Tie capsule collection

Readers often ask for ‘capsule collections’ of types of clothes – shoes, suits, ties etc.

There are many reasons such a list is useful. It can point to the ‘essentials’: those things that provide the foundation of a wardrobe. It can suggest investment pieces. Or, if you commute by bike, it can make up a small, versatile wardrobe at work that can be recycled in different ways.

I keep most, sometimes all, of the ties pictured above at my office.

I find them the most versatile, most useful, most practical. Even, perhaps, the most pleasurable. Because nothing pleases me more than dressing simply but well.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 19.52.481. Navy silk grenadine

A plain navy tie is extremely versatile, going with almost all colours and patterns of shirts and jackets.

Grenadine is the most versatile tie material in terms of formality, going with all but the smartest suits and all but the most casual knitwear.

I wear this untipped model from Drake’s so often it’s embarrassing.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 19.53.332. Grey knitted wool

Grey is not quite as versatile as navy. While navy ties go with navy suits, grey ties often aren’t the best choice with grey suits.

Still, grey is very useful, and a square-ended knitted wool tie will go with casual jackets and dress up some quality knitwear.

I tend to wear this one from Hermes with my Anderson & Sheppard shawl-collar sweaters

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 19.53.063. Navy club stripe

I argued a while ago that this is the most useful tie in a man’s wardrobe. If we stay with relatively formal suits and jackets, that might still be right.

The nice thing about a club stripe is that it is big enough to go with any pattern of shirt, from a micro-stripe to a butcher’s stripe.

As a general rule of thumb, patterns in ties, shirts and suits work when they are not too close in size to each other. A club-stripe tie always avoids that problem.

This particular one from Drake’s is given a subtle bit of a punch by a black edging to the top of the silver stripes. And while I don’t have a club, it is the colours of my college, which is nice.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 19.53.194. Navy-and-bronze block stripe

The pattern is so useful, I would include two in the capsule collection. Well, a block stripe rather than a club stripe, but the benefits are similar. A nice simple pattern that goes with everything.

Having a brown-toned stripe helps the tie to go with slightly more casual outfits, specifically those with brown accessories. 

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 19.52.375. Olive printed tie with black geometrical pattern

This, from Isaia, is perhaps the most interesting tie of the lot.

It’s not an obvious choice: a green background, with small black motifs filled with lilac. Fairly unusual colours; yet it is extremely useful.

The reason is how muted those colours are. Classic Hermes ties have always been popular for that reason – they’re nearly always in muted, simple colours that go with anything.

Most brands don’t design ties like that. Subtle ties don’t jump off the shelf, don’t sell themselves from across the room. But they’re always the most useful, and it allows you to get away with colours like green, black and lilac.

If you want a useful printed-silk tie, pick a muted colour with a small, geometrical pattern.

Ties pictured on my vintage Louis Vuitton Alzer case, with hand-painted initials. 

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No red !?
I always thought that as white , blue and pink where 3 foundation colours for shirts therefore blue, green and red were the accompanying tie colours.


Simon, would you discuss further your aversion to red ties please?


Good point. So one should eliminate the bright solid red, or any shade approaching it, from the wardrobe, correct?


Do you have the same aversion to other bright solid ties such as blue,green, and orange for example? A bright red tie appears to be somewhat unique in its ability to make its wearer stand out, and not in a good way. Am I wrong in this observation? If so, should one avoid bright solid ties regardless of color?


Good advice, thanks. I’m very fond of orange as well. Is there a second worst bright color tie offender that you would eliminate from the wardrobe?


Agreed. This has been a very enlightening discussion, thank you.


Surprised the beautiful rust colored tie you wear in most of your pics is absent from this list.


Curious to know which other 5 ties you would add actually!


Interesting. I suppose ties are one of the few items in classical menswear where there is very little right or wrong and it all comes down to the individual.

