Leather has served many purposes throughout its history. It’s been used to create rugged garments, long-lasting accessories, and luxe, sophisticated versions of everyday wear. An unconventional example of an elevated staple is the leather tie.
Leather ties are a uniquely fashionable take on an everyday accessory. Made from either real or faux leather, these accessories are designed to pull together and formalize an outfit by tying around the wearer’s neck. Leather ties can be found in a variety of styles, colors, and finishes.
Let’s explore the types, styles, and what might look best on you.
What is a Leather Tie?
A leather tie is a necktie made from leather or leather-like material. Neckties are descended from cravats, which are simple fabric kerchiefs worn around the neck and tied at the front. Ties can be worn by any gender and are meant to formalize an outfit while adding a sophisticated decorative element.
Leather ties add the same decorative element as their traditional counterparts, with an edgy-high-fashion twist. These accessories can be found in countless color and finish combinations – the ultimate opportunity for easy, fun self-expression. Different finishes and colors of leather can be appropriate for different occasions, with black as a sophisticated baseline.
What to Look for In a Leather Tie
Modern neckties don’t vary much in terms of style. Today’s tie is quite distinct, but there are some slight variations in style that shoppers can find if they know where and how to look. Modern ties vary mostly in width, and thicker, traditional ties are still the norm. Thin neckties’ popularity skyrocketed during the 1980s, but they’ve remained popular and available thanks to vintage lovers and those interested in a more unique, edgy style.
Traditional non-leather neckties can be found in countless patterns based on their material. Some real leather ties can be found with embossed patterns, but for bold, fun patterns, it’s best to look to faux leather. As a plastic product, faux leather can be dyed in stripes or tie-dyes, printed with fun patterns, or embossed.
As with many leather products, color determines when and where the garment or accessory will feel most appropriate. Black leather is the most versatile, able to be dressed up or down and worn with almost any outfit. Brown leather is best suited to casual attire due to its more natural, aged appearance. Quality faux leathers in unique colors may be wearable with fancier dress, but fun colors and patterns should be kept to party looks or casual wear.
Leather ties are a uniquely fashionable take on an everyday accessory.
The physical shape and construction of modern ties really only vary in one way: thickness. The width of a tie is almost as crucial as its material in determining what type of outfit, occasion, or style it’s most suited for. Traditional-width ties are most suitable for formal or semiformal occasions. Thin ties, which had their heyday in the 1980s, are wearable with formal wear, but are mostly suited for semiformal or casual wear.
The proper length of a tie should be determined by height, weight, and body type. Traditionally, a tie should fall below the natural waist, but should not hit the waist of your pants – somewhere in between is perfect. At the same time, a tie shouldn’t end above the natural waist, which gives a too-small effect. Ties are sold in different lengths – to determine the proper length for you, measure from the top button or collar of your shirt to below your natural waist.
Types of Leather Ties
A bolo tie is a tie made from braided or solid leather cord. These ties have leather tips at the ends of their cord to keep them secure and are held together tightly with a metal pendant or brooch. Bolo ties are derived from the silversmithing traditions of many Native American tribes and were adopted into traditional Western wear.
Today’s bolo ties are worn by Native Americans as a reclamation of their traditional cultural crafting history. They’re also worn by many who have adopted a Western-inspired working-class style, especially in the southwestern United States. In other parts of the world, the ties were adopted by working-class subcultures.
Cowboy ties, also known as shoestring or bolo ties, are simple ties made from leather cord and a metal fastener. These ties were adopted from Native American traditional wear by cowboys and settlers in the southern and southwestern United States.
Today, cowboy ties are worn by many alternative subcultures, particularly those adopted by marginalized groups and the working class. They’ve entered the lexicon of standard accessories in the Southwest, and have even been named the official tie of three states: New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas.
Bowties have a common ancestor with traditional neckties – the cravat. Worn to securely and neatly hold together the top of a buttoned, collared shirt, cravats and bowties are closely related. Bowties are tied in a bow knot and are almost always worn for formal occasions. These ties can be found in normal and pre-tied variations for ease of wear.
