Blue pin dot tie with a gray double-breasted suit

Posted by Atte Rytkönen on 26.8.2017 in General

In terms of ties pin dot and polka dot patterns are classic. The origin of using dots in neck wear actually goes all the way back to Beau Brummell himself. And today almost every manufacturer have some kind of dot designs in their selection of ties.

As I recently got a new navy blue pin dot tie from our factory, I decided to come up with some thoughts regarding the use of the pattern. In my opinion it is at its best when you use it for business or other more formal occasions.

The blue pin dot tie with gray double-breasted suit - ready for a party
The blue pin dot tie with gray double-breasted suit.

Pin dot ties – classic and staple?

As said, pin dot and polka dot patterns have long tradition in men’s classic clothing. Though I personally have a somewhat contradictory relationship with dot ties. In general I consider them as a very classic choice. And a staple for any man’s wardrobe. On the other hand I feel that they can be hard to pull off. And often they can look like they are “out of place” in many attires. I’ve had many dot ties during the years. Every time I have passed them on while cleaning out my closets. But recently I wanted to acquire a sample piece from our factory to see if a classic navy blue pin dot tie would earn a place in the DLA selection in the future.

Some people might be confused by the terms pin and polka dot. And the difference between them. The pin dot tie is basically the smaller variant of the polka dot tie. In contrast to polka dot ties, the pin dot ties comprise of a narrowly spaced dotted tie pattern. In general they both are a good addition to any gentleman’s formal and business wear wardrobe.

The navy blue pin dot tie and double four-in-hand knot
The navy blue pin dot tie with the double four-in-hand knot.

Like many of the other ties, pin dot ties can vary in scale. You can find them starting from mini dots to slightly larger dots. The distance between the dots as well as the layout also tend to vary. In my opinion slightly smaller, more subtle patterns are best in this case. They tend to be a bit more elegant and versatile. As a rule you could say that the smaller the dots, the more formal the tie.

The navy blue pin dot tie

As any patterned ties, you can find dots in multiple different colors. There are also many different variations in terms of materials for dot ties. Nowadays it seems to be quite popular to have dotted grenadine ties or pin and polka dot knit ties for more casual wear. Regarding the pattern my personal favorite however is the classic twill silk. Therefore the navy blue pin dot tie in the pictures is made of very lightweight 18mm royal twill silk. Other options I had in mind were grenadine, shantung and woven repp silk. As I like my business ties to be lightweight as well, the construction features very light lining. The tie is untipped and finished with hand rolled edges.

The navy blue pin dot tie - details with double-breasted herringbone suit and white linen pocket square
Details – the soft wide spread collar highlights the tie knot.

How to combine the navy blue pin dot tie?

For this outfit I chose probably the most safe option to combine the tie.  Suit with darker shade of gray and a white shirt. With white pocket square. The only way to make it more simple would be to change the suit for a single-breasted dark blue one. And naturally to change the shoes to black oxfords. In terms of suit patterns, with dot ties I would stay mostly with plain options. Or go with stripes. Chalk and pin stripe suits are actually a very good pair for dot ties. Especially for business purposes as that is a classic power suit combination.

My favorite – plain shirt and simple pocket square

When it comes to shirts and dot ties, you can go for various ways. In general, you can say that shirts with larger spaced patterns will contrast well with the narrower spacing of a pin dot. But I personally don’t like the look featuring check patterned shirts with patterned ties. So if you want a shirt with pattern, go for stripes. Not the most thin ones and not the most wide ones. I would favor university stripes. And a plain suit or a jacket and odd trousers.

The navy blue pin dot tie - with my favorite Rose&Born double-breasted herringbone suit
Wearing a double-breasted herringbone suit by Rose&Born.

But still my favorite and recommended choice for a shirt is a plain one. Plain white or a plain light blue. These two will work for most of dot ties, no matter if you choose a navy blue, brown or a gray colored tie. Or for example a red one.

In terms of pocket square, white linen square works. It always works. But a good option is to choose a square which features a color of the tie as a base or accent color. For example a white square with contrasting borders presenting the color of the tie. Or a wool pocket square with a pattern to highlight the texture and color of the tie.

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The black calf leather tassel loafers - perfect pair for a gray suit and navy blue tie
Black calf leather tassel loafers – perfect pair for a gray suit and navy blue tie.

Sum up – 3 ways to wear the pin dot tie

As a sum-up three different kind of outfits for three different kind of purposes and occasions. Even though the pin dot tie is in general quite a formal and business-oriented tie, you can also use it for more casual combinations. And an extra tip. If you choose a tie with less commonly placed dots, it will make the tie to look more casual.

Formal business attire

  • Dark blue chalk stripe suit, white lightweight oxford shirt, black oxford shoes and navy blue silk pin dot tie. And wear a white linen pocket square.

Casual business wear

  • Navy blue blazer, light gray flannel trousers, light blue spread collar shirt and brown knitted pin dot tie. Try a pocket square with pattern and brown details.

Casual weekend wear

  • Brown jersey wool blazer, light colored denim, white oxford cloth button-down shirt, brown suede loafers and dark blue shantung pin dot tie. You can also wear a navy blue cardigan for an extra layer.
The navy blue pin dot tie - full shot with gray suit and black tassel loafers
Gray, blue, black and white – always a safe combination of colors for more formal look.