Sunday, February 19, 2012
The late Duke of Bedford, he whose name is in the International Best Dressed Hall of Fame, once wrote that a man's necktie should be dull and who am I to argue? I prefer black, gray, blue and sometimes brown ties myself, if grenadines, knits, shantungs and mogadors to name but a few are dull. Indeed, I was looking for a red tie the other day only to find that I had but two and one of them, a dark burgundy grenadine, hardly qualified.
Dull though ones ties may be, there is a place for louder neckwear and that is in the scarf. Oh, certainly a man needs quiet scarves in sober wool or cashmere. The real glory though are the silks, with tasselled fringes whenever possible. And if a man has one, he needs several since, just like a loud suit, a patterned silk scarf is so memorable that if he wears it more than a couple times a season people will think he lives in it.
Silk scarves are less impractical than they might appear. Though lightweight, the stuff is an excellent wind blocker and that same low conductivity keeps warm air next to the skin, which is why it is used for glove linings and long underwear.
Weave also needs to be considered. Directionless patterns like paisleys can be worn with virtually anything, with lustrous finishes or, like the madder scarf in the photo, dry surfaces. But let them have color. Dull is for neckties.