History of the Bow Tie

In the past ten years, the bow tie has been seemingly picking up speed as one of the most fashionable and sophisticated items in any mans wardrobe. This fun little fashion accessory dates back to Croatia in the early 17th century where mercenaries would use neck wears that somehow resembled scarves to bind the collars of their shirts. These little pieces of fabric were known as cravats, and in no time, highly influential and fashion forward Upper Class French citizens took up the trend. Over the course of time, the cravat became shaped and molded into what we now know and see as the everyday necktie or bow tie. In the early 1900s, the bow tie was a vital part of being “fully dressed”; though, as the 1900s progressed this slowly changed and the bow tie went out of style. Following World War II the bow tie seemed to have gone nearly extinct. Flash forward to today, and the bow tie has made its glorious return.#NationalBowTieDay

Bow ties come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and of course patterns. Each bow tie can be as unique as the person it bestows, but at the end of the day there are three main types: the self-tie, the pre-tie, and the clip on. The self-tie is the most common and sophisticated option for every modern gentleman. Not sure how to tie one? Here is a great tutorial: http://bit.ly/ 1MXoWCL Once you learn you will never forget. The pre-tie is a good option for nights when you don’t want to tie one yourself, or are needing to do a quick change. As for the clip on— this is a commonly used option for young children and infants, for the little metal clasp allows for easy take on and take off.

Now the only question is, what bow tie will you wear today? Happy #NationalBowTieDay!

White

“White shall not be worn before Memorial Day or after Labor Day”

With only a few more days left to take advantage of that glorious summer white wardrobe; you better bring your A game. From the upcoming family reunions by the seaside, the last of the summer Hampton holidays, and city nights out with friends— white is the color of the moment, and it can either be mans best friend or worse enemy.

Take your favorite pair of classic white chinos; like the ones from Belstaff, or a slim fitting pair of white denim; like these by Tommy Hilfiger,
and add in your best white cotton or linen
button down shirt paired with one of the the new FreshNeck flBlog 3oral ties by Winners Circle Fashion Co.

Floral ties have taken the mens fashion scene by stomp this summer. Not only do they add a unique texture to your wardrobe palette, but they add in that pop of color that will make your white outfit a sophisticated-cool.

Speaking of pops of color— the mens bracelets, like the ones just added to the FreshNeck closest (http://j.mp/FreshNeck- bracelets), add a simple and casual-cool flair to any ensemble.

- the FreshGuy

Summer Weather Wardrobe Changes

Summer is a beautiful time filled with lazy weekends on the beach, drinking sangrias on rooftops, watching films under the stars in the park, and of course lots of heat. When the sun starts heating up, it’s time to take the layers down but still stay “fashionably cool”.

First and foremost, the number one thing you need to know about dressing for the changeable summer weather is to be a planner. Those who are organized and prepared for the worst are the ones who always win.

Sweat-free Shirts

Long commute to work? Lots of outdoor walking involved? Wear one shirt and pack your work shirt to-go. Making that quick change in the office won’t only keep you feeling fresh, but it will also save your co-workers from having to suffer through any odd summer smells. When packing your clothes— rolling shirts instead of folding helps avoid too many wrinkles. You can also pack a small to-go sized bottle of mens summer stylewrinkle releaser (quick DIY: put a dryer sheet in a spray bottle with water— works the same as wrinkle releaser).

Layer first then strip

Always start the cool mornings with an extra layer— making it possible to take layers off to feel and look cool. Linen blazers, v-neck

sweaters, and light weight cardigans all make for a great top layer. Bonus: after work during happy hour- you can slip your layer back on for some extra warmth- just in case it turns out to be a cool summer night.

Heading to the beach? Throw a fun summery printed button down over a tank. This can easily be taken off once it heats up, and still looks great to throw back on for dinner on the docks at your favorite sea-food restaurant. Note: bracelets make for excellent beach accessories— don’t be afraid to show off some of your personal style while still “hanging ten” on the beach.

