A Guide to Seasonal Tie Fabrics

March 10th, 2015

We often discuss the advantages of seasonal fabrics; flannels and tweeds for the Winter, linens and cottons for the Summer, etc. Choosing an appropriate fabric for the climate is functional, comfortable, and visually appealing. It also allows you the pleasure of unveiling a new wardrobe, or at least some new staple pieces, every time the seasons change.

This concept isn’t exclusive to tailoring. It also applies to accessories like scarves, hats, and of course, neckties.

Here’s a simple guide to choosing the right tie fabric for the season.


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A 100% silk tie is the most traditional and the most versatile. It’s one of the few fabrics that can be worn year-round, depending on the color and pattern. This playful colorful pattern, for example, is great for Summer (with a poplin shirt and tropical wool suit, as shown) but perhaps a little too vibrant to jive with more rough and rugged Winter pieces.


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Wool ties, which are often cut from suiting cloth (like this herringbone tweed), are for cold Fall/Winter days. Look for one that is unlined, or made with a lining that is thin and flexible enough to tie a nice knot without getting too bulky. Sometimes a seasonal tie can be used to mediate a look as well. For example, in early Spring when it’s still a little chilly out, I’ll wear one with a cotton suit (as shown) to balance out the overall weights.


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Cashmere, in my opinion, is one of the most underrated fabrics for neckties. This one, from my friend Angel Bespoke (the power collar shirt and denim suit are also his) ties a wonderful knot and always provides a nice luxe finish to a Fall/Winter outfit. The super soft herringbone fabric has a great hand feel, and flows elegantly with movement. It’s one of my favorite ties in my collection.


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Cotton ties should be reserved for Spring and Summer (a patchwork madras like this one is best for hot and sticky days). Cotton is more casual and laidback due to it’s light weight and slightly rumpled texture. I would avoid wearing them with power business suits, and stick to more casually tailored outfits, like here with the pure linen suit and seersucker button-down shirt.


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Linen is for Summer only and is preferable on hot days. Just like a linen suit or shirt, a linen tie is super lightweight and dry to the hand. Think about mixing-up your seasonal fabrics to give a look some variety and depth; like a hopsack suit, cotton shirt and linen tie in the Spring, for example.

Knit Silk

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Due to it’s breathable “open-weave” texture, a silk knit tie is usually reserved for the Spring/Summer. For whatever reason, they’re also usually cut narrow (2″ on average), with a square bottom. In additional to seasonality, it’s important to keep proportions in mind as well. I usually trim down my proportions a little in the summer (less is more when it’s hot out) and beef up the widths come colder months (as a subtle way to bundle up).

Raw Silk

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Raw silk – the kind with a loosely woven texture and visible “pilling” – is rarely seen anymore, which is what makes it really cool. In my opinion, this is also a 4-season cloth, as it works just as well with a lightweight suit (like this camel hopsack) as it does with a flannel suit (like a classic heather grey). Of course, the color and pattern play an important role in the seasonality as well – forest green with off-white stripes being versatile enough for any season.


So what’s your go-to tie fabric?


Thanks, as always, for reading.

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier


Photography by Alex Crawford. Styling by Dan Trepanier.

  • Justin

    Could you get away with a quality linen tie in the summer with say, a wool blazer in new england?

  • https://www.FrankWilder.com Frank Wilder

    Human beings are genetically wired to be sub-optimal. They are fearful, reactionary — they choose easy over hard, survival over growth – Frank Wilder

  • TO

    Such an amazing array of menswear photos in this article- the colour and fabric combinations are truly second to none. I haven’t bought a tie in a while, mostly because I have a decent collection of them and at the moment don’t find it practical to buy more considering how infrequently I wear me. But I would love to test out a beautiful cashmere one and would probably add it to my collection next.

  • Brent

    Ties are more about visible appeal than fabric to me. It’s the texture mixed with the pattern than determine when to wear for me. In 100 degree weather than linen tie will be just as warm as a wool one. Same a tweed tie won’t be keeping me warm in 0* weather.

  • http://www.wellbuiltstyle.com/ WellBuiltStyle

    Wool ties in the fall/winter – probably one of the best ways to separate yourself from the average guy.


  • Paul Ielciu

    There are some wool knit ties, that work during winter days. Have a bunch of them… So, when it’s knit, it really depends on the fabric…

    • JoeFromTexas

      I agree that wool knit ties are definitely a great winter tie, but I have to disagree with Dan that silk knits are seasonal. I’ve always used silk knit as a 4 season tie. I don’t know if there is a wrong or right to this (it’s just a tie after all), but I’m going to go ahead and keep my silk knits as my year rounder go-to tie.

      • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

        Definitely not a rule that is written in stone. I know many guys who wear silk knits year-round as well. They just seem to get too cold for me in the Winter, and the wind chill factor is an issue. Maybe not in Texas though. Keep doing you Joe!

        • JoeFromTexas

          LOL – Definitely not an issue in Texas. Though I can’t imagine any tie in the world protecting me from wind chill, but maybe that’s because I need to lose weight, or buy wider ties, extremely wider ties!

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Agreed Paul. Thanks!

  • Miguel

    I love me some ties, specially the winter ones, they give that warmer look on the outfits but the silk tie (first one) is just on point.

  • Jeanscuffed

    On the cotton tie picture….was that the suit you burned? :( #RIP….all jokes aside, are we going to see a follow up of that burned pant leg?

    • http://www.TSBmen.com/ Dan Trepanier

      Good memory player. Might see some familiar looking shorts come summer time… :)

      Cheers mate.

  • http://ledebonnaire.tumblr.com/ Juan Zara

    Texture definitely plays a bigger part in menswear than color, and the contrast between textures shown in these close-ups is just beautiful. My jealousy regarding your wardrobe has been renewed x100, Dan!

    Great choices all throughout! I would only add a slightly wider wool knit to this incredible selection.

    PS: is the light-blue herringbone jacket shown in picture #5 matka silk, by any chance? I don’t think I’ve seen it before, and it really is a beauty! Love the donegal-esque colored flecks!