Silk knit ties in solid colors are a useful component of a man's wardrobe, especially in Summertime. Good one's have some weight and heft to them, but also a lightness inherent in the weave. They strike a great balance between dress and casual, which is often just the ticket for looking nice on sweaty hot days when more sensible people just wear shorts, or at least eschew ties altogether. I have quite a few in my arsenal these days, and they have become warm weather favorites. Pictured above are two of mine in different shades of green. Both work well with a navy blazer and tan trousers. The darker one keeps things a bit more subdued, while the kelly green is the more GTH ( that's "go to hell" for those who don't know). Both help keep other Summer items like bold striped shirts and madras jackets in check with an anchor of solid color.
They are the same width, and the construction is of perfectly equal quality. Look closely.
Both are made in Italy. Both were purchased at thrift stores for less than $5.00 each.
I've often spoken of the pros and cons of brand consciousness when thrift shopping, so forgive me if I seem like I'm beating a dead horse. While a knowledge of brand names and their respective design and quality is of course helpful in thrift shopping, it is no match for the ability to directly recognize quality in clothing, regardless of brand name or provenance. Simply put, good stuff is good stuff, no matter where it came form. Similarly, junk is junk. With that, I offer this little guessing game. No prizes, just for fun.
One of these ties is from a popular mail order/mall brand. The other is from a venerated American men's shop. Can you tell which is which? Based solely on these photos, what makes you think so? I'll reveal the answer in a few days.
p.s. even more new items in the Shop. With 92 of a possible 100 items now available, we're operating at high capacity. Vintage 1960s repp ties, suits from the Andover Shop, Paul Stuart,and others, and a couple of cheap novelties. Have a look.
I think the kelly green is Lands' End, just because I've commonly seen that color in their regular inventory. I have a few Lands' End knits and they're just as good as the RLPL or Drake's knits I've had.
My guess would be that the Kelly green version is from the popular mail order company, which must sell bright colors in order to appeal to the masses--pardon the expression-- while the more conservative green is from the venerated men's shop. I'm probably wrong, or what would be the reason for this guessing game?
I think the dark one is from the venerated menswear shop, mostly because I think that the manufacturing label folded across the writing itself displays more of the devil-may-care approach of such places and is something I have seen before on old J. Press ties.
Dark green is Land's End, the Kelly green on the right is Brooks Brothers.
I think the dark green tie is a Lands End tie and the brighter kelly green tie is a Stafford brand tie.
Back in the day(1980's), J.C. Penny was selling Harris Tweed jackets, so an Italian-made silk knit tie might be plausible.
The dark green tie is Lands End. They use the 100% Seita/Silk/Soie/Seide tags. Also, the weave appears to be a bit looser than that on the Kelly green tie. One more thing: Lands End wouldn't use a tag with that stylized "S". Can't identify the source of the dark green tie, though.
The tie on the left is likely Land's End; on the right, Paul Stuart.
Compare the tags:
I'm going with J.Crew on the left (dark green) and Paul Stuart on the right (kelly green).
Dark green: J Press, mid 70's. Kelly green: I suppose it would be no fun to go with popular opinion, so instead of voting Land's End, I'll go '90s J. Crew
Brand conciousness has helped me to develope my 'eye' for better quality garments. By observing and comparing fabric and finish of high end brands to the cheaper versions, I've got the confidence to pick up items with missing or unfamiliar labels.
This process works best 'in the flesh' so to speak, so it's pretty hard to say which tie is quality without feeling the fabric. If I had to pick I'd say the kelly green looks slightly more substantial, so that would be my guess for the venerated brand.
I think the better tie is the lighter green. The bottom back blade looks more even. What's the answer?
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