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.

1 Blazer, 3 Looks

The following is a guest blog post by Dan Carbery, marketing intern at FreshNeck.

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Gentlemen,

Allow me to introduce myself; my name is Dan, a recent college graduate from Quinnipiac University (Go Bobcats!) and the Marketing Intern here at FreshNeck. Like you, I take pride in my style, and try to put my best foot forward in every situation.  Not so simple on an intern’s budget, however. As much as I’d like to have a limitless wardrobe of perfectly coordinated outfits, that’s just not in the cards right now. But fear not – resourcefulness can go a long ways. Today, I am going to show you how to maximize high-quality basics by leveraging various accessories to create an unlimited wardrobe.

Today’s basic: The Blue Blazer

You probably already own one. Perhaps it’s half of a suit, or just a separate. Either way, its simplicity provides a blank canvass for you to add to, creating a myriad of possibilities. So don’t skimp, as you’ll surely realize a return on this investment. Our personal favorite, which we’ll use here, is a simple navy suit from Black Lapel (suit $449, blazer $349), pictured below.

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On to the looks:

1.  The Boardroom

Okay, so perhaps “boardroom” is a bit aspirational, but the “cubicle” look just doesn’t have quite the same cache to it. It’s often said “don’t dress for the job you have, but rather the job you want,” and this couldn’t be more spot-on for a recent grad like me.  There is a limited opportunity to make an impression on your boss and colleagues, and your personal style plays a significant role.

A well-crafted suit, especially a “basic” like a solid navy, can be worn 2-3 times a week by effectively swapping your shirt, shoes (black v. brown), belt (match your shoes!), tie, and pocket square. And given that your suit is muted, you can venture just a bit further out on the “boldness” spectrum when it comes to your accessories (remember the “1 statement piece” rule).

For a business look, you typically want to go with a silk fabric, in a traditional pattern (solid, stripe, polka dot, paisley). We recommend choosing a tie that is between 2.75″ and 3.5″. SONY DSC

  • Suit – navy solid by Black Lapel
  • Shirt – white solid by Banana Republic
  • Tie – pink, blue, and gray paisley silk by Breuer 
  • Pocket Square – white, blue, and pink cashmere by Armstrong & Wilson
  • Tie Bar – 1.5″ silver plated by DiBi

2. The Night On The Town

We’ve told you before about the emergence of the New Casual – how men are infusing formal elements into their casual wear. This can come in a variety of ways, from a blazer to a vest or skinny tie.  Your onlookers will immediately know that you understand style and appreciate the details. The key to pulling this off is to differentiate it from The Boardroom look above. If you show up to the bar in your power suit and 4″ silk tie, they’ll know you came straight from the office.

If you’re going to rock a tie, go with something that’s not suitable for the office. Go with a overly bold color or pattern, and try to keep it under 2.5″ in width. Don’t want to wear a tie outside the office? No problem. Use a fun pocket square and/or lapel flower.

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3. The Anytime I Damn Please

We all have those in-between occasions when we want to look our best but there is no strict dress code – holiday party, charity event, boozy brunch, or even a date. Perhaps it’s just a Sunday afternoon and you feel like dressing up. Enjoy the freedom and do it up right.

Similar to the New Casual look, you want to differentiate this from your Boardroom look. Mix and match patterns and textures, and add a statement piece like a bow tie, suspenders, or vest. The goal here is to stand out – for all the right reasons.

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As you see, by simply changing out your accessories, you can accomplish completely different looks.

Want access to a never-ending supply of accessories? Sign up at FreshNeck.com – plans start at just $20/month.

 

The Dapper Man Shop: Gently-worn designer accessories at discount prices

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While we are obviously huge proponents of collaborative consumption, sharing, and access – we understand there is often a desire to own.  So we are introducing The Dapper Man Shop (www.dappermanshop.com) to serve as our traditional e-commerce platform.

