Greg Walton of Louis Walton is not your average school bus driver. He also makes some damn fine neck wear. Perhaps almost as random a combination as the auditor who writes a blog on mens style (ie me). Greg is based out of and constructs all of his ties in San Francisco. which would mean you could consider Louis Walton ties as Made In America. He also makes bow ties. And he is looking to get into small leather goods like wallets. Although San Francisco is home to some well dressed gents like Willie Brown and a few great mens style bloggers (A Suitable Wardrobe and Die Workwear), it is not the first place you would think of when you think of more formal and/or classic mens dress, especially the production and design of. So when he told me where he was based I was rather surprised. But my hypotheses aside, let’s get to some factual stuff.
A few months back Greg and I got in contact, we liked what each other was doing and agreed to have me review some of his work on FYGblog. He was kind enough to send me two ties. A black silk grenadine 4 ($125) and a navy blue cotton 4 fold ($95). Both of which are unlined; yeah that’s right, you’re getting a tie of pure cotton or silk. Badass. Both ties measure roughly 3.25″ x 57″. However, Greg makes all of his tie to order and he welcomes custom requests and sizes.
The navy blue cotton tie has done me well throughout the end of the summer since I received it. I am rather sad to have to put it in hibernation until next spring. The tie has a navy base with a grey printed pattern on it. Formal enough for all but the most formal of business and social settings, even though it is a cotton tie. As I stated, the tie is of 4 fold construction. Which Greg said he favors for cotton ties because it leads to the best knot. And yes, the tie ties quite a nice knot (four in hand, or course). It is of appropriate size and it does not loosen throughout the day. It even holds its perk, which does not happen with a large majority of the silk ties I have. As you would expect, there is a slip stitch ending with a loop at the large end (see photo below). The tie is also untipped, which, like many things, I love for its simplicity. It also allows you to see Greg’s stitching, artisanal if I may say so myself. The symmetry of the tip of the tie is nearly symmetrical, to the untrained eye it looks symmetrical. I have rarely seen a perfectly symmetrical tip. The tie has a keepr loop (see photo below) of the same fabric as the tie, which many argue to be a hallmark of a quality tie. Which this tie certainly is.
The black grenadine tie is appropriate to wear throughout the year. I do not wear any black except for dress shoes, overcoats, semi formal wear and formal wear. Louis Walton’s black grenadine tie is one of the very very very few exceptions to my rule. Why? Because Sean Connery as James Bond rocked a black grenadine tie on the reg. The construction is the same for this tie as for the cotton tie discussed above, so we need not reiterate. The grenadine is from the Seteria Bianchi mill in Italy, which is one of the only places that make the good stuff anymore; sadly. But then again, this is the good stuff so how many producers do we really need… In contrast to the other grenadine ties I have (from Chipp) this tie is a little stiffer and has a less fluid drape. Although I would prefer the tie to lay softer the tie looks beautiful when tied and worn properly, so this issue is minimal. I may ask him to make me a bow tie in the stuff, it would be a nice take on black tie.
In conclusion, I strongly recommend Louis Walton neckties. They are priced slightly above those of Brooks Brothers but the quality and look of them is so much better. To get a tie of similar quality and pedigree (ie handmade by an artist in the USA) at this price, I have not yet seen an alternative. The only thing I can really say to detract from the brand is that the selection is fairly limited, but then again, Greg is only one man and only so much can be reasonably expected. But I have a feeling if you have a fabric you want made into a tie Greg will accommodate you, which is in itself something to praise (inquire at Greg@LouisWalton.com). For Greg, his ties are a labor of love. And that love shines in his work. If you have any questions, comments or thoughts feel free to sound off below. Keep up the good fight Mr. Walton.
Justin L Jeffers
Note: FYGblog did receive compensation in the form of ties during the course of this review.