Updated: Jan 13, 2019
One of the things that I got from Permanent Style's Pop-up shop was a navy printed grenadine tie from J.Girdwood, made specifically by the Neapolitan neckwear maker F Marino. Since the director of the brand, James Girdwood, was there on the day I visited; I had the opportunity to have him explain the anatomy as well as the material of the tie to me in person.
This is fascinating for me as I have been hearing a lot about James' brand lately, particularly how the brand takes inspiration from the classic early to mid-twentieth century style. I've been trying to challenge myself to piece out some rather 'old-school' outfits lately, so this is definitely a great opportunity to try out some of its products.
Some readers may recall that I briefly mentioned about the brand in my previous article. In addition to what I have talked about, I should also highlight the interesting fact about J.Girdwood is that it aims to offer garments that has the elegance of a suit but with less formality so that one could still dress nicely during the weekends.
In fact, in a previous interview James pointed out “What I’m striving for as much as possible is that if you wear suits a lot, and you’re looking for something to wear at the weekend that has the same kind of elegance but without the formality, there’s not that many things that truly appeal to that. The heritage knitwear appeals to that niche. If you want a shirt that is kind of equivalent, though, where do you really get that?” Perhaps, we finally have a brand that could satisfy our needs in that realm.
While the brand is still in its early-days at the moment and it may seem like there aren't many products available at first glance, this is because all the products are carefully selected to match the mid-century style.
In fact, other than knitted ties which I previously mentioned; J.Girdwood also offers other accessories such as gloves, braces, and scarfs, as well as garments such as knitwear and shirts. On top of that, I also saw some causal jackets from J.Girdwood available at the pop-up shop. I am pretty excited to see what other products James will offer in the future.
With all that said about the brand, what's special about the tie you may ask?
First of all, the cloth is from a selection of older, dead-stock printed grenadines which F Marino had in their workshop in Naples when James visited. On top of that, what's special about the printed grenadines is that the patterns on it are hand-painted carefully; making the product not only a vintage one, but also one that truly exemplifies the skillful handwork of the Neapolitan neckwear maker.
With regards to the construction, it is a full-unlined 7-fold. What that does is it increases the thickness of the tie, and gives it just enough body in the cloth, along with maximum flow and movement.
However, the most special thing which I have noticed from the tie is its full bottle neck shape. As you could see from the above picture, there is a clear increase in width between the part that forms the knot and the rest of the tie. What this does is that it allows the tie to have clean cut of a small elegant knot and a fuller tie blade.
James explained that the full bottle neck shape was something he was very keen on as it gives a 1930s/19040s vibe. This truly resonates with the overall theme of the brand.
Personally, I think this tie works well with a great variety of summer outfits, especially with lighter color suits. This is especially the case as its unlined construction gives it a more casual character. You could pair it with a cream suit like me (as shown above), or a causal, lightly-padded navy suit. You could even unbutton the jacket for a very summery Neapolitan look, if you want.
J.Girdwood is offering two lengths for this model. The shorter one is about 7cm shorter than the regular one. Frankly speaking, there are a lot of factors that would determine which size you should get. However, since I prefer to wear high-waist trousers these days, I decided to go for the shorter version. (More about the benefits of high-waist trousers in another article)
Apart from this tie, there are also a few more printed grenadine ties arriving in Autumn, as well as some silk ones which also share a pleasing old school feel. So make sure you keep an eye on the latest products by J.Girdwood.
P.S. Shout out to James Girdwood for providing the information with regards to the creative process behind the making of the tie. Appreciated it.