The Tie

The Suit is the Frame. The Shirt the Canvas. The Tie the Signature.


Since the first quarter of the 20th century, white collar workers in offices wore ties. Some 20 years ago at the turn of the Millennium, “ Hi Tech" rewrote the dress code.

In the 1920’s and 30’s the tie became an important part of the gentleman’s wardrobe. At the turn of the 19th century when shirts were defined as undergarments and were worn as vests and jackets and coats were buttoned to the neck, only bow ties and ascots were worn around the neck.

After shirts with collars became fashionable, ties were a natural progression. Bow ties were still worn.

One of the advantages of the regular tie known as“ 4 in hand” or the bowtie is that they keep the collar in place with the knot sitting on the top of the first button under the chin.

Ties are also a good indication of the wearer’s mood on any particular day eg flamboyant, serious or theatrical. Some ties depict the wearer’s association with different clubs either sporting or regimental. Therefore the tie is the signature.

Ties and bowties are usually made from either woven, printed or knitted silk and in some cases wool and even Harris Tweed. Silk is the fabric of choice.

The majority of ties are made from printed silk mainly due to the enormous variety of designs available via digital technology. Woven yarn dyed silks are more suited to the tailored and formal look due to the restriction of colour settings.

Macclesfield a small industrial town in the North of England became well known because of its association with the manufacture of silk. The designs are conspicuous because of their small configuration ….dots, squares, diamonds and circles.

The Spitalfield designs are synonymous with the East End of London where the Huguenots in the early 18th century, used their weaving 

techniques to make a more flamboyant version of the Macclesfield in larger and brighter designs which today are worn in a relaxed mode with casual jackets , and jeans.

Stripes have become ever more popular as an alternative, often again for a more relaxed look. Solid colours have always been a staple diet in a well balanced wardrobe……easy to wear with all plain, striped or checked shirts and never look out of place. When in doubt wear a solid colour.