Ties resurfaced on the fashion radar a while ago, although it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when. Did the style gears shift when Frank Ocean wore a tie with Nike x Cactus Flea Market sneakers? The artist and PReP+ party-thrower was snapped in such a fit while perched humbly on a bicycle a few months back. It was a really good look.
Over the weekend, Tyler, the Creator made a strong case for a loosely-knotted tie. It aligns perfectly with the menswear movement du jour. Tyler combined the lime-green tie with a fitted apricot knit sweater, strap-up Polley Buckle Dr. Martens (from the women’s line) and shorts. It’s post-streetwear and post-office-core. Frank Ocean made another appearance with a stylish Prada tie at the Met Gala, looking like a glamorous security guard.
So, where have ties been all this time? In the last five years, the influence of streetwear in both luxury and mainstream fashion has pushed the necktie firmly to the sidelines. Looking back, trying to get a fit off with a tie around your neck in 2016 would have made zero sense. What would you have even worn it with? An oversized death metal hoodie and sides-stripe track pants? Or a skinny tie to offset your chunky Balenciaga Triple-S sneakers? No thanks. Even last summer, when shirts – a necktie’s natural companion – were all over the place, the luridly bright and mashed-up patterns would have made the inclusion of a tie a maddening sight.
But now the #menswear movement is coming back (see Jeff Goldblum foregoing his Prada cosplay and pulling off a more respectable double jacket look here), and people are embellishing their streetwear style with more formal clothing.
Once upon a time the tie might have been looked upon as an insipid office staple, but as major firms around the world relaxed their dress code, ties became liberated from associations of authority, conservatism, and corporate culture, which isn’t a good look. And as we all know, the twisted overlords of the current era are not dressed up in fancy suits and ties anymore but are dressed down in deceptively simple navy and gray T-shirts, Mark Zuckerburg-style.
Elsewhere, some of cinema’s most stylish characters have worn ties. The monochrome costumes of Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction demonstrated the palpable brilliance of an uncomplicated black tie and white shirt combination, which could be replicated with the black logo tie from Givenchy below.
Meanwhile, the abject stylings of the school uniforms in Battle Royale, with loose knots and a certain lofty dishevelment, recall the Ader Error tie, which features schoolboy-esque stripes and a burned tip.
Ties – much like anything to do with fashion – don’t have much going in terms of rules that you need to adhere to. Unless you’re thinking of wearing a bow tie, in which case, think about the following: Are you a literal gift that has been wrapped? Are you an aspiring magician? Are you a dog that’s been a good boy? The obvious answer to all these is a resounding ‘no’, so do yourself a favor and don’t try it.
Check out our favorite ties below.
Dries Van Noten
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- Curator: Noah Thomas