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Archive for the ‘Ties’ Category

Shirts for fall

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Originally English country wear, tattersall (a check resembling tartan), is a classic casual/weekend check.  Most commonly it consists of a light beige or cream field with widely spaced colored checks.tattersall

Tattersall is best paired with other items that lean to the more casual.  Trousers such as chinos, cords or moleskin do well.  More traditional, and a touch more formal, would be pairing with a tweed suit.  Traditionally, gentlemen would wear a tweed suit and tattersall when out shooting and in the country.tattersall with tweed

English tattersall shirts usually wont have button down collars but with the influence of this American trait many have adopted them.  This I see as a fitting feature as the tattersall is a bit more casual than other shirts in your wardrobe.

As for ties, I especially enjoy the pairing of a bold country inspired tie with tattersall.

mallard tie

Classic tattersall is a great way to embrace the coming of fall while still holding true to a classic men’s style.
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Wearing a tie with jeans

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

Wearing a tie with jeans is a curious trend that seems to regain limited popularity every few years.  It tends to follow the cyclical nature of fashion, returning in some form but still looking just as confused.

This confusion comes from the fact that jeans are unmistakably casual, conversely ties are not.  This may have been originally devised as a clever way to seem ironic but in most cases it only causes the person to look silly and juvenile.  A dark pair of jeans may feel more formal but you will never negate the fact that they still jeans.  This gentleman below has many pieces of his outfit well coordinated above the waist but detracts from its overall potential but confusing the common theme with the addition of jeans.jeans with tie

If one wishes to dress up jeans I would suggest starting with darker jeans, that aren’t “stressed” or otherwise discolored, and pairing them with a casual jacket, such this one below.  I feel that this example below is more successful at dressing up jeans than the above example.  This still would only be appropriate for the casual situation.casual jacket and jeans

In all cases when looking at someone wearing jeans and a tie, no matter how attractive it may look or what goals they may be trying to achieve,  the same can be accomplished to a higher degree with a nice pair of trousers.  Don’t get me wrong jeans are a important part of a man’s casual wardrobe but leave the jeans-tie combination to those who like to follow men’s fashion trends.

Thanks for the question Brian.

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A Matter of Opinion: The Bow tie

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

In the past few decades the bow tie has unfortunately been reduced to the mark of an eccentric or dandy.   This I feel is an unfortunate fact that has been bred from the slow decline of the average man’s sense of style and the promotion, by films and TV, of the bow tie wearer as an “uncool” or “nerdy” individual.

I am comforted by the fact that there has recently been resurgence of bow tie wearers in younger men.  This I feel is partly a backlash to the common notion of bow tie wearers as being a little odd and the fact that they give the wearer the opportunity to stands out from the crowd.bowtie

That said it is my opinion that more men should find the courage to work bow ties into their tie rotations.  If tying one poses a problem, practice some, it is not much harder than tying a necktie.

city bowtie

Just like neckties, bowties come in a variety of widths and shapes.  If the mere fact that you are wearing a bow tie is a stretch for you then start with more conservative colors and shapes and work in more variety as your confidence increases.

Break away from the pack and stand out as an individual by increasing the versatility of your wardrobe with bow ties.

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Neckties and knots….mostly knots

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

As you can find in many of my posts I believe one of the most important factors of having good style is attention to detail.  The way you knot your necktie is just another detail that needs to be brought into awareness.

The two basic knots are the Windsor and Four-in-Hand.  Many men simply learned how to tie one or the other and it has become the knot they tie without much thought going into it.  Factors that will dictate which knot should be tied include what type of collar is on the shirt and the personal taste of the wearer.

big windsor

Windsor knot

The Windsor is a symmetrical knot that tends to be very broad.  Most men tend to wear this knot with spread collars as it easily fills the space.  Over the past few years it has become somewhat of a fad to knot your tie in a distractingly large  Windsor knot (as seen here).  This I feel is a poor choice due to the excessive attention the knot draws.  This is a good knot but I suggest that to stay away from the extra large variety.  Personal taste may cause some men to become bored with the Windsor varieties due to their symmetry.

The other knot mentioned above is the Four-in-Hand.   Its asymmetry has the benefit of adding subtle interest that doesn’t look overstudied.  The knot also has the flexibility of being tied in small or, through a variation in tying, can be much larger, depending on the collar it is being paired with or the wearers personal taste.


Four-in-Hand knot

This is Prince Michael of Kent who’s trademark is his large Four-in-Hand knots.  A very large knot that some may say does what the Windsor above does but the fact that it a Four-in-Hand adds a bit of asymmetric charm.

Prince Michael of Kent

Prince Michael of Kent

Tie material and tie lining will also add to the size of the knot you create.  In order to find what you prefer to wear with different collars you can only experiment.
Here is a link to some easy to follow instructions for a wide variety of knots.

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Mixing patterns in your suit, shirt and tie.

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

Wearing patterns in your suit, shirt and tie is a great way to add a little character to your look. When mixing patterns some care needs to be taken when choosing what patterns to wear together. As a general rule you should avoid wearing the same pattern on all items, for example a striped shirt, tie, suit.  An exception to this rule is when all the stripes are different. Notice in the picture below the differences between the stripes in the three items. allstripes

I prefer the tie to have the boldest stripes, as in the picture, to help it stand out against everything else.

If you choose to wear both a patterned shirt and tie, such as stripped shirt and a patterned tie, these should be worn with an understated suit.  With so much going on between the shirt and tie a boldly patterned suit could create a look that is too busy.  Remember, the bolder the shirt and tie combination, the plainer the suit should be.  If you want to pair a checked shirt with a stripped suit it is said that the width of the check should be about equal to the width of the stripes of the suit.  In this situation I would suggest a solid or subdued tie to avoid there being to much going on.

Brown and blue

If you have a suit with a pattern such as a tweed, check or bird’s eye I suggest pairing it with a more plain tie and/or shirt because of all the texture the suit or jacket provide.  Below-top is a classic combination perfect for the country or the weekend.  Below-bottom is a bird’s eye suit that uses a solid tie to tone down the patterns of the look while still demonstrating bold contrast through color.  The bolder the check or pattern on the suit the plainer the shirt and/or tie should be under it.  Tweedgrey birdseye

The material of the tie itself also can contribute an interesting touch.  A wool or knitted tie can do what a pattern does by adding texture, even when the color is a solid or very plain.  The most formal ties are silk though.knitted tie

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