SadCast Show Notes: On Neckties

We’re talking about neckties on the pod!

Listen to the Podcast Episode here!

Previous Articles on Neckties


  • The necktie has its origins in Croatian mercenary uniforms and were used to tie the top of their jacket. – Source
  • The stock (similar to a cravat) was popular in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
  • By the mid-19th century, the modern necktie emerged. The style has changed since then, but the basic shape has not.
  • Neckties were almost mandatory item for a long time- covering the shirt was important. Shirtsleeves were usually worn by laborers and it was considered underwear.
  • Even when dress standards became more casual, people still wore ties.
  • Ties have always been considered a fashion piece and as a way to stand out.
  • Ties, like suits, had their own distinct shapes, least until the early 1930s.
  • Ties were art and fashion, not a symbol of corporate America.
  • In the 1920s, tie makers standardized the width and shape of ties.
  • Ties were made short until the 1960s/1970s because men wore high waisted trousers.
  • Incredible craftsmanship went into ties- brocades, silks, jacquards. Brands like Tie your Tie, Sevenfold, etc. keep that alive.
  • Ties will always be popular with people who consider them art.
  • Not everyone in the late 1940s and 50s wore bold swing ties- solids, stripes, and simple geometric patterns were always popular.
  • Ethan still regularly wears ties from the 1930s- a testament to their construction and classic design.
  • Vintage ties are very thin- usually unlined with hand rolled or machine rolled edges. We prefer that because we use a four in hand knot.
  • Ties after the 1970s tends to be very thick due to thicker interlining.
  • The windsor knot was not the standard tie knot until around the 1970s.
  • Novelty ties in the 1940s and 50s were much better than the Bugs Bunny ties you can buy today- some were painted by artists like Salvador Dali.
  • Drake’s London began in the 1970s and made ties early on.
  • Ties from Drake’s are only slightly more expensive than many mall brands. The extra cost is well worth it for the design and craftsmanship offered by Drake’s.
  • Most people will shop at Drake’s because they like ties, rather than because they need a tie for work.
  • We buy vintage ties for the same reason we buy Drake’s ties- we can’t find the specific designs, proportions, and quality construction anywhere else.
  • Vintage ties (pre 1950s) have a distinct shape because they are shorter and flare outward near the bottom.
  • We still buy vintage ties for their price- you can usually find them for $20 or less.
  • Ethan was gifted a custom tie from Drake’s- he made it slightly longer than vintage ties so he can tuck in the back blade, but it also wasn’t as long as modern ties.
  • Corporate dress has gotten more conservative- men used to be able to get away with more self expression.
  • There  is a difference between people who wear ties because they have to and people who wear ties because they want to.
  • Our favorite ties are stripes, foulards, and madder/paisley’s.
  • You can be casual with a tie as long as you have a casual attitude. It helps if you tuck it in or have the back blade standing out.


Matthew Brady.

The first vintage ties that I bought on eBay.

Vintage 1910s ties.

Ties from Kenji Kaga.

The asymmetrical tie.

John Travolta at the Bolt premiere.


My favorite thrifted tie.


Drake’s MTO.

Vintage-inspired tie from Kaga-san.


A wolf tie and pin-up tie.



One of my favorite Drake’s ties.


Bold checks, one of Spencer’s old favorite ties.


You can’t beat the beauty of a vintage brocade.

Wearing ties is casual to me if they are worn carelessly and askew.


Foulards, my favorite type of tie pattern.


An example of a bold, multi-stripe tie.

Burgundy foulard from Drake’s.


My black knit tie from Kamakura.

The Drake’s 40th anniversary madder, worn by Mark Cho.

Modern Tie Makers

Sources for Vintage Ties

Q & A

From Sam:  What are your favorite repro menswear?


From Valtteri: Where can I find the best ivy style inspiration?

Submit stories and questions here!


@spencerdso & @ethanmwong | @styleanddirection


  1. Shem Teo · November 14, 2019

    Hi ethan unrelated to your blog post but I think you have the drakes cotton overshirt. Can I ask if the sleeves are wide enough to accommodate another long sleeve shirt underneath?


    • Ethan M. Wong · November 14, 2019

      Hello Shem,

      Yes I do own a drake’s overshirt! I got a medium but it still fits a bit slim in the arms. I can fit a normal button up underneath without issue, but I have my hesitations about wearing a sweater (on top of a dress shirt).


      • shem · November 14, 2019

        Thanks ethan! On that note do you feel the arms are slim on their sportscoats that you tried? Asking as I may be eyeing one of their jackets but afraid arms may be too small.


  2. Pingback: Thoughts on Drake’s, Spier & Mackay, and What We’re Wearing in F/W 2020 | STREET x SPREZZA
  3. Pingback: The French Dispatch, The Tie Stream, and The J. Press x Todd Snyder Collab | a little bit of rest
  4. Pingback: We Call Him Doug | a little bit of rest

Comment Away!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s