected grain shoes that are cemented, and a full grain leather shoe that is welted.

So long as it looks good and ties your preferred knot, then that's what matters.

For me, that has meant thin, lighter weight ties. For the life of me, I cannot get a good knot out of my grenadine tie.
 

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If you’ve got a few nice ties to wear when you have to look natty, then the tie bar is a good choice to load up on a bunch of inexpensive ties. They will not look as good as others, and can’t hold a candle to Hober. They are hit or miss. 1 out of 3 will be so cheesy as to be embarrassingly unwearable. Most make an anemic knot, but once in a while you get a great looking tie, the rest are mediocre but serviceable. I have a good amount of them, and have sent back the worst. However as my better collection has grown, I find I rarely reach for them, as there is usually a better choice in my closet.

Now aside from the tie bar, Chipp or Hober, I never will buy a tie at full price. Most all of my purchases over the past 4 years have been BB Makers ties found at the outlets marked $3/99.

If I had to have only 2 ties, to span sports coats be they tweed, or worsted, as well as suits, I would make them either a grenadine and a madder, or both grenadine.

With the grenadine, you have no worries about pattern matching of the shirt or the jacket. The madder brings in a richness and depth that is incomparable. I would get one in a burgundy and the other navy. While a solid grenadine might seem boring, I have to stop myself from reaching for them each morning, as they seem to always be appropriate to the outfit I’m wearing, and they are the easy no brainer choice at 6:30 AM.

Since we are talking about only 2 ties, I would get both from Hober, as the quality for the price is probably about the best you will find. Chipp grenadines, had a problem with the cuvée, but he has changed the interlining, and they tie better now. I would not hesitate to recommend them, but again as it is only 2 I would go the extra mile and get the Hober as they still are noticeably better to tie. Since in the summer I lean toward linen and linen blends ties, and in the winter wear mostly tweed/flannel clothing, I prefer the grenadine grossa, as its heavier knit holds against heavier coarse fabrics. For year round I would get the Fina, or Prometeo.
 

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I also would go with a burgundy and a navy. If you wear patterned sport coats and shirts I would get solid ties. If your coats are solids, perhaps patterned ties but if you're only going to have 2 I would go solid. A navy and burgundy grenadine would be pretty versatile. As far as width, length and lining/thickness etc, email David Hober and ask. He can recommend the proper tie for your sizing and knot preferences. If money is a concern and you are OK with the set sizing, Chipp grenadines are great. I have 5 of them. Chipp's new thinner interlining ties a better knot and doesn't hang as stiffly as the thicker ones did. Chipp's matkas and madders are nice too.
 

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It's hard to believe you won't get tired of wearing the same two ties, so I would encourage you to look for more, and different types. Not all solid, or stripe, or paisley, or polka dot. Get a variety.

One place I go for ties is Lands End. I'm sure they're not as high quality as some of the makers I see mentioned here, but they seem to be good fabric, attractive patterns and colors, and reasonably priced (particularly if you stick to the sale items). Some of my favorite ties are from Lands End.
 

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You'll look boring wearing the two same ties in perpetuity. Start with a maroon solid, a navy pindot, and a bb#1 and then get more as the others have suggested. And always wait for sales.
 

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I also would go with a burgundy and a navy. If you wear patterned sport coats and shirts I would get solid ties. If your coats are solids, perhaps patterned ties but if you're only going to have 2 I would go solid. A navy and burgundy grenadine would be pretty versatile. As far as width, length and lining/thickness etc, email David Hober and ask. He can recommend the proper tie for your sizing and knot preferences. If money is a concern and you are OK with the set sizing, Chipp grenadines are great. I have 5 of them. Chipp's new thinner interlining ties a better knot and doesn't hang as stiffly as the thicker ones did. Chipp's matkas and madders are nice too.
I have a burgundy solid tie from Tie Bar that is marketed as a "textured solid". I believe it's a hopsack tie based on pictures that I got when I googled "hopsack ties".

Personally, I think this so called textured solid is just as versatile as a Grenadine or Grenafaux solid. I would've bought a burgundy solid Grenafaux tie from Tie Bar but I couldn't tell it apart from red (which I could do with the textured solid).
 

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It's hard to believe you won't get tired of wearing the same two ties, so I would encourage you to look for more, and different types. Not all solid, or stripe, or paisley, or polka dot. Get a variety.

One place I go for ties is Lands End. I'm sure they're not as high quality as some of the makers I see mentioned here, but they seem to be good fabric, attractive patterns and colors, and reasonably priced (particularly if you stick to the sale items). Some of my favorite ties are from Lands End.
I haven't shopped Lands End for ties in a long, long time, but then I'm not really in the market any longer. But some of those I have from them are among my favorites. About 30 years ago they had a wool knit in a Fairisle type pattern, and I bought all 3 colorways! :oops:
 

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I have a burgundy solid tie from Tie Bar that is marketed as a "textured solid". I believe it's a hopsack tie based on pictures that I got when I googled "hopsack ties".

Personally, I think this so called textured solid is just as versatile as a Grenadine or Grenafaux solid. I would've bought a burgundy solid Grenafaux tie from Tie Bar but I couldn't tell it apart from red (which I could do with the textured solid).
Some of their ties are fine but the grenafaux I have is craptacularly bad.
 

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My advice is to not pay more for a tie than you are comfortable parting with when a spill happens. I have bought many $100 - $200 retail ties on ebay for $20, which is my ebay price ceiling for bids on ties. There are more beautiful ties for sale on ebay than one could possibly scroll through.

I tend to favor vintage ties and Holland & Holland and Purdey. I also pick up a few from Jim Thompson when in Bangkok.

Cheers,

BSR
 
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