Quick Tips

  • Roll sleeves for a cooling and relaxed look
  • Swap your regular socks for “no-shows” or invisible socks
  • Invest in a good bag— be it a beach ready tote or small backpack— you won’t regret it
  • Play around with a seasonal scarf— fashion forward and summer friendly

- the FreshGuy

Owning the Skinny Tie

Tie shape says a lot about a guy and his personal style. When it comes to the skinny tie, solid colors and a smooth satin silk fabric are by far the most popular choice. The narrow look of theFreshNeck, skinny tie, black tie, tie width, necktie tie combined with the soft fabric gives a guy a sophisticated and edgy modern style.
In most cases, one wants a tie to hang straight, and have the knot itself be either symmetric or showcase the popular tie dimple. When tying a skinny tie, it is best to have a “non-perfect tie knot”. Instead go for a slightly loose knot. Don’t worry about the tie hanging straight, and instead of one dimple, multiple crinkles at the knot look best.
Needing to pair the tie witha suit for a more formal occasion? No problem. Go with one of the most simple and more common knots: The Four-in-Hand. The Four-in-Hand is the oldest tie knot known to man. Originally invented in Britain during the end of the 19th Century, the Four-in-Hand quickly became a standard in mens style. Having been used in everything from regular sized ties, skinny ties, and even those pesky extra long ties; the simplicity of this knot has helped it remain popular century after century (seriously no doctorate degree needed). In fact it is often times referred to as the simple knot. Not to mention, the Four-in-Hand is a killer knot when paired with traditional striped ties like the British Regimental Stripe.

- the FreshGuy

FreshNeck is on Kickstarter!

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You all know about Kickstarter, right? It’s a crowdfunding site that has launched some pretty epic campaigns. We’ve just launched our own pretty epic campaign and we’d love you to check it out.

What we really want to do is increase our inventory, so that we keep you happy and keep you coming back for more. We want you to have access to an extensive range of watches, ties and other accessories. What we really want is for all of you to look super cool, all the time, for a fraction of the cost.

We have a really tempting reward scheme that we think you’ll love. The more you donate, the bigger the subscription package you’ll get for free! 

Check out our campaign here.

87th Academy Awards fashion round-up

Men have it a lot easier than women at the Oscars. Throw on a well-fitted tuxedo and a nice clean shirt and you’re good to go. There are some men who understand this, and others who still have a lot to learn.

We’ve rounded up some of the best and worst looks that came off the Red Carpet at this year’s Academy Awards.

Best Dressed

Eddie Redmayne won the highest praise of the evening when he was awarded the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. He also topped out list of best dressed in this midnight blue Alexander McQueen tux

Eddie Redmayne won the highest praise of the evening when he was awarded the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. He also topped our list of best dressed in this midnight blue Alexander McQueen tux.

Chris Pine's Armani Tux was classic, well tailored and we loved the double-breasted suit jacket.

Chris Pine’s Armani tux was classic, well tailored and we loved the double-breasted suit jacket.

That pocket square is spot-on, John Stamos.

That red pocket square is spot-on, John Stamos.

Smart, polished and exuding confidence, Michael Keaton looks every bit the winner in this outfit.

Smart, polished and exuding confidence, Michael Keaton looks every bit the winner in this outfit. We also love that white pocket square peeking out of his pocket… or is that his acceptance speech?

David Oyelowo, star of Selma, looked smashing in this Dolce and Gabbana suit. We like that he took a small risk and ventured away from the classic tux.

David Oyelowo, star of Selma, looked smashing in this Dolce and Gabbana suit. We like that he took a small risk and ventured away from the classic tux.

Some loved it, others hated it but one thing is for sure - Jared Leto's powder blue Givenchy suit was a talking point. We think he rocked it.

Some loved it, others hated it but one thing is for sure – Jared Leto’s powder blue Givenchy tux was a talking point. We think he rocked it!

Worst dressed

John Travolta's chain around his neck is Pulp Fiction-esque and not in a good way.

John Travolta’s chain around his neck is Pulp Fiction-esque and not in a good way.

JK Simmons did not look great - the hat, the chain - it was all pretty awful. But we have to forgive him since (a) he deservedly won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Whiplash, and (b) we loved his acceptance speech - "call your parents and tell them you love them".

Schillinger’s look is definitely an improvement from his Oz days! Still, the hat, the chain – it was all pretty awful. But we have to forgive him since (a) he deservedly won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Whiplash, and (b) we loved his acceptance speech – “Call your parents and tell them you love them”.

Wipe that smile off your face, will.i.am. This is not the Grammy's.

An old-time criminal or a mime artist? Will.i.am is neither appropriately dressed for Hollywood’s most glamorous evening, nor does he look cool in any way.

And the Best Undressed award goes to…

Best Undressed Award goes to.... N.P.H!

N.P.H! We think he needs a FreshNeck subscription – he’s missing his suit, tie and cufflinks! 