Dapper Man Shop

We see the DMS serving two primary functions:

1. Go-to marketplace for gently-worn accessories (30-70% off retail)

With no size component or “icky-factor,” and high mark-ups on retail, ties and other accessories are ideal for the “used” market, yet there is no reliable way to purchase such items. Thrift shops are hit-or-miss and time-consuming, and eBay is unreliable and unregulated. The Dapper Man Shop is your middleman, curator, and regulator. Only mint-condition items, from the best designers, will be made available – so you can purchase with confidence (at huge savings, of course)

Many of the items available on the DMS will have only been worn a handful of times. In fact, many are worn and handled less than the “new” ties on the shelf at your local department store.
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So far, we have some selections from Hermes, Brioni, Etro, Versace, Ted Baker, Robert Graham, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Brooks Brothers, Vineyard Vines, and more. We’ll add more every week!

2. All your non-rentable goodies

Not everything can be rented. Shoes, socks, blazers, wallets, the list is endless.  We will be curating the best of the best for the dapper gentleman, from both well-known brands and emerging designers. Stay tuned…

Join Us

Website: www. dappermanshop.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dappermanshop

Twitter: www.twitter.com/dappermanshop

Extra-Long Ties

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FreshNeck has finally added a wide selection of extra-long ties. Typically 4-6″ longer than a standard-length tie, taller gentlemen can safely tie one on without worrying about it coming up just a bit short.

Traditionally, there haven’t been many stylish options for the taller men (men 6’2″ or taller should consider extra-long). But fortunately, designers are starting to cater to this group, and we’ve added options from Tommy Hilfiger, Brooks Bros, Bocara, and others.

Check out FreshNeck’s entire Extra-Long Collection here.

A few more things to keep in mind:

- On the taller side but don’t have an extra-long? A skinny tie, even though standard length, may work as less material will be used for the knot, leaving more to drape below.

- A smaller knot will also give you more fabric to work with. Choose the 4-in-hand over that windsor.

- Bow Ties and Pocket Squares are one-size-fits-all!

 

The Gentleman’s Guide to Winning Valentine’s Day

FB_VdayNewsletterValentine’s Day is just over a week away. She’s been looking forward to this for quite some time. You haven’t planned anything yet, even though she’s dropped 29 hints. Fear not, we have you covered.  We’ve recruited our Office Manger, Eileen,  to let you in on all the secrets – what they REALLY want.

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Gentlemen. I’m going to simplify things for you. Here’s the foolproof way to finally be the hero on Valentine’s Day.

1. Get a Card. And write in it. Not just sign your name to a Hallmark card, but actually think of something sentimental and write it by hand. Bonus points if you make your own.

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2. Flowers or Chocolate. Pretty simple, right. You don’t have to understand why we like flowers – we just do. So put together a decent bouquet or pick up some fresh chocolates. Neither should be purchased at the local 7-Eleven.

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3. The Gift. Oh, you thought flowers was enough? Sorry, but not sorry. Here’s the good news: we’re not looking for something expensive, but rather something with a little thought behind it. The bad news: you have to put a little thought behind it. The easy-but-effective way out: Jewelry. Check out Alex Mika Jewelry for fun but affordable options. (Get $15 off any purchase of $50 or more with code “freshneck15″)

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4. The Loophole. Want to get out of purchasing physical items that you think have no meaning? Get creative, and plan something special for the two of you. Ditch the typical pre-fixe dinner and surprise her with a cooking class or hire a personal chef.

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Follow these simple steps and you’re sure to be rewarded…

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Have some trade secrets you’re willing to part with? Let us know what you have planned.

 

StyleBowl XLVIII

The big game is this Sunday, and it’s anyone’s guess who will come out on top (though Floyd Mayweather is betting $10 Million on the Broncos). We’re not quite ready for such a wager, so we’ll just sit back, pound some wings and beer (upgrade to Scotch at halftime?), and enjoy the game.

This game, however, does offer some interesting personalities: Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, even Seattle Coach Pete Carroll.  The question were asking today: which team has more style?

DENVER BRONCOS:

QB Peyton Manning

QB Peyton Manning keeps it classic and cool.

