Father Knows Best

 

like-father-like-son-classy-suits-boy

Father’s Day is about more than giving gifts, but also about appreciating the values that the Old Man has passed down.   We may not have realized it at the time, but here’s what we learned from our fathers…

1.  Invest wisely.

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 11.26.15 AMMy dad taught me that clothing doesn’t have to be expensive, but should be of high-quality, and that the two don’t always come together. I remember him leaving at crazy hours on Black Friday to go shopping and questioned why he would do that.  But after he came home with a Gucci blazer for $200, I stopped doubting his bargain-hunting abilities (and stole that blazer a few years later).

2.  Make a subtle statement.

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 {While this bow tie, shirt and jacket could serve as statement pieces on their own, when put together they are visually distracting.}

polka dot

{A bold piece like this bow tie completes this polished look.}

Find one bold accessory to transform something classic into something unique.  When picking out your outfit, avoid mixing too many patterns and prints, as it tends to come off as trying too hard.  Instead, utilize one “statement piece” to to center your outfit around.

3. Confidence is key.

tumblr_mnjcr2vBfk1ryp639o1_1280Dad used to say, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”.  You never know who you will come across at any time in life, and you want to be prepared.  Our clothes are the first impression we give to onlookers.  Choose clothes that build a positive self-image for the person you aspire to be.  Clothes don’t make the man, the man makes the clothes.


Although Dad’s style choices at the time may have seemed questionable, he was trying to show me how to express myself through what I wear.  Whether that’s purchasing a designer suit or casual pants, it’s important to dress with confidence and showcase your style.

Father’s Day is the time to show your Pop appreciation for all he’s done for you.  Give him the gift of style with a monthly subscription to FreshNeck.

 Tell us a funny story about your dad’s closet….

 

 

 

(Bow)Tie of the Day – Vitaliano Pancaldi Black Swarovski Crystal

Many things are signified by the turning of the weather, and the coming of Spring.  One of our favorites – Wedding Season! Great food, open bars, dancing, bridesmaids – what’s not to love? But you don’t need us to tell you – after all you’ve been staring at those invitations on your fridge since they came 4 months ago.  But you do need us to answer one question – “What am I going to wear?”  Well, this is actually a trick question. Because now with FreshNeck, the “Netflix for Ties,” you no longer have to wear that same ol’ boring solid black tie or bow tie over and over again to ever event.  This is your chance to mix it up, and stand out from the rest of the sheep.  FreshNeck has tons of formal accessories (134 to be exact) that will have you looking dapper, refined, and classy.

So in this spirit, we’re using our Tie of the Day column to highlight one of our favorites, the Vitaliano Pancaldi ruffled black silk bow tie featuring Swarovski Crystals.  Here’s a few things you should know about it: 1) it’s made from the highest quality Italian black silk, so will qualify for “Black Tie” 2) the ruffles and crystals give it the requisite “wow” factor to start at least 20 conversations, and 3) it’s pre-tied, so you won’t have to watch a tutorial before donning this bad boy. So what are you waiting for? Channel your inner Bradley Cooper and sign up at FreshNeck today.

Step Up Your "Black Tie" game this wedding season

This is what FreshNeck is all about.  Rent a beautiful, but too-bold-to-repeat bow tie, as part of your membership.  Then exchange for a completely different formal standout like this Dolce & Gabbana ivory slim tie for your next event.

For bonus points, take the matching pocket square as well.

Vitaliano Pancaldi Black Silk Pocket Square ft. Swarovski Crystals

Vitaliano Pancaldi Black Silk Pocket Square ft. Swarovski Crystals

March Madness – Who Ya Got?

Everybody loves March Madness. The non-stop action. The buzzer-beaters. The ripped-up brackets. Well, it all comes to a head tonight, with the top-ranked Louisville Cardinals taking on the Michigan Wolverines.

In honor of what should be an excellent, fast-paced game, we’re rocking our university-inspired ties.

The Blue and Maize of the Michigan Wolverines

The Blue and Maize of the Michigan Wolverines

The Red, Black, and White of the Louisville Cardinals

The Red, Black, and White of the Louisville Cardinals

Who are you Reppin?

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

 

 

Go Green for St. Patty’s Day

Green Tie Rentals on St. Patrick's DayYou can wear green on St. Patrick’s Day without looking like a leprechaun. There’s still time to sign up at FreshNeck and receive your first items by this weekend’s festivities.

Some examples of our SPD-appropriate gear:

 

Andrew's Ties Silk Tie

Andrew’s Ties Silk Tie

Salvatore Ferragamo Silk Tie

Salvatore Ferragamo Silk Tie

Stolen Riches Lapel Flower

Stolen Riches Lapel Flower

To view all 55 Green items in the FreshNeck Collection, click here

 

Dressing Presidential: The US Presidents Style Guide

Happy President’s Day!  We hope you’re enjoying your Monday off, but right now it’s time for a quick history lesson.  Topic: US Presidents, of course.  Through America’s 237 years, we’ve had 44 Presidents.  Some of them quite stylish.  Now let’s take this opportunity to look back and appreciate the most dapper Commanders and Chiefs the U.S. has ever seen.

