How the hell did men start wearing a piece of cloth with pointy ends around their necks anyway? Ties are a funny thing when you think about it (but not quite as outlandish as the Elizabethan ruff or the exaggerated ascots of the 18th century French Incroyables).
The distant relative of the tie we know today first popped on the scene in 17th century France when King Louis XIII saw a crew of Croatian soldiers wearing them. He called the tie ‘la cravate’, which is French for “Croatian” and that is the name still used for a tie today in France. The modern iteration of the tie came around 1920, and while it has widened (in the ’40s) and shrunk (in the ’50s and again in the 2000s), the design has virtually stayed the same.
If you are looking to freshen up your tie rack, below you will find a list of our favorite finds that we will be sporting this spring and summer. If you need a refresher on how to tie your tie, we have you covered with a visual guide.
Mantieqingway Floral Neck Tie – $9
Let’s kick this off strong. It’s spring, things bloom in the spring, so don’t be afraid to add a little floral design to your tie rotation. It’s fun, laid-back, works for formal or casual, and it shows girls your softer side.
Bloomingdales Birdseye Knit Skinny Tie – $95
Knitted ties have become all the rage recently, and for a good reason. They offer a more relaxed vibe and add texture to your attire. Note: Do not hang knitted ties or they will stretch, resulting in a very long tie (a la our President). Always roll knitted ties for storage.
Drakes Woven Slub Silk Tie – $175
More and more brands are trying our different textures on their ties, and that makes us happy. This silk slub tie (meaning uneven texture) will add a bit of depth to a navy or gray suit.
Nantucket Red Oxford Tie – $65
The boys at the Fine and Dandy shop in New York City know ties. This 100-percent cotton number is made in NYC and will pair well with a light, chambray shirt.
Sid Mashburn Silk Woven Club Tie – $125
For all y’all out there who need to keep it more conservative, this Italian-made silk tie has a turntable adapter embroidered on it. In case you aren’t a record fiend, that’s the little plastic insert that makes a 45 RPM record playable on a normal turntable.
Apolis Indigo-Dyed Tie – $58
Made in Los Angeles, each tie is dipped in raw indigo dye until it turns a singular shade of black, so everyone is unique. You can dress this one up or wear it with jeans and a jacket out on a date.
(Pinterest’s Favorite) Blush Silk Necktie – $45
We don’t know how this tie took off like it did, but if you have a spring wedding to go to, wear this and we promise you will be in every photo and asked to dance every dance.
Loro Piana Polka Dot Knitted Cotton Tie – $175
Another great textured tie. This Italian-made cotton tie has a subtle polka dot pattern woven through. We would forgo this for more formal occasions, but it’s perfect for that spring cocktail party or beach-side dinner with the in-laws.
The Tie Bar Wool Tie – $22
Looking for something fresh but not too outlandish? Try a light green tie. These go great with blue and tan suits. Remember: St. Patrick’s Day isn’t the only day to wear green.
Brooks Brothers Classic Repp Tie – $80
If you are striving for ultimate preppiness, this is your go-to tie. These started popping up in 1880s England; the stripes matched school colors so students could see which establishment you attended. They blew over to the U.S. in the 1920s and became de rigueur at every Ivy League and private club. (Nerd note: Repp is referring to the ribbed silk, or “rep fabric” in French. Apparently, the extra “p” was added at some point by mistake!)
Bonobos Satin Tuxedo Bow Tie – $78
Spring and summer means wedding season, and we think this black bow tie with polka dots will do the trick (it comes in plain black if dots are too daring for ya). Made with a fine Duchess satin, this bow tie can last seasons — no, years — so just go ahead and click.
Zegna Reversible Knitted Tie – $195
Who doesn’t like reversible? So nice, you can wear it twice! This knit tie is perfect for travel. It won’t wrinkle (remember to roll it!) and can go with several different outfits.
Haspel Seersucker Bowtie & Pocket Square Set – $48
If you can’t quite handle going full-blown Jay Gatsby in a Seersucker suit, this set will still give you that Kentucky Derby flair without having to buy into the whole shebang.
Hook & Albert Solid Knit Tie – $65
Yes, we are big fans of the knit tie. This one is extra smooth to the touch since it is 100-percent pure silk. Plus, the light blue color is perfect for a date during those long and languid summer days.
Wild Card: Brackish Guinea Hen Feather Bowtie – $195
If you really want to stand out in the crowd but not look like a total goob, this bow tie is it. After all, Bill Murray did wear one to the Oscars. Handmade in Charleston, South Carolina, Brackish has a wide variety of feathers (all sustainably sourced!) to choose from.
Tie Rack – $10
Wrinkled ties aren’t a look, so be sure to keep all of those cravats properly hung on a tie rack. This one hangs in your closet and holds up to 24 ties. Just not your knit ones!
Featured image courtesy of Apolis.