Printed Silk Tie Guide | How and When to Wear a Printed Silk Tie

Posted by Rishi Chullani on

Conventional wisdom that the necktie is suited (no pun intended!) to stuffy elites has recently been thrown out the window with more and more aspiring dapper gentleman from all walks of life experimenting with their wardrobes and sense of style.

While it is certainly true that certain patterns such as the striped silk tie might still be reserved for office wear, the strong emergence of neckwear trends including knitted ties and printed silk ties have cast a shadow of doubt over conventional wisdom. Printed silk ties are almost the anti-tie. Foreman to Ali. Federer to Nadal. They take the conventional article of clothing and almost spin it on its head. Sure, cosmetically you’re still wearing a tie. But there’s a story to it now. There’s life, fun and novelty. Who wouldn’t want that – in even the supposedly stuffiest of places? With that said, here is our guide to how and when to wear a printed silk tie.

Animal Print Silk Ties

Two of The Dark Knot's Animal Printed Silk Ties

Printed Silk Tie History

So how did printed silk ties with unique patterns come into existence? Following  World War II and the subsequent rationing of fabric that was associated with meager economic times, excess took over as a form of counter culture to everything that went on in the preceding few years. Ties got wider. Design embellishment became prevalent. And men truly started to enjoy their neckwear. Art deco pattern styles became popular with animals, plants, flower, birds, western and tropical printed themes everywhere.

How are Printed Silk Ties Made

Printed Silk Ties have become a popular alternative to woven silk ties for several decades. While woven silk ties are made using weaving looms that take silk yarns of various colors and intricately weave them to form patterns, printed silk ties use either screens (stencils) or ink jet printers to print designs onto what is typically a twill weave. Therefore, the actual pattern is not woven into the fabric but printed onto it. As a result, the silk of these ties often feels lighter, making them ideal for the Spring & Summer seasons. However, given the intricate nature of these patterns, many dapper gentlemen also opt to wear them year round.

Types of Printed Silk Tie Patterns

Patterns that are available with printed silk ties are truly diverse. What designs are popular are often intricate repeating motifs that are leisure or sports related. Examples would include a repeating fish pattern for people that may be interested in marine life or water activity, repeating patterns of golf clubs or tennis racquets for those who are inclined to play either game, or relaxing motifs such as swaying palm trees.

Animal Print Silk Ties

The Dark Knot's range of beautiful Animal Print Silk Ties

The common theme among printed silk tie patterns is that they consist of a small motif related to a theme (animals, lifestyle, sports, music, travel, adventure) that is repeating seamlessly across the tie. These beautiful neckties, when viewed from afar, are often seen as nothing more than a splash of various colors, but reveal their true pattern upon closer examination, thus making them an ideal conversation starter! And as mentioned prior, they often are a sneak peek into what the person’s hobbies are. Your neckwear can therefore be a gateway to your world of hobbies & interests, all while dressing formally! Now how many pieces of formal clothing can you say that for?!?

Occasions to wear a printed silk tie to:

Printed Silk Ties can be worn to a range of functions, given the diversity of colors and novelty that they provide an ensemble with:

Daily work 

Step out of your daily routine of wearing a solid, striped or abstract silk tie and opt for a printed silk tie instead. These ties are fun and will draw interest to what can otherwise be standard conservative attire. Do, however, keep these ties limited to your daily work wear instead of using them for important meetings or presentations.

Blue with Red Fish Printed Silk Tie

The Dark Knot's Nantucket Fish Blue w / Red Silk Tie

Date Night 

What better way to add an element of flair and formality to your outfit than an animal printed silk tie! This will show a clear desire to dress well without taking yourself too seriously. Which date partner wouldn’t like that?!?

Green Fish Printed Silk Tie

The Dark Knot's Nantucket Fish Green w/ Blue Silk Tie

Weekend Casual 

Out for a weekend day time party, a horse racing event or playing croquet with your buddies? A printed silk tie will add the perfect dash of intrigue to your outfit, while leaving you peerless with regards to your sense of style!

Animal Print Silk Ties

The Dark Knot's Barnstable Crabs Blue w/ Pink Silk Tie and Falmouth Birds Blue w/ Yellow Silk Tie.

Summer / Beach Weddings 

My personal favorite time of the year to wear a printed silk tie.  What better way to soak in a relaxed but dapper day with a silk tie featuring intricate, novelty prints such as The Dark Knot’s Animal Printed Silk Ties!

Chick Magnet Printed Silk Tie

The Dark Knot's Amagansett Chicks Blue w/ Yellow Silk Tie

To view The Dark Knot's range of stunning Animal Print Silk Ties, please click here.

Printed Silk Ties from The Dark Knot

How to Match a Printed Silk Tie

Given that printed silk ties generally consist of repeating motifs, these unique neckties generally pair up well with solid shirts. It is best to opt for a shirt that is the same color as a secondary or tertiary color in the necktie pattern.

Yellow with Blue Birds Printed Silk Tie

The Dark Knot's Falmouth Birds Yellow w/ Blue Silk Tie

Alternatively, one can wear a printed silk tie with a larger checkered pattern shirt, as the larger spacing on the shirts checkered pattern will contrast well with the intricate, closely held pattern of the tie!

Regarding suits, any of your conventional solid or pinstriped suits, along with plaid suits will work well with your printed silk ties.

When accessorizing the rest of your suiting ensemble with a printed silk tie, a larger patterned Pocket Square that provides pattern and /or textural variation will perfectly balance your ensemble. Examples of this include Paisley or Polka Dot Linen or Silk Pocket Squares.

To view The Dark Knot’s range of beautiful linen and silk pocket squares, please click here.

What better way to polish off your suit with a funky animal print tie than with a single or two tonal lapel flower? Due to the intricate pattern of Printed Silk Ties, your best bet to finish off your ensemble with elegance is to opt for a single or two tonal lapel flower.

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's Single Tonal Lapel Flowers & Two Tonal Lapel Flowers.

Polka Dot Pocket Square and Printed Silk Tie

The Dark Knot's Ashland Dots Burgundy Silk Pocket Square and Amherst Yellow / White Lapel Flower!

And that's a wrap for this one! I hope that you have enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it!

To view The Dark Knot's range of gorgeous Animal Print Silk Ties, please click here.

To view The Dark Knot's range of Silk and Linen Pocket Squares, please click here.

Pocket Squares from The Dark Knot

Please feel free to view The Dark Knot's Single Tonal Lapel Flowers Two Tonal Lapel Flowers.

Lapel Flowers from The Dark Knot

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