Friday, May 14, 2010

Vintage ties: Geometric and space age

One massive project should be largely on the books next week and things should return a bit more to normal around here for me. To keep some sort of new content going, though, let me present the third in a series of posts that feature some of my more interesting vintage ties (click here for hand-painted or here for the novelty numbers).

I haven't counted my tie collection lately, but I do know that it's almost completely out of control. I have a small rack with arms to hold 36 ties, and there are a minimum of 3 times on each arm, with more draped across the top and some rolled up on my dresser. It's madness, and I need to figure out some better storage, although color-scanning everything in one glance is still fairly easy.

At any rate, this is a group (and again, there are many more in this grouping, these are just my particular favorites) of geometric and / or space age inspired designs. At this point, it probably goes without saying that these were all thrift store or garage sale finds and the most that was paid for any individual tie was $4 (with most clocking it at $2 or less).

red white and blue

Although this one has a swirl damask, dark red and navy cubist shapes rule the day.

brown and blue

If I had to guess where my love of the blue/brown color pairing came from, it would probably trace back to azure spring skies and plowed fields ready for being planted. This tie brings them both together and looks great with a blue and white striped oxford and any number of configurations that go with it.

salmon scorpion

Flesh-colored ties are a hard egg to crack in terms of working them into a wardrobe and this is no different. Still, I can't deny my love for the design.

red and blue geometric

Bright red offset with some some blue and white swirls that flare with ribbon ends. Another odd combination in the design, but this one works with so many outfits.

Black and red diamonds with green tip

I lovingly refer to this one as my, "Old-school blackjack dealer tie" and I think the title fits. Crisp red and black diamonds in a larger diamond pattern with a dark green tip and diamond damask. Worn with caution.

dot pattern with swoops

This would probably be a fairly conservative tie without the two blue swoops, but they're also what give it a real dynamic feel. Another tie that goes with a lot of different combinations, this is one of the ties that led to me starting the collection I have now.

red blobby swoop

Found at the same time as the previous tie, this Eames-era esque design was sort of an early inspiration and still one of my favorites.

circles and lines

Super simple design that just works and works. The two circles with red just pop and the tie in general is a classic.


  1. Fabulous tie collection! Even though my tastes have become more subdued with age, I still appreciate these beauties, many of which would have been private pleasures, hidden under vests.

    Seeing your collection makes me wish I would have bought more ties like yours when I used to see them in thrift stores, back in the 80s. Then again, my wife is happier that I didn't :-)

    Please share more!

  2. I will definitely post some more here as I get them photographed. I haven't even touched my skinny sharkskin or square-end ties.

    I also have a great deal of more conservative ties, and while they are the ones that end up figuring into my outfits the most, I do like to pull out some of the wild ones once in awhile, even if it's like you said, just a starburst design peeking out over a v-neck sweater.

    Thanks for the comment!