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Posts Tagged ‘Pattern’

The Value of Tweed

Monday, February 1st, 2010

Tweed sport coats have in the past been associated with academics or old men but today I feel they are ready for their due redemption.  Tweed was first produced in Scotland and Ireland and its durable and warm nature makes it ideal for country wear while shooting or hunting.  The best tweeds are Harris and Donegal manufactured in Scotland and Ireland respectively.  The ability of tweed  to add true character to any mans wardrobe makes it invaluable and no man should consider theirs complete until it includes at least one piece of tweed.  These days good tweeds can be a little harder to find off the peg, requiring some searching or some tailoring. tweed jacket One British clothier known for their country wear is Cordings.  There catalog includes numerous tweeds in addition to other fine items.  I personally prefer a tweed jacket with leather buttons as I feel this adds additional character to the jacket.

Best worn during the fall and winter and when paired with cords your tweed will help seal out the biting wind.

Because tweed tends to have a considerable amount of visual texture, consider how busy the other articles of clothing you are wearing are in order to achieve a proper balance.

While tweed is not appropriate for a formal occasion it will always work well on the weekend or during a casual encounter.

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The Pocket Square

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

The pocket square is an item that I feel some men have trouble getting into as they reach the age where they begin to dress more formally.  Reasons for this could be anything from the wearer thinks them to be flamboyant, to they simply don’t know how to fold them.  As for as pocket squares being only for the flamboyant, nothing could be further from the truth.  A pocket square can be as understated and conservative or as loud and exuberant as the wearer wants them to be.

When trying to decide what color pocket square to use remember that you cannot go wrong with white.  A simple white will add another piece to your over all style without taking any risks on putting patterns or colors together.  PocketSquareBy simply folding his white pocket square, creating an thin crisp line above his pocket, this gentleman succeeds in adding interest appropriate for even the most conservative and formal event.

Colors and patterns can also be used with great effect but fight the temptation to buy prefolded or matching  tie and pocket square sets.  These may seem to be ideal but they create a boring look and are best left to the novice dresser.

Choosing a pocket square that you like with your ensemble can be difficult partly because there are no real rules.  Some men will coordinate colors with their tie or shirt but contrast patterns while others will do the opposite.  Some may pull out a minor color in their shirt or tie with a pocket square, while still others may pair it with their socks or cuff links.  Just put some thought behind it experiment a little if you need to.  Before long you will fall into a combination that is all your own.  pocket-square-10This gentleman succeeds in creating an memorable style by contrasting patterns and some color in his shirt, tie and pocket square.  He allows this combination to really stand out, without looking over done, by pairing it with a subdued cream jacket.

Materials can be anything from silk to linen to cotton but its not for wiping your nose.  That is what the handkerchief is for and you keep that in another pocket.

For some basic pattern and color mixing guidelines see Mixing patterns in your suit, shirt and tie.

Here is a great resource for folding pocket squares from Sam Hober.


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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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