Each of us has our own eye for what we like. As I have written in the past, my own prefers texture over pattern in neckwear, and there is no better way to refine one's preferences than to spend an hour or two with Michael Hill of Drake's London.
Choosing neckwear for the coming season (Spring 2013 in this case) takes time. It is easier than visiting multiple mills and looking through an infinity of possibilities as Michael has already narrowed things down considerably. The challenge is that he has narrowed them to at least a thousand (there are eight colors on each of the pattern cards in the photos, and there are more stacks of those out of the photo), from which I choose a couple dozen.
My emphasis was on bow ties and squares this season, including a couple of large squares for neckerchiefs and more than a dozen pocket squares in various materials and directionless paisleys and other prints. I added nearly a dozen silk bow ties in batwing and Charvet shapes, also in directionless patterns, and then a couple dozen neckties in textured solids and other weaves. The typical Drake's order is a dozen per colorway and midnight and navy blue wovens made up most of my choices. Finally, I bought one gray and olive weave just because I wanted one for myself. Only four of those - browns and olives tend to be tough sells.
None of the classic English printed silks though. They will be coming from a Neapolitan maker who will do them untipped and unlined.
Photos by Rose Callahan