Drakes made-to-order ties

Monday, May 16th 2016
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A few week ago, Drake's asked me to try out their made-to-order tie service, which has been given a new digital home on the website

The prime question is, of course, do you really need a MTO tie? It didn't even feature on my list last year of the things that were worth making bespoke

There will always be particularly tall guys and short guys that can justify this more easily. Although the Italians have made a very long rear blade rather fashionable, most guys want their two blades roughly the same length (with the front blade ending around the trouser waistband). 

Beyond men of unusual heights, then, there is little but pickiness to justify a MTO tie. But readers of this site surely thrive on some level of pickiness. It's just a question of how far they want to take it. 

drakes mto tie simon crompton

For myself, I have always liked 9cm-wide ties. (I may even be able to claim it's not fashion-driven, after 15 years of buying them.) I like lightweight linings (makes a tie a touch less stiff and formal - something it sorely needs). And I hate having keepers on the back of my ties, because I never use them. 

The Drake's service allows me to specify all these things, which is satisfying. The range of materials is not huge, but it is growing and includes many of the classics. 

I picked a printed silk in a slightly different olive colour to the two I already have. (Am I honing my style or becoming boring?). You can see the full interview on the Drake's site here

Also, in response to a question last week from a reader: The MTO service is not available through the Haberdasher Street factory store, but is at the Clifford Street shop.

And the latter normally gets cloths before the website - so there are some shantungs and other silks only available at Clifford Street at the moment, which will go online shortly.

Elsewhere, I am wearing:

  • My oatmeal-cashmere jacket by Elia Caliendo
    • Still so versatile.
  • A linen/cotton striped shirt by Luca Avitabile
    • Great in pale blue. The stripes are wide and pale enough such that any tie pattern can happily sit on top of them. Repeating tie motifs start to clash when the stripes become stronger and denser - a dark-blue bengal stripe, for example. And are OK again when they get down to a hairline stripe.
  • Sunglasses by EB Meyrowitz
    • My bespoke glasses, tinted. I prefer the model as a sunglass now
  • Below the waist: Grey flannel trousers by Anderson & Sheppard and brown Gaziano & Girling oxford
  • I was originally wearing (in the image above) a forest-green woven Drake's tie. 

tying a drakes tie

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jon

I’m just waiting for my ‘bespoke’ tie from Shibumi to arrive. Which was the same price as their normal ties. I also prefer a 9cm blade but a slightly longer tie (154cm) so no doubt Drakes MTO service will get my custom soon. Do Drakes offer an embroidered service with their ties?

Anonymous

It’s a slippery slope: I started buying bespoke ties from Vanda Fine Clothing a few years ago to achieve an equal length on both ends & now never wear regular length ties. I’ve been thinking about placing an order with Drakes; will give them another look

Matt S

Are you tall enough to be able to justify a MTO tie for extra length? Being an average height man who doesn’t wear low-rise suit trousers or tie windsor knots, ties are just about always too long for me. I switched to a double-four-in-hand tie to help a little, but it’s still not usually enough.

Richard Allen

Franco Bassi of Como offer a MTM tie service via their website. As well as choosing the width and length, the designs have a spcial rectangle woven into cloth on the narrow end in which the initials are hand embroidered. Part of the order process requires choosing embroidery and tipping colours. This tiemaker also offers bespoke ties with embroidery, of practically anything that it is possible to embroider on a tie; fox heads, flags, logo, and, really cool, your actual signature as the embroidery.
francobassi.com

Oskar

Hello Simon, could you please share details of the shirt fabric if you have them? Beautiful, and good suggestion re patterns. Many thanks!

Anonymous

Great post. Simon (or others on the site) do you know if that fabric available from the ready made section of the website?

Kev Fidler

Can’t see your A&S trousers in these photos, Simon. Are they bespoke or from the shop on Clifford St, may I ask? Called in there on Saturday – lovely stuff and very friendly staff. Came out seriously thinking of investing in a couple of pairs of their flannel trousers at least so am interested in your opinion.

Winot

I’ve just measured my favourite tie and the length is 146cm. And I’m 6’4″! I think it must be because my trousers are all cut for braces and high rise. Anyway, have gone for an ancient madder, and 9cm for me too.

Lorenzo Villa

I firmly believe that the tie is just an object that you have to bespoke. Even more now that it is often not worn, who firmly believes in the tie should not compromise on its quality and perfection of the details. And there are many! And most affect a lot, considering the same fabric : heaviness of the lining, extension type, type of construction (3-5-7 folds) lined / unlined, hand rolled edges, length, width…
The tie – as can be seen – it is an object to be tailored, each part can have a choice.

Tim Fleming

Interesting to know Drake’s now offers this service. While I agree that having a bespoke tie may be only for the picky, I don’t think it’s going much further at all when a man’s suit and shoes are made bespoke. I really enjoy Sam Hober and it’s difficult for me to think of ever buying another tie that didn’t have all the details I enjoy. Plus, the cost is only slightly more (at least for Sam Hober’s rates) with all the freedom and advantages of personal preference.

A

MTO allows you to specify the length of the tie and you mentioned you prefer both blades of the tie to be equal length upon tying. How does one know exactly how much ‘extra length’ is needed to achieve this?

Benjamin

Hi Simon, two questions. Firstly, do you think that many men will go down the MTO route, especially when at least from personal experience, I have maybe 40 ties or more, but tend to wear the same 4-5. It seems like a lot to spend on a tie! Also do Drakes make ties for private labels?

Jon

Is it possible to get 9cm plain grenadine’s RTW?

Shem Teo

Hey Simon saw you try the drakes games cotton trouser in your Instagram story if I’m not mistaken. What’s your take on it and how would you advise sizing?