I don’t tend to wear brightly coloured ties. Too often they’re brash and loud, where a dark simple tie would be more tasteful.

The only time I’ve regularly worn them is in unusual colours like lime green, rather than primary reds or yellows.

That would be with a blue shirt and navy suit, in what I referred to years ago as the ‘Lawyer Background’ (as so many lawyers I worked with seemed to wear the combination).



However, the strong light of summer makes one consider brighter colours in everything, from jackets to shirts to ties. And so I’ve been experimenting with lighter neckwear.

The colour I’ve liked the most is the slightly muted yellow, pictured top and below. It’s obviously summery, but not as strong as most yellows.

I saw it last summer at Drake’s, and managed to pick one up this summer at the Haberdasher Street factory store.

Shibumi, Viola Milano and others also do similar yellows, though most are now sold out as we move into winter. (And yet it’s bright and 25 degrees outside: the increasingly odd-feeling timing of fashion seasons.)

Viola has the widest summer range currently.



I’ve also found that the best tailoring for these ties to sit against is usually in lighter colours.

You generally want a white shirt, or at least a white/blue stripe, and this creates contrast. If the suit is dark as well, the contrast can be too much.

In the image with my lime-green tie above, for example, the navy suit would probably be too dark with a yellow tie. A lighter and subtler colour like the taupe-cotton suit I’m wearing is better.

(Incidentally, the only navy suit I’ve found this works with is my Musella-Dembech cotton, because the cotton makes the navy paler and chalkier. Linen might have a similar effect.)



Among wool suits, a light-grey high-twist is a great option – again, light but muted. Andreas Weinas wears such a suit in the image of us together, above.

If this kind of grey has a slightly brown cast, as Andreas’s does, it will suit warmer colours like browns, oranges and greens. 

I’ve also found madder can makes a nice fabric for a summer tie, because the chalky surface naturally tones down the colours.

Among normal printed silks, my other favourite colours are pale blue and mint green. Examples below – all from Viola Milano.



In the images alongside that Caliendo cotton suit and Drake’s tie, I am also wearing my first bespoke shirt from 100 Hands (linen/cotton mix) and a white-linen handkerchief.

The shoes are the ‘Crompton’ model of hatchgrain loafer from Gaziano & Girling (below). This was initially just available made to order, but is now stocked ready-to-wear due to demand (which is amazing).

The shots were taken at Huntsman during our recent reader dinner


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A pale blue tie, subtly patterned but without obvious second colours, and white shirt, will work perfectly with anything in blue or grey, across any spectrum, as long as the weight of the suiting is appropriate.


As usual, I am in broad agreement with you, but perhaps we should make an exception for Hermes, who seem to manage bright without brash?


The colour of your ties and the partnering of suit and shirt is well done.
Unfortunately the look is not optimised because you are not adapting your collar style and knot size in keeping with the proportions of your lapels.
The three aspects work together and by sticking with your banker’s cutaways and rather anaemic knot you are not reaching your peak aesthetic.
As Jason King and I pointed out in a previous missive, the time is right for a slightly higher more rolled longer collar with a larger four in hand knot.
An article on this with you modelling different examples may be interesting to readers and although his look shouldn’t be followed slavishly Jason’s own knot in series one should provide you with some inspiration.


The knot looks fine to me. I especially like the tobacco suit and yellow tie outfit. Very nice. In terms of large knots, I’ve always thought they looked ridiculous.

Matt S

I think Simon’s collar and tie knot look excellent. My belief is that the collar size and shape is one of the most important parts of a man’s outfit, and the rest of the outfit should flow around it. He got the collar and tie know right for him. The lapel width for perfect balance should be close to the size of the collar points, sometimes a bit wider on a large man. When wearing wide lapels for a certain look, such as on the jacket here, it is not necessary to match the collar and tie width to the lapels. In this case, I think an oversized collar and tie will overwhelm the face.


Have tries ties from Fort Beleverdere from Sven Raphael Schneider?

Don Ferrando

I like the picture with Weinas for comparison of the different breat pockets.
And I must say that I better like Weinas’ since the patch pocket with the pochette looks too bulky.

Scott Caddick

Ha ha. I’ve just spent 5 minutes reading the comments

Can’t believe there is a debate over the knot type.

It’s a knot…..do it however you like.

I for one, like the smallest knot possible….it’s neat! Who cares about anything else.


It’s disappointing that you don’t see many cravats around these days. Cary Grant wore them perfectly, e.g. in To Catch A Thief.


I like your tie knots. Large knots are like large wristwatches, compensation for something that is missing.


Hi Simon,
This combination is really fine! You have made very pointed observations too.
Surprisingly enough, finding the right tie-shirt-jacket combination for Summer outfits is not that easy, hence the importance of this post. One might think that thanks to the opportunity of having sunny days, anything goes! Unfortunately, that’s not the case! Indeed, rules are even harder to come by.
Two lessons I have drawn so far:
1. It may seem conterintuitive, but there are jackets, which are way more stylish when worn without a tie!
2. From what I’ve specifically learnt from this post is that strong contrast between ties and jackets could lead one to downright miss the intended sartorial point for wearing a tie in the first place.

