TKI67

Super Member
As fall nears I get interested in pairing ties with tweed, and top of my list are challis paisleys. I also love madder, both in paisley and neats. Challis always feels right to me with tweed, as does madder, but with a worsted suit challis seems wrong, and even madder feels more comfortable in a neat unless it is a fairly casual suit like a cheviot. This is obviously hypothetical small talk in the pandemic realm, but I felt like hearing your views.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
I agree. Tweed suits / sport coats demand heft from their ties. The tie's texture and fabric must be thick and, ideally, rough hewn to harmonize with the Tweed. Your choices make perfect sense to me.

I know challis is wool, but I will also go with a traditional wool or wool-silk blend tie, as they, too, provide the heft and texture needed.

What looks odd to my eye is a Tweed sport coat or suit - especially a heavy and rough hewn one - with a smooth, lightweight-silk tie.

Also, the colors have to harmonize. Sometimes you'll see someone in an earth-tone Tweed suit wearing a bright (almost neon) colored tie. That feels really off to me.

As you said, just chatting.
 

FiscalDean

Super Member
I agree with the wool challis with a tweed sport coat. I will wear a silk tie with a camel hair or flannel sport coat. With a herringbone suit, there are varying degrees of texture. With a herringbone suit that isn't overly textured, I'm inclined to go with a silk tie.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
Another fine choice if one desires a bit of texture in one's neckwear is a grenadine tie. Grenadines, in my view, are ever so slightly more formal, and occupy a space between rougher wool knitteds and smooth or twill (as in some reps) silk ties. The smoother wool ties (not knitted, but flannel-like and somewhat rougher than silk) can go with worsted suits and jackets, and also with all but the roughest tweeds.

A related observation is that in the romance between suit jacket and tie, the go-between is the shirt. (The shirt as Cyrano, come to think of it! ). The colour, texture and pattern of the shirt serves multiple functions, enhancing or ameliorating the contrasts between jacket and tie. One can sometimes get away with what might seem daring, or even outré combinations, by interposing the right shirt between jacket and tie. For example, a tattersall shirt with small checks can be an effective intermediary between a tic-weave or herringbone Harris Tweed jacket and a wool or silk knitted tie, or grenadine tie. In fact, the knitted tie is a frequently seen accompaniment to check shirts, even brightly coloured ones.

On occasion, a good effect can actually be achieved with contrasting rather than matching textures. Consider Bond's iconic combination: A dark blue tropical worsted suit, white shirt, and black silk knitted tie. Connery operationalizes Fleming's outfit using these elements, with the exception that he wears a dark blue silk knitted tie. See the image from You Only Live Twice in Matt Spaiser's wonderful and authoritative piece on Bond suits (I believe Mr Spaiser is a member of our forums here on AAAC):

https://www.bondsuits.com/ian-flemings-james-bond-clothes-films/

Just a few thoughts on an interesting topic. LOL, maybe it is time to reflect on how various types of shoes, at the other end of the body, combine with ties, shirts and jackets. Now there's a topic for a lively discussion, don't you think?
 

TKI67

Super Member
Another fine choice if one desires a bit of texture in one's neckwear is a grenadine tie. Grenadines, in my view, are ever so slightly more formal, and occupy a space between rougher wool knitteds and smooth or twill (as in some reps) silk ties. The smoother wool ties (not knitted, but flannel-like and somewhat rougher than silk) can go with worsted suits and jackets, and also with all but the roughest tweeds.

A related observation is that in the romance between suit jacket and tie, the go-between is the shirt. (The shirt as Cyrano, come to think of it! ). The colour, texture and pattern of the shirt serves multiple functions, enhancing or ameliorating the contrasts between jacket and tie. One can sometimes get away with what might seem daring, or even outré combinations, by interposing the right shirt between jacket and tie. For example, a tattersall shirt with small checks can be an effective intermediary between a tic-weave or herringbone Harris Tweed jacket and a wool or silk knitted tie, or grenadine tie. In fact, the knitted tie is a frequently seen accompaniment to check shirts, even brightly coloured ones.

