It's like Sex and the Suburbs and 30 Rock all rolled into one…
In the Year of our Lord eighteen hundred and eighty, some British students at Oxford used their college-color ribbons as neckties. Soon the trend caught on and actual ties were made, thus the college necktie was born. Other colleges decided to follow the trendsetters at Oxford, and then clubs and organizations caught on. At about the same time the British decided against brightly colored uniforms, moving towards more muted colors, and used the tie as means to keep the tradition of the regimental colors. In the world of men’s fashion, we call these regimental stripes. And on a necktie, they are devastatingly wonderful.
I think my favorite are from Joseph A Banks. I really like the store in Albany – the customer service is great and they can pull up my father’s size if I ever forget. The quality is also fantastic. What I like most about their line is that its traditional for the most part. A suit or shirt you buy there today will still be a great look in ten years. Combined with the level of quality, you’ll be wearing it for ten years. Most of their ties are still very traditional; they rarely do anything trendy in pattern and only sometimes delve into the color of the moment. However, their regimental guard stripe tie is a wonderful twist on an iconic look. Bright colors combined with navy look fantastic with most suits.
The low-down: A regimental stripe tie is a good way to incorporate some color into a suit in a conservative way. It’s a smart tie for interviews, events in which you want to look timeless, and for offices in which a trendy look would be inappropriate. It’s a good way to help men not used to having freedom of color (like, dads maybe?) get some in their wardrobe. To make it a little more trendy, pair it with a casual oxford shirt and jeans. Add a wool suit vest for going out to dinner.
And yes, it is a great present for Father’s Day. If you’re going to get him a tie, get him one he can wear.