A Knit Of Alright

Blue sky thinking: Paul Newman ponders in a black knitted tie. Image courtesy of mptv images

A guest post: Our friend Graham Marsh, co-author with Tony Nourmand of the excellent, newly published Hollywood and the Ivy Look, gives a nod and wink to the essential, enduring black knitted tie, as much a wardrobe staple of ’50s and ’60s Hollywood as it is in the better turned our corners of the world today.

In the decade between 1955 and 1965 a coterie of discerning Hollywood hipsters appropriated the incomparable Ivy League clothing of America’s East Coast elite. Consequently, these West Coast actors elevated the Ivy Look to the height of cool and defined a quintessentially American male dress code for a new generation of movie audiences.

The understated but carefully selected components of the Ivy Look did not shout ‘look at me’; instead they gave off an image of approachable correctness and laid-back confidence – none more so than the very cool and deeply hip narrow knitted black silk tie.

This deceptively simple knitted tie was like a black dividing line between those who know and those who never will. It complimented perfectly the sleek, sharp and minimal look that the Ivy fraternity had nailed down so completely. If Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and Anthony Perkins wore this elegant and enduring item of standard-issue cool it guaranteed automatic acceptance within the head-to-toe Ivy wearing congregation.

Now, the narrow knitted black silk tie can again be seen from Hollywood to Hoxton and, indeed, any place that demands a bold, confident look.

The best knot for knitted ties is the ‘four in hand’, and unless the tie has squared ends it’s not a serious contender and will not pass muster.

You can get the book from amazon or direct from Reel Art Press.

And you can get a silk knitted black tie from Richard James Online and Richard James Bespoke.

Steve McQueen on the cover of Hollywood and the Ivy Look by Tony Nourmand and Graham Marsh

Comments