1 Blazer, 3 Looks

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

3looksblazer_

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.

6_solid_navy_suit_front

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.

SONY DSC

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.

SONY DSC

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.

 

A Gentleman’s Partnership

partnership

We like accessories.  Nay. We love accessories.  They can completely overhaul an outfit, bringing it from “nice” to “epic.”  However, like a quarterback surrounded with no weapons (NY Jets, anyone?), nice accessories can be wasted if the rest of the outfit is just blah.

So we’re here to get you the whole kit and caboodle (had to check our spelling on that one). We’ve mentioned before how custom suiting options have become much more affordable (“A Custom Suit For Everyone”). You may have noticed that our top pick, for both quality and customer service, was Michael Andrews Bespoke, located on Great Jones St. in NYC (with a 2nd location in Washington, DC). If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, this picture of the team sums up the ambiance.

Bar Shot

We encourage you to stop by, have one of the lovely ladies pour you a single malt, and have one of their impeccably dressed salespersons help you navigate the world of style, fabric, and patterns.  We have previously worked with, and can give 100% approval rates to Alex and Casey. Now that fall is upon us, perhaps you’ll opt for a tweed blazer, or a made-for-you camel overcoat. As a bonus, we’re hooking every first-time suit purchaser with a free Platinum Membership to FreshNeck. See what that gets you here.

To book your appointment, visit their website, or give ‘em a call at 866-491-1772.

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

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 11.26.15 AM

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.

Pinpoint light pink

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.

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

 

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.