A More Useful Necktie?

A More Useful Necktie?


the best necktie

What is the best necktie a man should have, I have been asked on multiple occasions.  Well, last week old man Boehlke over at A Suitable Wardrobe postulated of the black silk grenadine necktie that “If a man were to have but one necktie in his wardrobe, one could make an argument that it should be a black silk grenadine” in his piece titled “A Most Useful Necktie.”  On many topics I tend to side with Will, however, this time I cannot fully do so.  I do agree that if a man were to have only one necktie that a silk grenadine should be that tie.  As Will says, its texture adds visual interest; there are other benefits too.  But black?  I think not.  Not that black is wrong, it’s just not the best choice.

You see, I think a black tie is a bit formal for most occasions.  As good as it does match or compliment many an ensemble, I think it is too harsh a color to be worn around the neck and down the torso on a regular basis, unless of course you frequent black tie affairs.  Now, as full disclosure, I do own a black grenadine tie (from Louis Walton, check the review) and I do find use for the tie.  But that use is limited.  As I find the absence of a real color to be hard to work with.  And it also has a tendency to create a bit of a ‘hot spot,’ that is, the eye is drawn to and subsequently stuck on that spot.  With some ties that is the point, but should not be the case if a man has only one tie.  But alas, there is the navy blue grenadine.

Navy blue, in my mind, works better with the complextion of more men than black (I have brown hair and brown eyes so navy works much better with mine).  Navy also, again to my mind, works better with more clothing.  Its near seamless integration with nearly everything in the blue, brown and grey color families is a plus.  Black integrates only with varying degrees of success.  Quite simple, really.  If you could own only one tie you would not go wrong with a navy silk grenadine.  Louis Walton, Paul Stuart (but only in store), Chipp2 (in store or email), and Sam Hober all typically stock them.  Happy tying.



  1. Agreed. I own a navy silk grenadine and black silk knit. the navy gets far more wear. Black doesn’t play well in daylight. Clooney actually pulled off the black knit and navy suit well in day, but its a rare occurrence. I’m not afraid of much in my wardrobe but I’d be weary of the khaki suit-black tie pairing even though many in the #menswear circles say its allowed. then again who pays attention to #menswear?

  2. I too bought a black silk knit after reading somewhere that this was the one tie that every gentleman should have in his wardrobe. Well the reality is that this beautiful Charvet tie has only had a couple of outings. Once to work with a pale blue shirt and felt way too formal and once to dinner with white shirt and black Paul Smith suit and spent the whole evening feeling like one of the waiters. Maybe best reserved for funerals? On the other hand my Charles Tywhritt navy grenadine gets worn all the time. Goes well with plain, stripe, and gingham check shirts- extremely versatile!