Fashion Magazine

Panama Silks for Summer

By Dieworkwear @dieworkwear
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Summer calls for a different kind of necktie – one that’s brighter in color and lighter in weight than its cold weather relations. Mogadors, linens, and slubby silks are often the choices this time of year. Mogadors are favored for their vibrant colors, whereas linen, tussah, and shantung are used for their texture (see Mark Cho for inspiration). 

There are also Panama silks, which are woven in a way that’s similar to Panama hats (two wefts up, two down). Unfortunately, much like ancient madder silks, the texture here is hard to appreciate in photos. You really have to handle them in person to get the appeal, but so goes the travails of shopping online. 

When you do get a chance to feel them, however, you automatically understand why they pair so well with cotton and linen jackets. “It’s the dry hand and matte finishing,” says Drake’s Creative Director, Michael Hill. “Especially in dustier colors, such as this series we recently made, they just complement casual forms of tailoring.” 

Michael’s company has the biggest selection of Panama silks this season. Theirs have a nice, crunchy feel – something like a subtler version of their famous silk knit ties. I was recently admiring this green rosette at No Man Walks Alone’s trunk show, although a playful design may feel more seasonal. Ben Silver has a nice example of how the red print can look with a tan cotton suit. 

Drake’s Panamas can be found at No Man Walks Alone, Gentlemen’s Footwear, Ben Silver, and their own site. I also really like the diamond prints at Berg & Berg. Theirs are considerably softer and feel a bit more like lightweight wool, although without the nap. Consider them the warm-weather equivalent of your favorite fall/ winter neckwear. 

Pictured directly below: Blue Panama silk tie by Berg & Berg | W. Bill tobacco linen suit by Napolisumisura | Light blue Simonnot Godard chambray shirt by Ascot Chang

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