From your list above and applied to me only the Navy Grenadine and either one of the stripes would make it into my capsule collection. Glad, i don’t have a capsule collection…


I should qualify that and say it is applied to those au fait with the rules and not sartorial neonates so i agree that there is a definite right and wrong.

I mean your collection lacks a brown tie – which is a sine qua non for most that do not have UK sensibilities.

And for suit wearers a (dark) red – like burgundy/ maroon/ wine is near-essential.

I agree with the spirit of this article.


How wide is the green muted tie Simon?


I always prefer wider ties. 9cm is ideal. What other PS brands do 9cm ties? Kind regards

Dan Ippolito

Very good point! Bottle-shaped ties almost never tie a rich, full knot.


What is missing for me is the pale blue / almost silvery grey small pattern tie done so well by Hermes / Ferragamo that sits so well with white shirt / any shade of blue suit. Drop the blue striped club tie in its favour.


Can you provide a link to purchase? Specifically the navy/bronze and the navy club?


Nice post, Simon!
1. Navy grenadine. What are your thoughts of pairing it with a navy suit? I always worry that wearing a navy suit, light blue shirt, and a navy grenadine (while texturally nice) is too monochromatic. Thoughts?

2. When you mentioned burgundy/dark red not being as versatile as navy — wouldn’t a burgundy avoid monochromatism in most suit pairings? I doubt most of your readers wear a burgundy suit….

3. Brown/chocolate grenadine. You mentioned in your comments that ideally it should be dark…how would it work with the brown shoes issue?

I ask above because I have a nice navy suit and am looking for tie combinations. I think a navy grenadine would go nice with it but worry it’s too monochrome. I also think a brown grenadine would also go nice with the navy suit but worry about it being “too matchy” with the brown shoes.

Would the brown and brown work if both are dark? The navy suit is a typical wool suit and would be more “formal” than “casual”.




What are your thoughts about wearing a navy grenadine tie to a brushed navy wool suit (super 100) and black penny loafers?


Simon, this is an excellent article and thank you for writing it. You wrote “nothing pleases me more than dressing simply but well.” That statement is the most astute of the entire article and the essence of proper dress. If your readers would adopt that philosophy they’d all be better off as a result.


Ties as a capsule collection… boggles my mind. I’ve always considered ties to be reflective of a bit of whimsy and a good indulgence to dole out on. A capsule collection of 20 would be an ideal number 🙂


For a slightly different take, Bruce Boyer’s five essential ties are on the Drake’s website:


Wes wp

Greetings Simon – can you clarify what this 5 tie philosophy has to do with “commuting by bike?” I’ve read your into a few times and I’m baffled.


Really interesting choice of ties Simon, thanks also for the insightful explanations. Personally I would add in a brown silk – it goes well with blue, grey and light brown suits/jackets. I think culture and geography also have influence; to an Italian sensibility red (and pink) are seen as florid and gauche whereas in the US red is the first choice for politicians and businessmen (Obama, Trump as illustration – part of a red/white/blue palette). Would also like to know more about Grenadines and what makes them so versatile.

John Vesey

Hi Simon–Who makes quality ascots?
On another subject, have you seen Lobb’s latest boot? It is terrific and I bought one as soon as I saw their email to me. The British are –Good Show!!!


Thanks for yet another interesting post!

I´ve been looking for a high-quality navy gabardine-tie for a while. And I´ve understood that Drake´s (as always!) would be a good alternative. I get a little bit disturbed about that every navy grenadine I can find at their website is for a “large knot” though, since I prefer a smaller knot. What brand/model would you suggest for me? Or maybe, the knot in reality is not that big?


Try Turnbull and Asser. Lovely grenadines, not too thick, not a huge knot.


On a more practical note: do you bike to work in your über-premium trousers and shoes, or do you keep other capsule collections at work? Very curious as I personally hesitate to “sit through” higher quality weavings on my bike. Danke Simon

Adam Jones

I know a few people who keep their shoes at the office…but that is only so they can hide their real number of shoes hidden from the wife..

