New Generation Ties: Forget me knot

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Ties are cool again, whether skinny, knitted or bow. Harriet Walker presents the long and the short of it

Remember the maths teacher who matched his ties to his socks? Or perhaps yours sported a keyboard number.

Musical instruments in general – particularly of the woodwind variety – have proved excellent neckwear fodder in the past. Ties often get a bad rap for being either too fuddy-duddy (Johnny Ball is great, but the man's no style icon) or, conversely, too novelty (beware Colin the office joker on The Fast Show). But they're the accessory of choice for the modern man this season and next, and have popped up across catwalks and red carpets this autumn. Tom Ford's latest men's fragrance, the delicious Grey Vetiver, is accompanied by a shot of the man himself looking enigmatic in a sleek, not to mention prominent, crochet tie. If fashion's Mr Sex is working an embellished neck, you should be too.

"Ties are the obvious choice when it comes to a fast and effective update to a working wardrobe," says Adam Kelly, men's formalwear buyer at Selfridges. "Sales are up 30 per cent, with customers opting for slim designs from directional bands like Raf Simons, as well as traditional styles by Duchamp".

The tie may once have announced its wearer's stuffiness or retentive tendencies, but the new generation marks an attempt to dandify, brush up or, confusingly, to pull up one's sartorial socks. Blame the recession or the Eighties revival, blame Matthew Weiner's slick Fifties ad execs in the TV series Mad Men, blame David Cameron, whose first official portrait last week depicted him as conspicuously tie-less, supposedly showing off what a laid-back, easy-going kind of guy he really is.

Think Bryan Ferry or Kraftwerk. Whether you consider yourself an indie hipster, latter-day flâneur or an executive go-getter, there's a tie for you. Now all you need to decide is how to knot it: remember, a true gent knows the difference between a half-Windsor and a Prince Albert.


Homely with a touch of cool, this season's knitted and crocheted ties are a fashion-forward and preppy look.


Forget Reg Holdsworth, the bow tie has evolved into something more chic and less clownish this season – colours and motifs are acceptable, but please, no revolving ones.


"Narrow ties are by far the bestsellers this season," says Lee Hamilton, menswear buyer for John Lewis. "It seems men want to add subtle sharpness without going too formal." Whether brightly patterned or more sober, a skinny style will add edge to your outfit.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Guru Careers: Software Developer

    £35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

    Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

    £25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine