Having worked in an office environment for the last 7 years, the tie has been a part of my everyday get-up for as long as I can remember. Either love them or loath them, a good tie can really make your outfit. Whether offering a subtle finishing touch or being the focus statement piece the tie has been a staple men’s accessory for centuries (even the roman soldiers wore them).
With us, men, now having more freedom to explore our creative side when it comes to formal wear, we’ve seen a shift away from the standard silk tie and a rise in popularity of woolen ties. Now these ties have been prominent in heritage wear for years. However, we’re now seeing this trend crossover into more mainstream contemporary fashion, which I believe is largely down to the explosion in popularity of vintage apparel over the last decade.
Today I’ll take you through some key woolen tie trends, how to wear the look and give you some recommendations for key pieces worth checking out this season.
Lookbooks & Street Style
1. Traditional Ties
The traditional woolen tie has been a prominent in men’s fashion for centuries. These are uncluttered ties that tend to lend themselves to a vintage, heritage style. Remember to wear a shirt with contrasting colour palette or a check/plaid shirt to keep your tie from clashing. The 100% skinny herringbone woven ties below in red, orange and blue from Shetland heritage brand Peter Christian are great for creating a formal, vintage style. Simple, bold woolen ties are there very best!
2. Check/Plaid Ties
The check or plaid tie is again common place in collections from heritage brands such as Aquascutum and Burberry, both renowned for designing quality check neckties. This trend can also be worn a statement tie, with lighter, softer colour tones contrasting against a bold check. This is highlighted perfectly by the green checked tie, white shirt and beige suit combination below. There are some quality plaid ties around this season and my pick of the bunch is this Red, green and yellow 100% wool number from Alexander Olch.
See Also: The Checked Suit Trend for 2014
3. Patterned Wool Tie
Patterned ties are very much regarded as a standout accessory in men’s fashion. Whether you’re into Paisley patterns, bold stripes or colour blocking. These ties are designed to the be the statement piece in your outfit. As with all bold, patterned items remember to compliment with single coloured shirts and don’t mix and match your colours. Square bottom skinny ties are proving very popular this year and the blue and red wool tie from J Crew feature below is a good example of this current trend.
4. Polka Dot Ties
Polka Dot woolen ties are great for creating that smart casual or formal look. I would advise contrasting a polka dot tie with a white/pastel coloured shirt, or if your feeling brave why not go for a vintage style by matching your tie with a subtle check. This can be seen below with a purple polka dot tie, white and purple checked shirt and grey blazer with purple check. The outfit is great example of how to mix patterns and checks effectively. Finally, why not try sporting a polka dot tie under a v-neck knit for a bit of smart, yet practical office wear!
See Also: How To Wear Prints SS14
5. The Woolen Bow Tie
Get your deerstalker on, twizzle the ends of your moustache and straighten your bow tie; the woollen bow truly does epitomises that country gent style. This trend can be made casual with a tweed jacket and checked shirt creating a heritage feel, or why not keep things formal with a bright, bold statement bow tie; complete with tailored suit and classic cut shirt. It’s a good look if you’re planning to attend any weddings this summer. This Harris Tweed brown/ginger basket weave tie below is a good example of this trend and would be complimented perfectly by a brown tailored suit/waistcoat, and white classic cut shirt.
See Also: How to Dress Business Casual
6 Woolen Tie Recommendations for 2014
1. Peter Christian – Traditional Shetland Wool Ties
These are proper aces! 100% Shetland Wool Ties that come in three colours, purple, bronze and fern (a fancy word for grey if you were wondering). I’ve visited the Shetland Islands in the past and it really is cold and bleak, so unsurprisingly they really know their stuff when it comes to producing high quality woollen garments to keep out that biting wind. These would look great with some earthy coloured outerwear. Scottish to the core and proper vintage gent gear! Oh … and you can pick up two of these ties for £17.50, absolute steal don’t you think?
2. Totally Tartan Wool Tie – Light Blue/Brown/Mango (Skinny)
A great 100% wool tartan checked tie, a great colour combination of pale blue, brown, mango and cream. Match it up with a navy suit and waistcoat and white shirt for a creative, formal style.
3. REISS Frankie – Emerald Polka Dot Wool Tie
This is a cracking Polka Dot wool number from high street heavyweight Reiss. The Frankie is a classic cut wool/silk blend and features an emerald-green base with all over scattered cream polka dots.
4. Farrells – Black & White Wool Pattern Tie
A cracking 100% wool tie from the Sorrento collection by Farrell. This would look ace with a contrasting white or grey shirt and dark suit creating a really clean, sharp style.
5. Harris Tweed – Men’s Bow Tie
A simple classic vintage Harris Tweed 100% wool bow. The tie comes with an adjustable grosgrain neck strap, pre-tied ready to wear, This example below features a brown russet colour with flecks of duck egg blue (very suave). Oh and it’s a snip at £14.99 over a Tweedmans Vintage.
6. Wool Stripe Tie – Skinny Apple Red
What a great tie this is! I love the bold bright apple red colour with the understated thin diagonal stripe running across it, a great statement tie. What’s even cooler is that over at stockists ‘The Tie Bar’, there’s a facility to contrast your tie with shirt/suit colour combinations, so you can create the style you’re looking got before you buy, sweet!! Looking for a summer wedding tie that’ll get you noticed, this is the one!
Woolen ties are cool and they are here to stay. Invest in a pair of ties and bow ties and you should be good to start your adventure and experiment with these uberly stylish garments.