I have a lot of ties: Knit ties, wool ties, silk and blends of them all. I have them in block stripes, paisley, dotted and solid. Excessive? At times. But a good closet purge always clear up space– at least for a bit. But I promise you Marie Kondo, they all sparked joy at some point. But my latest tie spark might be the brightest. Behold this light brown, almost cream cashmere tie from Ralph Lauren’s Purple Label collection.
While wandering through Paris during our honeymoon Sydney and I found, by chance, the Ralph Lauren Flagship store on Saint-Germain. When the stars align, what more can you do? The store had at least four floors, with each floor dedicated to a different department of Ralph Lauren. I found this tie on the Purple Label floor. It was on a mannequin sitting beautifully, offering lessons in textbook color contrast in front of a navy pinstripe suit. But after a casual glance at the price tag I settled on this was going to be a museum policy trip: Look, but don’t touch. However, after exploring all the floors I felt the need to return to that tie and at least entertain the thought of adding it to my collection. My assortment of thrift finds needed a boost of legitimacy, and this might be it. It would be my first cashmere tie, and if you are going to drop an absorb anent amount of money on a tie, why not do it at Ralph’s home away from home in Paris on your honeymoon?
I returned to the tie and admired it. It’s cut wider than most of the ties you’ll find today. The widest part reaching a little over 4 inches. It’s what I imagined all of Ralph Lauren’s ties looked like when he started as a tie man in the early 70’s. I picked it up and examined the texture. It was so soft and comforting to the touch. An associate who seemed to watch Sydney and I our entire time on that floor approached. He commented how lovely the tie was, and I concurred. As I continued to hold it in my hand, and without looking at him, I threw the entire weight of my tie knowledge at him.
“Handmade In Italy, I presume?”
I didn’t like being followed in the store. Buying this tie would be my revenge.
“Yes sir.” The man replied.
“Hm. I like it. It’ll fit well into my winter wardrobe.” I don’t have a winter wardrobe per se, but I felt the need to play this game.
I asked if this tie was his last. He replied that it was. I inspected it one more time on the mannequin. The large knot with the perfect dimple stared back at me.
“I’ll take it.”
Sydney– a firm supporter of my spontaneity– chimed in.
“Won’t he have to re do this entire mannequins outfit if you just take the tie?”
I shot back, now looking at the associate.
“I suppose he will.”
I don’t remember how much the tie cost. All I recall is a swift flinching pain as what appeared to be an abbreviated phone number flashed on the registry as the cashier rang it up. But I was too ecstatic to worry about such minimal things as finances. It was my honeymoon, and I had just ensured an associate of Ralph Lauren would be gainfully employed the rest of the afternoon rearranging a mannequin.
The tie goes best as a contrast accessory. It’s color goes well against a navy suit or jacket, and it’s texture fits well into a winter landscapes. When wearing a tie this wide it’s imperative to ensure your jacket lapels are on the wider side. Narrow lapels and wide tie are a bad match. Here are some similar ties to consider adding to your arsenal.
Here is a grey cashmere tie by Drake’s that would go well with anything. If you really want to wear one tie for the rest of our life, consider this Loro Piana untipped cashmere tie from Viola Milano. Here’s a brown cashmere tie from John Henric that’s 2.5 inches wide that won’t put you in jeopardy of not paying your rent or mortgage.