Nick Inkster

I would recommend Budd grenadines as a very good, and much cheaper alternative, to Drakes.


I don’t wear ties as much as I’d like to but, when I do, I find a burgundy grenadine is the most versatile (gives a lovely pop of color against a navy suit.) After that, a brown knit silk tie from Drakes is great for a more dressed down look


another great article/ post! Can you expand on what you might pair with #4? I also have this tie, unsure of what trousers to wear with it. wool? colors?


Hi Simon,
Always very useful as suggestions! Thanks!


thank you for the response– looking forward to purchasing ‘finest menswear’ when released by Amazon, and hope you’ll do more ‘capsule collections’ or a piece on quality slimmer cut trousers and makers to put with the ol Navy Blazer standard.

Gus Walbolt

Nice selection. I have a grey cashmere knit tie with a heathered charcoal look that I enjoy. I am not a fan of wool knits and cashmere seems to offer just a bit more of a muted sheen.


I have your latest books “permanent style” and “finest menswear in the world” both of which are excellent,but have terrible trouble getting hold of “le snob guide to tailoring” I did get one from amazon but its a German copy!any ideas where I might get a copy please,many thanks martin.


Simon – I simply loved this post, and thank you for making things a little clearer and simpler for those of us who just find putting a look together a little bewildering to say the least! If I could add one small personal perspective here: these posts have an additional use for those of us who are – ahem – transitioning our career and lifestyle. In my case, I spent 20+ years in a suit and tie; however, I am now in a totally different industry and spend most days in “smart business casual”. I have used a number of these posts to assist me in building a new and pretty versatile wardrobe. My one piece of advice: take it slowly, read and re read the posts, spend time trying out the basics : it is a lot of fun! Thank you Simon ! D


Hi Simon, I just came across your site – surely the single best online resource of all that is exemplary in modern menswear – and it has utterly consumed my weekend.

I live in Singapore, which given the climate is quite a sartorially challenging place to be. Offices and homes are robustly temperature-controlled, but a foot out the door douses one in near-100% humidity and merciless sun. Of course nights and early mornings are far less punishing, even pleasant. Quite unlike the crisp heat of an English summer, though Hong Kong in August is arguably worse.

I wonder what your opinion is on ancient madder paisley ties? In callower days I absolutely detested them, but recently I’ve found they appeal to me in a way they didn’t before.


Thanks Simon – appreciate your reply!

Bertie Wooster

Simon can you explain the difference between a Drakes knitted tie and say one by TM Lewin or Tie Bar that retails at a fraction of the cost at GBP35…or several other cheaper options vs Drakes for that matter…they all claim to be made of full silk and the pictures look similar. I know its a bit like Skoda vs Ferrari but curious to know exactly what the differences are that lead to the wide price gap as I am unable to figure out. Many thanks

Ollie Emberson

Hey Simon,
So you wouldn’t pair a grey tie with a grey suit?
Im thinking along the lines of a dark grey basketweave or cashmere tie with a charcoal mini glen plaid fabric (holland and sherry 2016).


Dear Simon

I’ve just read your story with regards to mto-ties on the Drakes website. Interesting because I was thinking of ordering a mto-Drakes-tie myself. I was just wondering which length you chose for your tie. Regular Drakes ties or a hair too long on my body. I was wondering if ordering a tie 2 cm shorter would be enough or should i play safe and order one 4 cm shorter? I think 2 cm should do it but I did ask myself, when is a tie too short? Should the narrow end of the tie be just a little shorter then the broader end, in your opinion, or is this not important as lang as the narrow end is long enough to go through the loop on the broader end?

Thank you so much for you insight.

Kind regards


Hi Simon
Any tips on buying a first/last navy grenadine tie? What kind of grenadine would you go for (fina/grossa) and would you go for tipped/untipped?
I’m thinking grossa is more casual than fina, but would like to hear your opinion.


