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.

301 Andy Mathes May 13, 2009 at 4:45 am

Old Albanians for me!

302 B. Dawalt May 13, 2009 at 4:47 am

Royal Highland Fusilier for me – I wasn’t in that Regiment, but its colors are the same as mine. GARRYOWEN, SEVENTH FIRST!!

303 DT May 13, 2009 at 4:47 am

Sevenfold Printed Paisley.

304 Sebastian May 13, 2009 at 4:52 am

Somerset Light Infantry is the one for me.

305 Kishore May 13, 2009 at 4:54 am

Hard to choose just one but I’ll go for the Baluchistan Infantry.

306 Aaron Schnabel May 13, 2009 at 4:55 am

I like the Royal Highland Fusilier… plus every time I wear it, I will remember the brief time I spent in the hihglands….

307 Jesse May 13, 2009 at 4:57 am

Cambridge Scotch School. I wear a tie to work most days and having a truly classic, handmade tie would be a welcome addition to my collection. Plus, it matches the dress my fiance is wearing to our wedding rehearsal dinner…

308 Matthew Leffler May 13, 2009 at 4:57 am

Royal Highland Fusilier for me!

309 Sean May 13, 2009 at 4:57 am

I would have to go with the Mogador in blue and pink.

310 Dan Szekeres May 13, 2009 at 4:57 am

Queen’s Own Hussars.

If I win it from your contest, or not, this tie will be worn by me soon enough!

311 Martin Verna May 13, 2009 at 4:58 am

Somerset Light Infamy

312 Gino May 13, 2009 at 4:59 am

I like 3rd Kings Own Hussars – nice blue to complement my eyes :)

313 Robert May 13, 2009 at 4:59 am

Somerset Light Infantry

314 M. De Meulder May 13, 2009 at 5:00 am

Queen Royal Lancers
Call me crazy, but I love the look of those bold colors on a simple white shirt.

315 Jon May 13, 2009 at 5:07 am

Ocassionals Hockey

316 Walter May 13, 2009 at 5:14 am

I like Old Albanians… But Somerset Light Infantry was really close.

317 Alex May 13, 2009 at 5:15 am

Argyle Sutherland.

318 Chase May 13, 2009 at 5:18 am

Occasionals Hockey for me.

319 Mike May 13, 2009 at 5:18 am

Royal Dublin Fusiliers for me. Thanks for turning us on to this website.

320 John Kemp May 13, 2009 at 5:22 am

I really like the “3rd Kings Own Hussars.” First, I like blue a great deal but it’s a nice bright non-standard blue. Second, the the yellow and red give it a nice flair that makes the tie really stand out. Nicely done.

321 Josiah May 13, 2009 at 5:24 am

Have to go with either Cambridge Scotch School or East Kent Regiment. Impossible to choose only one.

322 thomas paciello May 13, 2009 at 5:25 am

Ocassionals Hockey is my choice. Really nice classy ties.

323 Dave May 13, 2009 at 5:27 am

I prefer the Indian Army Ordinance tie.

324 David M May 13, 2009 at 5:27 am

I like the penguins regiment and look forward to winning one!

325 Derick Taylor May 13, 2009 at 5:35 am

Great Article! Who knew the tie had such an important military history. The bold pattern and strong complementary color combination of the East Kent Regiment really speaks to me.

326 leeyo May 13, 2009 at 5:37 am

Queen Royal Lancers

327 Gregor Curry May 13, 2009 at 5:48 am

I’m pulling for the Somerset Light Infantry.

328 Cody Robertson May 13, 2009 at 5:48 am

Royal Highland Fusilier for me. Sounds like a tie you can spill a little Scotch on. Thanks.

329 James Murr May 13, 2009 at 5:50 am

I like the Old Albanians, but I think I like the Royal Marines just as much or more. Both are awesome, and classic manliness.

330 Dan May 13, 2009 at 5:53 am

It has got to be the 3rd Kings Own Hussars tie for me. Love the bold colours!

331 Steven Domoslay May 13, 2009 at 5:59 am

“Old Albanians” designed tie is the one for me. It is the classic look that never goes out of style. It looks so well made that I plan to pass it on to my son, if I am fortunate enough to win.

332 Mark Roberts May 13, 2009 at 6:00 am

I would go with the Ocassionals Hockey. It matches the majority of the dress shirts I own.

333 Justin May 13, 2009 at 6:01 am

Queen Royal Lancers

334 Ben Sprows May 13, 2009 at 6:01 am

Queens Own Hussars is a statement tie – impeccable style and construction are a given, and the bold colors of this particular tie are a strong match to the materials. Plus, the colors are those of my alma mater fair. This one is a wardrobe-completer. Thanks for the opportunity!

335 Craig May 13, 2009 at 6:03 am

Old Albanians is my choice. That’s a sharp looking tie!!

336 Patrick Powers May 13, 2009 at 6:03 am

Royal Dublin Fusiliers! What a classy mix of colors, plus the already classy look of a good regimental tie.