RB Ronnie Hillman doesn't get much playing time in real life, but he's a star in this matchup with that bow tie and chain.

RB Ronnie Hillman doesn’t get much playing time in real life, but he’s gets the nod in this matchup with that bow tie and chain.

WR Wes Welker went Bronco orange and blue for media day.  We approve.

WR Wes Welker went Bronco orange and blue for media day. We approve.

WR (and reality tv personality) Eric Decker has adorned the pages of GQ. Enough said.

WR (and reality tv personality) Eric Decker has adorned the pages of GQ. Enough said.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS:

QB Russell Wilson is a fellow GQ'er and may just be the difference maker in this matchup.

QB Russell Wilson is a fellow GQ’er and may just be the difference maker in this matchup.

RB Marshawn Lynch (they call him "Skittles") is a beast on the field, but he won't be MVP in this one.

RB Marshawn Lynch (they call him “Skittles”) is a beast on the field, but he won’t be MVP in this one.

WR Percy Harvin had style back in the day, shown here at his pre-draft party in 2010.

WR Percy Harvin had style back in the day, shown here at his pre-draft party in 2010.

Head Coach Pete Carroll plays it pretty classic and conservative. Not going to get it done here.

Head Coach Pete Carroll plays it pretty classic and conservative. Not going to get it done here.

WINNER – The Denver Broncos - The ‘hawks came out looking good early, with Russell Wilson really giving it everything he’s got, but the rest of the squad just couldn’t contribute much. Denver used a well rounded attach to come out on top of this style matchup.

 

 

 

 

 

Grammy’s Style Recap

Surprisingly, we made it through the entire show.  All in all, we think it was pretty good entertainment, as the focus was squarely on the performances.  Our favorite was Kendrick Lamar with Imagine Dragons, but you can go elsewhere for those reviews.  We’re here to give you the lowdown on the mens’ style.

THE HITS:

1. What Is This, Velvet?

Though the Grammy’s took place in “70s and sunny” LA, the leading men embraced the Polar Vortex by donning the wintry fabric, in an array of bold colors.  LL Cool J chose purple, Macklemore a full-suited green , and a bevy of blues.

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Mayer Hawthorne

2. Classic Cool and Jay-Z

He has an unfair advantage, as Beyonce, like cool whip, makes everything better. But Jay/Hova/Sean has really transformed over the years into a style icon. He rocked a textured and tailored tux blazer that remained true to classic tradition with just a hint of modern flair.Beyonce, Jay-Z

3. Jeremy Renner

He typically stays classic, but this time opted to step outside his comfort zone. We applaud the effort, and think he pulled off the monochromatic look by sporting a vest, shirt, tie, and leather jacket in different shades of gray. We didn’t love the pants, but will forgive Jeremy for taking a risk.

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THE MISSES:

1. Pharrell and His Interesting Choice of Headgear

Pharrell crushed the Grammy’s, picking up multiple awards, performing, and acting as Daft Punk spokesperson. The Red Carpet was another matter, though. We didn’t mind the casual look of jeans and red baseball leather jacket, but those hats (not, 1, but 2) were just terrible, even getting a nice live shout-out from Arbys.

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2. Bolo Ties

We aren’t sure where this resurgence began, but we highlighted Philip River’s interesting press conference choice a few weeks back. It seems as if this western wear hasn’t finished its 5 minutes just yet. Both Macklemore and Bruno Mars adorned the shoestring tie.

article-2546520-1AFDFEDF00000578-129_964x678 Presenter Anthony hands a Grammy award to Mars after he won for Best Pop Vocal Album for "Unorthodox Jukebox" at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles

3. Ryan Lewis

His partner (in music? life?) killed it (see above). But while he racked up the awards, we can’t get behind Ryan Lewis’ outfit selection. Houndstooth and similar old-school patterns are on-trend, but the print was just too big. We also would have preferred just the blazer, as the full-suit had the look of your grandparents’ old couch.