Thank you for the quick reply.

Yussef Robinson

I was wondering where you’d reccomend for Vegan Ties in the UK? Especially thinking about the interlining, as lots of the cotton and linen ties still use a wool interlining.


Simon, what knot would you use for a navy silk grenadine tie on a T&A regent collar white shirt with a navy wool suit? (The tie being slightly darker than the suit in this particular case.)

Martijn Stolze

Dear Simon,

I have a reader comment of sorts. I’m wondering about ties. There are a few things I don’t get. I recently invested in some quality ties (Drakes, Canali) as well as having inherited some beautuiful old ties (Hermes, RL, some amazing old Tie Rack specials), and I wonder about a few things. First of all, woven vs printed. How do woven ties get colour (and colour differentiation like patterns?) How do printed silks get woven? Are both essentially woven and printed, but the weave on a printed tie can be much finer because the pattern is printed on, whereas with a woven tie the pattern comes from coloured threads being woven into a certain pattern? I struggle to understand this part. The same goes for cut on the bias. I have ties where the weave seemingly goes downward, but it was still cut on the bias. Is silk woven at an angle to get this effect?
Another question I have is regarding the slip stitch. This is on the thinner, back blade, unless I am mistakes. You’ve written that pulling the slip stitch should bunch up a tie. I’ve tried that and it never does, no matter what the quality. Am I being a bit scared to break the tie or is it not as clear as that?

Thanks so much in advance.

Bertie Wooster

I have to say…you did a follow up to Boyer’s five tie column on Drakes…and if we look at all ten ties together…it is interesting that the colors are pretty much navy, grey and green. I don’t quite like navy on all greys. I think burgundy or browns or greens go better with grey. Do you think brown ties are okay if one is wearing black shoes with the grey/navy suit?

Bertie Wooster

If you were to wear a grey cashmere or knitted tie with a separate tweed type jackets, what colour trousers do you go for, given that navy trousers have the “half suit” look. Will grey flannel or fresco trousers go, or will it look odd as it will be close to the tie colour? Beige and cream would be alright but I am curious about greys as they are the most common and versatile trouser


I’ve noticed that with striped British ties, the stripes’ higher side is always on the right, and that with striped American ties the stripes flow in the other direction. British stripes are said to draw the eye up towards the man’s face, since we read from left to right, while American stripes would draw it downwards. Apparently US tie makers reversed the direction to distinguish their ties from those that were considered to be reserved for graduates of specific British universities. I do think that the “upward” British stripes look better, subtly conveying optimism.

Of course, the direction of the stripes is a subtle difference, but people could notice it subconsciously. Do you think it’d be worthwhile for an American to seek out striped ties that flow in the British direction, to emphasize one’s face?


Hi Simon

What are your thoughts on wearing a chocolate grenadine tie with a navy suit? The shirt would be a sky blue colour.

Thanks in advance.

Martijn Stolze

He Simon,

I was wondering about ties that are (at least partly) cotton. I just bought a few that are part cotton part silk and I have to admit they don’t feel cotton apart from a more ‘madder’ touch. In terms of drape they’re just as good as silk and all they lack is some sheen. Do you think cotton is a decent tie material and do they lack any formality over silk ties when it’s not obvious they’re cotton?


Hi Simon,

Some months ago I started wearing grey ties and the result it’s wonderful.
I work in a bank on a client facing role, and grey ties match perfectly well blue suits.

It is an option I would never have considered until PS appeared in my life some months ago.

Thanks so much and best wishes from Spain


Hi Simon

Do you think grenadine ties can go with navy mesh (h&s) blazers? In any case, any types of ties I should avoid with such a jacket?




Thanks for the speedy response!! Do you think a plain grenadine would be too plain? The blue jacket with be worn with mid grey crispaire trousers. I was thinking of an light olive grenadine tie. Thoughts?


Hi Simon

Do you think a knitted tie could go with the above outfit? Or do you think that would be too casual. My gut is that it’s too casual.