On occasion, a good effect can actually be achieved with contrasting rather than matching textures. Consider Bond's iconic combination: A dark blue tropical worsted suit, white shirt, and black silk knitted tie. Connery operationalizes Fleming's outfit using these elements, with the exception that he wears a dark blue silk knitted tie. See the image from You Only Live Twice in Matt Spaiser's wonderful and authoritative piece on Bond suits (I believe Mr Spaiser is a member of our forums here on AAAC):

https://www.bondsuits.com/ian-flemings-james-bond-clothes-films/

Just a few thoughts on an interesting topic. LOL, maybe it is time to reflect on how various types of shoes, at the other end of the body, combine with ties, shirts and jackets. Now there's a topic for a lively discussion, don't you think?
Fascinating stuff indeed! For me Bond's elements typify the difference between fashion and Trad of the Ivy League ethos. I appreciate the look he is providing but could never wear it.

I have acquired a solid charcoal suit. I am restocking a wardrobe as a consequence of some weight loss and will need a shirt with a smaller collar to wear with it. I typically wear OCBDs but think I may get either a pinpoint point collar or a broadcloth spread collar, either way in white and perhaps with French cuffs. Thoughts on the selection are welcomed!

As regards ties I am considering the Chipp small repeating print madder in red. Except for a yellow/buff paisley madder and the navy foulard neat I wore for my wedding in 1975, my print ties are challis. If I were to dress the suit down a bit, say for a daytime meeting, I would probably opt for a blue OCBD and repp stripe tie, probably school colors of navy with an orange bar stripe. I am pleased to say that I am also considering a grenadine. As to color, I rather like a pale, silvery blue.

As regards footwear, I am of that odd crew that shuns black shoes except with evening wear and puts on tassel loafers in No. 8 with suits. I wear a matching belt in No. 8. My other favorite dressier footwear, LHS in No. 8 or in snuff suede, is limited to wear with odd jackets. I have lived in my Maliseets throughout this pandemic and can easily see them with khakis, tweed, and a very informal tie.

Back when I worked in a nice, stodgy bank I did enjoy well polished cap toes in a walnut brown. I thought they looked great with a grey POW, a navy foulard neat, and a white OCBD. I never matched them with a belt but had an alligator strap that was cognac and seemed to work well with them.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
I'm assuming that your newly-acquired charcoal suit is in the Trad style, with a three-roll-two undarted front, hook vent in the back, flat-fronted trousers with the 1-3/4" cuffs, etc. A white broadcloth shirt with a spread collar would be a great choice, but perhaps not the extreme cutaway collar that is seen in British shirts. Two other colours that would look rather crisp, if a bit more informal with the suit would be cream and light pink, the latter being a Trad favourite for dressed down versions. Thin stripes in conservative colours like blue or maroon against a white background should also work well. French cuffs are certainly a good idea for the formal version.

Your choices for ties are all splendid! I might add a discreet, medium grey or medium brown glen check tie, which will pop out nicely with a solid white shirt for your charcoal suit. Likewise, ties with very fine polka dots on navy blue or red/maroon background. Solid purple ties are also lovely with charcoal suits. Personally, I like and wear bow ties, and a white on navy blue polka dot (the classic Churchill bow tie) would be great with a charcoal suit. But this is personal preference, some folks don't care for bow ties.

I'm actually with you on brown shoes, I would extend that to shades of burgundy as well, especially for charcoal or navy suits. The shells are all great, although for formality I would go with plain cap-toe, or a medallion pattern just on the cap-toes (I have Alden shells in both of these styles, and they work well with dark suits). Loafers and suede chukkas will dress the suit down. You can also play with sock colours and patterns (clocks, discreet argylls, etc).

A pair of richly brogued dark brown or burgundy vintage Florsheim long-wings would be the contrast approach to a solid charcoal or navy blue suit and solid white shirt and patterned tie. Here we have an expanse of very basic colours (white shirt and charcoal suit) with patterns at both ends, in the necktie and in the shoes. A bit bold, I'll concede, but certainly something worth playing with, although not strictly Trad.

Happy Experimentation!
 

TKI67

Super Member
I'm assuming that your newly-acquired charcoal suit is in the Trad style, with a three-roll-two undarted front, hook vent in the back, flat-fronted trousers with the 1-3/4" cuffs, etc. A white broadcloth shirt with a spread collar would be a great choice, but perhaps not the extreme cutaway collar that is seen in British shirts. Two other colours that would look rather crisp, if a bit more informal with the suit would be cream and light pink, the latter being a Trad favourite for dressed down versions. Thin stripes in conservative colours like blue or maroon against a white background should also work well. French cuffs are certainly a good idea for the formal version.

