No tie is more Bondian than the solid tie, particularly in a dark colour. While the knitted tie may be the most quintessential James Bond necktie, there are many other variations on this Bond wardrobe staple. Bond often wears solid ties instead of loud patterns to not draw attention to his wardrobe. In today’s world where the tie is ever decreasing in popularity, the solid tie can be a subtle way to still wear a tie without standing out as the only man wearing a tie.
Men often use the tie to show their personality, but Bond uses the solid tie to tell people as little about himself as possible. The solid tie is more secretive than it is boring. And the solid tie does not have to be boring; there are many variations that can add interest to this wardrobe staple.
The knitted tie is the original Bond tie, the one that Fleming’s James Bond wears in black silk in the novels. Bond also wears black knitted silk ties in the films, as well as in other coloured silks and wools. This kind of tie normally has a square bottom with a ribbed hem like other types of knit garments, though many makers now knit them with a triangular hem so they resemble more ordinary ties. The knitted tie is great for Bond because it’s the perfect travel tie as it is easily rolled up in luggage. It is the least formal of all ties, which shows that the Bond of the books isn’t much of a dandy, and it pairs better with sportier jackets and suits than it does with a more formal worsted or mohair suit. All six of the actors who have played Bond on screen have worn at least one knitted tie in the role.
Sean Connery wears a grenadine silk tie in all of his Bond films apart from Goldfinger. Its texture resembles the knit tie but is woven rather than knitted and is much more formal. Because it is a woven tie, it is constructed like any other woven tie and has a folded triangular bottom. It’s an all-purpose tie that can be worn in just about any situation that calls for a tie, from relaxed sports coats to the dressiest suits. Only two weavers in Como, Italy produce grenadine silk, Fermo Fossati and Seteria Bianchi, because only they have the antique Jacquard looms that can make this type of leno- or gauze-weave silk. Grenadine silk comes in it in large and fine weaves, but Bond prefers the larger weave, though its open weave makes it rather delicate.
The repp (or rep) silk tie is woven with a subtle crosswise rib, but because ties are constructed on the bias (diagonal) to drape better the rib is diagonal on the tie. The repp tie has a fairly matte surface. James Bond has worn plain repp ties in a few Roger Moore films as well as in The Living Daylights and Spectre. Like the grenadine tie, the repp tie is an all-purpose tie, but its tighter weave means it is hard-wearing.
There are other ribbed weaves that produce a similar effect. The faille weave is very similar and has a flat rib, which contrasts with the repp’s round rib. Ottoman silk is similar to repp but has a more pronounced rib. If you see a tie with a crosswise or lengthwise rib, that means it was woven with a diagonal-rib twill weave because ties are cut on the bias. Twill ties often have a similar matte look to repp or ottoman, and they often have an even flatter surface. All of these ties can be worn interchangably with a repp tie.
4. Fancy Rib
If you crave more excitement than a simple repp or other subtly ribbed tie but still like a solid tie, a fancier rib can be a nice alternative. Sean Connery wears ties with ribs of varying widths in Diamonds Are Forever, though a tie with fancier ribs like this one looks slightly dressier than a more subtly ribbed tie.
The satin silk tie is the most formal of all ties due to its smooth and shiny surface, and Roger Moore was a big fan. Such a tie is most appropriate in the evening and is best worn with a dressier worsted wool, silk or mohair-blend suit. A shiny satin tie can look rather ostentatious during the day.
6. Jacquard Weave
A Jacquard loom is able to produce all sorts of patterns, and in the case of solid silk it can weave unique textures. In the case of Roger Moore’s solid black tie in The Man with the Golden Gun it produced a honeycomb-like texture. Fancy textured ties can be worn like fancy ribbed ties. Plainer textures are more versatile than more intricate weaves, which often look dressier.
The shantung silk tie, woven in a plain weave, is a luxurious tie due to its unique slubs, which appear diagonally on a neck tie. Shantung silk ties can vary in formality depending on how shiny they are; shinier shantung silk is almost as formal as a satin tie whilst matte shantung silk might look less formal than a repp tie. The slubs give shantung silk an unusual look that may be difficult to pull off.