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.

501 Tom Keener May 14, 2009 at 5:27 am

Old Albanians

502 Nicholas Cyr May 14, 2009 at 5:39 am

I much prefer the old Albanians it just seems to me as such a regal looking tie as if you have to be a man of great worth to wear it. Also the East Kent regime is nice but I’m not sure if I could pull it off or if it isn’t similar to something that I already have. Either way those are some very nice ties but for a university student their way too expensive…..A Guy can dream? oh well there’s always Wal mart.

503 Ken Z May 14, 2009 at 6:02 am

Queen’s Royal Lancers! Nothing subtle about it.

504 Jim Thompson May 14, 2009 at 6:14 am

regimental light blue with red and yellow stripes

505 Rob May 14, 2009 at 6:18 am

Queen Royal Lancers

506 Mike May 14, 2009 at 6:36 am

3rd The King’s Own Hussars has a history of the nobility and duty of service that rings true in the male genes.

507 M May 14, 2009 at 6:54 am

Queen Royal lancers is my favourite.

Thanks for the great articles!

508 Matt May 14, 2009 at 7:14 am

I like the East Kent Regiment

509 Chris May 14, 2009 at 7:15 am

Don’t know if the contest is over, but I’m gonna go with the Cambridge Scotch School. It’s hard to find a good pink tie. This one is awesome!

510 Eric May 14, 2009 at 7:15 am

Queen Royal Lancers

511 DMD May 14, 2009 at 7:16 am

Baluchistan Infantry for me.

512 Bill May 14, 2009 at 7:22 am

Definitely old Albanians… these ties look great

513 Alex Harper May 14, 2009 at 7:41 am

Old Albanians. Definitely the classiest.

514 Bernie Franks May 14, 2009 at 9:05 am

Somerset Light Infantry here.

515 Scott E. May 14, 2009 at 9:23 am

Old Albanians is my favorite too. Although I would be more than happy with any of the Regimental ties listed.

516 Scot Vaughan May 14, 2009 at 9:34 am

Old Albanian is the one. Though I’d prefer something with the blues and greens, none of them looked as good as the Old Albanians.

517 Jay_T_R May 14, 2009 at 9:41 am

Cambridge Scotch School.

518 Caleb J. Lancaster May 14, 2009 at 10:09 am

3rd Kings Own Hussars for me…I like a tie that stands on its own.

519 Merritt Burks May 14, 2009 at 10:48 am

I’d have to go with the Royal Highland Fusilier, now that’s a good looking tie.

520 Paul May 14, 2009 at 11:23 am

Baluchistan Infantry is my cup ‘o tea!

521 Charles Cunningham May 14, 2009 at 11:59 am

Royal Dublin Fusiliers, definitely. Though the Baluchistan Infantry looks great, too.

522 Jason May 14, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Old Abanians for me.

523 Brian Homer May 14, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Occasionals Hockey – good article

524 Jonathan May 14, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Definitely Argyle Sutherland

525 Matthew Glass May 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm

thanks for the opportunity – I find the Queen Royal Lancers a rather bold option.

526 Godfrey May 14, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Queen Royal Lancers – very strong tie and would look great on a white shirt.

527 Brian May 14, 2009 at 1:49 pm

Old Albanians

528 T. Edwards May 14, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Thanks…the Queens Own Hussars is similar to my favorite bow tie.

529 Taylor May 14, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I’d choose the Old Albanians, nice dark colors that are still eye-catching.

530 Joel Watson May 14, 2009 at 2:07 pm

I am a medical student and wear ties very frequently. This has led to an abnormal degree of “tie pondering” during the slower aspects of my education. I have long puzzled at the homogenous (R) -> (L) orientation of tie stripes and wondered where the rhyme and reason were hiding. I have also held several conversations with my classmates who were equally bemused and mystified. How amazing to discover a manly article which divulged the secrets of The Great Tie Stripe Mystery.
I have quickly become attached to the 3rd King’s Own Hussars pattern, and would wear it with immense pride if I win. Either way, I will continue wander tie-clad, and now more knowledgeable. Rest assured, I will be adding Regimental Ties to my Christmas wish list.

531 Frank May 14, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Cambridge Scotch School.

532 Adam P. May 14, 2009 at 2:37 pm

The Cambridge Scotch School is the winner, followed closely by the Queen Royal Lancers. Both would help round out my growing necktie collection.


533 Snedds May 14, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Queens Royal Lancers for me, should my number come up.

534 James May 14, 2009 at 2:54 pm

A Sommerset light infantry would be delightful, if you could!

