One line in a 1967 book, A Dandy in Aspic, stayed with me for decades. The principal character, the aforementioned dandy, noted that he only wore black neckties.
Impressionable in my youth, I emulated that practice for twenty years before broadening my choices. Of course, my decision was reinforced by the observation that many elegant men wore only black ties. But that was before clothing retailers chose to offer wardrobe variety by substituting relatively inexpensive inventories of colored neckties for relatively expensive stocks of patterned dress shirts.
The effect of this emphasis on color was that many men never developed the understanding that light reflection and texture are more important roles for the necktie than color alone. The tie should always contrast with the wool of the jacket, and either texture or reflection provides more contrast than color by itself. In the context of the black necktie, grenadines and silk knits perform the first task and satin solids or herringbones the second.
Reinforcing the choice of the black necktie was the ubiquitous and highly complementary gleam of black leather on a man's feet, but that no longer applies. Since brown shoes have equalled or surpassed black during the day for many men, the black necktie has become just another choice in the wardrobe rather than the principal or only choice. But it continues to shine, literally as well as figuratively, with gray suits like the one on the man to the right in the Esquire illustration.
Consider the black necktie.