1. Christian Dior/Guy Laroche/Brooks Brothers/J. Press Ancient Madder ties

    I’ve been trying to take the emphasis off of the “basics” tip a little bit lately. Ask any blogger what the best ties to get when you are constructing a wardrobe and you’ll get a similar answer: solid colored grenadine, basketweave, and pindot ties. These are all great, but if you’re strictly following the rules of a basic wardrobe, you will consequentially be blessed with a wardrobe full of navy blazers, blue shirts, and solid navy ties. It’s not a bad look necessarily, but if you’ve done everything right, after about a month you are going to get very bored with the way you look.

    Practicality: 8/10

    I have about four functional, winter appropriate odd jackets at the moment, and all four are solid colored, three of them blue. The majority of my shirts are light or mid blue in color, the rest being either solid white or a basic pattern such as stripes. With a wardrobe like this, a glut of solid colored ties is overkill. The solid basis of my wardrobe really opens up the opportunity to express a little personality with ties. The solid navy and burgundy pindot ties that I own are more than enough to offer the basic sobriety that all bloggers require.

    So, the personality that I like to express seems to be in the form of basically colored, yet baroquely designed ties. I like paisley ties especially, which pair perfectly with navy, camel, and tweed. All of these can add a little bit of classic eccentricity to my everyday outfits. The blue Brooks and white Dior ties are especially useful. Their crisp prints offer a “hard” accent to my mostly “soft” wardrobe without sticking out too much.

    The only downside is that paisley or madder ties are very much everyday affairs, not very appropriate for special events. They’re a little bit too “wacky”.

    Sustainability: 7/10

    Yes, ancient madder ties were a staple of shops in New Haven and Cambridge in the “Preppy” golden age, but it doesn’t look like they have caught on as of late as well as rep and critter ties. Plus, as an aspect of my personal uniform, they become even less of a trend, and more of a personal calling card. I don’t think that I will ever get tired of these patterns.

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