"Ties to put your stamp on spring/summer style"
Keeping cool during Australia’s steamy spring and summer months is one challenge; doing it in style is quite another. A beautifully tailored summer-weight suit is a great starting point, but a carefully chosen necktie of ideal weight, texture and colour can be the pièce de résistance.
Ties with heavier fabrics that pair beautifully with winter-weight woollen suits are not of much practical use during these hotter seasons. Summer has a different ethic altogether: lightweight and breathable fabrics, more interesting textures, and lighter colour schemes are several key considerations to bear in mind while dressing up for the office.
Depending on the industry in which you work, or the event you are attending, summer in Australia can be a slightly more relaxed affair – presenting opportunities to experiment with looser weaves and less structure.
Some necktie options include the ever-reliable woven silk and cotton choices, to the more pebbled texture of grenadine and knitted silk. That, or step outside the comfort zone with shantung, tussah silk and quite possibly, even printed ancient madder alternatives.
Casual suits of cotton or linen – or lightweight wool for shoulder seasons – allow you to sport a less-structured profile. This introduces opportunities for a variation of neckties with softer colour palettes such as lighter blues, taupe or tan, or even cream – which essentially work well with casual suiting to achieve an appealingly tropical look.
Furthermore, a light-coloured suit can be effortlessly paired alongside a contrasting tie in a darker shade or a complementary one with a more colourful hue – for good measure, solid colours and standard patterns are perpetually safer options while animal motifs and polka dots lend an almost exuberant touch. Besides colour palettes and patterns, casual suiting fabrics also open the door to a treasure trove of interesting necktie choices.
"Experimenting with texture takes summer styling to another level."
Experimenting with texture takes summer styling to another level. Grenadine is a go-to here, woven in a gauze-like pattern from silk in grossa (large) or fina (small) variants. The former, more coarse and three-dimensional, adds depth to an otherwise dull outfit while the latter presents a more conservative yet interesting look.
The knitted silk tie – typically narrow and finished with a squared-off tip – is another texturally bold choice, evident in a myriad of solid colours that are best suited within the creative or artistic work environments.
Other fascinating textiles are shantung and tussah silk alternatives. Obtained from wild silkworms in an uncontrolled environment, their fibres are shorter and more coarse – resulting, in either case, a particularly rougher hand. Tussah silk is, however, woven more loosely to create ties typically of solid colours while shantung is woven with a tighter, more robust weave and often in a variety of striped patterns instead.
For a more intriguing option, seek out ancient madder which can add an element of individualism missing from solid and striped ties. Dating back to Victorian times, ancient madder is a twill silk dyed with a colouring agent derived from the Rubia Tinctoria root – predominantly used to create paisley or geometric patterns of darker reds, greens, mid-blues and oranges with a chalky, suede-like texture.
Don’t shirk the opportunity to put your own stamp on summer style, all whilst appropriately attired to beat the heat.