Cravatology 101 and the Mountain and Sackett Authentic Regimental Tie Giveaway

by Brett on May 12, 2009 · 661 comments

in Accessories, Dress & Grooming

If you take a step back, the whole idea of neckties seems pretty silly. It’s a piece of cloth that men tie around their necks. Weird. It doesn’t seem to have any rhyme or reason. And men sometimes use this pretense to avoid wearing one.

But I believe many a man who has evinced an eternal hatred to the necktie has taken too narrow a view of it and bought into its current association with corporate drudgery (the fact that it resembles a noose certainly doesn’t help). The tie is thus in need of some rebranding. For it was was not birthed in the womb of a 1950′s cubicle. Neckwear has in fact a surprisingly long and manly history.

Men in ancient times, from Rome to China to Egypt, couldn’t resist tying a piece of cloth around their necks. And it was the cravats worn by the Croatian mercenaries of the 30 Years War that really transformed the tie into a popular and widespread accessory. So while we may never be able to know the reason why, it’s indisputable that men have always felt a little manlier with something slung around their throat. There’s just something about neckties that make a man look powerful, assertive, and put together. So instead of fighting the tie, why not embrace it and join in this manly and long-standing tradition? Here’s a guide to understanding the necktie so you can do just that.

How to Select a Tie

There is definitely an art to creating and picking out a proper necktie. A necktie can say a lot about you and convey your personality to others. When picking out a tie, consider the following factors to ensure you make a good purchase.

First, think about the shape and size of a tie. When looking at the size of a tie, your safest best is to go with the standard length and width. Most ties are 57 inches long. Anything longer and the tip will go past your waist line, and you’ll head into doofus territory. You want the tip of your tie to come right to the top of your belt buckle. The standard width of a tie is about 3 1/4 to 3 3/4 inches wide. Anything wider and you’ll look like a game show host from 1974. The skinny tie, a favorite of Frank Sinatra and The Rat Pack, can give you a cool, hip edge. Use your judgment on when you should bust out the skinny tie. While it might be good for a night out with your favorite lady, it’s probably not a good choice for a first job interview.

Next, consider the tie’s fabric.
Ties come in a variety of materials and textures. The best ties are made out of natural materials like silk, wool, and cashmere. However, be careful even when selecting ties made from these materials. Just because the label says it’s made of 100% silk doesn’t mean it’s a quality tie. There are varying degrees of silk quality. The heavier and tighter the silk fabric is, the better.

Third, analyze the construction of the tie. Hold the tie up by the narrow end. It shouldn’t twist and turn. If it does, the material wasn’t cut correctly and you have a tie that won’t hang correctly from your neck. Also lay a tie flat on a table and check to see if it’s symmetrical. It’s easy to spot if it’s not– one side will be longer than the other. Finally, inspect the tie for any loose threads or runs in the material.

Necktie “Hands” and Designs

When selecting a tie, the feel of a fabric is extremely important. The term that the tie industry uses to describe a fabric’s weight, feel, and texture is called its “hand.” There are two basic types of tie hands: the print and the woven tie.

With print ties, colored patterns are printed directly onto the silk.

With woven ties (my personal favorite), a loom weaves different color threads into the silk, creating a textured hand to the tie.

Let’s break down the different possible patterns that exist in these two basic design motifs.  It should be noted that most designs can be found in both the printed and woven varieties. The designs listed below were broken up according to the type in which they are most frequently found.

The Print Tie

Printed neckties are the more popular choice between the two categories as they’re generally less expensive to produce than woven ties (although high-end companies make print ties with a slow, more artisan process). With technology, you can print just about anything on a silk tie these days. Unfortunately, this facility of printing has left us with some atrocious looking ties, including ties that look like fish or keyboards or ties adorned with Tabasco motifs. Steer clear of such novelty ties.

While many design gaffs have been committed with the print tie, several timeless and classy prints do exist.

The Paisley. The paisley design is a droplet shaped design motif that dates back to Babylonian civilization. The design is sometimes referred to as “Persian Pickles.” Our sexually obsessed Father of Psychology, Freud, said that paisley was a symbol of virility because the design resembles sperm. The paisley tie has gone in and out of fashion throughout the 20th century; however, designers have been incorporating paisley again into ties.

Polka Dots. The polka dot was once the exclusive domain of women’s fashion, but this motif made the jump to men’s fashion via the tie. Polka dot ties go great with all sorts of men’s outfits, but they pair particularly well with stripes (strangely enough).

Sporting. No, we’re not talking about a tie with your favorite football team’s logo emblazoned on it. When we say “sporting” we’re referring to more “gentlemanly” pursuits like hunting, polo, and golf. The sport design motif began in Britain as a way for the participants in these activities to let the world know that they were a gentleman athlete. Sport ties are good for a dressed down look.

The Woven Tie

I prefer the woven tie over the printed. The weaving adds an element of texture, weight, and sophistication.  Woven ties tend to be made with more silk and are thus heavier, more substantial, and make bigger knots when tied. The woven texture also gives the tie’s design a more 3D and vibrant look, as the weave can be designed to play with the light and convey visual interest. The following tie designs look particularly smart when woven.

Solid Color. Every man should have a few good solid color ties in their cravat arsenal. They’re versatile, yet bold. The key to looking sharp in a solid tie is blending it in with the color combinations of the rest of your ensemble.

Image by Yatenkaiouh

The Plaid. We all know kilts are manly. But if you don’t have the Scottish heritage to pull one off, the next best thing is to wear the kilt’s famous plaid design around your neck. The intersection of different lines with varying widths creates a sense of dimension on your tie. The design can make any solid color shirt and tie appear more interesting.

The Striped Tie. The striped tie has it’s origin in the British military. English soldiers would wear neckwear decorated with stripes in their regimental colors, thus they became known as “regimental stripes.” The English stripes ran from the left shoulder down toward the right. When tie manufacturers began to introduce the striped tie in the United States, they had the stripes cut the other way- right to left- in deference to the original regimental stripe (it’s considered bad taste to wear a British regimental stripe if you weren’t in that British regiment ). The angled stripe works to slim the body. If you think you have sort of a chubby face, the striped tie can chisel away breadth and softness from your mug. Want to get your hands on the real McCoy? Keep reading my friend!

Win a Mountain and Sackett Regimental Tie-The World’s Only 100% Handmade Regimental Tie

Mountain & Sackett’s 100% Handmade Authentic English Regimental neckwear combines a refined display of color and uncompromising craftsmanship. These are the only ties in the world that are never touched by a machine, only the hands of skilled artisans transform these distinctive fabrics into a tie that truly reflects the spirit of their history.

The origins of Authentic Regimentals date back to the “Cravat” worn by Balkan brigades of the 17th century.  A hundred years later, as the 7th Royal Fusiliers gathered in the Tower of London to protect King James II from the oncoming Duke of Monmouth, they helped establish the Regiments by name as a unique part of British history.  The roots of the Authentic Regimental designs can be traced back even further, however, as the court of King Henry V established a Royal Registry of military regalia in 1419.  The descriptions of these “blazons” have been incorporated in the creation of the Regimental designs over the ensuing centuries.  Even today the colors evoke the unmistakable presence of Heraldic times; azure blue represents loyalty and truth, antique gold reflects generosity, and claret symbolizes valor.

Every Mountain & Sackett Authentic Regimental is a testament to this history.  Our fabric is a unique double face repp weave of the highest quality seven ply English yarns, and every tie is meticulously hand crafted; they are made to last a lifetime.

Mountain and Sackett have been making their ties right here in the United States since 1957.