Your choices for ties are all splendid! I might add a discreet, medium grey or medium brown glen check tie, which will pop out nicely with a solid white shirt for your charcoal suit. Likewise, ties with very fine polka dots on navy blue or red/maroon background. Solid purple ties are also lovely with charcoal suits. Personally, I like and wear bow ties, and a white on navy blue polka dot (the classic Churchill bow tie) would be great with a charcoal suit. But this is personal preference, some folks don't care for bow ties.

I'm actually with you on brown shoes, I would extend that to shades of burgundy as well, especially for charcoal or navy suits. The shells are all great, although for formality I would go with plain cap-toe, or a medallion pattern just on the cap-toes (I have Alden shells in both of these styles, and they work well with dark suits). Loafers and suede chukkas will dress the suit down. You can also play with sock colours and patterns (clocks, discreet argylls, etc).

A pair of richly brogued dark brown or burgundy vintage Florsheim long-wings would be the contrast approach to a solid charcoal or navy blue suit and solid white shirt and patterned tie. Here we have an expanse of very basic colours (white shirt and charcoal suit) with patterns at both ends, in the necktie and in the shoes. A bit bold, I'll concede, but certainly something worth playing with, although not strictly Trad.

Happy Experimentation!
Yes, the suit is a 3/2 Southwick finished with working buttons (!) and 1 3/4" cuffs. I agree completely on avoiding extreme cutaway collars. Since I buy more or less all of my clothing from O'Connell's I am safe on that score!

As regards socks I still have a bin of navy and dark grey ribbed Pantherella merinos. If those do not work I go sockless. Hah!

I, too, love bow ties, and the Churchill is a favorite among them.
 

fishertw

Advanced Member
I agree with the wool challis with a tweed sport coat. I will wear a silk tie with a camel hair or flannel sport coat. With a herringbone suit, there are varying degrees of texture. With a herringbone suit that isn't overly textured, I'm inclined to go with a silk tie.
I,ve collected six challis Drakes neat ties from BenSilver ion sale over the years in navy, brown,forrest green, light red, orange and a bright royal blue. (all on sale at one time or another.) I too prefer challis with tweed but a really high contrast with a doeskin or camel hair works well too.
 

TKI67

Super Member
I,ve collected six challis Drakes neat ties from BenSilver ion sale over the years in navy, brown,forrest green, light red, orange and a bright royal blue. (all on sale at one time or another.) I too prefer challis with tweed but a really high contrast with a doeskin or camel hair works well too.
If you are ever in the market for challis again, I commend to you Chipp. The ties are lovely and very well priced.
 

New Old Stock

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
As fall nears I get interested in pairing ties with tweed, and top of my list are challis paisleys. I also love madder, both in paisley and neats. Challis always feels right to me with tweed, as does madder, but with a worsted suit challis seems wrong, and even madder feels more comfortable in a neat unless it is a fairly casual suit like a cheviot. This is obviously hypothetical small talk in the pandemic realm, but I felt like hearing your views.
I think we get so used to the versatility of Trad clothing that it makes us uneasy when something doesn't "pull its weight" and work on several levels between casual & formal. I only have one challis, but I agree with you it doesn't feel at home with a worsted suit. Its the lack of sheen, I think, because it would probably look great on a flannel suit.
 

TKI67

Super Member
I think we get so used to the versatility of Trad clothing that it makes us uneasy when something doesn't "pull its weight" and work on several levels between casual & formal. I only have one challis, but I agree with you it doesn't feel at home with a worsted suit. Its the lack of sheen, I think, because it would probably look great on a flannel suit.
Yes!!!

However, to me even a flannel was too dressy for challis. I had a brick challis neat with pine cones/small paisleys that worked really well with a medium grey three piece cheviot and a blue OCBD circa 1979.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
I imagine you are referring to wool challis, which is what challis ties are usually made of. However, as a fabric, challis can be a blend of silk and wool (the original version in Norwich, England in 1832) or woven out of of single fibres like wool, cotton or silk. There is even a French variety, I have read, which has a glossy finish, but I have not seen this fabric. The word itself is an anglicization of an Indian (Hindi) word shallee meaning "soft" -- not surprising since English contains literally hundreds of words taken from the many languages in India.

I agree with you that wool challis ties are best paired with jackets made of tweed fabric and not worsted. For me they would be fine with a good thick flannel suit or jacket, with a nice mottled finish to it.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
Indeed, that's one of the main aspects of the New England approach even outside Trad clothing, isn't it? They like thrift in that part of the world, and making things last as long as possible by keeping them in good repair. And they like having things that work well for multiple purposes.
 
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