The first full work week of November has been officially declared 1990s Polo Ralph Lauren Geometric Tie Appreciation Week. I thought it would be appropriate to review this year's appreciation week, going through each fit individually. I have already spilled words on the beauty and essence of the 1990s Polo Ralph Lauren Geometric Tie. We won't delay with any more additions to the general point. Let us get right into the fits.
The first photo you see in this post, fit #1, is a fit including a beautiful red classic 1990s geometric. To me, this is maybe one of the most quintessential geometrics. It just has this specific feel, this whole attitude that is so hard to pin down. It isn't cartoonish, but it isn't severe. It isn't a joke but there is something unimposing about it.
While I love these geometrics, it is important to note that it can be hard to pull them off unless you are the right guy, unless you have the right attitude. I dress in what is perceived today to be a rather serious style. The majority of my style is understood to be, in comparison, quite steady and not joke-like. Against this backdrop, the occasional 1990s geometric feels like a rare flair, it feels like an occasional (both across time and space [the outfit worn at the time]) nod to another era in a subtle yet fun way. A problem can arise however if you are only wearing geometrics, or if you don't have the right attitude. It can feel almost as if it is too much, it can feel "goofy". It can feel unintentional. You do have to be careful with them.
In this photo we have another great geometric. It is not actually black but rather the darkest midnight navy. This pattern is simply unparalleled. Would you believe that I found this at a Goodwill for $2.99? It was in perfect condition. This almost feels futuristic, space-like. Yet, the colors are subdued. They aren't neon green. This is a hallmark of a perfect 90s geometric. It straddles this incredibly unique place. It dances on this line of being futuristic yet classic, daring yet not over-the-top. Something that is important to note with these geometrics is that they work best, in the most subtle, subdued way, when integrated into a standard Ivy/Prep outfit. If you are going to try the geometrics (which I highly encourage), just put together a standard outfit and then slip one in.
In this fit we have an absolutely delicious geometric. The bold reds work really nice and drive home a certain 90s brightness. Some of the ties that jump out to me most quickly as great geometrics tend to be red. Look at the pattern, look at this geometric object floating around the tie. It is so particular, so unique. It looks both space-age and stone-age at the same time. It is so fascinating.
Again though, this tie, as with many geometrics can truly work best when you have the right attitude. You can easily see how if you don't often wear ties, and then this is the tie you wear when you decide to wear a tie, it can appear too goofy. It could feel unintentional. In a way, they are kind of like breaking a rule, it works best when it can be felt that you "know what you are doing". I am not really into "rules" but the sentiment of the statement stands. If you are going off the beaten path, it feels better and reads better if there is a feeling that you know where the beaten path is and you are choosing to go off it with intentionality. These ties are beautiful, but you must be careful.
In the photo we see above, in Fit #4, we have a different kind of geometric. The shapes themselves are quite large. Not massive, but substantial. They are slightly larger than what we might expect to find on a motif tie. These are almost like chiclets. I refer to this as my 1990s chiclet geometric. These shapes are similar to those found in the tie in Fit #1. They are crude-like, almost feeling like they were drawn on. This tie is right on the edge, it isn't "too much" but it is right there, close. The space between the shapes helps settle it, make it feel more simple, despite having a fun motif.
Another key point to these geometrics is shirt choice. It can be very hard to pull these off with anything other than a white, blue or blue university stripe OCBD. Sometimes you can pull it off with a different shirt, other than those three, but it is rare, it is pretty tough. It is best to just keep it very simple with everything else. Not only is it difficult because often these ties have more than two colors, but they simply are so energetic that it is best to keep things down a bit when it comes to the shirt. This same thing also goes for the sport coat, blazer or cardigan (in the case of Fit #4). Keep it simple. The right broadcloth butcher stripe can also work, I am thinking a blue butcher stripe in particular. Nevertheless, this is very similar to a blue university stipe.
In this fit we have perhaps one of the most easy to incorporate geometrics. Technically, I suppose you can call this a geometric, but is it really? It is almost more of a micro-pattern. It is somewhere in between. Nevertheless, for this reason (and a few others) it is not as bold, not as daring, a bit more subdued. It is easier to incorporate. One may ask, if this is more of a simple micro-pattern, why buy it so vintage from the 1990s? Why buy a tie like this?
There are a few answers. These ties, 1990s Polo Ralph Lauren geometric ties, can be found for an extremely affordable price on eBay. They are not 40, 50, 60 dollars. They are more like 5 or 10 dollars. Another reason is that these ties are invariably, almost always, made of absolutely beautiful material. The hand is so gentle, it is just so light and absolutely beautiful. The knots they tie are perfect and the drape is divine. Lastly, these ties are in a territory all their own. They do have a certain attitude. Even if they are just a micro-pattern, there is always something characteristically 1990s Polo Ralph Lauren about them.
The width can often be pretty heavy. Sometimes they can get up to 4 inches wide. In this case, many choose to tailor them, slim them down to something more manageable, 3.25, 3.35 etc... I have done this for myself and others. It all depends on what you want. The argument for slimming down to 3.25 is that 3.25 is classic, traditional and will never look too far out. The argument for keeping them ultra-wide at 3.75 or 4 is that it is a whole part of their spirit, energy. It really depends, I have some I have tailored down, some I keep in original form.
The 1990s Polo Ralph Lauren geometric ties are beautiful, fun and dynamic but one must be careful with them, evaluate one's own style carefully and proceed with a bit of caution and discretion. If one does that, these ties can be such a cool, unique addition to one's wardrobe. They can really add a special kind of feeling every so often. They can help break up some of the expectation all while doing so in a unique, fun, yet perfectly and beautifully (1990s) respectable way.