Bowties are typically associated with intellectualism and affluence. In leather, these accessories take on an added air of sophistication and class with a bit of an edge. A black leather bowtie is a surefire way to appear fashionable and sophisticated.
Leather Knots (In Making Bolo Ties)
Traditional bolo ties feature knots as functional decoration. These ties are secured with a wood, metal, or leather bead or pendant slide, and may feature metal tips on their cord. However, more historically-faithful bolo ties feature intricate decorative knots to serve the same purpose as more modern metal tips – to prevent the cord from sliding out of the fastener. Some bolo ties may forgo metal fasteners in favor of intricate knots – these ties are put on and closed from the back rather than tightened in the front.
Make your on Leather Bowtie by following this easy tutorial.
Mens Leather Tie
Ties are traditionally menswear, but the cravats they originate from were unisex accessories. Men’s leather ties are meant to cinch the shirt under the collar for a formal, put-together appearance. Men’s ties are traditionally made from satins, silks, or other quality fabrics, but in leather, they offer a long-lasting, stain-resistant accessory that’s still bold, sophisticated, and fashion-forward.
Best Leather Ties
|For a unique take on a classic accessory – Perforated Black & Red Leather Necktie||Made from genuine leather with clean, raw edges, This tie is made from the same type of leather as high-end automobiles for optimal wearability and long life. The perforated detail and red underside give the tie an edgy, high-fashion touch.||CyberOptix||$90|
|For a bold take on a formal classic – Bowtie in Black Faux Leather||This pre-tied faux leather bowtie looks like it’s made from heavy, soft, luxe genuine leather. It’s the perfect special addition to a formal outfit, like a wedding tux! As a bonus, your purchase will support a small business via Etsy.||AmandaJo
Handmade on Etsy
|For a natural, exotic casual accessory – Brown Ostrich Leather Tie||Ostrich leather has a distinctive appearance, with a bumpy, raised texture that’s highly prized for its uniqueness. This tie from LeatherCult uses sheepskin leather to mimic exotic ostrich leather, making it an ethical, affordable alternative to leather acquired via poaching.||LeatherCult||$23|
Where to Buy Leather Ties
Etsy is a great place to find handmade, affordable leather goods. Here, you’ll find a wide range of ties to choose from, guaranteeing that you’ll find a winner. Because of the nature of the platform, prices on Etsy can vary quite a bit.
LeatherCult offers real leather items, many of which are customizable, at truly affordable prices. Their leather ties come in a wide variety of finishes and colors, from natural to colorful and even metallic! Their ties are all the same style: slim, but not skinny, for a fashionable look. LeatherCult’s ties cost $23.
Amazon’s offerings are typically faux leather. Despite this, prices are usually quite affordable and shipping is fast. Amazon’s leather ties are best suited for casual or occasional wear rather than formal wear. Prices for leather ties on Amazon usually fall between $20 and $60.
eBay’s selection is almost identical to Amazon’s, but there are a few exceptions. Some specialty leather retailers list items on eBay, as do some independent leather artisans. Because of its rather direct approach, eBay is a great resource for those who want quality leather goods on a budget. Like Etsy, eBay’s piercing is entirely up to the seller, allowing prices to vary quite a bit.
CyberOptix is a fashionable, ultra-cool retailer selling unique leather ties. Their selection ranges from perforated leather to natural hide ties complete with hair! Their prices are slightly elevated at around $90, but for specialty ties, this is a great price.
Other popular online stores/sellers
High-end department stores carrying designer goods like Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, and Macy’s often carry designer leather goods, especially accessories like bags, shoes, and ties.
Leather ties are a luxe, bold alternative to traditional neckties. Since ties are purely decorative, choosing interesting, beautiful materials is a great way to elevate your wardrobe and express yourself. The world of leather ties is ever-expanding thanks to creative, unique leather artisans and crafters. There’s a leather necktie for anyone, no matter your budget or style! For more leather style, click here for my guide to leather pants.
How do you tie a leather tie?
A leather necktie is tied like any other. For a simple knot, check out these step-by-step instructions to tie an Oriental knot.
How much does a leather tie cost?
The cost of leather ties can vary dramatically, with affordable options on sale for around $20 and expensive options costing upwards of $400.