There are motif ties of all themes. Some with sailboats for the summer, some with turkeys for the fall, some with shamrocks or eggs for spring and some, like this one, are suited for the winter. This motif tie features skiers, or perhaps a single skier, found in various positions on the slopes. If you look closely there is also the rare image of the skier with a cast on his leg. Light, jovial, fun and seasonal. A perfect motif tie for January.
I am a big fan of motif ties when paired with a university stripe shirt, like in this setting. It can be hard to find a tie to compliment your university stripe. A solid knit tie is an immediate obvious perfect choice. The right rep tie can also work, especially on a blue university stripe, due to the very subtle and subdued nature of the blue on white. But, for your more unique and adventurous university stripe, a rep tie can often feel like it is too much. Too many stripes, if not done perfect. I am a devoted fan of the university stripe, I have them in so many colors, and am always on the look out for unique shades, so the motif tie is an absolute favorite of mine.
The motif tie is such a great option to pair with the university stripe because the larger pattern of the motif tie doesn't clash in an unpleasant way with the small stripe of the shirt. More often than not, there is plenty of space between the figures on the tie, leaving large portions plain. A great amount of distance between these patterns found on the shirt and the tie. A wonderful harmonious appearance.
An additional point of interest in this setting is the relation of the university stripe color to the [quasi] hue / home of the sport coat and tie. A gray herringbone tweed with a tie of blue, green and white is a cold hue. The red university stripe contrasts this in a very interesting way. Red works very well both complimenting a warm hue or contrasting a cold hue. The contrast in this outfit works as can be predicted. What is interesting and can be applied to other outfits and settings when approached in the right way is that the contrasting element is the shirt. In terms of size the sport coat is the largest, the shirt next, and then the tie last. Often, you will see the smallest article functioning the contrasting force. When done right, using the shirt, the 2nd largest article, as the contrasting element of the outfit, one can obscure the hue home and create an outfit with a wonderful feeling of tension, right on an edge of harmony and friction.
The OCBD is from the wonderful Michael Spencer. The necktie is a vintage Chipp necktie I found at a garage sale a few summers ago for 25 cents.