If you could only have one tie in your wardrobe, what tie would that be? Could one tie possibly take care of all tie-wearing needs? If there is one tie that could possibly do it all, it would be a dark navy grenadine.
Fermo Fossati, a silk weaver in Como, Italy, provides the grenadine silk to Turnbull & Asser, Anthony Sinclair, Drakes, Sam Hober and many other purveyors of neckties. Fermo Fossati offer four different shades of navy. The lightest and brightest one that is still in the navy range of blues is known as “Navy” (code 213) and is what Sean Connery wears with his navy suit to the office in From Russia with Love. The next two, “Prussia blue” (code 26800) and “Dusty navy” (code 217), are slightly darker and more like dark teal than navy. These are the least versatile navy grenadine silks because their green cast makes them clash with most blue clothes.
The darkest grenadine tie that Fermo Fossati offers is the “Dark navy” (code 6220). Unlike all of the other navy grenadine silks that they offer, this one is the purest blue, with perhaps a slight indigo cast, at least in comparison to the rest of the navy grenadine silks Fermo Fossati offers. This makes it match better with most navy suits and blazers than all of the others do. The dark, cool tone of this tie helps it harmonise more with greys (as well as other colours) because it feels more neutral. The very dark blue of this tie also allows it to blend with an outfit rather than pop out of it, so it is less likely to clash with anything it is paired with.
Though Sean Connery also wears the lighter navy grenadine tie, his dark navy grenadine tie from Turnbull & Asser is the foundation of his tie wardrobe and is the only tie that he wears in the first Bond film, Dr. No. He also wears it in From Russia with Love, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice and Diamonds Are Forever. These are all of his official Bond films in which he wears any grenadine ties. He pairs this tie successfully with grey suits of all shades, from pale to charcoal, and with navy suits and blazers. This dark navy tie could go well with just about anything else too, from light blues to browns and tans. It can work with just about any colour besides black. Though sometimes black and blue can pair harmoniously together, this tie is too dark and too close to black for it to not clash.
A black tie could be almost as versatile as a dark navy tie, but black can look harsh against many colours—particularly bright colours—and skin tones. Dark navy is a slightly softer colour than black, meaning it will complement more outfits and skin tones more pleasingly.
Why is the grenadine tie more versatile than other ties? The grenadine is plain, so it will not clash with any patterns, but the texture keeps it interesting. Other textures can work just as well as grenadine does, but few are as luxurious as the lacy grenadine. Its luxurious nature makes it more formal than the somewhat visually similar sporty knitted tie and thus appropriate for just about all suits. On the other hand, the grenadine tie is less formal than the satin tie—the dressiest of all neckties—and unlike the satin tie it can pair nicely with most sports coats. Both the garza grossa (large gauze) that Sean Connery’s Bond wears and the garza fina (fine gauze) are equally versatile.
The only downside to the tie of ultimately versatility is that grenadine silk is delicate and will snag if you are not careful with it. This is because of all the prominently floated yarns the grenadine weave has. The garza grossa is more prone to snagging than the garza fina is, but the grossa also has a more complex and interesting weave.
Fermo Fossati is not the only producer of grenadine silk, but it is the one that James Bond’s tie maker uses. Seteria Bianchi is another grenadine weave in Como, and they also make a dark navy grenadine that is just as versatile.