535 Sean May 14, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Bulichistan Infantry or Queen Royal Lancers

536 Fahad Alam May 14, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Ah, Queens Royal Lancers for me. I love the interplay of those colors; they seem very majestic and also happen to match my school colors! I hope to win and I wish everyone else luck as well. :)

537 Randy Hauer May 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm

A shame there wasn’t any advice on tie selection appropriate to the knot you are particular too. Different fabrics, patterns widths and weaves lend themselves to Windsor, 1/2 Windsor or 4 in hand. Anyone read “The 85 ways to to tie a tie” by Thomas Fink?

538 David May 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm

Royal Highland Fusilier
Because I’m Scots-Irish (Wallace, Black, Nivens) by heritage, and I’m told that both blue and green look good on me. And I need a good tie.

539 Trey Addison May 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm

3rd Kings Own Hussars

540 Jeff May 14, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Old Albanian!

541 Fraz May 14, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Got to be the West & East Yorkshire…it’s where I grew up, bah gum :-)

542 Brent May 14, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Old Albanians would be my first choice.

543 Markus May 14, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Love the Handmade 100% Cashmere Plaid Tie (Box Brown)!

544 April May 14, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Oh, my. 3rd Kings Own Hussars, please! My husband looks amazing in bright colors.

545 Adam May 14, 2009 at 5:36 pm

East Kent Regiment.

546 Pablo Vallejo May 14, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Great article, I really enjoy all articles. I really like the Queen Royal Lancers. I hope to win one.

547 David Gagné May 14, 2009 at 6:07 pm

I’d definitively go with the Queens Own Hussars.

548 Shayne Bernier May 14, 2009 at 6:10 pm

Thanks for a great post. How about a post about knots used for ties?

I like the Queen Royal Lancers.

549 Michael May 14, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Old Albanians seems to be a popular choice– and for good reason!

550 August May 14, 2009 at 6:31 pm

I love the West & East Yorkshire.

551 Steven C May 14, 2009 at 6:55 pm

Old Albanians for me too!

552 DJ Krauthoff May 14, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Ocassionals Hockey!

553 oscar May 14, 2009 at 8:43 pm

west & east yorkshire thank you

554 Robert Black May 14, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Queen Royal Lancers. Although that’s assuming the yellow is a true yellow and not a gold. If it’s not a true yellow then Old Albanians. Heck, I’d buy one of each if I had the cash.

555 frodostilllives May 14, 2009 at 9:43 pm

Man, I really like the look of the Queen’s Royal Lancers pattern. Red and gold just work well together. But all those ties are awesome looking, and I’d be happy with any of them.

556 Jack Franklin May 14, 2009 at 10:36 pm


This great post. It was a big help, i learn more from it. Thanks for the idea share. I’ll come back often.

Wear Jack

557 Michael Harmon May 14, 2009 at 11:10 pm

The Occasionals Hockey are the perfect ones for me. It goes well with my suits and the wife likes it too.

558 Peter Jeziorek May 15, 2009 at 4:43 am

Cambridge Scotch School. I like the baby blue, but not overbearing like in Third Kings Own Hussars.

559 Anthony Pienta May 15, 2009 at 5:24 am

Old Albanians is hard to pass up. It has strong colors and really looks classy. There’s nothing like a great necktie.

560 Mike May 15, 2009 at 6:21 am

Occasionals Hockey

561 Bjorn May 15, 2009 at 6:24 am

I like 3rd Kings Own Hussars

562 J.M.J. West May 15, 2009 at 7:01 am

Old Albanians 57″ regimental striped tie

That is a gorgeous tie…

Though I really like the paisley too…makes me look virile!

563 Garrett Ebersole May 15, 2009 at 7:43 am

I’m all about the Somerset Light Infantry Tie.

564 Matt C. May 15, 2009 at 7:43 am

Somerset Light Infantry, hands down. Though Old Albanians is a close second. Very classy.

565 Jason C. Mauney May 15, 2009 at 8:05 am

East Kent Regiment definitely! Thanks for another great contest…and a link to another great website

566 Lawrence M May 15, 2009 at 8:41 am

I don’t have any green ties, but I’m really digging the Somerset Light Infantry.

567 Chris R May 15, 2009 at 8:50 am

Absolute no doubter as I ran through the options…East and West Yorkshire for me. I am from West Yorks although am now exiled in the frozen wastelands of Canada! The regimental tie would be a wonderful link back to the smoky cricket clubs of my home!

568 Ethan May 15, 2009 at 9:54 am

Old Albanians are a really classy look. That’s my choice.

