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.

classic-shirt-collar-with-horizontally-striped-shirt

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.

Dress_Shirt_and_Tie_Combos_Men_Nordstrom

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.

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!

A Tie for Any Occasion

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Neckwear can provide the ability for any man to elevate his appearance whether that’s to his boss, his friends or even his future wife. However, not just any tie will do. With today’s wide variety of menswear, it’s easy to tailor your style towards any event or circumstance you may find yourself in.

OFFICE

The office is all about showing off your confidence – without appearing arrogant. On your climb to the corner office, wear striped patterns while keeping in mind the power colors such as gold, blue and black when putting together your look. Stick with traditional silk and nothing slimmer than 3 inches.  Bring it all together with a tie bar.

We Recommend:

Silver – Ben Sherman, Antonio Ricci

Gold – Burberry, Brooks Brothers

Platinum - Armani Collezioni, Versace 

business-wardrobe-intro

DAY CASUAL

Get noticed for all the right reasons at your next brunch, day party or stroll around town. For a casual look, throw on a loosely knotted tie and roll up those sleeves to your collared shirt.  If you’re committed to fashion like us, think about skinny ties in solid colors and prints in non-traditional fabrics like linen and cotton.

We Recommend:

Silver –  DiBiEverett

Gold- Ivy Prepster, rag & bone

Platinum- Breuer, Bocara 

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NIGHT CASUAL 

Whether it’s a casual first date or a night on the town, neckwear shows an attention to detail as well as style and personality. Remember that night casual is different than office attire. Look for slim and dark styles or take chances in something velvet or leather. Feeling adventurous? Drop a pocket square in your jacket and try to layer with cardigans and vests.

We Recommend:

Silver - Everett

Gold - VJNY, Ted Baker 

Platinum - Armani 

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FORMAL 

Formal occasions are the time to look simple, yet classy and refined. You can never go wrong in black, but take the time to celebrate in something fresh like a bow tie or elegant cufflinks.

We Recommend:

Silver - True Forum

Gold - Vitaliano

Platinum - Codis Maya

55th Annual GRAMMY Awards

The most exciting 2 minutes in…Fashion

“AND THEY’RE OFF”

Everyone loves the Kentucky Derby. Sporting Event? Check. Flowing Booze (Mint Juleps, anyone?). Check. Gambling. Check.

But as you’ve come to expect from us by now, we like to take things to another level. Sure, you can mosey on down to your local watering hole at 6:22 pm just in time to catch some 70-year-old announcer yell “AND DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME.” But while the actual race everyone cares about is only 2 minutes long, we prefer to participate in a daylong spectacle of the 3D’s 1) Dancing 2) Drinking, and 3) Dressing Up . Yeah that’s right. No Derby Party is complete without full-on, Derby-Inspired costumes. In fact, FreshNeck has gotten together with of New York City’s hippest and most dapper companies (Everett Clothing, Suspender Boys, Electric Gentlemen, and others) to throw an all day DerbyStyle shindig at the Ava Lounge at the Dream Midtown Hotel. Tickets can be bought here, and include a drink ticket, and automatic entry to a raffle chock full of great prizes.  As if this wasn’t enough, we will also be hosting a cash-prize costume contest, and there will be a real-live horse greeting you at the door.

But we realize many of you won’t be in New York City to attend, and will be going to other Derby-themed parties.  No matter where you’re downing your juleps, we strongly encourage you to do so in style, literally. So we’ve put together some quick tips for the gent looking to get his Southern Charm on. Bonus points for buying as little as possible, and using what you have. Double bonus points for renting your accessories at FreshNeck.com. 

Everett Clothing Seersucker Bow Tie

Everett Clothing Seersucker Bow Tie

Vineyard Vines Seersucker Tie

Vineyard Vines Seersucker Tie

 

1. Seersucker – There is an old saying that “Only rich men can afford such a cheap fabric.” You can go traditional with a full-on seersucker suit or blazer like this Bonobos edition, or go modern with seersucker accessories.

2. Color – The bolder and brighter the better. There’s no wrong place for it: your shirt (think pastel!), pants, socks, bow tie, even your shoe laces.

3. Hats – Leave them for the ladies!

4. Be comfortable! The beauty of #DerbyStyle is you can dress up, and still be cool and comfortable. It’s all about breathable fabrics (seersucker, cotton, linen), whether in the Kentucky sun  or a sweaty NYC bar.

 

Now, if you just can’t get yourself to go all-in on this, and you’re looking to participate in a conservative way, perhaps you can go with a conservative, derby-themed accessory.  Here’s a favorite from our Collection:

Seaward & Stearn Silk Derby-Themed Tie

Seaward & Stearn Silk Derby-Themed Tie

We want to see your Derby Outfits! Post on FreshNeck’s Facebook or Twitter, or hashtag on Instagram with @FreshNeck or #DerbyStyle. We’ll select the best ones and repost, and give away some cool prizes.

Some full-outfit inspiration:

Derby Perfection by Kellan Lutz

Derby Perfection by Kellan Lutz

On point, without being ridiculous

On point, without being ridiculous

When in doubt, follow Heff's lead

When in doubt, follow Heff’s lead

 

“Netflix For Ties” – Choose. Wear. Exchange.

A very simple way to understand our revolutionary service:

Netflix For TiesTo learn more about How It Works, click here.

To see the insanely diverse Collection, featuring brands such as Hermes, Brioni, Kiton, Prada, Gucci, Versace, Brooks Brothers, Vineyard Vines, and more, click here.