Which look was your favorite? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

Trends 2014 – the good, the bad and the Adam Sandler

We’re well on our way into the new year, and we’ve been reminiscing about 2014. Pot was legalised in five states, we said goodbye to some pretty big legends  (Joan Rivers, Robin William and Philip Seymour Hofman) and we were horribly subjected to Pharrel’s ‘Happy’ on repeat. All. year. long.

Fashion wise, we were all about corduroy suits, building up our watch collection and man jewelry. Here’s what we’ll still be wearing in 2015:

If you think it's effeminate for men to wear jewelry, consider that wearing a watch is purely for aesthetic purposes now that cell phones are an extension of our arms. These bracelets make a statement without being flashy, and will help you feel more human in a room full of suits.

If you think it’s effeminate for men to wear jewelry, consider that wearing a watch is purely for aesthetic purposes now that cell phones are an extension of our arms. These bracelets make a statement without being flashy, and will help you feel more human in a room full of suits.

Monochrome. Rocking one color can look seriously dapper when done well. This effortlessly put -together look is  a real head-turner, so if you're allergic to looks of admiration, steer clear.

Monochrome. Rocking one color can look seriously dapper when done well. This effortlessly put -together look is a real head-turner, so if you’re not a fan of admiring stares, steer clear.

White sneakers have made a comeback in a big way. No longer reserved for tennis-playing East Hampton d-bags, white sneakers look great paired with a well fitted pair of jeans or a gray flannel suit.

White sneakers have made a comeback in a big way. No longer reserved for tennis-playing East Hampton d-bags, white sneakers look great paired with a well fitted pair of jeans or a gray flannel suit.

The Revamped Hoodie. It's easy to associate the hoodie with lanky computer nerds (cue Mark Zuckerberg). We loved them in college, and with heavy hearts we got rid of them when it was time to grow up. Well we're here with good news - the hoodie is back and it's cooler than ever. Get one.

The Revamped Hoodie. It’s easy to associate the hoodie with lanky computer nerds (cue Mark Zuckerberg). We loved them in college, and with heavy hearts we got rid of them when it was time to grow up. Well we’re here with good news – the hoodie is back and it’s cooler than ever. Get one.

The Horizontal Stripe. Cool, unconventional, unexpected without totally rocking the boat - the horizontally striped tie is an easy addition to your wardrobe that'll immediately make it feel on-trend. Plus, with FreshNeck.com (where the ties above are featured) you can change them out by renting new ones whenever you want - perfect for the ultimate commitment-phobe.

The Horizontal Stripe. Cool, unconventional and unexpected without totally rocking the boat – the horizontally striped tie is an easy addition to your wardrobe that’ll immediately make it feel on-trend. Plus, with FreshNeck.com (where the ties above are featured) you can change them out by renting new ones whenever you want – perfect for the ultimate commitment-phobe.

Enter the swag dinner jacket. You know those guys who walk into a party and you kind of hate them for looking so damn cool? Those guys wear these jackets.

Enter the swag dinner jacket. You know those guys who walk into a party and you kind of hate them for looking so damn cool? Those guys wear these jackets.

The New Three-Piece. The sweater replaces the waistcoat, which means the look is a whole lot more relaxed and still smart enough to wear to the office. You also don't need to go out and buy anything, since you should already own a sweater.

The New Three-Piece. The sweater replaces the waistcoat, which means the look is a whole lot more relaxed and still smart enough to wear to the office. You also don’t need to go out and buy anything, since you should already own a sweater.

We’ve also rounded up some of the most horrifying, what-were-you-thinking moments of 2014.

Photo credit: 2014 Trends
Photo credit: Badly dressed celebs

Father’s Day Gift Guide

FreshNeck is often called “The Greatest Father’s Day Gift Ever.” (you haven’t heard that?). After all, it’s the gift that keeps on giving, affords variety and convenience, all while saving money. But we know there is more to life than ties, so allow us to help you find something that your dad/husband will find hip, practical, and a little bit fun too.

For the “Triple F” (Fashion Forward Father)

SprezzaBox ($28/month)

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Monthly subscription box containing men’s designer products. Each month a new mix of products conveniently arrive at your doorstep. The items are hand-picked to offer the latest fashion trends at a steeply discounted price (typical box contains $75 worth of duds).

Black Lapel (Shirts – $99+, Suits – $499+)

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A repeat offender on our gift guides, as we just can’t find a better quality for the value.  And their new office in NYC’s garment district adds the opportunity to get fitted in person (with a glass of scotch, of course).

