Hand Sewn by Robert Talbott

This post combines two, wait, three of my favorite things, which are vintage menswear labels, ties and Robert Talbott ties. I am a sucker for vintage menswear labels (The University Shops & Co-ops) and now that I have a blog I sometimes purchase items at the thrift store just for the label, if the price is cheap enough. However, my first stop at thrift stores is always the tie rack. In fact, 99% of all my ties come from thrift stores and if I find a Robert Talbott tie I jump on it.

First, let me give a bit of back story on Robert Talbott. Robert started his career in menswear selling his wife’s handmade silk neckties to haberdasheries up and down the California coast. In 1953, they opened their own shop in Carmel, California and a second one in 1960. Today the company sells all kinds of clothing, but is still renowned for its ties.

Everyone has their favorite tie maker and Talbott ties are definitely in my top five. While I do not love all of their designs I could say that about any tie maker, but the quality of Robert Talbott ties is what makes them great. On top of that, they almost always knot well. The next time that you are out thrifting and see a Robert Talbott tie I encourage you to pick it up.

I have included a few pictures of my favorite Talbott ties. These ties were all made for local mens shops and the labels are very special to me. If anyone has any info on any of the shops featured on these labels I would be love to hear about them (I am familiar with Cable Car and DH Peer). Enjoy the pics and happy thrifting!

Robert Talbott For Cable Car ClothiersRobert Talbott for PeabodyRobert Talbott for Jack Henry
Robert Talbott for Clyde CampbellRobert Talbott for D.H. Peer

oxford cloth button down
Jerrod Swanton is a simple man interested in simple, classic, and traditional style.

8 Comments on "Hand Sewn by Robert Talbott"

  1. Gordon says:

    It sounds like we worked in the same stores. Not on of my employers didn’t sell Talbott Ties. Five of the six stores I worked at were Talbott accounts. The elusive seven-fold is a dream. Somewhere I read they are going to do a nine-fold. That’s a lot of silk.

  2. Gordon says:

    Misread your blog totally. My apologies. The company indeed did start in Carmel, CA., but not in a shop first. Audrey, Mrs. Talbott, made bow-ties out of her garage in Carmel while her husband went from haberdashery to another showing his wares and making his name. Eventually it led to stores but after he distinguished himself with the likes of Norman Hilton of suit fame and Reyn-Spooner of Hawaiian shirts. Their shirts were originally done at the Hamilton shirt makers plant in Texas when Hamilton did both custom and retail. It was a natural fit as Hamilton makes one of the finest shirts custom and retail and Talbott was the finest in American clothing manufacturing. However, since they expanded rapidly and am not real happy, the quality of their ties remain the gold-standard of neckwear.

    Interestingly enough, Reed McCullough of Reyn started on Catalina Island before the big times in Hawaii. Somewhere I heard he just sold the company or something.

    .I’ve worked at many of the small independent clothiers in Southern California.

  3. oxford cloth button down says:

    Gordon – . It sounds like you have quite a bit of knowledge on the subject. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  4. Erik says:

    I think an interesting post (that is also timely) would be tie width. I have everything from 2 1/2 inch 50s-esque ties, to 90s 3 3/4 inch behemoths. I’m curious how much tie width has varied in the world of Trad versus fashion trends on the whole.

  5. oxford cloth button down says:

    Erik – That is an interesting topic. I am a 3.25″ guy, but it is primarily because it suits my build. I have a pile of 3.75-4″ ties sitting in a pile waiting to be narrowed.

  6. Erik says:

    Sometimes I like the sleek look of a Don Draper or Rat Pack-esque tie, which is both sharp and casual. However, I prefer the body of a 3.25 or 3.5″ tie that produces a good collar roll and dimple. Skinny ties do succeed at looking better without a jacket, I believe. Ties with width look out of place on their own, whereas a skinny tie seems so minimalistic it’s like wearing a watch.

    I tend to agree with Glenn O’Brien that 3″ is the platonic ideal. Never too wide or narrow.
    Probably not a coincidence that prep style usually stays within 3 and 3.5″

  7. Tom says:

    Cable Car Clothiers are still in business in San Francisco but I’m sure you are aware.

  8. oxford cloth button down says:

    Tom – Good catch!

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