How to Buy the Perfect Knit Tie
In just the last few years, knit ties have emerged as a fashion “must have” for any men’s wardrobe. At one time, they were only designed for casual wear but now they are often paired with sport coats, vests and even suits. Here’s what you need to know about buying the perfect knit tie.
Soft vs. crunchy
“Crunchy” is usually not a word that you’d associate with men’s fashion, but it describes one of the two main types of knit ties. The other type is “soft.” Thus, the first choice you will have to make is whether you prefer the soft or crunchy knit tie.
This is both an aesthetic issue as well as a price issue. The crunchy ties are made using a special silk yarn from the Alps and are largely handmade on 100-year-old machines. As you might guess, you’re paying a healthy premium for this artisanal workmanship. Due to their stiffness and overall appearance, they are best paired with more formal outfits, such as a pinstripe business suit.
The soft ties offer a really smooth feel, and work well with casual outfits. These are made much like socks, and are unique because there are no seams in the back. If you’re looking for a casual tie to wear to a social event or for a casual day at the office, the soft knit tie is a great option.
Silk vs. wool
The next choice you’ll have to make is between silk – the traditional material used in knit ties – and other materials, such as wool, cashmere, polyester and blends. Now that knit ties are being worn more informally, the search is on to find new materials that work well for warmer spring and summer months. You could, for example, choose a linen/silk blend or a linen/wool blend. However, if you’re looking for the traditional look – or just want to err on the side of caution with your fashion choices – it’s best to opt for silk.
Wide vs. skinny
When selecting a knit tie, it’s also important to keep in mind how you plan on pairing them with your outfits. As a general rule of thumb, if your suit or sport coat has wide lapels, then you’ll want to choose a wider knit tie. And if your suit or sport coat has skinny lapels, then you’ll want to choose a skinner knit tie.
Now that you’ve narrowed down the knit tie by type, material and width, you can choose the right color. Here, it’s best to go with traditional color palettes. For example, if you’re wearing a navy suit, it’s best to wear a blue or red tie. In general, darker colors – blues, reds, greens – can be paired with a much wider selection of outfits than bright color. Moreover, if you’re planning on wearing your knit ties with suits, it’s best to choose a solid color tie rather than, say, a striped or casual pattern. A solid colored knit tie that’s stiff and crunchy can really make your suit “pop” and help you stand out in any meeting.
By following just a few basic rules – such as choosing silk over other materials and opting for darker solid colors rather than patterns – you can buy a knit tie that will pair well with a variety of outfits and win you compliments for your unique fashion style.