7 Things To Know Before You Knot Up

FN_7ThingsToKnowNewsLetter

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.

GQ Summary – December 2013

We’re at it again! Last week we unveiled our monthly feature, a summary of GQ Magazine  (November ’13 – Michael Fassbender). This week, we tackle the annual December “Men of the Year” Issue.

As with most years, GQ’s 2013 Men of the Year come from two main pools – Actors and Musicians. The 5 separate covers feature Matthew McConaughey, Justin Timberlake, Kendrick Lamar, Will Ferrell, and the late James Gandolfini.

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Our Takeaways from the Issue:

1. There is some really overpriced expensive stuff out there, that GQ thinks make great gifts. We’re not so sure you need a $5,995 ping-pong table, $395 Hermes luggage tag, or a $799 air purifier. (We prefer selections from our Holiday Gift Guide for the Dapper Gentleman)

2. A Tweed Two-Piece can be the most versatile fall/winter suit in your closet. It can be worn together, or separated into pants/blazer, and can be dressed up or down (think chunky sweater). Keep it slim in the leg with no break for best results.

FreshNeck Style Tip: Stick with gray, and add shots of color with your accessories.

cfb6fe3b18bb0b3633901214746978013. Everybody and their mother still yearns for Breaking Bad.

4. James Gandolfini had his demons. But he was beloved by many, and was one of the best actors. Ever. (And he showed us a big man could have style!)

images5. 2013 may have been the Year of the Woman. The Insanely Hot Woman. Like Jennifer Lawrence, Katherine Webb (Miss Alabama, of Brett Musburger fame), and Emily Ratajkowski.

images-1 Unknown Unknown-16. Sarah Silverman is still the funniest gal around.  If you haven’t seen the James Franco Roast, two snippets from Silverman:

On Jonah Hill: “Right before the show started, Seth (Rogen) rolled a gigantic fatty on the stage – because that was the only way we could get Jonah Hill onto the stage”

On Franco: “I don’t think James is necessarily gay or straight. I think he just literally can’t open his eyes enough to see who he’s f#&king”

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7. The 25 Least Influential People of 2013: featuring Paula Deen, Anthony Weiner, Miley Cyrus, Aaron Hernandez, Justin Bieber, Tim Tebow, Lennay Kekua, and others. (somehow President Obama made the list???)

8. Jason Collins, the first openly gay American Professional athlete, has not been picked up by an team. As an aging big man with mediocre talent, it’s hard to tell the true cause. But regardless, his work is just beginning.

9. Say what you will about Matthew McConaughey and his public shirtless exercising, but the man can act. Some of his best work: Dazed and Confused, A Time To Kill, Contact, Amistad, How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, We Are Marshall, The Lincoln Lawyer, Magic Mike, and Mud. They are throwing the O-Word around for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, and he is starring in the upcoming Scorsese Wall Street destined-to-be-a-hit “Wolf of Wall Street” alongside Leo and Jonah. And yes, the man looks good in everything a suit.

10. Contrary to Number 3 above, many are ready to proclaim “House of Cards” the next “best television show of all time.” Hyperbole aside, Kevin Spacey is a beast of an actor (can you be underrated with 2 Oscars?).

Unknown-211. Kanye, Jay Z, Drake, and Eminem all dropped albums in 2013. Rapper of the Year – Kendrick Lamar. We’re big fans, and could do an entire post just on him (maybe we will), as he brings a fresh perspective to a game that hasn’t seen anything new in some time. Our favorite snippet: “in August, Kendrick snuck a sixty-four-bar Trojan horse into his buddy Big Sean’s song “Control” – a guest spot on a song that didn’t even make the final record. After Big Sean goes on for a while about drinking champagne in Detroit, Kendrick wakes up the entire hop-hop universe, calling out nearly ever single young rapper in the game: Drake; A$AP Rocky; J. COle; Tyler, the Creator; even Big Sean himself. The dude slaps Sean on his own song.”

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12. There is still only one man that the men want to be, and the ladies want to be with – Justin Timberlake. Musician. Actor (underrated). Funny as Fuck. Style Icon.

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GQ (November) Cliff Notes – 10 Takeaways

Since 1958, Gentlemen’s Quarterly has been the Style Bible for men (Re-branded as GQ in 1967). The cover has been adorned by a who’s who of style and culture, including Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, JFK, Denzel Washington, and Paul Newman. Tom Cruise has covered the mag 7 times. Though a men’s style magazine, pretty ladies are no strangers to the cover, from Barbara Streisand and Julia Roberts to Jennifer Aniston to Tyra Banks. See the entire Cover Portfolio here.

Beyond the cover one can find a plethora of style inspiration, and interesting stories.  But herein can lie the problem. Coming in at over 200 pages per issue, combing through it all (and retaining something) can be a daunting task.  Not to mention the ads (the most recent issue boasts its first article on page 69). So we’re here to help, in a new monthly installment called GQ Cliff Notes. We will scour the mag in all its glory, and give you a condensed list of 10 takeaways, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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November 2013 (Michael Fassbender):

1. Green is the color of the season. Think dark (Hunter or Emerald) to make your neutral grays, whites, and blacks pop.

1382541230648_green-style-012. Tie Bars are the accessory of the moment (We’ve been telling you this for months. Maybe you’ll listen now that GQ is telling you the same thing). It’s a quick and affordable way to step up your Suit and Tie game.

