Knit neckties back to dress up your custom suits

Look for the crocheted menswear accessory - traditionally 2½ inches wide with a square bottom - to spruce up dress shirts in prints and solids. CLEM MURRAY / Staff Photographer

Neckwear is usually neither casual nor cozy.

The trendlet

Unless it's a knit tie. Look for the crocheted menswear accessory - traditionally 2½ inches wide with a square bottom - to spruce up dress shirts in prints and solids.

Where does it come from?

In the 1920s, when silk neckties were new in men's fashion, knit ties emerged as a cheaper alternative. They became popular on Ivy League campuses as young men were often given handmade ones from mothers and grandmothers.

Because of their connection to colleges, knit ties were inextricably linked to casual menswear. However, in 1960s James Bond movies, Sean Connery sported them with tweed and plaid suits, introducing the accessory to dressier looks.

The last time knit ties were considered trendy was during the late 1970s and early '80s - when short-sleeve shirts were acceptable, too. Cool hunks of the era wore them: Billy Dee Williams, Tony Danza, Rick Schroeder, and Alfonso Ribeiro.

In the mid-aughts, the knit tie returned (along with scraggly beards) as millennial hipsters gravitated to all things skinny. Today, these slightly older guys have turned their fashion sights to custom dress suits.

Who is wearing it?

David Beckham, Justin Timberlake, Bradley Cooper, Idris Elba.

Would Elizabeth's guy wear one?

Yes. I did say Idris Elba wears it.

Should you wear it?

Knit ties are for the man who is finicky about fashion but never bores us with his look. They are, however, not for the novice dude. Remember, it's important to match your tie to your suit's tone. Dark suits take rich-hued knit ties, and lighter suits are refreshing when paired with pastels.

ewellington@phillynews.com
215-854-2704
@ewellingtonphl

All of the ties are courtesy of Henry A. Davidsen at 1701 Spruce St. 215-310-0219 www.henrydavidsen.com. Instagram: www.instagram.com/henrydavidsen. Solid ties are $100; embroidered $145.