Vintage ties from the 20s to the 50s are wonderfully stylish things, but there are differences between the decades and how they were worn. Here are some tips for my swing-era and vintage loving friends:
1920s and early 1930s ties were all about texture, simple designs and were very much an understatement as far as a mans entire outfit went. It wasn’t until mid 1930s to 1940s that ties with wildly colourful and bold designs became more popular. Either tie style can produce a fabulous vintage look, but the ties should make sense with the rest of the outfit.
1930s tie styling
Necktie widths grew wider (about 3.5 inches) and shorter to go with the wider suit lapels and oversize shirt collars of the 30′s and silk ties dominated as did brocade. In the 1920s and 30s there were very few men who would have worn a long tie without wearing a vest, coat, or jumper as well. A tie under a vest looks very suave and I was told by vintage tie expert at and Art Deco convention a few years ago that if you tie your tie and the thin end ends up longer than the front end – do not fret! Apparently this was common back in the day and men would sometimes tuck the tie into their waistband.
1940s tie styling
Boldly coloured ties with crazy designs in rayon and poplin became hugely popular in the 1940s and were used by men to express themselves in world of suits and formality. In the 40s, high-cut trousers meant that mens ties became shorter and wider. If you wear a 1940s tie with modern lower cut trousers, you should leave at least two buttons above the waist uncovered. If you are trying to tie a vintage tie from the 1940s, you should use the half-windsor knot because otherwise the bulk of material will produce a knot as big as your fist if you used the full Windsor (normally used with modern ties).
Here are some ties that are currently for sale in my Etsy store.