I prefer dark ties. They’re far more versatile and I find that they tend to be more handsome and streamlined in appearance. That said, sometimes in the summer and spring I just want to let some bright colours fly in the tie department. When this type of feelings strikes (and it very well may strike you more often than I), than the ties I always find myself reaching for are from Richard James. (Click the images in this post to zoom in and have a bit better look – some zoom more than others).
Richard James operates a shop on Saville Row in London, which I’m going to step out on a line and suggest is why his collection is called “Richard James, Saville Row”. More than just a brand name, James is a man who set up shop on Saville Row in 1992 and is widely recognized as the first of the “New Generation” of Saville Row tailors. He paved the way for others, including Ozwald Boateng and Timothy Everest with his new twist on the English cut of suits that has helped to drag Saville Row into the 21st Century. Richard James offers a full bespoke suiting experience, while also selling shirts, ties, socks, accessories and off-the-rack suits. While his suits first brought him into prominence, I think that his ties are where he truly excels. Made of very thick, smooth silk, they come very close to being the perfect width. Not skinny but not wide. Most famously, Richard James ties are available in bright colours and patterns (although you can still track down more traditional, darker ties from him as well) and I really can’t think of anyone that does this look better, with the possible exception of his countryman, Paul Smith. There’s something about the old-school British, handmade quality that grounds the bright colours so as to make them very wearable, even in a conservative office environment.
So, if you’re going to go for some serious colour in your tie choice, I’d highly recommend doing it under the careful supervision and guidance of Mr. Richard James. Check out more of his ties at http://www.richardjames.co.uk/. In Canada, Richard James, Saville Row is available at Holt Renfrew and I’ve regularly found ties at Holt’s Last Call for well under $100. For New Yorkers, I’ve seen Richard James ties at Century 21 recently as well. If you do go for one of James’ louder ties, stick to a plain white or pale blue shirt and a dark suit.
For regular updates, follow this blog on Twitter, @oneguysstyle.