Do you want to win the world’s only 100% handmade regimental tie? Entering this contest is as easy as pie. Just follow these two simple steps:

1. Visit the Mountain and Sackett website and pick out the color design you would like for your tie if you’re lucky enough to be selected as the winner.

2. Share your selection with us in the comments section.

Everyone who enters the contest will be emailed a code for a 20% discount on Mountain and Sackett ties at the conclusion of the contest.

A winner will be drawn randomly from the entries. The deadline for entry into the contest is Sunday 12:00 pm.

601 JB May 17, 2009 at 8:51 am

Occasionals Hockey. Solid and Strong

602 Ben Chapman May 17, 2009 at 9:51 am

The Argyle Sutherland is classy, yet could be casual, it’s a versatile look.

603 Eric Swan May 17, 2009 at 11:13 am

My personal favorite, Old Albanians

604 Mike May 17, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Argyle Sutherland is WHERE IT’S AT!

605 Shawn Moore May 17, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Queen Royal Lancers exudes so much class it isn’t even funny.

606 Gerard May 17, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Queen Royal Lancers for me although all of those are fantastic!

607 D D M May 17, 2009 at 8:38 pm

Queen Royal Lancers, please!

608 French May 17, 2009 at 9:37 pm

Somerset Light Infantry all the way.

609 Big E May 17, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Royal Marines–please!

610 Doc May 17, 2009 at 10:21 pm

I, too, like the Royal Marines tie best.

611 HR May 17, 2009 at 10:23 pm

It’s hard to choose, but I think I like the Royal Marines best.

612 The3rd May 18, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Queens Own Hussars for me.

613 Arthur P. Othieno May 18, 2009 at 1:25 pm

“A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.” — Oscar Wilde

In his book, “Clothes and the Man: The Principles of Fine Men’s Dress”, Alan Flusser goes into the gritty details of what to look for in a (well-made) tie:

Old Albanians, please :-)

614 Gordon May 18, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Queens Own Hussars–
A simple and handsome combination.

615 DKW May 18, 2009 at 7:00 pm

Ocassionals Hockey – elegant and refined, yet unstuffy.

616 Mr J Pryce May 19, 2009 at 4:52 am

Cambridge Scotch School.

617 Jeff May 19, 2009 at 10:01 am

Argyle and Sutherland. The thin red line has never failed us….

618 Matt May 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm

Glenplaid. Blue. Solid color but a subtle difference in pattern from everyone else.

619 justin May 20, 2009 at 4:25 pm

occasional’s hockey is just incredible and awesome

620 Chris Abbott May 20, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Cambridge Scotch School if I may

621 Max May 21, 2009 at 10:21 am

Ocassionals Hockey

622 lucas May 22, 2009 at 1:45 am

I’d have to say West & East Yorkshire for me.

623 Patrick May 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm

either the sporting tie, or the old albanian. they are both classy ties. i like the sporting tie because i am in college and im a fraternity, so they are in style and go with alot of other clothing options such as polo and southern proper. the old albanian is just a clasic and very classy tie. i am only 19 so the two mountain and sackett ties i have are very well cared for.

624 alex May 22, 2009 at 12:30 pm

I like the Albanians, but will settle for Royal Marines.

I work in the construction industry and it is amazing the reation in the job trailer if you have a tie on. It works wonders.

625 James May 22, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Somerset Light Infantry – ftw!

626 Sam May 22, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Somerset Light Infantry!

627 Fred Neal May 24, 2009 at 8:35 am

I really like the Royal Marine stripe as it is the closest to a Navy motif that you have and it is a classic

628 Christopher May 24, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Queen’s Own Hussars — super classy for a formal event

629 James May 24, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Sommerset Light Infantry. love the website!

630 Dimitar Nikolov May 25, 2009 at 10:34 am

Ocassionals Hockey

631 David May 25, 2009 at 7:32 pm

very nice & interesting. good luck

632 m. f. carlisle May 26, 2009 at 5:18 am

All of the stripes are swell and conservative with a little touch of “dash” ! But I like the Somerset Light Infantry please…..