For Father Time

Martenero Founder Watch ($485)

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Custom watches inspired by classic sports watches of the 60s and 70s. The “Founder” is an elegant and versatile watch that merges formal details with practical design. Features applied indicators, luminous markers, and a unique ‘warning track’ to signal the changing hours. A screw-down canvas keeps water out to depths up to 100 meters, with a full exhibition case back to display the finished movement inside.

Eleven James ($249+/month)

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Members enjoy luxury timepieces worth an average of $10,000 or more for two months at a time. The annual program enables you to experience three or six different watches per year. Sound familiar?

Want to check out their impressive Collection for yourself? FreshNeck has partnered with Eleven James on a Father’s Day Pop-Up shop at John Allan’s men’s spa in midtown manhattan. Come by, grab a glass of single-malt, try on some watches and ties, get a shoe shine, and leave saying to yourself “all is right with the world.”

For the Father Who Enjoys the Finer Things

Harry’s Father & Son Shave Set ($30)

fathers-day-set-1-9e887339375d0373cd4590426833c116One real razor for dad, one toy one for your man-in-training. Engraving options available for additional $15.

Woodinville Whiskey Kit ($149.99)

setThe magic that happens inside of a whiskey barrel has always intrigued the true whiskey drinker. But unless you own your own distillery (we strongly recommend this by the way), it’s next to impossible to witness the transformation of the distillate from clear to brown, and the many flavor, aroma, and taste complexities that are added before finishing the journey as aged whiskey. Woodinville’s “Age Your Own” kit puts you in the Captain’s seat for aging your whiskey to perfection. Patience not included.

For the Discovering Father

Bespoke Post “Box of Awesome” ($45/each with membership)

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Each month they search the world over for new brands and products that are interesting, hard to find, or simply remarkable. It starts with a story. Each month, they develop a theme that will help broaden your horizons. They track down stand-out products from around the world or custom-design their own. Everything gets put to the test with hands-on trials until they’re sure they’ve got the best of the best. They call on the pros – mixologists, designers, and more – to help you get the most out of your box.

Parrot AR. Drone 2.0 ($300)

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Thought drones were only for the government, Amazon, and the crazy terrorist on “24”? There are actually quite a few on the market, ranging in price, but the Parrot AR. Drone 2.0 is our choice for it’s features and affordable price. It boasts an improved control system, a built-in camera capable of capturing 720HD video, and the ability to create its own wi-fi network.

Step Up Your Prom Game

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With the start of the spring season, that only means one thing for our high school sartorialists: Prom Season is upon us. The pressure to find the right date can be stressful enough to begin with, but then comes the challenge of dressing the part. The gentlemen (traditionally) try and match the colors their date will be wearing to compliment her dress, which is always the safe bet, but can be difficult when she’s decided on the cadmium colored dress with cerulean accents.  The matching tie and vest from Men’s Wearhouse can be generic, so you run the risk of wearing the same outfit as a few of your classmates. Nobody wants that.

With FreshNeck’s One-Time Rentals, you will have access to an expansive 2,000 + item inventory of ties, bow ties, pocket squares, cufflinks and more! Rentals start as low as $5 per item! Now you can stand out in the sea of high school mediocrity and even impress your date with that newfound sense of sophistication.  She won’t be able to keep her eyes (and hands) off of you throughout the night, as well as making all of the other ladies jealous with envy.

Whether you are renting a black tuxedo or wearing your tried and true navy or charcoal suit (and not that all-white tuxedo that you will regret down the road), let your accessories do some of the talking to give your special occasion’s setup a bit more “pop” to help catch someone’s eye. It can be subtle and elegant like these custom black and navy Biagio Santo Bow Ties or a touch of chic class with a skinny floral Ted Baker tie. Suspenders will not only add functionality to your tuxedo in lieu of a clunky belt buckle, but some European flair as well. Pair these classic black herringbone Trafalgar suspenders with your classic Black Tie garb for a subtle and sophisticated addition.

As always, the pocket square and lapel flower are not required, but are strongly encouraged if you are looking to tie everything together or need that little extra kick to set off your prom day uniform.

See entire formal collection here.

Fill out an inquiry form here.

Spring has Sprung!

