A Minimalist Wardrobe: The only Five Neckties you need

From solid to stripes and beyond.

The Five Styles of Ties Every Guy (even a minimalist) Needs

About the author: Chris (aka Bruschetta) is an America-born university researcher and teacher based in Glasgow, Scotland, as well as a moderator on Threads. His sense of style is inspired by a childhood dressed in Ivy league trad, and the fact that he is enormously well bred.

The concept is simple: pick one tie out of each of the following categories and you’ll be set to tackle every tie-mandatory situation that life may throw at you. These are the essential five ties that’ll cover everything from weddings to interviews, office life, travel, and even leisure (if you’re the type to wear a tie while dressed down). Every tie on this list meets the following criteria:

  1. Pairs well with white and blue shirts.
  2. Pairs well with navy and charcoal jackets.
  3. Appropriate in a wide variety of situations.


#1. The Mandatory Solid Black Textured Tie

The Only 5 Neck Ties You Need - Dappered.com

The Why: A black textured tie is the perfect choice for more formal events. It’s most often found at funerals, memorials, or other events where style takes a back seat to respect. So while you might not use it as often, a black tie is something you’ll need to have in your arsenal. Solid black ties are also a stylish option when attending concerts, private art galleries, and other fine arts events. Ian Flemming often had James Bond wearing a black knit tie in his books. Even with a navy suit. Yes, really.

The Picks:


#2. The Essential Navy or Deep Blue Tie

The Only 5 Neck Ties You Need - Dappered.com

The Why: Navy ties are a staple in every man’s wardrobe. In fact, most men could probably get by with a closet filled only with navy ties. Solid navy ties are one of the most traditional choices for interviews. Pindot navy ties are equally beautiful (if less conservative), and offer a bit more flair.

The Picks:


#3. The Indispensable Burgundy Tie

The Only 5 Neck Ties You Need - Dappered.com

The Why: Burgundy is the second most versatile tie color after navy. A burgundy tie can come across as confident and assertive, and it makes an excellent choice for an interview. Solid burgundy ties are less aggressive than their brighter red cousins. Pindot burgundy ties are a timeless and classic style.

The Picks: 


#4. The Paramount Striped Tie

The Only 5 Neck Ties You Need - Dappered.com

The Why: It’s easy to go off the deep end when it comes to patterned ties, but a classic diagonally-striped tie will never go out of style. Striped ties are more visually complex than a solid or pindot die. They offer a chance to display some individualism. That being said, great reward comes with greater risk: striped ties can quickly veer into undesirable territory. Stick with something classic and timeless unless you’ve got a real strong personal sense of style.

The Picks:


#5. The Obligatory Glen Plaid Tie

The Only 5 Neck Ties You Need - Dappered.com

The Why: Glen plaid is one of the most versatile, more intricate patterns that a man can have in his tie drawer. A grey glen plaid pattern compliments most if not all of the common shirt and jacket colors and textures. The style is equally at home in casual and formal settings. It is office appropriate under a suit, and looks great on the weekend when paired with a white OCBD with the sleeves rolled up. Glen plaid ties have gained a reputation as wedding ties in the men’s style community, and they’re frequently worn at weddings by both guests and grooms.

The Picks:


MEANWHILE, about the brands chosen above (and their prices)

Brooks BrothersTheir ties are a splurge at their full price of $59.50-$89.95, but their ties are frequently included in Brooks Brothers regular seasonal sales. The seasonal sales typically stack with their regular in-store 30% off multiple purchase discount. These sales put most of their ties in the $35-40 range. Additionally, Brooks Brothers offers last season’s ties through their clearance section for 50-75% off.

Charles TyrwhittThe regular price of $49-$85 for a tie is absurd, but their ties are frequently discounted. Never pay full price for anything at Charles Tyrwhitt. Expect to pay $20-30 for these ties. Alternatively, keep an eye out for their frequent free tie promotions that offer a tie for free with the purchase of a shirt. The catch? You’re on the hook for shipping. In other words, the true cost of the tie is effectively the $9.95 shipping fee.

Kent Wang: These ties are out of reach for most of us at $85 per tie. They have an excellent reputation in the style community for quality and service. These are heritage ties for an important life event.

Nordstrom/Calibrate: This house brands is a reliable (if not particularly inspiring) choice. The Calibrate line is massively overpriced at retail, but they’re easy to find at Nordstrom Rack outlet stores for $15, and at that point they’re a favorable comparison to TheTieBar. Speaking of…

TheTieBar: These guys have established themselves as the go-to source for inexpensive ties. The quality of TheTieBar ties isn’t the best, but they’re durable enough for daily work wear. They’re the perfect option for someone who wants a reliable, inexpensive tie and doesn’t want to invest in a more expensive option. And chances are, they’ll have whatever style you’re looking for.

NOTE: This post was limited to the long-style, necktie necessities. Bowties weren’t included. But if someone is buying a tuxedo, they’ll obviously want to pick up their own black, self-tie (not pre-tied) bow tie to go with it.