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In Praise of Brand-Name Ties


Not so long ago, before the auteur theory hit fashion and the designer craze was born, certain brands were known for excellence in one area, like shirts and ties. I was a nut for Gant and Wren shirts as a young preppy. In the old days there were also brands known mainly for their ties, like Countess Mara and Vera. In fact Ralph Lauren started out as a tie brand. As a young dude I liked Rooster ties. Rooster was sort of the art tie brand. They came in distinctive, often clever patterns, they had a nice slim shape that went well with the Ivy League cut, and you could tell them by their squared-off end. They are about as close as ties ever got to art, except maybe Fornasetti, and they are exactly what designers are trying to emulate today. You can still find 'em in Salvation Army stores and thrift shops. Here's one I picked up recently. It's a kind of luminous silk (usually Roosters are cotton), and it's wider than the usual Rooster, so it must date from the seventies, but it's just right for today.



I have been searching for a site to find a selection of "Rooster" brand ties, and can only find one, but they do not have what I'm looking for. My 4 year old son has a nice Rooster tie in red and burgundy/maroon which he wears to many of our social gatherings, but now the younger (3) wants one of the same or similar. I'd like to stick with this brand, does anyone here know where to find these?

When I was a starving young writer I wore a lot of thrift shop clothes and I always looked good. Naturally such stores, except for a few high end collectors, have a lot of junk. You have to work to find the gems, but they are there. Somebody should start the Antiques Roadshow of clothes. The best thrift store in New York is in Tribeca. I can't remember the name, but I don't know if I'd post it if I did.

What are the names of some thrift stores in New York where you've found good ties?

I love these Sovereign Beck ties:


Very cool and modern.

I must agree with Mateo. The whole spending 10 bucks on a blazer and tailoring it for 100 pays off. As far as ties go, I have always noticed they are kind of hit or miss. Either you can kind great ones like this Rooster here, or you can get something that looks like a couch from a 70's sitcom.

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only guy who gives Salvation Army and other thrift stores a look every now and then. At work, I'm critized for shopping at "second hand" stores. Yet I've built up a collection of nice sport coats, that if new would have cost me thousands.

Indeed, some coats need tailoring, yet well worth it. And ALL of my ties are from Thrift stores.

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