Any guidelines on tie width? Absolutely hate the trend for skinny ties. My lapels tend to be between 9 and 10cm. Do you think a 9cm wide tie is too wide?

Richard Jones

Whenever I see someone with a red tie, I now always refer to a politician. I just crossed paths on the escalator with a man wearing a navy suit and red tie. From a far I was wondering what he might do. As we crossed, it was Gordon Brown.


Hi, Simon,

What are your thoughts on the quality of HN White ties?




Hey Simon. I have this shirt from bryceland, http://www.brycelandsco.com/shirts/products/bryceland-s-oxford-button-down-checked-shirt

It’s a white shirt with blue and yellow checks that makes it kinda vintagey. I’m wondering what kind/color of stripe tie you recommend to pair with navy/blue sportscoat?


Hey Simon what’s your take on soft zig zag knot ties Vs stiff knit ones? Would one be more beneficial to certain outfits or material of sportscoats?


Thanks Simon. Any recommendations for where one can find stiff ones? Drake’s is overpriced while the mid tiers brands like shibumi, berg and berg all carry the soft zig zag ones…


Wonderful article and blog — it has been transformational for me and many others. Thank you.

I am hoping you could clarify a point made several times in this thread, namely that care should be taken to ensure that the color shade of your tie is different from that of your shoes (particularly if wearing a brown tie/shoe). In short, if of the same shade, is it “wrong,” or merely an issue that the outfit could have been better by not having “too much of one thing?” If the later is true, why is the logic not commonly applied to one’s belt?

Any thoughts on the above would be of great assistance to those, like me, who are in the process of building a wardrobe and choosing new wardrobe pieces a very deliberative process. Thank you.


Hey Simon how useful are black knit ties and can you wear them with anything other than black shoes even in a sportscoat ensemble?


Just bought a navy grenadine tie online, and love the look. Issue is that it arrived with a pulled thread. Is this the sort of thing that commonly happens with grenadine anyway — i.e., do they end up having a shorter life than printed silk, or should I see this as more of a defect and ask for exchange?

Robert O.

The way you tie your ties always looks great; with the coveted ‘not trying too hard’ look.
Can you please share how you actually form the knot? I am 6’4″ tall, and pre-made ties are simply to short to have both ends be the proper length, reguardless of the knot used. I am going to have some ties made (Shibumi), but the correct length to order will depend on what it takes to steal your knot …
Many thanks


Hey simon, I recently purchased a pair of black calf crocket and jones loafer, I’m wondering:
1) What are some neckties which would go well with a menswear uniform (navy sports coat, grey trouser, white/blue/white-blue stripe shirt) besides black knit?
2) What are some considerations I need to make in considering choice of neckwear with black shoes in the above outfit vs brown shoes.

Many thanks Simon


I rather like the ““nothing pleases me more than dressing simply but well” phrase. Of course there are other dressing strategies including the use of ties as weapons. I can only urge you, even if you choose not to publish this comment, to google John Bercow and imagine his capsule collection.

The tie he wore to announce the blocking of the third brexit vote today might contravene a number of clauses in the Geneva convention.


Dear Simon,

I’d like to ask you for your opinion.

I want to buy a navy grenadine tie. I like striped shirts, with stripes narrow and relatively close to each other. Do you think it is important to contrast the texture of a grenadine tie to the pattern on a shirt (i. e. to wear garza grossa with delicate, close stripes and garza fina with wide, somewhat spaced stripes)? I have to admit that I like graza fina more than grossa. I follow the general rule about not mixing patterns if they are of the same proportions but I think that with the texture of a plain tie there is no need for such concern. Please, what do you think?

Thank you very much for your answer.