Ryan Lewis, Macklemore

THE UNDECIDED BUT NOTEWORTHY

1. Madonna’s Identity Crisis

Never one to follow the herd, she embraced the “menswear for women” trend to mixed reactions. We think she nailed it on the Red Carpet with her double-breasted black tuxedo, but missed big-time in her all white western getup during her (similarly lacking) performance.

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2. White on White on White

We always see a fair amount of “all black everything” at these soirees, but this year’s Grammy’s brought us our fair share of “all white everything.” This look was diversified by the likes of aging rockers (see above and below) and robots.

Singer Steven Tyler of Aerosmith arrives at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles

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Did we miss anything? Tell us – what were your favorite looks? Which made you cringe?

GQ Style Man of the Year, 2023 – Part 2

Last week we introduced you to Tobias Otting, FreshNeck’s youngest (9 years old), but but perhaps most dapper, member.

We received such great feedback (and so many questions!), so we decided to reach out to Tobias and ask him a few fashion-related questions.

FreshNeck: When did you first start appreciating fashion? What was your inspiration?

Tobias: I’ve always had an appreciation for fashion, but I got really interested in it when I saw a distinguished gentleman wearing a bow tie that fit him perfectly. I thought I could grow up to do that, too.

Looks like Tobias has the bow tie down, already.

Looks like Tobias has the bow tie down, already.

FreshNeck: How would you describe your style?

Tobias: I do not have one specific style, but I look for inspiration everywhere.

FreshNeck: How do your peers respond to your uniqueness?

Tobias: They have come to expect nothing less. (Yeah, he’s a baller).

FreshNeck: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years?

Tobias: In five years I see myself designing clothing.  In ten years I hope to be recruited to the Fashion Institute of Technology. (We have your recommendation letter ready for you)

FreshNeck: How did you get on board with FreshNeck? How do you feel about this type of service?

Tobias: A membership was my Christmas present from my father and I love the clothing. I am looking forward to getting more bow ties, cufflinks, and pocket squares (he can’t yet wear regular length ties). I also like that FreshNeck allows me to add variety to my wardrobe since I don’t like to repeat my looks too often.

imageLearn more about Tobias by following his blog, juniorsartorialist.com

Have a question for Tobias? Let us know in the comments.

 

Meet GQ’s Style Man of the Year in 2023

Meet Tobias Otting. Hailing from Boston, he lists his passions as fashion, dancing, dining, and travel.  He’s a FreshNeck member, and a fashion blogger with some dapper style. So why should you know about him (and follow his blog)? Because he’s 9 years old, and we can all learn a thing or two from him, namely confidence and being yourself.

His post on FreshNeck caught our eye (He rocked an Everett tweed bow tie and pocket square combo for New Year’s). Apparently his mother gifted him a membership for the holidays, and Toby is taking full advantage. He tells us that he can’t really wear our ties or suspenders because he’s too small, but fortunately he’s a master of bow ties, pocket squares, and cufflinks. Seriously, if he can tie his own bow, isn’t it time you learned once and for all?

Tobias in his Everett bow tie and pocket square from FreshNeck on New Years.

Tobias in his Everett bow tie and pocket square from FreshNeck on New Years.

We hadn’t grown into our personal style until our early twenties. When we were 9 (okay, 17), we were still in our sweatpants. It’s refreshing to see someone, especially at that age, forge his own path. We’re wishing Toby nothing but success. We have a feeling this isn’t the last we’ll hear from him.

Some of our favorite looks from Toby:

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Looks like it runs in the family.

Looks like it runs in the family.

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Check out Toby’s blog here, or follow him on twitter @jrsartorialist

 

When One Barrel Just Won’t Cut It

Our #NewCasual ties have been such a hit, so we’re expanding the Collection. We recently added a selection of ties (plus one bow tie) from NewCasual master Everett, most from their Double-Barrel series, which features contrasting patterns and fabrics on the front and tail of the tie. They all come in a sleek 2″ width.

