12 Essential Ties Every Man Must Have

12 Essential Ties Every Man Should Invest In

Many men ask what tie goes with what and they are often lost when it comes to choosing a tie. Therefore, we decided it was time to we discuss the 12 essential ties every man must have.

Pants rack repurposed for ties

Pants rack repurposed for ties

Over the years, I built up a tie collection of over 200, but I find that some are worn more often than others. There’s a dozen ties I come back to over and over again, and those are the ones I choose to travel with because they allow me to wear very casual outfits, semi-formal outfits, as well as quite formal outfits and I’m covered with the entire range of ties I need.

Navy Silk Tie

It’s muted, it’s dark, but if you can wear that well, you can go from there and it’s good for formal outfits, it’s good for interviews, and it doesn’t catch much attention.

If you wear lots of solid suits, I suggest you go with a navy grenadine tie because it has a stronger texture, but it’s not overly strong like a knit tie, so you can wear it with formal outfits but it helps your tie to stand out even though the colors are not popping and strong.

If you travel a lot, you may want to look into kind of a wool mohair tie because it doesn’t wrinkle very easily and always pops out, so that comes in really hand when you are on the road a lot.

I’d stay clear of dark blue denim ties or cotton ties or cashmere ties simply because they’re more casual and they’re not well-suited for formal outfits. One mistake I often see with navy ties or solid silk ties is that people go with satin, that’s very shiny and more suited for evening wear so I’d stay clear of satin and go with a more matte weave either in jacquard, grenadine, or a mohair silk blend.

assorted burgundy ties

Assorted burgundy ties

Burgundy Tie

Personally, I like the burgundy knit tie because it has a lot of texture and so it goes well with a tweed jacket or a sports coat. It also works with a formal charcoal suit or navy blue suit. It’s also airier and it’s a great choice for summer.

Alternatively, you can go with a burgundy grenadine tie, it’s similar in texture, it’s versatile, and you’ll wear it a lot of times. You could also go with a herringbone pattern which just adds a little more texture and contrast to an otherwise solid tie.

Another great choice for a red tie is a small dotted tie in silk. It pairs particularly well with solid suits because it’s muted but noticeably different from just another solid tie.

Brown Tie

Ideally, you want it once again, in a different texture than the other two ties you already have. Since bBrown is a more casual color, you want to go with a textured tie. So again, a knit tie in tobacco brown is nice and so is a brown grenadine.

No matter if you wear lots of sports coats or business suits, you can go with a lighter brown shantung silk or tussah silk because it adds texture to an outfit and it is not shiny. If you live in cooler climates, you may want to invest in a brown wool tie.

Tussah Silk in Brown

Tussah Silk in Brown

assorted repp ties

assorted repp ties

Striped Repp Tie

It’s a classic in men’s wardrobes, and it’s a typical preppy style staple from the US. They come in hundreds of patterns, they are often club ties or regimental ties, and they’ve been popular for many decades. This is a tie that never really goes out of style and so it makes perfect sense to invest in one.

Repp tie in bottle green is a great choice

Repp tie in bottle green is a great choice

Most men I know have a few of those ties and oftentimes they start with red or blue, I think bottle green is a great color for a repp tie because it’s different than navy or red which you probably already have in your wardrobe especially if you follow this guide. it is casual but can be worn with formal outfits and it just rounds out your tie collection. Don’t feel like you have to default to a blue or red repp tie, simply get what you like and try to have a variety of colors.

Shantung Tie

You can get a different one, you can get them in solid colors or different stripes but the specialty about shantung is that it’s a raw silk that means it has little knobs in it, it’s woven and it gives it a more casual character. Nevertheless, you can spice up your outfit by going with a traditional striped pattern and choosing the slightly different shantung texture which is usually the hallmark of a well-dressed gentleman.

Someone who’s not really into neck wear might think these ties are defective. However, the connoisseur will always recognize a true shantung because it’s matte and not shiny, unlike a dupioni silk, for example. It has this wonderful texture, and when you move in the light, you just get a different color spectrum which is a nice depth, and it’s just very debonair. Personally, I really like striped shantung ties, but you can also look for solids or other patterns.

Dupioni Silk

Dupioni Silk

Wool Grenadine Tie

Unlike a silk grenadine, the wool grenadine is thicker and it wrinkles less. It’s also matte and it’s particularly good for more casual outfits during fall and winter. Unlike silk, wool oftentimes comes with mottled yarns which is particularly useful for fall winter outfits because they’re softer and just more subdued.

Personally, my first choice for a wool grenadine would be an orange and grey mix because you can combine it with brown outfits, as well as navy outfits, or charcoal outfits, so you can cover the entire spectrum; even green would work, it’s a complementary contrast to orange.

Prince of Wales Check Tie

Personally, I like Prince of Wales because it’s really well suited for formal events, interviews, funerals, and anything else where you just need a muted tie that is classic and business appropriate. For normal wear, I suggest you get a silk tie in a relatively small pattern that is subdued. If you wear lots of casual outfits, you can go with a larger pattern, maybe in wool or flannel.

Houndstooth Tie

It’s a very classic pattern, it has been around for decades. Usually, it comes in all kinds of sizes; I suggest you get an over-sized version just like this one because it is easy to combine them with solid suits and even if your suit has a little pattern, it stands out and is not confusing to the eye. If you want a little more texture, I suggest you go with a houndstooth tie in silk bourette. Bourette is a thicker silk yarn, it’s very matte, it’s crisp, and it’s just wonderful if you don’t like shiny ties.