Dan Dee

Simon, would you suggest that the ‘big knot’ is more suitable for odd jkts….and the Fina for suits…..or, is either ok for a suit? I’m thinking of a b/w large scale glen chk suit which (being rather informal) might benefit from the more pronounced larger scale? Also, I thought black would bring out the checks in the suit..but fear black is for funerals only..and this suit is way too loud for such an event…perhaps dark navy? By the way..Budd seem to refer to the ‘fina’ as ‘piccolo’….thanks,DD.


What is the brand of 4. Navy-and-bronze block stripe? I’d love buy this.


Hi Simon

Have you any personal experience of Shibumi ties? Also, what makes the most difference to achieving a slightly bigger knot? The number of folds or the lining?


Looking at a grenadine. For a bigger knot, going 3 fold with a heavier lining, so you think this will do the trick? Or perhaps 5 fold with light lining?


Hi Simon!
I have recently read a post of yours regarding Hermes silk ties, in which you recommended not to wear them very often at work as they can look unprofessional and a bit too shinny in an office environment. I have just come into a very big exquisite Hermes and Loewe tie collection, and having in mind your suggestions, I just don’t feel very confident wearing them at the office. Could you give me some piece of advice regarding what kind of ties I can wear and which ones not? Thankyou!



I plan to buy my first “real” tie soon, to be worn pretty much only (for now) with a navy worsted suit (shirt may vary: white/light blue mostly) at formal events (weddings, etc). I went through your posts + Drake’s selection for inspiration but I struggle to pin one speficic item down: navy grenadine, striped grenadine (https://www.drakes.com/ties/striped-ties/navy-and-burgundy-stripe-shaggy-grenadine-silk-tie), striped silk (https://www.drakes.com/ties/striped-ties/navy-brown-and-red-narrow-stripe-silk-cotton-tie), … I can only put knitted wool ones aside for sure.

Any input?

Keep up the good work


hi simon if one wore a menswear uniform (navy sports coat, grey trouser) and a striped ocbd, would a striped tie work or what a patterned one be better given theres too many stripes/lines going on?


would you ever wear a 7cm tie? I understand the general rule of thumb should be the width of the tie should at least match the width of lapel- having said this, then why do people dislike the 7cm tie but ok to wear the knitted ties which comes in at 6cm?


Hi, Simon. Always useful to re-read this post! I wondered if you had any experience with Reef Knots ties. They look nice, are made for a good cause, and have some of the coolest ‘ambassadors’.


All of those seem very nice for a professional wardrobe, but what would you recommend for somebody who hardly ever wears a suit? For instance, once a year at most. I was thinking mostly about knits, with one-two grenadines for more formal looks. Printed silk would seem out of place I think. Also, would you wear a tie with something else than a tailored jacket? So, no suits, no sport jackets/blazers, everything else is fair game. I was wondering whether in the “sport jacket office” formality ladder the ties has to come as the last piece, or is it possible to sneak it in before the jacket?


Thanks! That’s what I’m aiming for, maybe with the addition of burgundy. Right now I only have a grey cashmere knit, which was discounted so much that it was basically free. Although the black grenadine puzzles me. I keep seeing it either in grenadine or knit silk, mostly on trad blogs. However, for me it tends to detract from the outfit more that add to it. But perhaps I’m biased, since black suit+black polyester tie seems to be the formal uniform where I live


Is a grey knitted wool more versatile than a grey knitted silk? If you wear sports jackets and sweaters.


Hi Simon. What tie would you pair with a casual light grey jacket beside navy? Also, how versatile is light grey prince of wales check? Thank you!


The untipped part of the Drake’s navy grenadine tie is semi-transparent and to my mind makes it look unfinished. Am I missing the point here? What is the advantage, style or otherwise, of it being untipped?


Hi Simon,

Assuming one wears ties everyday for work (Monday to Friday), how many ties would one need ? I’m not asking for style advice as to how many navy grenadines or how many stripes, but rather how many pieces of ties would one need in his rotation in order that the ties last long and not suffer noticeable damage from wear and tear for a good while? (assuming the basics of a quality tie are present, namely decent silk and slip stitching). I don’t know how long a tie is expected to last, unlike for example, Goodyear welted shoes, which from personal experience I know will last decades if well maintained and not used everyday.