337 Terry Boyne May 13, 2009 at 6:03 am

Royal Dublin Fusiliers for me please.

338 B Lace May 13, 2009 at 6:04 am

Somerset Light Infantry

I’d be interested to know some of the history behind some of these prints. In England, I know that a lot of patterns have meaning. For instance, each college in Oxford University has it’s own individual print and you can pick out which school a man attended simply by this piece of attire.

339 Caleb May 13, 2009 at 6:06 am

I really like the east kent regiment tie.

340 Tim May 13, 2009 at 6:07 am

East Kent Regiment

341 Eric May 13, 2009 at 6:08 am

Old Albanians is my choice.

342 Kyle Gassiott May 13, 2009 at 6:09 am

East Kent Regiment is where it’s at!

343 Tim Aman May 13, 2009 at 6:12 am

Royal Marines for me! I have quite a collection of ties, but nothing like this! I didn’t even realize hand made ties still existed! Very nice! Thanks for all the great info AoM! Tim

344 Nate Cannon May 13, 2009 at 6:13 am

Queen Royal Lancers is a sharp, classy tie that grabs attention without being ostentatious. Love it.

345 Stephen Harrison May 13, 2009 at 6:14 am

I’m all about the 3rd Kings Own Hussars tie. You can never go wrong with the primary colors. Red, blue, yellow; these are the colors of creation. Nine times out of ten, when painting, I only use these colors; I don’t even mix them to make the secondary colors because they just look so good together. There is an aesthetic quality to the primary colors; there is an aesthetic quality to this tie.

346 david May 13, 2009 at 6:19 am

Somerset Light Infantry! The only tie for me!

347 Dan0 May 13, 2009 at 6:23 am

The best tie I ever had was a city of london tie. It was expensive for me ($30), but I still get complemented on it 7 years down the road. A good, “power tie” doesn’t go out of style.

Scottish Light Infantry

348 The Plainsman May 13, 2009 at 6:31 am

The Baluchistan Infrantry appeals to my Hungarian lineage.

349 Vincent C May 13, 2009 at 6:31 am

I like Old Albanians the best. : )

350 Mike May 13, 2009 at 6:31 am

I would go with the Somerset Light Infantry.

351 Neptúnus Hirt May 13, 2009 at 6:34 am

Queen Royal Lancers for me, if I get lucky enough : )

I wear a tie at almost all times. Being an eighteen year old student, this gets me a few odd stares, but I can’t imagine wearing a suit without a proper tie.
I have a tie-rack by my bed, holding my collection.
Achieving a picture-perfect tie-knot is one of the most satisfying parts of my morning-routine. I just need to purchase some better-fitting shirts to get the full benefit (most of my shirts do not fit tightly enough at the collar, which is unfortunate).

352 Anthony Piselli May 13, 2009 at 6:35 am

Ocassionals Hockey for me!!

353 William May 13, 2009 at 6:37 am

My choice would be for Occasionals Hockey.

All are good choices though.

354 George Sackett May 13, 2009 at 6:39 am

Great article – the East Kent pattern is my first choice.

355 Michael Lacanilao May 13, 2009 at 6:44 am

Old Albanians are classy!

356 Rod Waynick May 13, 2009 at 6:49 am

I’m really digging the 3rd Kings Own Hussars

357 Brian McGraw May 13, 2009 at 6:55 am

East Kent Regiment. Simple and very classy

358 Brian Dickerson May 13, 2009 at 6:59 am

Somerset Light Infantry

359 Tom White May 13, 2009 at 6:59 am

Indian Army Ordinance. Sharp.

360 Robert D. May 13, 2009 at 7:00 am

Great article! I love ties, and have a pretty decent collection, but I don’t have anything near as unique as these. It’s also nice to learn some of the history behind what has to be the manliest article of accessory clothing.

Cambridge Scotch School is my pattern of choice. A nice blend of classic and modern colors – altogether a beautiful tie. Runner ups include, of course, Old Albanians, a classic look for anyone, and West & East Yorkshire, which has a nice modern, conservative look to it.

361 Bob Bedritis May 13, 2009 at 7:00 am

Old Abanians

362 Bryan Niermeyer May 13, 2009 at 7:01 am

Queen Royal Lancers for me. One can never have enough ties.

363 James May 13, 2009 at 7:03 am

Queen Royal Lancers…

364 Dave Staples May 13, 2009 at 7:10 am

Somerset light infantry here. What a classy tie.

365 Nate May 13, 2009 at 7:10 am

Sumerset Light Infantry

366 Stefano May 13, 2009 at 7:10 am

3rd Kings Own Hussars for me… I love regimental stiped ties and this tie had a beautiful color that can punch up and add a bit of flair to a dark suit without looking cheesy. Besides, its color is quite unique so I’d probably be the only one wearing a color like that which is a plus!!!