 

John F. Kennedy – The Prepster

America’s most overtly stylish President had to be Jack Kennedy.  Spending his summers in Massachusetts, attending high school in Connecticut and graduating from Harvard University, Kennedy had the New England preppy look down pat.  I don’t know how many other Presidents could pull off royal blue socks, but Kennedy had no problems.  While his casual looks are untouchable, he looked damn good in a suit too.  I guess when you’re able to land Jackie O. and Marilyn Monroe you’re doing something right.  Kennedy’s style came from his slim fitting suits, skinny ties and unique use of colors, patterns and fabrics (above).

Ronald Reagan – The Movie Star

Before Ronald Reagan was the face of the Republican Party, he starred in movies with Humphrey Bogart and Bonzo the monkey.  Like most stars during that time Reagan knew how to dress.  Wearing fabrics and patterns that today have reemerged as sartorial classics.  By the time he became President in 1981, his fashion sense had become a bit more conservative from his earlier years,  although he did like to mix it up every once and a while.  What often get’s often overlooked is Reagan’s retirement style, he kept it casual and, sort of, badass, because – well – he did win the Cold War.

Theodore Roosevelt – The Rough Rider

Teddy Roosevelt loved hunting and loved the outdoors, he was also a Harvard educated New Yorker who took pride in how he dressed.  When Roosevelt organized a volunteer Cavalry nicknamed the Rough Riders during the Spanish-American War he ordered their dress uniforms from Brooks Brothers.  His favorite brand.  When Teddy was called to wear something a little more appropriate  for Washington D.C. he stuck to three-piece suits and patterned ties.  Teddy is often called the first modern president and he definitely modernized presidential style (minus the monocle and mustache).

Harry S. Truman – The Haberdasher

The mere fact that Truman was a haberdasher before becoming president means he knew a thing or two about dressing well.  Truman was a huge fan of the double breasted suit  and loved showcasing an impressive four point pocket square.  He wasn’t shackled to the double beast though, he had a diverse sense of style, sometimes donning a three piece,  but never loosing that trademark pocket square.  Even in his retirement Truman’s style would have made Russell Westbrook proud.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt – The Boss

FDR had a very unique style for his day.  Roosevelt was a big fan of the bow tie, which he most likely co-opted from, his Allie across the pond, Winston Churchill.  FDR was also known for showing off his fashion sense with bold accessories like hats and boutonnieres.  Roosevelt wasn’t all ‘gimmicks’ though, he could rock a simple “no thrills” suit with the best of them.  He was president for 12 years (easily the most in US history), he navigated the stars and stripes through the Great Depression and the early part of World War II and looked good doing it.

Barack Obama – The Cool One

From singing Al Green to hanging out with Jay-Z and Beyonce, Obama’s cool guy exploits have been pretty well documented.  Some may dismiss President Obama’s fashion sense as boring, he usually sticks to navy or grey suits when he’s not attending black tie events, but don’t confuse understated for boring.  Obama’s suits are always impeccable tailored, never bulky or boxy, and his ties are tied flawlessly, always with a perfect center dimple, maybe he can stand to lose the mom jeans, but we’ll forgive him as long as he looks this good in a suit.

Who do you think is the Most Stylish US President?

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Fresh Friday: NYC Fashion Week

Yesterday ended New York’s bi-annual Fashion Week.  And even though they had to battle through the New York City cold and snow, the street stylers were out and in full force.  While the city streets teemed with overcoats and scarfs, some real nice ties and pocket squares peaked out towards the end of the week when the weather warmed up.

Here are some of the freshest looks from NYC Fashion Week with some suggestions on how to achieve the same level of dapper with a little help from FreshNeck.com.

Etro Floral Tie

Brooks Brothers Polka Dot Tie

Tommy Hilfiger Polka Dot Tie

DKNY Striped Tie, Armstrong & Wilson Egg Whites Pocket Square

Brioni Geometric Tie, Brooks Brothers Purple Gingham Pocket Square

Brooks Brothers Knit Tie

Andrew’s Ties Pink Striped 

A Grammy Style Recap

Last night was the Grammy Awards.  Of course the red carpet was lined with stunning ladies (it always is), but they weren’t alone .  The men made some big fashion statements last night, stretching the “black tie” thing as far as they could.  There were so many great looks and some – umm – interesting ones too.  Some went classic, some went velvet and some wore capes(?).   Let’s just say, it was a very eclectic mix of styles

Here are our five favorite looks from the 2013 Grammy Awards.