Okay so that makes it roughly 1 tie per every weekday of the month. Thanks for your reply Simon! I’m slowly phasing out my cheaper ties in favor of quality ones, so looks like I have quite a way to go to reach 20 (at the minimum).


Hello Simon,

I remember reading somewhere that you would favour a printed silk tie (I supposed, to a patterned woven one). Could you please expand a little bit on this?

Thanks in advance!


Dear Simon,
On the issue of navy grenadine not going with the smartest of suits – is this really the case though? It is a plain, dark silk tie with a small weave/pattern and should therefore work with the smartest of suits as well, except perhaps a really superfine summer fabric against which it would look too heavy in terms of fabric. But otherwise, I’m not seeing why it doesn’t go perfectly with a white poplin shirt and a simple no-pattern grey, charcoal, or navy staple suit in fresco or fine worsted, or a charcoal or navy with fine stripes in dark smart flannel or fine worsted. What else would go with those? A dark single-colour satin silk or dark navy fine reppe?


Dear Simon,
Thanks for your reply and perspective.
In that case, which of the five ties in the capsule will work with the smartest of suits? And related, is there a tie that could cover the entire spectrum? E.g. would a muted navy small twill reppe tie be able to cover everything from the smartest suits down to chunky cardigans? My assumption has always been that a dark grenadine would cover the whole spectrum, both grossa and fina.


Fair point 😀
Good to understand that a smooth texture is key for smart suits.

Peter Hall

Apologies for resurrecting an old thread, but it sits best here,

Even though we have been discussing the demise of the tie, I recently purchased a pair of silk ties from Barnaby Silks(Macclesfield). I declare a non-financial interest, Macclesfield is my home town.


I think these are the only uk manufacturer of Macclesfield Neats


Hi Simon,
I was wondering in what situations would you wear knit ties.


If you were forced to choose between knit ties or grenadine ties to wear every day, which would you choose?


I would be wearing a jacket, whether that be a blazer, sports coat or a leather biker jacket, with button down collar shirt with pants, either jeans, chinos or wool twill trousers, and black brogued oxfords.

Also, when would a navy grenadine tie not work? Thank you for your quick response as well.


What colours would you recommend for a good tie collection? Also, when would a navy grenadine tie not work?


The patterned ones. I am curious about when to use the club tie, the block tie and the olive printed tie.

I was wondering as well when a navy grenadine tie would not work.


It’s really more about what grenadine tie colours and patterns should I get that is my main concern.

Also, when would the pattern ties be used?


Hi – do you know anybody or any tailor that can shorten ties? Many thanks.


Hi Simon,
Considering there is a price difference, would you please tell me which one has a better quality and/or makes a better knot: a Drake’s made to order 9 cm navy Grenadine or the similar one from Shibumi? It’s embarrassing, but it’s going to be my very first tie.


Thanks, really helpful and very nice of you to answer.


Simon – it has been just over 10 years since you wrote about Marinella. Do you think the quality and make of their ties is up there with the best in the world?


Simon, would any of these three qualify as your navy club stripe above, in terms of versatility and ability to pair with your grey, navy and charcoal suit?


Hi Simon, I didn’t understand why an untipped tie makes you embarrassing. Is it because an untipped one is less formal than a tipped one?

Many thanks,


Sorry to resurrect this old discussion, but I wondered if you could point me in the direction of a quality tie maker that makes in longer lengths (160-170cm)? I seem to have a freakishly long torso so standard ties are always way too short by the time they’re knotted nicely!


I hope this is on topic enough, I travel for work- often needed to bring 3-5 ties with me, do you have any suggestions for the best way to roll or transport them?


Which configuration makes a better dimple, a lined 3-fold or an unlined 7-fold?


