Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Seasonal Neckwear

First, some exciting news: for those of you that didn't see the posts on Twitter or Facebook, Wide Eyes Tight Wallets hit a milestone this week as we broke 500 followers on Twitter! Every big step like that is exciting, so we definitely plan on celebrating, and what better way to celebrate that to reward the peeps that make it happen. That's right, YOU. Long story short, keep your eyes peeled for a **giveaway** sometime in the next week or so as a token of our appreciation for you guys following along.

Ok, on to the meat of the post:

I hope I'm not the only one who has been scoring some awesome deals from the various summer sales going on about now. I featured Bonobos last week, but J. Crew Factory had some killer discounts recently as well. This week, I received my order in the mail, and my favorite pick has to be this new madras cotton tie, which brings me to a great point as we are really getting into these hot summer months.

Ok, to be entirely fair, I have to admit I had this post planned for earlier in the season, but unavoidable delays kept pushing it back, but there's still plenty of summer left. When the temperature rises, we all adjust the cloth and style of our clothing to keep us cool and comfortable. Heavy wools get stuck in the closet, while lighter cloths like cotton and linen hit the rotation full-swing. What a lot of people don't realize is that you can (and should) take the same steps when picking out your neckwear.

Now, it's fair enough to mention that wearing a cotton or linen tie isn't really going to keep you any cooler. However, there are still two good reasons to do this. The first is that the clothing that you will be matching your tie is now in a different cloth and therefore a different texture. Where a wool suit or a thicker dress shirt has a certain sheen to it that pairs well with silk ties, or where tweed is thick and hearty and goes great with a wool tie, these clothes would look kind of out of place with a breezy lightweight tie. The same goes for the opposite. Linen suits, cotton blazers, lightweight dress shirts, all have a unique weight and texture that lends to a little 'rough-around-the-edges,' while not necessarily casual, style that just looks out of place with a shiny silk tie. You can really notice this in the shots with the blazer, which is a summer-weight cotton/linen blend that plays nicely off the texture of the tie.

Secondly, silk and linen ties just lend to a more summery feel all around, and those summer styles you're looking for will be hard to find in a silk or wool option. You're much more likely to find madras plaids in cotton, and, as far as I know, you'll never find a seersucker tie made out of silk (I'm not sure that would even be possible). When designers and brands put out their cotton and silk tie lines, they are designing these specifically for the summer months, and you'll find a plethora of bright summer colors and patterns to choose from. Long story short, as your rolling up you sleeves, embracing the season, your neckwear should reflect the same attitude.

This tie from J. Crew is 100 percent cotton and came in a great madras pattern, which I discussed before as one of my favorite summer patterns. This pattern in particular is a perfect blend of bold and subtle. It features the brighter madras reds and blues, but the plaid isn't too busy and the colors are slightly faded, keeping it from being 'in-your-face' while remaining plenty summery. You'll also notice I went with a solid pocket square in a similar fabric (chambray) that brings out the red in the tie without being to matchy-matchy. 

The J. Crew Factory sale has unfortunately passed, but there are still plenty of great options for summer neckwear. The Tie Bar is my go-to for affordable ties, and they have entire sections dedicated to cotton and linen options. I actually just grabbed a great blue-striped cotton tie (shown below) from their pop-up stand at the Daley Center last week (always love avoiding paying shipping). If I'd gotten this post up earlier, like I had planned, Uniqlo had some great madras options as well, but it looks like they are already moving on to their fall line. 

My favorite fan.

On a final note, as the following here continues to grow, I'd love to hear more from the readers! If you have any summer tie suggestions, or selections you want to brag about, or any other input, have your say in the comments section or e-mail me at and I'll share your stuff with the community! As always, thanks for reading!

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