For some, it’s no longer a part of the corporate dress code. For others, it remains a workplace necessity. Either way, the necktie remains a way to sneak in a neat slash of extra colour or print into outfits, formal and otherwise. From matching to considered clashing, here are a few ways to wear the newest ties now.
TEXT LYNETTE KOH PHOTOGRAPHY TAN WEI TE STYLING C.K. KOO ART DIRECTION NORSHAM HUSAINI
Conventional wisdom has it that you never match the colour of your tie to that of your shirt. But rules, as they say, are made to be broken. Giving solid-coloured shirts a touch of depth, this monochromatic approach works best with dark colours such as black or navy blue.
Cotton blazer, cotton shirt, cotton shorts and silk tie, from Boss.
Barely there spots. Contrasting polka dots. Small circles. Perfect for those who like keeping things simple, these subtle patterns are some of the easiest to wear. Aside from playing well with solid neutrals or colours, they can also be matched with stripes or checks – just keep the patterns in similar proportions.
(Silk ties, from top) CH Carolina Herrera, Armani Collezioni, Armani Collezioni, CH Carolina Herrera, Brunello Cucinelli, Burberry Prorsum, CH Carolina Herrera, Bottega Veneta.
Think of petite florals as a more flamboyant version of polka dots. Available in an array of vibrant and nature-inspired (but certainly not earthy) hues, these blooms enable the deskbound to bring a dash of the outdoors into the office.
(Silk ties, clockwise from top left) Burberry, Hermes, Dunhill, Hermes, Uomo Collezioni, Kiton, Kiton.
SHAPES AND SIZES
Proportion is key when it comes to mixing prints. Here, the tie’s motifs work well with the subtle, light checks of the shirt. Together, they perfectly complement a stylishly slouchy, silver suit without overpowering it.
Ermenegildo Zegna Couture silk suit, cotton shirt and silk tie, from Ermenegildo Zegna.
MADE IN THE SHADES
We’ve heard strenuous arguments about how black shouldn’t be mixed with brown, or how navy and black should not be worn together. Throw out those outdated colour rules and, remember, it’s all about balance. Contrasting hues like purple and red, for instance, can absolutely go together. Keeping the purple dark, however, prevents your palette from looking cartoonish.
Cotton shirt and silk tie, from Dunhill.
YIN AND YANG
A summery suit in pastel pink, worn with a white tee, makes for a light, smart-casual look. Throw a shirt and a more traditional-looking blue checked tie into the mix, and the ensemble is ready for the office.
Linen suit, cotton shirt and silk tie, from Etro.
A tip for wearing more than one pattern at a time: Keep the colours muted and in the same colour family. Employ a little tongue-in-cheek wit when it comes to pairing prints – here, for instance, light blue abstract floral embroidery makes a nature-inspired backdrop for a camouflage-print tie.
Silk-cotton suit, cotton shirt and silk tie, from Dior Homme.
Stripes and paisley may be traditional patterns, but these ties show that there are plenty of ways to riffon these classics. So, while the fashion-forward might embrace a full paisley print in all its elaborate glory, those with quieter tastes can opt for a variant that zooms in only on the twisted teardrop shape found in paisley.
(Silk ties, from top) CH Carolina Herrera, Dunhill, Dunhill, Etro, Armani Collezioni, Tom Ford, Dunhill, Tom Ford.
The great thing about a tie is that it takes up a limited amount of real estate. This means that there’s more room for bold experimentation – and, if you end up hating it, hey, just take it off . Accessorise with one of these artsy tiled patterns, or monochromatic styles with a speckled or crosshatched finish.
(Silk ties, from left) Uomo Collezioni, Kiton, Bottega Veneta, Hermes, Brioni, Ermenegildo Zegna, Bottega Veneta.
FOR MIX MASTERS ONLY
While we frequently preach balance in all things, we also have a soft spot for fearless, no-holds-barred style. Seriously, with a full-on fl oral suit like this, any attempts at subtlety are likely to prove futile. Just go the whole hog and complete the look with a tie of blooms.
Sik suit, cotton shirt and silk tie, from Dolce & Gabbana.