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Business class neckwear

 

Printed silks are the backbone of a modern business wardrobe. A classic printed tie features a small repeated or alternating motif such as dots or flowers on a solid colour silk twill. The best kind, like ours, are screen-printed by hand to produce bright, crisp patterns. They’re printed on rich, robust 36oz or 50oz silk which resists creasing and ties a great knot, and they’re perfect with suits or a blazer.

These small, repeated patterns—sometimes called ‘neats’ for obvious reasons—are decorative yet restrained. The clean rows of flowers, stars, dots, or other devices give each design its own character. The neat tie is one of the few places where florals are common in classic menswear but rather than chaotic, organic designs, these ties stand for the taming of nature.

Printed ties exemplify menswear’s cross-cultural connections. The sober patterns and careful execution have long been seen as quintessentially English, and for that reason they’re prized by Italian lovers of the stile inglese. In Milan, the best dressed businessmen wear English prints; in Rome the politicians do. (Thanks to a Prime Minister with a penchant for sartorial gift giving, so do many of the visiting diplomats.) But they can all be traced back to Macclesfield.

These ties are unbeatable with the plainest of partners: a solid blue shirt and a mid-grey suit. But they also perform a balancing role when paired with a louder shirt, such as a Bengal stripe (as the English do) or a busier, patterned jacket (in the Italian style).

Neat prints are familiar anywhere ties are worn but getting them right isn’t so common. The silk should be heavy enough that it drapes smoothly and looks fresh all day. It should be cut so that the pattern is perfectly aligned with the finished tie, rather than cut to save silk. And it should be made for longevity with natural interlining and single slip stitch construction. This is a classic at its best.