In the fashion world of men's accessories, the knit tie was placed firmly in the realm of school uniform for a very long time. But recently, knits have been creeping back into the realm of men's neckwear, with great success!
The drape of knitted fabric makes it perfect for a tie, while also allowing the yarn (everything from wool to cashmere) to bloom beautifully. If you have never given a knitted tie any thought before, perhaps now is the perfect time to reconsider adding some to your wardrobe.
The knit tie is usually made with a lightweight yarn that is either Wool or Cashmere, or some blend of the two. Knitted fabric is made by pulling loops through each other length wise to create a material with drape and durability.
These ties can be made in a Solid Color, or in a variety of Stripes. Because of the nature of knitted fabric it can be difficult to incorporate Check, Dots or other complicated designs. Therefore you will usually only see solid and striped coloring on a knitted tie.
In days gone by the knit necktie was a staple of many school uniforms, and didn't really get to venture out of this sphere. But in the last five years or so it has really enjoyed a fashion revival, and many retailers offer knitted ties alongside the classic Woven Tie.
The knit necktie is now a perfectly acceptable accessory to wear to work, or out for play. Generally the thinner the yarn is and the finer the knit, the more formal the tie will be. Chunkier knits are attractive as well.
The thick yarn can look funky and eclectic besides having some bulk and presence that finer knits won't have. Fibers like cashmere or mohair will really bloom (get slightly fuzzy) when knit, and as such they are best when knit at a fine gauge.
If you work in a conservative environment try sticking to these finer yarns. If your work environment is a bit more open-minded, try knit ties with thick yarns or a bit of texture.
Remember that most of these ties are made with animal fibers like wool, which makes them very warm. Consequently, your tie would be best as a part of your winter and fall wardrobes.
Generally speaking, the knit necktie will appear more textured than a lot of woven ties, especially satin ties. If you wear a very highly patterned shirt with a knitted tie you may achieve more of a chaotic look than was perhaps desired. Think of texture as a sort of subtle pattern, you don't want to go overboard with mixing and matching patterns.
A nice, plain colored shirt would be an easy and obvious choice. You could also try a shirt with pin-stripes or a fine geometric weave. Both of these patterns are very subtle and would add to the texture of the tie rather than clash with it. Most of all, you want to play up your unique and beautiful necktie!
If you happen to be so lucky as to know someone who knits, perhaps you could cajole him or her into knitting you a one-of-a-kind tie. For the rest of us folk, there are many retailers from whom you can purchase a knit necktie.
London designer TM Lewin also has a good collection of fine gauge knitted ties which would be very suitable for formal events.
Also, look to luxury retailer yoox.com for some glorious ties by Roda and Miu Miu. No matter where you look, you are bound to find a tie that simply calls to you.
Knitting is one of the best fabrication methods to show off the natural qualities of wool and cashmere. With popular designers coming out with more knit ties every season, the choices keep of expanding.
Give this alternative some serious thought, and you'll be on the cutting edge of men's fashion.