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.

esq-cary-grant-051313-xlg

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.

collar_stay_photo

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.

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?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

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?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

The Christmas Movie Style Guide

Christmas movies are great.  There are so many classics, but I’m sure you’ve too many “Best Christmas Movies” lists to care anymore.

Don’t worry, this is not one of those.

This is a salute to the best dressed men in the Christmas movie genre.  From Jimmy Stewart to Bill Murray, there are some major stars who showed off their sartorial side in some of the most merry of movies.

So, without further ado,  The list.

It’s A Wonderful Life

The first great Christmas movie also happens to star, Jimmy Stewart, one of the first great Hollywood style icons.  Stewart, like his It’s a Wonderful Life character George Bailey, wasn’t a flashy dresser, his style was understated and subtle.   Jimmy Stewart George Bailey wore suits everywhere (it was the 1940’s after all), tall and slim, his suits complimented his body type.  Like the three piece suit above, with a two button jacket and a conservative dark diagonal striped tie (diagonal strips must have been a George Bailey favorite).  Even when George decided to mix it up with a bow tie, he stayed with the strips (kind of like this one).  Of course, all his suits in this movie take advantage of classic fabrics, because – well – it’s an old movie, but with vintage looks making a resurgence in recent years it may be wise to take some notes.

A Christmas Story

Don’t be mad that a nine-year-old boy from Indiana dresses better than you,  Ralphie had some impeccable style.  He was years ahead of the whole hipster framed glasses thing and the whole Leonardo DiCraprio slicked back side part thing.  Ralphie was a true fashion innovator (although some of his looks have yet to catch on).  Even in the picture above Ralphie sports a skinny plaid cotton tie that would make any J Crew enthusiast proud.

Scrooged

The first two entries on this list are just about the most classic Christmas movies of all time, but Scrooged, Scrooged is the most underrated Christmas movie ever.  If you haven’t seen it, see it, it stars the incomparable Bill Murray as Frank Cross, a ruthless TV executive/ modern day Scrooge.  When we first meet him, he’s dressed in all black, black suit, black shirt, black tie, black pocket square, firing employees and trying to ring as much money out of Christmas as possible.  After being visited by three ghosts (nothing Ghostbusters related, I swear), he learns the real meaning of Christmas and shares his new holiday spirit with all the viewers at home while wearing a dark suit, a chic red tie and a mistletoe Christmas top hat.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Nothing quite captures the slight nuisances of the Christmas season like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  The putting up of the tree, the Christmas lights, the – umm – eccentric family members, it nails it all.  And no one pulls off the classic Dad style more than Clark Giswold.  The Christmas sweaters, the sports caps, the cardigans.  And, of course, the Santa hat and Christmas tie combo (above).

Die Hard

Maybe Die Hard is a reach as a “Christmas movie,” but it does take place during the Nakatomi holiday party and it does end with the song “Let It Snow!”  So, we’re calling it a Christmas movie.  Hans Gruber is one of the best bad guys in any movie and he knows how to dress.  He knows his suits and takes pride in wearing them.  We don’t get to see the full Hans Gruber collection, but the suit above tells us all we really have to know.  His flawlessly tailored black suit and maroon tie show off his professional 1980’s era style.  He’s easily the best dressed character in the film, sorry John, the dirty tank top just doesn’t cut it.

The NBA Style Guide

In recent years the NBA has experienced a fashion renaissance.  It wasn’t always this way. In 1996, Allen Iverson emerged as the “next big thing” in a league ran by Michael Jordan. Jordan a businessman and cultural icon treated the game – well – like a business.  He wore suits and had impeccable style.  As the standard bearer of the NBA, the league followed his lead.  When Jordan retired Iverson assumed the throne and with it came sweatpants, do-rags and a dark age for NBA style.  The league responded in 2005, instituting a dress code.  The league took a few years to re-calibrate but thanks to a crop of young new stars who embraced the new NBA dress code the NBA has emerged as a style Mecca for professional athletes.

New York’s Finest – Amar’e Stoudemire 

New York is the fashion capital of America and when Amar’e signed with the Knicks he didn’t disappoint.  Amar’e loves wearing suits, rocking bow ties, and infusing pops of color.  In 2011, Amar’e even started his own fashion line with celeb stylist Rachel Roy (clients include Michelle Obama, Kate Hudson and Tyra Banks).  He’s out for the first few weeks of the NBA season with a knee injury, but the Knicks’ loss is your sartorial gain, as he will be gracing the sidelines, sure to be looking fresh.

The Professional – Chris Paul

Chris Paul is one of the five best players in the NBA and he’s also one of the best dressed.  While LA is known for it’s laid back demeanor and lavish lifestyles, Chris’ style is anything but. He dresses in perfectly tailored suits and understands the understated class of keeping it simple.  Whether it’s a three piece or a double breasted suit, Chris knows how to compliment his look with the perfect tie and pocket square.  He even graced the cover of GQ’s Fall Style Playbook.

The Urkel – Russell Westbrook

Everyone has an opinion on young Russell Westbrook.  Some people love his game, some hate it.  Well, his style choices are just as divisive.  Russell takes the nerd-chic thing to a whole new level.  Bright bold colored frames and crazy patterned shirts are the standard for the OKC point guard.  His wardrobe routinely looks like something borrowed from a  MoMa exhibit.  He usually keeps it casual with a short sleeve button up, but when he does throw on a tie or a jacket, he, of course, adds his own twist.

The Evolutionist – Dwyane Wade

Wade has come a long way from his Nelly inspired band-aid look days.  He dabbled in the nerd-chic craze before trading it in for an older more sophisticated style sense.  While Wade has learned to embrace a nice suit, he still hasn’t forgot how to look cool and casual.  What makes Wade’s style so interesting is his comfort in trying new looks and styles.

The Next Jordan – Lebron James

We’ve all heard it for years now.  Is Lebron the next Jordan?  On the basketball court maybe, maybe not, but off the court, definitely.  Lebron , like Michael, aspires to be more than just a basketball player, he aspires to be a businessman.  That’s why sometimes his look screams more boardroom than basketball.   And while he has been known to overstep his bounds from time to time, he seems to be learning what look works best for him.

The Youngin – Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose is one the most relatable stars in the NBA.  He’s won over legions of fans with his old school meets new school style of play.  His off the court style is similar, he wears classic navy or grey suits in an updated fit.  Rose is a great style icon for the next generation.

The Godfather – Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier

Hall of Fame point guard Walt Frazier’s nickname “Clyde” came from his style similarities to Warren Beatty in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde.  Frazier was the first style icon of the NBA, often wearing expensive suits, fur coats and fedoras to games.  He now calls games for the New York Knicks and still takes pride in his look and is absolutely fearless in his style decisions.  Without Clyde the NBA’s style landscape would have been completely different.

Who has the best style in the NBA?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...