Today, Paul Winston continues the tradition with Winston Tailors and Chipp Neckwear. The only ready to wear items he sells now are ties, braces, and other menswear accessories, but the spirit is certainly the same. Chipp 2 originally sold just dog breed ties and small accessories, eventually moving into grenadines and other ties when it became Chipp Neckwear.
One thing Chipp has always been known for is its humourous -- some would say childish -- tie designs, most of which you need to look closely to see the joke. While they're not everyone's cup of tea, there's certainly been a market for them for decades now. Paul has no reason to discontinue them at this point.
But the more serious tie collector will still find a few goodies to satisfy them.
I was given three ties to review, a lilac grenadine, red ancient madder paisley print, and silk shantung stripe. All of them are the reasonable width and length of 3 1/4" x 57". This is in keeping with the times without looking trendy. I believe their ties were previously 3 1/2" wide. Brooks Brothers ties are currently the same dimensions as Chipp Neckwear, but the narrowing of a quarter inch was a source of some controversy when it happened. Nonetheless, I think these dimensions will look good on most everyone, especially considering they have a firm interlining that makes nicely sized knots.
Grenadine is probably what Chipp Neckwear is best known for on menswear forums besides the dog breed ties. In spite of the allusion to a fictional superspy, these are garza fina, a finer weave of grenadine that is less prone to snagging. Bond more often than not wore garza grossa in films, something The Knottery makes. In spite of what I said in the above paragraph, I think the use of the same interlining as other ties in this one is a bit of a mistake. There's no way around it, the knot is huge. Like, sportscaster Windsor knot huge. My rule of thumb is that if it looks unbalanced as a four in hand knot with a button down collar, it will look too big with any other collar. Consequently, due to the thick interlinining and grenadine's own fickle nature, it is resistant to dimpling nicely though perhaps some wear would break it in. This was my only disappointment. The quality of the grenadine is wonderful, however.
|Curiously, despite the change of name, the bartacked label still reads "Chipp 2" on recent products.|
|Looks a little '70s big. Not my personal taste.|
I was pleasantly surprised with the ancient madder tie I received, though. I don't normally like paisley patterns on ties, but this one is pretty tasteful compared to many I've seen. Would I wear it? Probably not. But I imagine those with bolder tastes would be into it. The tie knot is more reasonable in size than the grenadine's, most likely due to the difference in thickness of the fabrics. The fabric feels great, nice and soft. I would love to have one in a simple Macclesfield pattern.
|The great depth of colour can be appreciated up close.|
|Knots quite nicely.|
The last one I looked at is quite a doozy and not for the faint of heart. Silk shantung striped in many colours. Wow. Though not something I'd wear, it's certainly in the "GTH" (go to hell) tradition of Chipp. The colour and texture are definitely beautiful on their own. I'd probably wear the checked version over this. I'm not certain why, but for some reason it seems a bit more sober and reminds me of madras plaid. They are both being sold as summer ties, which is appropriate.
|Wonderful texture and sheen.|
|Not my cup of tea, but many could pull it off with the right colour coordination and attitude.|
Chipp Neckwear offers some great quality products at the bargain price of $49.50 per tie. I believe the grenadines need a bit of work to knot more nicely, but that's about it. I hope Paul Winston's online business flourishes and I look forward to seeing how the other accessories do.
DISCLAIMER: Nouveau Vintage received the items for this review on temporary loan to evaluate their quality. Every effort has been made to remain objective.