• The Repp Tie

    Prep Essentials  

    “A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.”     —Oscar Wilde

    Here in the States, the repp tie is a universal, democratic fixture of fashion. You’d be forgiven for assuming it is an original American classic like the penny loafer or the chino. Though its preppie pedigree is as solid as the rocks in a southside cocktail, the repp originated across the pond in the late 1800s. It traces a dual heritage to both playing fields and battlefields. The British gentry adopted ties with stripes in meticulously established widths and colors to signify the schools, clubs and regiments they hailed from. During the First World War, the Prince of Wales turned the blue-and-red broad-striped tie of his elite Grenadier Guards regiment into a dapper fashion accessory that Americans then embraced en masse. It remains one of the most popular repp ties in the U.S.

    Image via GQ

    In 1920, Brooks Brothers made concession to outraged British sensibilities when they ran the diagonal stripes down from right to left, the opposite direction from regimental and traditional club ties. Stripped of its upstairs-downstairs connotations, the striped repp tie began popping up in Ivy League wardrobes. Bolster your collection with durable silk ones by Polo by Ralph Lauren in navy and kelly-green prints and stripes (Polo, $95-$105). Paired with a navy blazer and a crisp white oxford, it signals American attitude at it’s best.

    Oct 13, 2009 | Permalink (4) Total Comments

    gerrit.ormosy left a comment on 7/24/2010 at 5:54 AM:

    The striped tie has never been stripped from its connotation. The direction of stripes indicating our independency though.

    Heavy Tweed Jacket left a comment on 10/15/2009 at 5:51 PM:

    Ties are something that RL Polo always does well. Nice selection and comments about American style.

    F.E. Castleberry left a comment on 10/13/2009 at 4:44 PM:

    @Karl—I rather enjoy raiding the Brits’ closets. The weather, however, is something I’ll live without.

    Karl Bratby left a comment on 10/13/2009 at 3:42 PM:

    I think you want to be a Brit my friend.