Some of our favorites:

EVT01869SBrT_O EVT01870SBlT_O EVT01872LGyT_O EVT01873LBrT_OHow To Wear It: With Confidence. Also try leaving the tail untucked from the loop, and having just a bit show from the side. Bonus points for using a tie bar to for the “refined chaos” look.

Everett Dio de los muertos EVERETT_DIODELOS_540 EVERETT_DIODELOS_730 EVERETT_DIODELOS_748 EVERETT_DIODELOS_879See FreshNeck’s entire selection of Everett accessories here.

 

 

7 Things To Know Before You Knot Up

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You’re probably not a morning person (is there really such a thing?). You might be thinking about that upcoming meeting, afterwork date, or at a minimum, that first double shot of expresso. You don’t want to exert too much brain power on putting together the flawless outfit, but the way you dress will affect your attitude and performance for the entire day. So we’re here to give you 7 simple rules  that will have you looking sharp every day, with minimal effort in the new year.

1. Keep It Proportional.

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This one is pretty simple, yet often overlooked. Your jacket lapels, shirt collar, and tie should all be similar in size/width. Nothing looks more clownish than a fat windsor knot overpowering a skinny H&M collar. Many of the modern suits are being cut slimmer, so adjust accordingly.

(Our friends at Arden Reed have a great write-up on matching your collar to your tie knot. Check it out.)

2. Length Matters.

Tie length

 

Your tie should just touch the top of your belt. Skinny Ties can be a tad shorter (again, it’s that whole proportion thing).

3. Everyone Loves a Good Dimple.

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A tie dimple says “this guy know’s what he’s doing.”  Perhaps nobody was more iconic for their tie dimple than Cary Grant. TSBMen (The Style Blogger) shows you how to nail it every time.

4. Setting The Bar.

tiebar-featured-664Few things to know about tie bars. First, purpose. The bar not only holds the two pieces of your tie together, but also fastens them both to the shirt’s placket, keeping your tie from getting unruly.  Second, how to wear it. Your tie bar should never be wider than your tie (three-quarters is a safe generalization), and though there are some differing opinions on the matter, ours is that the tie bar should be placed right below the third button of your shirt. It should still be visible with a vest or buttoned blazer.

5. The Combo.

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While there are endless parts of a man’s outfit that sums to the whole, the colors and patterns of the shirt/tie combo make it the center of attention. We’ve previously shown you the intricacies of pairing the solid and striped shirts with your ties (more pattern tutorials to come!), but the simplest rule of all will avoid epic fails: between your shirt and your tie, one should be simple/muted, and the other bold.

6. Play The Seasons.

rough-neck-wool-ties-gq-magazine-september-2013-fashion-04In the B.F. days (Before FreshNeck), it was a daunting task to amass a tie arsenal that allowed you to find the perfect tie for any conceivable occasion. Only Jay Gatsby’s closet would carry a full selection of light cottons and linens for summer, and wools and cashmeres for winter, in addition to the all-season silks. But now with over 1000 unique ties at your disposal, you have no excuse. So embrace the seasons. A quick tip: match your tie fabric to your suit fabric.

7. Nobody Likes a Sloppy Collar.

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Get yourself some good collar stays. We’re not talking those flimsy plastic ones. Go brass, or treat yourself to some nice engraved sterling silver ones.  A non-stiff collar can ruin an otherwise refined outfit with one swift blow. Sign up for a FreshNeck trial now and we’ll get you started with a dope pair of brass collar stays.

 

Got some other pointers you’d like to share? Tweet at us (@freshneck) with the hashtag #Fresh2014. We’ll choose one winner for a secret pack of dapper goodies.

New Bow Ties from Seaward & Stearn

Perhaps its just the holiday season, or maybe you’ve been stepping up your game. Either way, our bow ties are flying off the shelf. So we’ve added to the Collection, this time with over 2 dozen unique selections from Seaward & Stearn (and with multiples of each!).

Seaward & Stearn bow tiesTo see everything we have from the British designer, click here.

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