Of the ways to wear a suit without a necktie in cool weather, perhaps the best of a poor set of choices is the roll neck sweater or jumper, where the collar provides a visual anchor that serves some of the necktie's function.
Single ply cashmere (two ply wears warm under a jacket) plays the best lead in the role of a necktie substitute, though the good stuff - either Scottish or Italian - is as dear as several neckties. Merino wool is a reasonable substitute with most of the hand for a fraction of the cost. Either way, choose a color that picks up a secondary color in the suit, as the sweater picks up the suit stripes in the photo.
This is of course a look that is not intended for the office. Instead, consider it for art gallery openings and cocktail parties on the weekend. That also means that woolen suitings are preferable to worsteds, with flannels being better than tweeds for the city.
Consider, if you must, the roll neck.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Photo: Woolmark Archive and London College of Fashion