367 Ben Staples May 13, 2009 at 7:14 am

My son, east kent regiment is what you want for real class

368 Steve Watters May 13, 2009 at 7:15 am

I like the Royal Highland Fusilier partly because I’m Scotch-Irish but also because it reminded me of my first “real” tie after a couple of years of wearing sock ties and cheap silk stuff.

369 BitsBoy May 13, 2009 at 7:16 am

Indian Army Ordnance for that colonial feel!

370 Greg May 13, 2009 at 7:18 am

I’m partial to the ‘Queens Own Hussars’ colors.

371 Kekoa Kuamoo May 13, 2009 at 7:18 am

The Old Albanians looks great and it would add depth to my meager collection.

372 Brett Rossback May 13, 2009 at 7:19 am

Add mine to the pile: World”s Only 100% Handmade Regimental Tie (Ocassionals Hockey – Regular (57 inch)).

I have no doubt I will use the 20% off, thanks for the recommendation.

373 Earl Spriggs May 13, 2009 at 7:20 am

I have to go with Cambridge Scotch School

374 Erik May 13, 2009 at 7:23 am

Blue and Pink Regiment! Excellent colors and a wonderful design

375 Adam Blakely May 13, 2009 at 7:24 am

I’d have to go with the 3rd Kings Own Hussars. I love the necktie. I’m trying to bring it back to my office.

376 Robert Carter May 13, 2009 at 7:24 am

Baluchistan Infantry. A perfect summer time to go with a tan suit.

I already have a number of good U.S. rep ties. This would be a very nice addition.

377 Nathan R. May 13, 2009 at 7:27 am

I like the Queens Own Hussars best

378 Scott H May 13, 2009 at 7:28 am

Old Albanians!!!

379 Neil B. May 13, 2009 at 7:28 am

Old Albanians would go well with my navy suit, so I’ll take that one.

380 Greg Christy May 13, 2009 at 7:49 am

It’s the Queens Royal Lancers for me! Simple, bright, perfect.

381 eoin May 13, 2009 at 7:52 am

Queens own Hussars! Awesome tie!

382 Mike G May 13, 2009 at 7:54 am

It’s the Royal Highland Fusilier for me…MG

383 kyle May 13, 2009 at 7:57 am

I love the occasions hockey…it would go perfect with what I already have…Thanks for a great giveaway!

384 Leo May 13, 2009 at 7:58 am

Royal Marines for me-good colors, proud history, get the mission done!

385 Joshua Blomberg May 13, 2009 at 8:02 am

Royal Marines for me, it, at least to my eye, has a sense of strength. The red on blue stands out, but isn’t overbearing. It would make a very nice addition to any tie collection.

386 Matt Bump May 13, 2009 at 8:07 am

I really liked the “Old Albanians” with the “Somerset Light Infantry” as a close runner up.

387 Brent Bonner May 13, 2009 at 8:07 am

Royal Highland Fusilier, as I am a bagpiper, and the Fusiliers are a tough regiment who wear KILTS! (Ye canna git mor manly than a kilt, ye ken?)

388 Henry Sherwin May 13, 2009 at 8:09 am

I’m glad to know there is more to a tie than a noose, because it did seem a little silly. I enjoyed this post a lot and thought I would say so.

All of the Regimental Ties are nice, though were I to win I would prefer the Somerset Light Infantry.

389 chris May 13, 2009 at 8:09 am

I had the opportunity one time to whore in with the Royal Marines when they were on tour in the States, and the colors match my wardrobe too! Great article, keep up the good work.

390 Tim May 13, 2009 at 8:11 am

Somerset Light Infantry

391 Frank Alberts May 13, 2009 at 8:19 am

Royal Marines looks sharp!

392 Matthew May 13, 2009 at 8:26 am

Old Albanians. As classy as it gets.

393 Charlie May 13, 2009 at 8:27 am

Wow, look at this contest! Awesome rallying from the AoM faithful.

This is going to sound so silly but I’m crazy about plain black or red knit wool ties. Have loved them ever since I was a kid admiring the Beatles and James Bond and other 60s styles.

394 Ryan May 13, 2009 at 8:31 am

East Kent Regiment

395 Josh May 13, 2009 at 8:34 am

Tough choice between Old Albanians and East Kent. I think in the end I’d go with the East Kent Regiment.

Really, I’d like to buy them all.

396 Shane May 13, 2009 at 8:41 am

I have to go with the “Old Albanians”. Classic!

397 David May 13, 2009 at 8:45 am

Somerset Light Infantry would be a great start in my son’s “new” wardrobe. They all look great.

398 Philip May 13, 2009 at 8:47 am

The Magador!

399 Kyle Triplett May 13, 2009 at 8:49 am

Cambridge Scotch School for me! Darn well classy and sharp!

400 Bill May 13, 2009 at 8:54 am

Queens Royal Lancers. Have to go with my fraternity’s colors

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

Site Meter