Polka Dot Tie

In England, they also call it a spotted tie, and it’s just a very classic and timeless pattern and has been around for a long time, and if you want to start, you should probably avoid the super large pattern or a very small one, instead, go with something like this. Again, most people would start with navy or red. I suggest you look at the existing colors you have and maybe think about something in a lighter blue, medium blue, maybe orange, or maybe burgundy, maybe even yellow. Depending on what you have in your wardrobe already.

micropattern ties by Fort Belvedere

Micropattern ties by Fort Belvedere

Macclesfield Neats Tie

Also called a micro pattern tie. Traditionally, the silk printing industry was located in Macclesfield, England and that’s where they printed these ties, and they came up with small repetitive patterns that are not solids but not too bold therefore they work very well with all kinds of suits and casual outfits alike.

Personally, they’re my favorite tie patterns because they come in any number of color ranges, sometimes with two colors, three colors, four colors, or even more. To start, I suggest you get a silk tie maybe in red or orange, maybe something in yellow or buff or something blue. If you want something more unusual, go with a wool challis tie that has a similar pattern, maybe something a little more oversized, that way you definitely stand out from the crowd.

In Italy, these ties are also super popular especially in a navy blue with a small printed pattern and dark muted colors such as brown, green, or red. If you already have a number of navy ties, I suggest you go with a different color. Otherwise, of course, you can get one. In my opinion, you can never have too many of micropattern ties because they just pair so well with different things.

Silver/Grey Ties

Now, it could be one in a wool flannel that is solid because again, it pairs with navy suits, brown suits even, and it just adds a different texture. Alternatively, you can go with a knitted silk because it’s crunchy and crisp and just creates a different look than the wool tie. If you wear lots of business outfits, I suggest you get something in silver gray because you can wear it all kinds of business suits, it’s very formal, very debonair, and personally, I like to wear it a lot. It also works with stroller suits and morning wear.

Paisley Tie

Paisley is a pattern that originated in India and was modified in England. It’s basically this kind of teardrop, it’s asymmetric, and there are lots of variations of it. They come in different sizes, different pattern densities and different degrees of decoration and detailing. It’s a classic pattern, but at the same time, it’s a little more unusual because oftentimes, it’s bolder and so you can be a little more daring. If you go with a strong pattern, you can opt for muted colors. If you go with a smaller or more muted paisley, you can go with louder colors.


Now that you know what 12 ties you should invest in, I suggest you take a look at our video series about how to tie your tie because the knot makes a huge difference and you can really change the look of the exact same tie just by using different knots and different shirt collars. Don’t forget to tie your tie with a dimple, so you always look dapper.

12 Essential Ties Every Man Should Invest In
Article Name
12 Essential Ties Every Man Should Invest In
An in-depth guide to 12 must have ties in your wardrobe; do's & don'ts & how to wear them in style.
Gentleman's Gazette LLC
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18 replies
  1. Alexander_F says:

    This is a useful guide indeed.

    But let’s not forget the plain black one, even if it’s reserved for less happy events.

  2. Jack Wiest says:

    Channel your inner 007 with a solid black silk grenadine tie. Just make sure the knot is shaken, not stirred.

  3. Terry W says:

    Nice, useful article. When travelling I always take a black silk knit and/or solid silver silk tie. Very useful for that unplanned tie-required occasion.
    I understand that regimental ties are striped from left downward to the right, and American-style repps in from right downward to the left.

  4. Gary says:

    This article is very helpful. I appreciate a little direction when it comes to picking ties. It can be overwhelming sometimes. Considering the cost of a quality tie, it is important to focus on having a useful and smart collection.

  5. Cesare says:

    Excellent post! To the point and what I think is very solid advice. Classic looks with many uses, although for me at lest the stripes remind too much of Scott Fitzgerald in a Moveable Feast, but doubtful many men contemplate such things now. Personal and minor qualm aside, outstanding and informative work.

  6. Thomas says:

    I especially like the green-gray jacket in combination with the Houndstooth Tie. What brand is the jacket, where can you find it? Thanks in advance for information

  7. Jens says:

    Great article, the only tie that is really missing in my opinion is a black knitted silk tie, if possible with a V-shaped end. As my first tie (and also only tie if I had to choose) I would always go with a dark blue grenadine tie.

  8. Simon says:

    Great article and even greater video!

    Your close ups of the ties in the video worked really well – much better than mere static photos.

  9. Zachary Christian Cavin says:

    Thanks Mr. Schneider for another exceptional article! Would you consider these same patterns as essentials for the bow tie as well?

  10. tooth says:

    Thank you for a great article.
    One question. Do we still have to be careful when we pick a stripe tie, if we don’t belong to a specific regiment or club? We don’t need to worry too much any more?

  11. Paisley Stan says:

    Hi Sven,

    Don’t disagree with any of that and the first two on the list are my default, go-to for day-to-day wear.

    Got to take you to task over your Paisley comment though; whilst it originated in India, it is synonymous with the town of Paisley in Scotland where it formed much of the industrial heritage of the town around the thread mills which spun the yarns which were formed into the shawls, etc. adorned with the pattern.
    To this day the town still owns the rights to some of the most iconic pattern designs.

    It’s my hometown and we’re all very proud of its heritage!

    Loving your work.

    Stan, Paisley.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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