While the rest of the internet went into meltdown over the possibility (read: reality) that Ariana Grande was divorcing her husband, they missed another important event happening right alongside the singer: Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey sporting the current power move in menswear, the matching shirt and tie.
The fact that he – and plenty of men attending Wimbledon – are breaking out the tie again after it was all but declared DOA by fashion critics is a positive sign. Yes, clothing has become more hybrid in nature to meet multifaceted sartorial needs but unlike velcro, which as no place in grown man’s wardrobe, ties are the sign of that someone who appreciates both nuance and tradition.
But it’s more about how men are now wearing them. Tonal matching – either in a variant of the colour of your shirt or directly matching your blazer – has always been a fail-safe.. But direct matching? While not entirely new, it’s gaining far more traction among men who want to wear the traditional accessory but without the formal fuss of it. Rather, directly matching the two components no longer highlights the tie as independent but rather adds texture to the shirt.
Before Bailey stole the show at Wimbledon (sorry Ariana), Irish actor Barry Keoghan was seen repping a white variation at the 95th Academy Awards, where he was nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role in the Banshees of Inisherin. While not exactly matching, the creamy shade was close enough to create a streamlined, minimal finish to the front of his suit for the evening.
Fellow Irishman Cillian Murphy has also given the look an outing while attending red carpet runs for his hyped film Oppenheimer. The perfectly matched tan tie and shirt under a black suit created both an optically casual yet formally detailed sense of style.
Which is perhaps the answer to the current conundrum surrounding the place of ties today: can they be casually coded so as to become better suited to the relaxation of dress codes? If Bailey, Murphy and Keoghan are the standard, then the answer is yes.
But there’s still room for the tie to be worn as a formal addition, obviously. But how you do it, without it looking too formal that it’s old fashioned, then the best example comes from a former Spider-Man.
Arguably one of the best-styled actors right now, Andrew Garfield gave another taken on the trend at this year’s Golden Globes. Under his vicuna coloured suit by Zegna, the 39-year-old actor wore a black-matched thin scarf in lieu of a traditional tie. It was a rakish take that might not be successful for every occasion but it did hit the right note for the night.