Peter B

Great combination Simon.
I think bright colours work well in silk knits. They look fresh as well (which is nice in the heat, even if it’s only psychological!).
Coincidentally, as another comment mentioned, Fort Belvedere has some bright knits.


The next time you’ll be in Paris, Simon, see about if you could find a bit time to take a look at the ties sold by Kimono, an old tiny shop, at 74 Bd Haussmann Paris 8ème. It’s not far away from Opéra.


Sounds good! I hope I will be in Paris at that time and perhaps have the opportunity to eventually meet you in person!

Nick Inkster

Budd would be a good place to look for silk knits in London.


Berg & Berg do lovely silk knit ties. Especially, if you prefer a wider end (8cm) instead of the pencil width ones.


“Nice tip = silk knits, a planned joke Simon?


My best acquisition this summer has been a cotton number from tie your tie – navy with dark green but the fabric keeps it feeling summery. Cotton / linen are as good in warm weather as wool is in winter, imho.

Rob D

I have found Bulgari 7 fold ties to be among the best – the silk is fantastic quality and you can also tie a very neat full Windsor knot with dimple – perfect with a good shirt.


where can one buy well made but inexpensive ties?

Christian Weckx

What make is your taupe cotton suit,
It looks stunning…..

Nathan B Guest, Redland, Bristol

Nice article. Ties are really not my thing, though.

Alexander Volkov

Simon, hi. Aren’t viola milano scammers? I placed an order with them, and they not only did not send it, and they do not answer the mail. Have you had any difficulty buying their products?


Hi Simon. Are knitted silk ties also good for summer?


Hi Simon,

I am attending a Venetian wedding in August (fingers crossed). Hopefully, the weather is going to be nice and hot. I have a high twist escorial wool navy suit coming for it. Likely to be wearing a white or pale blue shirt underneath. I have read your guide to summer shirting cloth. What are likely weaves that you and Andreas are wearing in your Pitti photos? I am struggling to think about how to stay cool, yet relatively formal in warmer climates. Pure linen, or even cotton/linen, I imagine will just be too casual. Would something like zephyr be formal? Thanks in advance.


Thank you, Simon.

Martin F

A linen tie feels very summery to me, in the same way that a woolen tie seems to fit in the autumn/winter. But what about ties in cotton or a cotton/silk blend? Do you consider them to be a summer/spring cloth (just as linen), as a predominantly summer/spring cloth or perhaps as a year round cloth for a tie?

I’m not talking about colour och shade now, just about cotton as a material for a tie.


Hi Simon,

Thanks for the above, found it very useful.

I am getting married in a month and wanted to get ties for the ushers. It is a summer wedding (in Portugal) with a summer suit dress code. I wanted to get a tie that could fit the likely colours of suits / linen of cream, beige, navy / blues and light greys and wanted to check if you think a yellow tie like the above you mention would go with all. This has the added benefit of being in the wider colour scheme, but in the end I would rather they all look good vs having a flashy / rogue tie. I quite like the olive above too.

Any thoughts would be much welcome.



It’s a good point, and I was hoping to give them advance warning so they can prep accordingly. Take your point could be difficult though


Hi Simon, two questions on this topic. One, is there a recommended material for ties in the summer heat, in terms of silk versus linen versus cotton versus wool. Secondly, do you have a recommendation in terms of woven versus printed ties when it is hot out. Many thanks

Lindsay McKee

This might seem hilarious, but on grounds of comfort, I’ve actually worn a bow tie to a fine restaurant in Belgium which was way more comfortable. 1. Less weight… I sometimes notice that a tie can be like a heavy weight hanging from my neck, particularity in warm weather. 2. It stays out of the way during the meal…I also sometimes remove my jacket when entering a restaurant if the restaurant etiquette allows that. The bow tie avoids an open shirt if it’s a smart restaurant which is more polite IMO. Some may disagree!!


Dear Simon,

I am getting married at the end of August, and I was wondering if could ask for some advice for the right tie to wear.

My suit is cut in a nice (mid-) brown wool/linen/silk by Loro Piana and I’ll be wearing a white shirt. A solid tie seems always be safe bet, and I naturally lean towards a sort of mid to dark blue colour for my ties anyways, so I was looking at grenadine ties in that colour from Shibumi.

But as it is a summer wedding, I was wondering if that colour isn’t a bit too dark? Would you have any suggestions that would work well with this colour suit, both in terms of colour or pattern?




Thanks Simon, I’ll try and find a shop like that in either The Hague or Berlin (alas no Marinella presence there). There should be a number of options. Interesting idea with the geometric pattern, I assume the key is to keep it subtle and restrained?

With regards to the colour of the suit, it’s quite similar to your own suit from the Armoury. I’ll wear a white shirt with it to keep it classic. Suit is for the ceremony (outside in an estate garden), and afterwards we’ll switch to black tie for the dinner and other (late night) festivities.