3. Its a lot easier than you realize to hire a hitman. And a lot less expensive. But be careful, apparently the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives employs an army of undercovers.

4. Tom Ford can turn just about any bloke into the best looking man in the room. (All it takes is a complete makeover that would cost a few grand). And he refuses to button the top 3 buttons of any shirt.

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5. The Oscars may get racially flipped this year, with no less than 5 worthy African-Americans worthy of the statue. (Michael B Jordan in Fruitvale Station, Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave, Idris Elba in Mandela, Isaiah Washington in Blue Caprice, and Forest Whitaker in Lee Daniels’ The Butler)

6. Harrison Ford is a cranky old man. So is Keith Olbermann.

7. Adele Exarchopoulos is a smokeshow (She’s the star of “Blue is the Warmest Color,” a French movie with a 10-minute lesbian scene).

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8. But she still doesn’t hold a candle to Emily Ratajkowski (of “Blurred Lines” fame).

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9. Quitting your job and being a SAHD (Stay At Home Dad) actually seems like a decent way to go.

10. Michael Fassbender is way cooler than you. Heck, he’s probably already been with #s 7 and 8 above.

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So there you have it. Everything you need to know from the latest edition of GQ. And you didn’t even have to pretend to not see all those cardboard subscription slips fall onto the floor.

 

Case Study: Kevin (Part 2)

Kevin wearing ties from FreshNeck

“I’m So Excited”
Fueled by my excitement of the service, after having FreshNeck for two weeks I’ve added fifty ties to my queue. Every other day I would casually browse through the FreshNeck collection and add products that caught my eye. A feature that came in handy was the favorite button, which is a small heart next to every tie in your queue. By clicking the heart the tie gets added to the favorite section. There I could add notes on what I could match the tie with and for what occasion I would wear it for.

 “Is There Something I Should Know?”
Early on I played it safe by wearing the big named brands like Versace, Prada and Hermes. As I looked closer I started to notice that FreshNeck carried a lot of up & coming designer brands. The ones that might get a small write up in GQ or Esquire but you won’t hear about until months later when they blow up.

 “Go Forward… Move Ahead”
This week spring really arrived and I was able to break out something brand new. I read FreshNecks blog article on the new brand VJNY so I decided to sample a few ties from them.  It was a nice change from always wearing the brands I know. I started to feel like I was a fashion forward guy. People started asking me about fashion trends based on the fact that I was wearing brands they didn’t know. This was the first time this happened to me but thanks to FreshNeck I don’t think it would be the last.

Case Study: Kevin (Part 1)

FreshNeck Before and After Case Study

Since the inception of FreshNeck we’ve received some great feedback from members. We love to read these “success stories” and show our love by throwing a few freebees their way. We’ve noticed that the most genuine advocates are FreshNeck members themselves. Every Friday we’ll publish an excerpt from Kevin’s (seen above) account with FreshNeck to provide an insight on the magic of FreshNeck.

“I Guess You’re Just What I Needed”
For my senior superlatives I won “most likely to become a millionaire” and was nominated to “be the first to get married” (the combination of the two still makes me laugh.) But the most coveted superlative has always been “best dressed.” Not that I expected to win, but I had more interest in my appearance then I probably showed.

For my 26th birthday a friend of mine bought me a platinum membership to FreshNeck. She’s always liked the way I dressed but felt I could step it up a little. Knowing the stubborn guy I was she knew I wasn’t going to buy a new wardrobe, so she started small. I’ll admit, I haven’t worn a tie in years but from GQ to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon the tie has certainly become a customary piece to everyday men’s fashion.

“It Feels Like The First Time”
Not wasting anytime I logged in and filled my queue with twenty-five ties. I was able to click and drag each item to place them in the order I wanted them delivered. I had some plans coming up that I wanted to wear a tie for so I chose my first four ties accordingly. I was most excited for the knitted John Varvatos tie that I would wear for my friends’ bachelor party. I also placed a black Emporio Armani tie at the top of my queue intended for an award ceremony at work. I was told to expect my order in 3 business days so my anticipation was now a short waiting game. Until I received my first order I had two questions:

Could something as simple as a tie change the game?
And
Was FreshNeck the answer?

“Somebody’s Watching Me”
I received my order on a Thursday so wore a tie to work the next day. I stayed with my typical Friday style of jeans and a button down but added some flare with a red knitted tie from Brooks Brothers. I certainly received looks that said “I know something’s different about you but I can’t put my finger on it.” That day I went out to lunch and a colleague commented on my tie. He liked that it was knitted because it was more casual then a traditional silk tie. When I got back to work my boss asked me if I was redefining casual Fridays. I laughed and told her that ties on casual Friday may become “my thing.”