These days I am less liberal with my money and, being an internet shopper just like most of my blog readers and website customers, I really only go in for the kill when I see something that's particularly stand out, as is the case below with both the Borrelli and Marinella ties, both from Neapolitan makers.
I would say I buy ties rarely and reluctantly - in many respects because we make great ties and in others because the only time I'd need a tie I couldn't make myself is where I don't produce that particular fabric.
And these two are exactly that. Two printed silk twill ties, one which is a classic navy with white polka dots, the other a wonderful contrast tie for a navy silk in a kind of latte/cream ground with blue floral geometric motif.
Both houses are famed for ties but perhaps Marinella more so. The stories that I hear surrounding Marinella have been few, some of which are that Drakes of London used to make their ties, that the silk is sourced from England and that each year when new ties were released at Christmas there would be a line running down and around the street. Of Borrelli I have heard less, but I am aware of the quality that they are renowned for and having owned a Borrelli shirt many years ago I would agree.
The other reason, apart from the look of the ties, is that I am now chasing a wider tie for the breadth of my chest and shoulders, given that, as I am ageing, I have steadily put on more and more flesh in my torso, not necessarily fat, but size. And that size doesn't seem to be decreasing, so a smaller tie is beginning to look ridiculous on me.
I had always laughed when I picked up my father's old ties that were 9.5 and 10cm - but it seems we have come full circle, with my recent acquisitions being 8.5cm and 9.5 respectively.
Both the presentation and make of these ties is impeccable but if I had to fault them I would say this. Silk twill is very light, especially in some ties like the Borrelli pictured below. In order to give the tie balance and weight, a heavy interlining is usually sourced to bring more body to the otherwise flimsy twill. However, sometimes this creates a less than ideal handle, where the weight of the interlining is overpowering on the tie because it is being used to keep the tie together, like a very heavy anchor. The Marinella tie was also superb but the silk seemed very slippery to touch and you can feel when you grab a silk twill tie, almost immediately, as to whether it will knot well or be sliding all over the place. I will knot it a few times over the weekend but certainly the balance between the interlining and the silk was perhaps superior to the Borrelli tie.
I love both ties, I am sure I will keep them for years, but there is something to be said for woven silk jacquards over printed silk twills - one is not necessarily better than the other, but on jacquards you really can rely on the body of the fabric to make the tie and it's handle, not relying on interlining to build up the body. Whereas finding the right interlining and ensuring the silk has the correct handle and feel is so important to a printed silk twill tie.