5 Wool Ties to Wear to Work This Winter


Source: iStock

If you’re still in winter denial and haven’t yet updated your work attire to fit the season, we’re here to help. The easiest way to make your everyday workwear in season is to change your tie around. A simple switch from silk to wool ties is all you need to add to your business wardrobe to get you through the winter. Wool is without a doubt in, but do keep in mind: “Not the wooly ties you remember of the past. This is not a fox hunting tie,” says Jim Moore, creative director at GQ.

So, what makes wool the obvious choice for this season? Wool ties are often cut from suiting cloth, for instance a herringbone tweed, which is ideal for cold days. Be sure to look for wool ties that are unlined or made with a lining that is flexible and thin enough so when you knot it, it’s not too bulky around your neck. In short, a seasonal tie just makes sense, not only in terms of the cold but also looking like you know what season we’re in.

Generally speaking, when you’re matching a patterned tie (which most of the following wool ties are) with a shirt and suit ensemble, make sure the pattern is not already present in the clothing. For example, a thin-striped shirt should not be combined with a thin-striped tie. Conversely, that same thin-striped shirt will work well with a polka dot, solid, or even a thicker stripe because the patterns are not similar. The Art of Manliness says that the reason for this general rule is that if similar patterns are too close together it creates a distorted visual effect: the illusion of movement, which can make anyone dizzy. When pairing your wool ties, keep it simple so there’s no question as to whether it looks right or not.

The easiest way to add neckwear with complex patterns is to ensure your suit and shirt are pattern-less. However, if you’re set on keeping your tie and shirt combo interesting, for example, if you’re wearing a vertical stripe shirt, try one of the following wool ties with a contrasting pattern (plaid, Foulard, check, stripe, etc.) to ensure that you get it right. Lastly, dark solid color suits, especially grey and navy blue, go well with most tie color combinations.

Here are five essential wool ties to have on hand to get you through this winter.

1. Foulard pattern


Source: Barneys New York

You may not know this pattern by name, but you’ve definitely seen your dad wearing this classic. Foulard is a small-scale pattern with a basic block repeat, also referred to as a set pattern or tailored pattern. Originally, the term foulard referred to a soft, lightweight silk cloth. Classic foulard patterns are smaller-scale, regular-shaped geometric in set patterned layouts.

This old time pattern in wool pairs perfectly with a navy, grey, pinstripe, or tweed suit.

Get this one: Drake’s Square-Medallion Necktie

2. Blanket plaid


Source: Alexander Olch

It’s your classic plaid but on a much larger scale. This one by Alexander Olch’s may be a larger pattern but because the majority of the tie is grey, it pairs easily with a grey suit.

Get this one: The Brooks Necktie by Alexander Olch

3. Houndstooth

Source: Men’s Wearhouse

Yet another great classic pattern, this is the old gentleman’s tie. The houndstooth pattern is usually in black and white but other colors are sometimes used. Stick to solid shirts with this one, the always safe blue and grey, or even a black suit.

Get this one: Egara Blue and Black Houndstooth Plaid Wool-Blend Narrow Tie

4. Mini check

Source: Brooks Brothers

In the same vein as the foulard pattern, the mini check wool tie pairs beautifully with a solid color shirt or against a contrasting patterned shirt. This one by Brooks Brothers is universally flattering and matches pretty much any color shirt or suit, within reason.

Get this one: Mini Check Wool Tie

5. Wool repp


Source: J.Crew

This classic diagonally striped tie pattern is popular in silk but when given a wool texture has a vintage feel to it. This Wool Repp from J.Crew pairs beautifully with a brown tweed and solid light grey shirt for a modern yet sexy professorial appeal.

Get this one: English Wool-Silk Tie in Double Stripe

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