569 Chris Marinos May 15, 2009 at 10:31 am

Queen’s Own Hussars

570 Axel May 15, 2009 at 10:40 am

Old Albanians. It is a classic colour combination.

571 Marshall Waddell May 15, 2009 at 11:39 am

Queens Own Hussars would be the ticket for me. By the way, it’s good to see the picture of ties being stored properly, rolled up (and in individual cubbies, no less). A salesman at Thomas Pink in London instructed me to always roll up a tie for storage and never to use a tie rack (through which ties will stretch out of shape over time).

572 mr classic May 15, 2009 at 12:14 pm

The paragraph on selecting shape and size of a tie needs to be corrected. The width of a tie must correspond with the width of the lapels on the jacket you’re wearing.

Although I doubt anyone will read this since this comment will be lost in the storm of men hungry for free ties.

573 KC May 15, 2009 at 12:27 pm

I am fond of the Cambridge Scotch School design.
Thank you – KC

574 David May 15, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Royal Marines for me should I win. Very Sharp!

575 Daniel Rosenthal May 15, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Old Albanians

Thanks for the giveaway!

576 Tim Gibson May 15, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Somerset Light Infantry would be great!

577 Bryce May 15, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Queen’s Royal Lancers

And about the atrocious looking ties – I was in the clothing department of a big box store a while ago and looked through their ties. They were all are those “look at me! I’m so clever that I bought this hideous tie!” ties. Not a single good looking tie in sight.

578 Sean May 15, 2009 at 3:10 pm

I like the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the colours go really well together

579 Nute May 15, 2009 at 6:05 pm

I am partial to the Royal Highland Fusilier.

580 Matt Fives May 15, 2009 at 7:21 pm

Somerset Light Infantry sounds good to me!

581 Seth Morris May 15, 2009 at 8:38 pm

The Old Repton Golf really is a fine tie.

582 Sal O. May 15, 2009 at 10:50 pm

I would love a “Penguins” tie.

583 Shaun May 16, 2009 at 12:01 am

Indian Army Ordnance looks great…I’ll have one of those thanks!

584 Simon May 16, 2009 at 3:33 am

Royal Dublin Fusiliers would be wonderful. Thanks!

585 Ramon May 16, 2009 at 4:46 am

Occasionals Hockey for me!!!

586 Ben May 16, 2009 at 9:38 am

Great website, loaded with very good articles!

Queen Royal Lancers for my selection!

587 Martin Schwartz May 16, 2009 at 10:14 am

My choice – Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The question is – can an American wear this in Britain without insulting the Empire?

588 Scott Cockrell May 16, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Queen Royal Lancers. It’s bold and glorious.

589 Dan Pannebaker May 16, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Cambridge Scotch School; the pink really pops against the navy.

590 Hugh Donohue May 16, 2009 at 2:21 pm

Cambridge Scotch School – I have to agree with Dan (above) that the pink really pops against the blue!

Your site is tremendous, I find myself reading almost all entries as they appear in my RSS feeder. I grew up wearing ties, but had to leave them for the most part while in the service (a black ties against a white or mint shirt is a tie by definition, but not much more than that…). I find now I take every opportunity to wear them, even on dress-down days.

Even if I won a drawing that was for a random selection, I would have nothing to gripe about, they are all excellent selections.

Can I submit multiple comments for multiple discount coupons? ;>)

591 Shawn May 16, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Queen Royal Lancers for Me. Love the combo of red and gold. I love knowing my ties are well made. It’s like lingerie for women. I know the quality I’m wearing, even if now one else does.

592 Nelson Pecora May 16, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Somerset Light Infantry for me. My friend’s ancester fought in the Siege of Jalalabad. By the way, great article!

593 Kel Lake May 16, 2009 at 7:45 pm

Got to be the Baluchistan Infantry. Something snazzy about it

594 Kevin C. May 16, 2009 at 7:52 pm

I like the Old Albanians.
Thanks for the great info!

595 Bo May 16, 2009 at 10:25 pm

Queen Royal Lancers all the way!

596 Eddie Smith May 16, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Somerset Light Infantry is a beautiful tie, and it really is “regimental.”

597 David Dovey May 17, 2009 at 1:29 am

Somerset Light Infantry. Green and blue is such a wonderful striped tie combination.

598 Cameron A May 17, 2009 at 3:17 am

Ocassionals Hockey would be my choice.

599 Kevin L May 17, 2009 at 6:23 am

Queen Royal Lancers. It’s a really sharp looking tie! All of these ties are awesome.

600 Rich May 17, 2009 at 7:39 am

Occasionals Hockey

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