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Gentlemen,

After a long and dubious wintery nightmare (Polar Vortex, anyone?), spring has finally sprung! So now is the time to put the wool ties on hiatus and move to lighter pastures. Linen and cotton are now up to bat through Labor Day, and this should get reflected from your suit down to your accessories. Bright colors and lighter textures are indicative of the springtime weather and your wardrobe should reflect that. No one wears the deep burgundy wool tie to the office while it’s sunny and 75°, that’s just ludicrous and we won’t stand for it. Here is your chance to rock that Yellow & Green Brooks Brothers cotton tie that you’ve had your eye on all winter, anxiously awaiting the thermometer to hit anything above 40° to get the opportunity.

See entire Spring Collection

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With the April Showers soon to bring May Flowers, be sure to get a jump on the floral trend before Mother Nature does and add some flower-patterned accoutrements to your queues. The FreshNeck stylists suggest this Michael Andrew’s Bespoke purple floral tie to help put that extra spring in your step (see what we did there?). Casual spring pocket squares are also a great way to brighten up your everyday dress for the season. Slap on this sea-foam green and sky blue Breuer pocket square to add some colorful dimensions to your navy suit or blazer.

Want to chat with a FreshNeck stylist on how to prep your wardrobe for Spring? Shoot her an email at stylist@freshneck.com

Some of our favorite Spring items:

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Armstrong & Wilson linen tie

Countess Mara linen-blend bow tie

Countess Mara linen-blend bow tie

Seaward & Stearn cotton pocket square

Seaward & Stearn cotton pocket square

 

What is this, Velvet?

Velvet – the fabric of choice for the King of Zamunda (are we showing our age, here?)

Also, the easiest way to upgrade your get-up at your next formal affair.  And while it may not be cost-effective to purchase a new velvet blazer or tuxedo, it’s super simple to incorporate the texture and bold color velvet affords by wearing a bow tie.

As usual, FreshNeck has you covered, with our recent arrivals from bow tie master, Edward Armah. They are oversized, soft, self-tie, and come in 5 black-tie colors, including black, grey, royal purple, plum, and burgundy.  We also have a few pre-tied ones from Giorgio Armani and Imani Uomo if you’re into shortcuts.

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Listen, we could get into all the sartorial reasons of why a velvet bow tie is the proper choice for such an affair, but we’ll make it even simpler: Women like to touch soft things. Do you really want to deny them this opportunity?

In case you still need some work on tying that bad boy, here’s our instructional video. You’ll thank us, as there is nothing sexier than undoing a button or two and letting it drape, untied.

Just in case you needed a bit more inspiration on how good a velvet bow tie could look…

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Style Outside The Box

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Gentlemen,

While many of you are using FreshNeck to add to your rotation, supplement your own collection, or just add some extra flair, an aspect of the service that often flies under the radar is the ability to experiment with something outside your comfort zone, commitment-free (we know how men feel about commitment)!  We’ve all opened up a GQ magazine or seen a dapper gent on the streets, had something catch our eye, and had the inclination to emulate that look. But shelling out $50 or more typically stops us, as we know one time may just as well be enough. Well now’s your opportunity to try out all those accessories you’ve been reading about, no-strings-attached. So don’t be shy, try something new – it’s all a part of your membership.

Bow Ties – A perennial classic that has since burst back onto the scene in recent years. With the ability to cover the spectrum from formal to casual, bow ties are back so you had better embrace them with open arms. The change itself will cause others to look, but it’s how you present it that will have them noticing. The confidence to rock a bow tie is key in this scenario. Also a great way to learn how to tie one before purchasing. (How To Tie A Bow Tie)

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Lapel Flowers – A subtle accent that adds a combination of style and refinement to your outfit. Though small in size, they pack a dapper punch. It’s a unique alternative to the pocket square (wearing both can look a bit busy), and is now being adorned by musicians and athletes on the regular.

Lapel Flowers396x293-1 Tie Bar – We’re going back to basics here, as you should already have the Tie Bar as part of your sartorial arsenal. But for those late to the party, this practical accessory not only keeps your favorite tie in check throughout the day, but it can also add a dash of sophistication.  Creative tie bars can help differentiate you from the masses and their watered down style.

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DiBi Tie Bars

Suspenders – Another classic of the fashion world that has seem to come roaring back. Suspenders, like the tie bar, can not only be exceptionally practical in use, but also offer complimentary (or even contrasting), aesthetics to the modern mans daily style. Offered in both traditional and casual styles.

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New Casual – This one is not quite about what you choose to wear, but how you wear it. The concept is simple – ties and traditional accessories are NOT just for office. Use them to spice up your casual game on your next date or night out with the fellas. Keep in mind, the same power silk ties won’t work here – keep it slim and dark.

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To check out FreshNeck’s entire Collection, click here.