 

The Suit & Tie Guys

If there’s some type of “cool guy quota”  Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake far exceeded it last night when they shared the stage to perform “Suit & Tie”.  Jay-Z took home three awards in style.  Justin continued his 2013 comeback looking fresh.  But we’re most jealous of who these guys get to sit next too.  We’re not worthy.

The Hipsters

In a year the guys from FUN. went from hipster favorites to Top 40 radio with their infectious hit “We are Young.”  Last night, they showed off their hipster chic style donning skinny ties, round rimmed glasses and slim fitting suits.  They took home home awards for Song of the Year and Best New Artist, and definitely looked good doing it.

The Boss

Rick Ross commonly refers to himself as “The Boss” or more accurately, “The Bawse.”  It’s safe to say you won’t find this Tom Ford tux at your local Big and Tall’s.  From the diamond pinky ring to the cigar, no one looked more like the boss the bawse last night than Ross.

The Burgundy 

While Mario Lopez may not be a musician (unless you count this), he had one of the best looks of the 2013 Grammy’s.  While most decided to play it safe with black or navy, Lopez mixed it up with a perfectly cut burgundy suit, slim black tie and classic white pocket square.  This is a look we may have to steal.

The Skyfall

It looks like Drake was as taken by the new James Bond flick as we were.  It was good to see Drizzy ditch the sweaters for this midnight blue Saint Laurent tuxedo.  He won his first Grammy, but more importantly he ended up on our Grammy’s Best Dressed list.

Who had the best Grammy look?

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Designer of the Month: VJNY

In 2006, out of his New Jersey apartment, Jesse Chao launched VITTORIO J.  Six years later the President of the United States was wearing his designs.  At FreshNeck we carry Vittorio J’s VJNY collection (and love it) which focuses on slim neck-wear inspired by “New York City’s unique cultural soufflé.”  We talked to Jesse Chao about his background, his inspirations and what’s next for VITTORIO J.

Jesse graduated from Montclair State University with a major in marketing and finance and no traditional fashion experience to speak of.  It was in college where he started dreaming of designing, he had always had great style, but didn’t know where to start.  So he studied one of the greats – Ralph Lauren – who also started in neckties.  Considering he was in college and money was tight, Jesse took a cue from Ralph Lauren and started designing ties which were relatively inexpensive to design and manufacture.

vjny2

Nothing quite captures the essence of VJNY like the King Skull moniker.  It was inspired by Jesse’s love of the skull and cross-n-bones pattern, with a twist, the added crown symbolizes the ROYALITY of the design, which is part of the VITTORIO J mantra, “CLASSIC. ROYAL. GOODS”.  Living in the city Jesse calls, “the fashion epicenter of the universe,” he often draws his inspirations from the scenes of New York , including tattoos, street wear, and the flags of different countries hanging in multicultural streets of New York City.  His favorite tie of the VJNY collection is The Filipino Flag inspired tie which represents his own ethnicity.  Jesse stresses three keys in making a great tie, “Craftsmanship, Design and what [he] calls the ‘Wow’ factor.”  And believe us, he delivers.

We asked Jesse what makes a good tie so important.  He gave us a great answer, “it’s the quintessential accessory for a man, it reflects your personality.”  Well if that’s true his ties reflect some of the strongest personalities in the world.  Whether it’s men’s style icon Pharrell, basketball legend Magic Johnson or the most powerful man in the free world Barack Obama wearing his designs, it’s safe to say he’s ties reflect well.

With momentum on his side, Jesse looks to expand into different accessories, including bowties, pocket squares and scarves (you can bet we’ll be carrying those as soon as they come out).  He also hinted at “some really great collaborations coming for Spring/Summer 2013 with other elite NYC designers.”  Although he wouldn’t tip his hand on who he plans to collaborate with, we’re definitely excited for the possibilities.

We ended talking about the future of menswear.  Jesse commented, “People are becoming so much more receptive to new thinking in shopping and spending, because it gives the consumer a lot of options and possibilities at moment’s notice, which I think is cool… So naturally, aligning VJNY with FreshNeck is a great opportunity for my brand.”  The feeling is mutual; we love carrying the VJNY collection and love the feedback we’re getting on it.  Its brands like this, with interesting back stories and great designs, we think our customers can really get behind.

VJNY pics

VJNY ties on FreshNeck

Dwyane Wade Goes to Washington

The World Champion Miami Heat visited the White House yesterday.  And while it may be Lebron’s team, Dwyane Wade stole the show.

While the rest of the team dressed in conservative black and navy suits, Wade, a FreshNeck favorite,  took this opportunity to make a fashion statement.  Light gray suit, polka-dot pocket square, fantastic tie and SNEAKERS!?!  Wade’s bold style wasn’t lost on President Obama either.

