Ben Silver Style Guide
What do I do with my tie if I spill food or a beverage on it? (Can a silk tie be drycleaned?)
Because of the tight weave on our woven silk neckwear, it is sometimes possible to gently scratch the surface of the silk with your fingernail and obliterate the spot. Water and even wine spots will respond well to this approach, but a greasy food will not respond as well. With printed silk, because the silk generally has a flatter surface, this technique doesn’t usually work. Don’t expect to take a tie to a drycleaning establishment! Silk neckwear can’t be cleaned in commercial machinery, and can’t be pressed by commercial irons. If you tie is really soiled, plan on replacing it.
- What do I do with my tie if I spill food or a beverage on it?
Because of the tight weave on our woven silk neckwear, it is sometimes possible to gently scratch the surface of the silk with your fingernail and obliterate the spot. Water and even wine spots will respond well to this approach, but a greasy food will not respond as well. With printed silk, because the silk generally has a flatter surface, this technique does not usually work. Do not expect to take a tie to a drycleaning establishment! Silk neckwear can not be cleaned in commercial machinery, and can not be pressed by commercial irons. If you tie is really soiled, plan on replacing it.
- How should I maintain my neckties?
Ties should be hung in a closet, on a tie rack. There are excellent, readily available, rotary devices that are effective for rotating a selection of ties, while lighting them. These devices take up little closet space, and can be set at eye level for easy early morning decision making.
- How should I travel with my neckties?
We always provide a cellophane tie sleeve with every tie. These sleeves protect a tie in transit. We like to place a selection of ties in a Ben Silver tie gift box, in the sleeve. Between the hard box and the sleeve, the tie will arrive in perfect condition.
- Why is a hand sewn tie special?
Fine neckwear is always made by hand, and not by machine. For some apparel items machinery can improve consistency and quality, but with a necktie, as with many artisan items, hand cutting and sewing makes a better tie. Our neckwear is made entirely by hand in our English or American workrooms. The cutting, sewing and the finishing are all done by hand. Each of our ties is cut on the bias by an artisan into 3 pieces – the back, the front, and the neck – allowing the tie to conform to the neck. A stitch, called a bar tack, is also applied by hand, and joins the two sides on the back. A hand sewn tie is made with a slip stitch. Our ties have a slipstitch, whose end, knotted, can be found loose under the bar tacked area. This stitch gives resilience to the tie and assures that it will fall out to return to its original shape when hung in your closet.
- Are some tie linings better than others?
The tie lining gives balance and body to the tie. Too heavy a lining and the tie will feel clumsy in hand; too light a lining, and the tie will feel cheap and drape poorly, regardless of the quality of the silk or outer fabric. All our ties are lined in the proper weight to produce a perfectly dimpled knot that sits high in the collar and leaves no space between the shirt and the tie.
- What is the right color for a tie?
We believe in color, and Ben Silver ties are known for vibrancy of color. However, there are times when a brighter tie may be inappropriate. At a funeral, wear a subdued tie, such as navy, either solid or with a simple bar stripe, to be the accessory to your suit. In court, wear an understated tie pattern, but consider a deep red or blue as appropriate. Generally, however, there is no “right” color for a tie, and you should enjoy wearing the color you choose, but remember, your tie – its colors, pattern and shape – is a singularly direct way to announce your taste and style to the rest of the world!
- What is the difference between a woven tie and a printed tie?
A woven tie is woven on a loom, in which the weaving creates the pattern of the tie. Weft silk, which is what you see on the face of the tie, is woven into the warp, which is essentially invisible. The weft silk might be of a single color (a solid tie); or multiple colors (a stripe); or a jacquard weave (computerized pattern settings). The actual weave may vary from a fine rib to a wide one; and the fabric may vary in either warp or weft from silk to cotton to cashmere to wool to linen. A printed necktie, is created by screening or digitally printing patterns directly on already woven plain twill weave silk, or other fabric.
- When do I wear a silk knit tie?
Knit ties are appropriate nearly all the time. Though they are considered sportier than a woven or printed tie, if they are in a dark color, they can be entirely correct with a suit. We like them with button down shirts, especially in Tattersall or other checks; and we recommend them for travel, because they do not wrinkle and are versatile with so many jackets.
- When do I wear a knit tie?
We can arrange to have any shoe you have purchased from us repaired by either Crockett & Jones or Alden, as appropriate to the make, if you send the shoes to us at our distribution center, along with your customer information. When you have a hole in the sole of a shoe or you just need to have it reconditioned, we will send it to the factory in either England or Massachusetts for expert attention. We pass along the charges ($245 for refurbishment and shipping and handling.) Allow at least 8 weeks for repair, but it is well worth the wait, as you will, in effect have a new pair of shoes!
- Are some ties considered dressier than others?
Printed ties, we believe, are too dressy to wear with a button down shirt, and should be worn with a spread or modified spread or cutaway collar. They are well suited to being worn with suits or more elegant sport coats. Nevertheless, a whimsical pattern on a printed necktie makes the tie less serious, despite it being a printed tie. Solid color neckties can also be more serious, and pair well with suits; though color is the deciding factor. Regimental stripes can be versatile: a simple bar stripe on a single ground color will work with a suit, a blazer or a sport coat; but a more festive stripe might only be appropriate with a sport coat or blazer.
- How long should my tie be?
You tie should reach just over the beginning of your belt buckle.
- How wide should my tie be?
Classic styling sets the parameters for the width of a tie – approximately 8 cm. Silk knit ties are slightly narrower. This presumes a balance between the width of a suit jacket lapel and the width of the jacket gorge (the area displaying the shirt and tie between the lapels). In a classically styled garment, the lapel is 3 inches wide, and the best tie width is 8 cm.
- What is the right shape for a tie?
The shape of a tie, when classically styled, is narrower at the top, where the silk is knotted, and then gradually increases to 8 cm at the bottom before shaping into it’s point. However, the blade of the tie (its front) should not be a triangle. The graduation from knot to tip should be barely discernible. Classic styling does not include a bottle shape in the blade either, with a wide top, under the knot. As with all classic style, subtlety and understatement are the order of the day.