 

The #NewCasual

#NewCasual - Leather on Leather

#NewCasual – Leather on Leather

We’ve mentioned before that ties are not just for the office.  (Find that blog post here). But it’s time to take this to the next level.  So we here at FreshNeck are officially starting our new campaign, #NewCasual. The name speaks for itself. You already have your businesswear down. Your suit game is in its prime, your wingtips are shined, and you are confidently rocking those fine Brioni, Hermes, Gucci, and Prada silk ties.

But do you live to work, or work to live?  Don’t neglect your style when you’re out on the town, whether with your friends, your family, or a member of the fairer sex. Just as you’re shooting for that promotion at work, it’s time to earn your promotion at life. So show ‘em what’s up, and tie one on.  It’s the #NewCasual.

Before you think that the trendsetters aren’t already embracing this, here is some inspiration.

Swizz Beatz - bow tie and colorful sweater

Swizz Beatz – bow tie and colorful sweater

David Beckam - tie, dark printed shirt, cardigan, jeans

David Beckam – tie, dark printed shirt, cardigan, jeans

Dwyane Wade - tie, sweater, leather jacket, sunglasses

Dwyane Wade – tie, sweater, leather jacket, sunglasses

JT - loosened tie, vest, rolled sleeves, thick-rimmed glasses

JT – loosened tie, vest, rolled sleeves, thick-rimmed glasses

 

 

So now you know.  Rock stars wear ties and Athletes wear ties.  It’s the #NewCasual.  So leave that 3.5″ silk beauty in your office desk drawer, and grab one of these bad boys for your next night out.

And when you’re out at that party and you photobomb Timberlake, hashtag it with #newcasual.

 

 

Not yet a member? Sign up here. Use promo code “newcasual” for a 25% discount off your first month.

 

 

 

 

 

Lebron James - tie, vest, printed shirt, rolled-up sleeves

Lebron James – tie, vest, printed shirt, rolled-up sleeves

 

 

A Custom Suit For Everyone

Never Buy Off-The-Rack Again

You’ve probably heard your friends or co-workers talk about their new custom suit.  Seems everyone and their mother “knows a guy.”  The days of the one-percenters enjoying exclusivity in the bespoke world are over, thanks to modernized, and affordable, options.  However, tread carefully – just because something is “custom” does not guarantee high quality.  Here, we give you three options at various price-points, all FreshNeck-approved.

BLACK LAPEL ($) (www.blacklapel.com)

BlackLapelLogo

Who would have ever dreamed you could get a personalized, custom suit for under $450 (or shirt under $100)? How does the company even afford to pay its rent?  Well, the answer is in the question – there’s no store or showroom, and the savings get passed on to you.  They make you work for it, however, as you have to measure yourself (they provide a video guide, and with a friend’s help, 15 minutes is all it takes).  With your measurements uploaded to the system, you can design your suit online, where they offer 18 different suit fabrics and styles, plus 2 tux options.  Three weeks later and your one-of-a-kind suit arrives at your door.  And just in case your measuring skills weren’t up to par, they offer a complimentary $75 alterations credit. Once you nail the process down, re-ordering new styles from your couch is the real value-add.

Bonus Tip: If you are in New York, make an appointment to go to their office and get fitted by the pros.

ALABASTER & CHESS ($) (www.alabasterchess.com)

Alabaster & Chess Logo

So maybe you’ve dabbled in the bespoke world.  Perhaps you met a Hong-Kong tailor that rented out a Sheraton for a week, took your measurements, and mailed you a suit.  It was certainly better than going to JoS. A. Bank for a “Buy one suit get 6 free plus an ice cream cone.” Now you’re ready for the real deal, but still don’t want to break the bank.  Make an appointment with Eli over at A&C. See him either at his uptown office, his Union Square Tailor, or he’ll come to your home or office.  Every detail, from fabric, to stitching, to a contrasting inside cuff, is made to your specs. Your co-worker will think you dropped two grand, when in reality, suits start at $399 and shirts at $89.  They make a mean shirt as well.

Bonus Tip: Tell ‘em FreshNeck sent you, and get 10% off your first order.

MICHAEL ANDREWS BESPOKE ($$$) (www.michaelandrewsbespoke.com)

Michael Andrews Bespoke Logo

First off, this is their showroom on Great Jones Street. Yeah, that’s a 12-foot Oak Bar, serving your favorite single malts, gratis.  It looks like the type of joint you’d expect to run into Frank Sinatra (you probably won’t). The place oozes with inspiration, from the mannequins, to the gq-worthy Senior Stylists.  And having a seemingly never-ending supply of gorgeous (and helpful) ladies on hand never hurts.

You’ll sit down at one of the marble high-tops with your personal style consultant.  Don’t fret if you’re ill-prepared, and don’t know your peak lapels from your shawl collars.  The staff is beyond knowledgeable, and will guide you in making your vision a reality.  As if impeccable service was not enough, the quality of the fabrics, as well as the craftsmanship, is second-to-none.  While this will set you back somewhere in the neighborhood of $1500, depending on fabric, that’s not too bad when amortized over the next ten years that it will be the go-to-suit in your closet.

Stay Tuned for Part 2 next week, on how to prepare for your trip to the Custom Tailor.

In the meantime, don’t forget to sign up at freshneck.com, to get some fresh ties and accessories to pair with your fresh new suit.