It’s been roughly 17 years since I’ve done what used to be my favorite recurring feature, Fake it or Make it. For those of you who are new to the blog, or have simply forgotten; I compare two similar items, one high-end, one budget and then tell you which you should buy. Yup, unsolicited, I tell you what to do with your own hard-earned money. I can do that because I have a blog.
Moving right along…
Drakes of London has a long history as one of the finest makers of men’s accessories. The Knotery is an internet upstart, aimed at providing quality ties at bargain prices. In this installment we will compare not one, but two Drakes and Knottery ties.
Silk knit ties are all the rage right now, and have been for a few years. They’re incredibly versatile, and can help add an air of youth to an otherwise stuffy ensemble, without coming off as desperate or affected.
The Drakes tie has the sort of “crunchy” hand feel that knit tie aficionados rave about. This is desirable because the internet says it is. The Knottery tie, on the other hand, has a lighter, silkier hand. As a bonus, the Knottery’s silk knits are available in both 2.25 and 3 inch widths.
As the owner of several knit ties, including Drakes (acquired at a DEEP discount), I can’t say I believe that high end knits are worth the difference in price. Skinny ties are also less versatile than their wider kin, so that, combined with the price/value ratio, I’d have to recommend the Knottery.
The Royal Artillery
With it’s zig-zag pattern, The Royal Artillery is one of the more striking regimental ties. Bole enough to be noticed, yet conservative enough to be business appropriate (unless of, course you happen to live in the U.K. and did not serve in Her Majesty’s artillery regiment).
If you’re striving for authenticity (which you aren’t) neither of these ties of for you. The stripes actually zig in the wrong direction. The Knottery, while getting the stripe direction right, doesn’t currently offer the actual Royal Artillery colorway, It’s a reasonable facsimile, but the fabric is a a bit on the shiny side. It’s a great choice if you’re on a budget, but I’m inclined to recommend the Drake’s tie.
Being an English (though currently Hong Kong owned) brand, Drake’s is truly great at all things British, and it doesn’t get more British than regimentals. In fact, if I had to guess, I’d venture that Drakes chose to make their tie with the stripes going in the wrong direction because they are British, and understand that true regimental stripes should be earned. If you’re looking to splurge on a tie, this isn’t a bad place to start.
You know what? Forget what I said in that last paragraph. I’m not recommending $200 ties to anyone. Buy the Knottery piece and spill soup on it. Fuck it, it’s 20 bucks.