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

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

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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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.

Shirt/Tie Combos – Part 2

In part 1 of this education series, we showed you some options for pairing ties with solid shirts. Here, we’re going to take things up just a notch, from solid shirts to another classic – the striped shirt. Again, we’ll be matching up FreshNeck ties with Alenford shirts.

Part 2 – Stripes

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Pairing a striped shirt with your ties isn’t as hard as it may seem, but there are a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid.  First and foremost, you do NOT want to pair a striped shirt with a similarly sized striped tie. (Bruno would call it too matchy-matchy) If you do want to go the stripe-on-stripe way, make sure they vary in size (it’s always easier if the tie is the bolder stripe.)

Click on the image to rent the tie:

The simplest, and often sleekest, combo is a striped shirt and a solid tie. Use a color that compliments the stripes, not a direct match.

The simplest, and often sleekest, combo is a striped shirt and a solid tie. Use a color that compliments the stripes, not a direct match.

 

The microstripe acts similar to a solid, so pair with a patterned tie that picks up on the stripe color (in this case, blue).

The microstripe acts similar to a solid, so pair with a patterned tie that picks up on the stripe color (in this case, blue).

When using stripes-on-stripes, vary the size and textures. Here, the textured wool and diagonal stripes compliment the lighter colored vertical stripes on the shirt.

When using stripes-on-stripes, vary the size and textures. Here, the textured wool and diagonal stripes compliment the lighter colored vertical stripes on the shirt.

When using a bold stripe color (like this pink), compliment with a subtle solid (or close to it) tie. Always easier to use a darker tie.

When using a bold stripe color (like this pink), compliment with a subtle solid (or close to it) tie. Always easier to use a darker tie.

Have some striped shirts and you’re struggling to find some good combos? Our stylists are standing by to help you. Just shoot them an email at stylist@freshneck.com.

Look out for the remaining 2 parts, which will explore combinations using checked and plaid shirts.

 

For more information on Alenford, please visit their e-commerce website at ww.alenford.com or schedule an appointment for a personal fitting with the Style Expert Luigi Leonardi by contacting him at Luigi.Leonardi@alenford.com.

Shirt/Tie Combos – Part 1

“We all get dressed the same way. One leg at a time.”

While true to a certain extent, we all have our own, unique routine for selecting an outfit each and every morning.  I know many guys who start with a suit, and build from there, while others begin with their shirt.  I even know a fellow who builds his entire outfit around his colorful socks!  But one thing is for sure – for any working professional, the most important part of his outfit is his shirt/tie combination.

By now, you already know the value in a limitless Collection of ties, always giving you something “fresh” to wear with your rotation of suits. But what is a tie without an accompanying shirt?  To that extent, we have partnered with Alenford, an NYC-based maker of luxury Italian-made shirts, to bring you a 4-part series, helping you match different shirts (Solids, Stripes, Checks, Plaids) with your ties.  We’ll give some basic tips, as well as some for those willing to take some risks.

Part 1 – Solids

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Solid shirts provide a blank canvas from which you can go in a variety of directions.  It is the easiest to pair, as you can go with a solid or patterned tie, in a variety of colors. For beginners, find a tie that has the shirt’s color as its secondary, or accent, color.

City White Solid

The White Shirt. You can practically match any tie with it and your only consideration is how loud or somber you want your tie to be based on the suit-wearing occasion. Our opinion? This is your best change to wear that BOLD tie staring at you in the closet, such as this or this.

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The Pink Shirt. It is often said that “Real Men Wear Pink.” It’s a great way to break the monotony of white and blue, while still giving you many pairing options. You can either utilize the pink by pairing with a tie with pink accents, or use a complimentary color like gray, brown, or navy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is part 1 of a 4-part series highlighting ways to match your FreshNeck tie with your Alenford shirt.  FreshNeck members can enjoy a 20% discount off an Alenford shirt with the code “FRESH20″ (cap sensitive).

Look out for the remaining 3 parts, which will explore combinations using striped, checkered, and plaid shirts.

And remember, if you are looking for something a little more personal, our stylists are standing by to help you. Just shoot them an email at stylist@freshneck.com.

 

For more information on Alenford, please visit their e-commerce website at ww.alenford.com or schedule an appointment for a personal fitting with the Style Expert Luigi Leonardi by contacting him at Luigi.Leonardi@alenford.com.

Your Own Personal Stylist

Stylist

 

FreshNeck currently carries over 1500 unique items in its Collection, including ties, bow ties, pocket squares, cufflinks, and more. While it’s nice that you can find pretty much anything you’re looking (pink rhinoceroses, anybody?) , some men can’t handle this kind of information overload.

Well, today FreshNeck is launching it’s Personal Stylist program, where you can interact with a style expert to put the perfect outfit together.  Just shoot us an email at stylist@freshneck.com with as much information as possible.  Let us know what occasion your dressing for, what you had in mind, and anything else about you that may be relevant, such as height and weight.  Including images of the rest of your outfit always helps.

And don’t worry, our advice is not just limited to our products, but anything menswear related!