633 Allen May 27, 2009 at 2:58 am

The Regimental Striped Ties – Old Albanians looks amazing! Thank you for the entry… here’s keeping my fingers crossed! =)

634 Dwight May 27, 2009 at 9:11 am

Regimental – Old Repton Golf. Fore!

635 K. Mills May 27, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Queen’s Royal Lancers!

636 PrinceAli132 May 28, 2009 at 7:43 am

Queen Royal what I see myself wearing.

Old Albanians is a good choice but to me it has a bit of a vintage feel to it.

637 Brad May 28, 2009 at 7:13 pm

Queen Royal Lancers. Very stylish.

638 A. Cawston June 1, 2009 at 7:37 am

I quite like the “Royal Marines” tie — and what a great website they’ve got! I’m going to be browsing around there a bit, I think. I also like this website: stumbled into it by accident. I think I’ll make it a regular place to visit.

639 Ed June 2, 2009 at 9:42 am

Its a tie! Between The Old Albanians which speaks manliness (Navy, Maroon, and a touch of Yellow) and The Queen’s Royal Lancers, which yells Bold Courage. Gotta love them both.

640 Deuce June 2, 2009 at 10:20 am

Argyle Sutherland

641 Øystein June 2, 2009 at 12:43 pm

What are your opinions on matching tie and handkerchief? I think it looks quite nice, especially if it’s good quality and matches the rest of you outfit, but I’ve heard some people say it looks like you bought a boxed set.

Just in case, Old Albanians would be nice.

642 Jake D. June 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm

Cambridge Scotch School. Thanks.

643 Eugene June 2, 2009 at 5:59 pm

East Kent Regiment which is just an incredible looking tie. Thanks!

644 Longshanks June 2, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Somerset light infantry

645 Davis June 3, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Old Albanians is the best!

646 Jonah June 4, 2009 at 6:42 pm

The 3rd Kings Own Hussars is my favourite. Blue red and yellow are all basic colours and they go quite well together in this arrangement.

647 Edward Harry June 7, 2009 at 5:37 am

Great Site (both) I found your site after our local paper ran an article.

I would have to select the Ocassionals Hockey, it seems to be more versitle for me.

648 Ken June 11, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Handmade Printed Paisley Ties are very manly!

649 Casey June 11, 2009 at 6:17 pm

3rd Kings Own Hussars, classic, yet not.

650 Jeff Borton June 15, 2009 at 4:11 am

I like the Royal Marines

651 Aaron June 17, 2009 at 8:45 pm

I’ll go with Cambridge Scotch School.

652 Charlie June 19, 2009 at 6:50 pm

Old Albanians for me

653 Danny June 21, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Just so you know, it’s probably best you don’t wear these ties in the UK unless you have served in the regiment. Things could get rather awkward.

654 Mike June 24, 2009 at 9:29 am

Occasionals Hockey goes best with where I work. It’s a good color combo for me.

655 Bill Hosler June 24, 2009 at 10:21 am

Old Albanians!

656 AAdhik June 24, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Cashmere Herringbone please…

657 Nick June 25, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Ocassionals Hockey for me. Good luck all.

658 Collin June 25, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Queen Royal Lancers, for sure. Garnet and Gold hold a special place in my heart.

659 Stefano June 25, 2009 at 9:50 pm

Just curious.. has this contest ended yet?

660 Reggie Williams July 1, 2009 at 5:27 am

All of those ties are great! Each hads its time and place. While some are immediate wardrobe staples. I feel their is a need to step out of the box from time to time and go with something a little more original that is why i have chosen “West & East Yorkshire”

Thanks for a great post guys. it really helps a wardrobe consultant like myself and my friends at work with our daily habits.

661 Josh July 9, 2009 at 8:08 pm

West & East Yorkshire for me please

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

Site Meter