Florence and Kyoto. Two sister cities that host some of the finest craftsmen in the world. What would happen if you blend both of them together? The answer is Shibumi Firenze.
Existing readers of mine may recall me featuring Shibumi for a couple of times. First with my actual discovery of the brand at Permanent Style's pop-up last year, then with my article on the relevance of pocket square soon after.
Needless to say, as a big fan of Edo Japan aesthetic myself, you could imagine my wardrobe of Shibumi accessories have growth exponentially since then.
So for this article, I'm going to review a Made-To-Order (MTO) tie which I commissioned a while back. Please enjoy.
To start off, I must say this is definitely not the most iconic tie you could get from Shibumi. Rather than a block-stripe grenadine or a flower-printed silk tie (what the brand is famous for and more like its aesthetic), I went for a glencheck woven silk tie instead.
Now you may wonder why I made this choice. And indeed, I wouldn't say it's the most versatile tie you could have for your wardrobe because of its formality.
But you may never know when you would be invited to a wedding or a graduation ceremony, so it's always a great idea to have one around.
Anyway, with regards to the specifications of the tie. This is a 3-fold hand-rolled tie which has a standard 8cm width and features my initials on the keeper.
What makes it so special for me personally is its length, which is only 135cm long (in contrast to the regular 147cm). Certainly, this is especially satisfying for someone like me, who wears high waist trousers most of the time.
With the regular length, I would usually be facing the dilemma of either having a gigantic knot from doing a double four-in-hand knot or having the tie blades going way beyond the waistband, or both.
Eventually, I started doing a spezzutura-thing by tucking my tie into the trousers, but it is always a better idea if the tie is short enough.
The only issue I have with the length options is that there is a big gap between 135cm and 140cm, and between 140cm and 145cm.
Personally, it doesn't affect me much since I am most likely still going to opt for the shortest one for my future purchases; but for someone who is slightly taller than me, you just have to choose whether you like a shorter one or a longer one.
In this case, some important factors on the length to consider before you make your purchase are: 1) What kind of knot do you usually tie? 2) How high do you usually wear your trousers?
You can do this by tying a tie with a knot that you usually wear along with your favorite pair of trousers, and then from there measure how much longer (or shorter) should the tie blade be.
Elsewhere I would say the value for this service is rather approachable.
Starting from €115, you get a standard 3-fold self-tipped tie with soft lining. Then, you add an extra €10 or €45 for a 3-fold hand-rolled or a 7-fold hand-rolled tie. But then, this is a matter of personal taste, a 7-fold tie simply only means the tie would have a fuller body.
As for the width, they start at 7cm, with a 0.5cm steps all the way to 9.5cm. In any case, you are very likely to get the right width from this selection to match with the width of your jacket lapels.
Handmade in Italy, the tie's merchant could be contacted via https://shibumi-firenze.com/
Photography by myself