Of course these weren’t your father’s PF Flyers.  These were Christian Louboutin Golfitos.  Retailing at $675, let’s just say you won’t be doing any yard work in these babies anytime soon.

Now this wasn’t Wade’s first trip to the White House.  Back in 2007, Wade made his White House debut wearing an ill-fitting black suit and a drab black tie (boring).  But like we’ve said before, Wade’s style continues to evolve and that’s a good thing (a very good thing).

But, what we want to know is what you guys think.   Sneakers with a suit, Yay or Nay?

Sneakers with a suit?

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And the Oscar Goes to…

Yesterday, the Academy announced its Oscar nominations.   Lincoln led the way with 12 nominations followed closely by Life of Pi with 11,  Les Miserable and Silver Lining Playbook each received 10 rounding out the top four.  That’s all well and good, but what really caught our attention was the “Best Actor” category.

Denzel Washington.  Bradley Cooper.  Daniel Day-Lewis.  Joaquin Phoenix.  Hugh Jackman.  This is easily the most dapper “Best Actor” field in recent memory, no crazy old men (cough-Mickey Rourke-cough)), no nerdy young men (cough-Jesse Eienberg-cough), and no well-meaning schlubs (cough-Philip Seymour Hoffman-cough), just five really stylish leading actors.

Denzel Washington

Denzel

Denzel’s been throwing heat since the eighties.  The Academy has nominated him six times since 1987 and he’s won twice, but it’s more than just his acting skills that get him recognized.  Last year Denzel appeared on the cover of GQ, showing off  his impeccable style in a double breasted striped navy suit, with a killer pocket square – neck tie combo.  There’s a reason your mother, grandmother, sister and niece all have a crush on this guy, he radiates a confident, cool, good guy swagger.

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper first caught our eye in Wedding Crashers as the jerky boyfriend, he later played Phil in the hilarious summer blockbuster The Hangover, now he’s an Oscar nominated star for his work in Silver Linings Playbook. The man has come far in a few short years and so has his style.  He’s appeared on the cover of GQ, Esquire and whatever other men’s style magazine you subscribe to.  He’s always a feature on the red carpet showcasing impeccably tailored suits.

Daniel Day-Lewis

DDL

Daniel Day-Lewis is one of the most reclusive actors on the planet,  a dedicated method actor who freelances as a cobbler on the side, but don’t let that take away from his style sense.  Day-Lewis has the boldest fashion sense of this list.  Often experimenting with classic fabrics, trading out ties for scarfs, and sometimes, just wearing a good old fashioned suit and tie.  He’s definitely an – um- original.

Joaquin Phoenix

As long as Joaquin Phoenix avoids that David Letterman look , he’s got the cool guy in a black suit thing down pretty well.  He usually skews causal, making a habit of the loose tie, unbuttoned collar trend.  Last time he was nominated for a an Oscar he went black-on-black-on-black,  it will be interesting to see what he does this time around.

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman has done it all.  Whether it’s Wolverine, Jean Valjean, or Oscar host, this Aussie can do anything.  That includes style.  He’s graced GQ’s cover in the StatesAustralia and Russia, he’s truly an international star.  His style combines ruggedness with sophisticated class.  He’s arguably Australia’s greatest export.

What leading may has the best style?

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For the Ladies: Women in Bow Ties

Women wearing ties isn’t a new thing.

Diane Keaton (the original hipster) made nerdy guys everywhere think they had a chance, as the tie wearing love interest of Woody Allen, in 1977’s Annie Hall.  And even before that, Audrey Hepburn (a favorite of Tumblr and Pinterest users everywhere) was known to rock a bow tie every once and a while.  Well, like all trends, what’s old is new again.

The Bow Tie is Back.

The women in bow ties thing has been percolating for a few years now.  Diane Kruger (Inglorious Basterds star) made it her go to accessory a few years back.  Even Rihanna (singer and Chris Brown enthusiastic) experimented with the bow tie look here and there.   But, in 2013, the bow tie look seems ready to explode.

Whether it’s indie favorite Janelle Monae (singer from last summer’s most earwomy hit “We Are Young“), superstar Beyonce (the most powerful woman on Earth, sans Oprah) or TV’s guiltiest pleasure Kim Kardashian (Kanye’s baby’s mama) bow ties are definitely a trending topic in women’s style.

And we love it.

Emerging brands, like Modern Day Mogul, have started to cater to women’s needs in the bow tie department and we at FreshNeck think it’s totally dope.  I mean, why should men have all the fun?  The bow tie, especially for women, can be so versatile.  It can add a pop of color to a simple black & white outfit.  It can add some fun and irreverence to a blouse or dress shirt.  Or it can grab some attention with a cool print or some sequins.

The women in bow tie look definitely has our stamp of approval.