Hi Simon,

what kind of ties do you wear with a grey herringbone tweed or wool jacket – if the trousers are charcoal/black and the shirt is white? Black grenadine seems too stark. not sure how to keep the whole muted/cold colour


Drake’s have a navy and ecru striped tie available – this might be me overthinking things (almost certainly) but would you say this is close enough to the white/silvery striped one or worth waiting for one with white stripes?


I rarely wear a suit anymore so I’ve pared it down to 1 navy suit with 1 white shirt and 1 pair of black oxfords (ultra versatile). Pairing that with ties for occasions I wear suits:

  1. Weddings – Black&White Shepherd’s Check
  2. Funerals – Black grenadine
  3. Business/legal – Navy grenadine
  4. Other (graduations, misc ceremonies) – ???

First question for you: does a wedding tie (like a Shepherd’s check) mean “a tie for a groom/groomsman” or “a tie to wear to a wedding?” Wondering if my tie is too formal for the occassion (or will make myself look like the wedding party).

Second question: what’s the fourth tie here? Seems like gray knitted and block stripe are out based on my lack of ties for casual wear and lack of brown accessories. I’m thinking either a club stripe (in my university’s colors & crest) or a muted Macclesfield (green, burgundy?)

Tomas Berka

Hello Simon,

I have a practical question, I am about to purchase a grenadine tie from Shibumi (grossa) but I am a little bit worried about how see-through it might be ..

On the other hand, I cant find that many lined ones on-line of the same quality.

Would you say the lining makes a big difference in the larger knit? Cheers


Hi Simon,

Would you ever wear the grey knit tie with a navy wool suit? Or is it too casual?


Hello Simon. I have a particular love for thin, long knots, with the tie widening abruptly an inch or two after the end of the knot (like those of the Kid Creole, over his zoot suits). I quess that the fact that they are thin is achieved with a 7fold unlined silk tie. Do you have an idea, how to get the knot length? Maybe with a prince Albert knot, or something in the width of the tie? Thank you in advance.


thanks for your answer, for once again!


Hey Simon, am looking to buy the drake’s that you suggest, however there’s a lot of choice. Which one is the Drake’s grenadine that you are referring to:

+Dark Navy hand rolled large knot grenadine tie
+Navy fine woven grenadine silk hand rolled tie
+Navy large knot grenadine silk tipped tie
+Dark navy fine woven grenadine silk hand rolled
+Navy hand rolled large knot grenadine

All inc. hand-rolled are the same price GBP 145.

And you mentioned that you do MTM. What alterations do you make for your grenadine tie?

(Ideally I like a thin knot similar to King Charles’ tie-style 🙂



Simon hey , how do you carry your ties when you travel? let’s say you wanted to bring 3-4 ties in your suitcase , do you have a case for them? Recommendations? Thanks!


Thanks for the reply! I’ll check out your link – always scared I’m going to create a crease or pick the material but probably I need to just get over it lol

Gregory Jeff

Hi Simon, do you think this tie is suitably conservative? I’m a lawyer and I need a very conservative tie for court, meetings, etc. Grateful for your thoughts. Thanks.

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Gregory Jeff

Thanks Simon. Something about this pattern seems a little Pitti-ish/casual to me. Let me know if you disagree though – I trust your eyes more than mine!

Close up here: 244-2.jpg

Gregory Jeff

Thanks Simon.


Hi Simon,
Could you help me find a London store that sells a good selection of quality ties?
Purchases I have made online are either too stingy on material to get a decent knot and crimp, and/or not as aesthetically pleasing as the images suggest. I’ve journeyed to Drakes, but the collection is disappointingly small and jazzy.
I just want one or two subtle and versatile ties to wear with a business suit on the odd occasion that I need to wear one.


Thanks a million, Simon. I’ll give that a go.
All the best,


Could a bitter chocolate grenadine tie be worn with dark brown suede shoes? Or would a different shade of brown shoes be better?