When to wear a skinny tie

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You’ve seen them popping up all over the place. The skinny tie is the “it” thing in the fashion world right now. And as with all “it” things, you need to figure out when the best time is to sport it.

There will be faux paus here and there, someone wearing a skinny tie with the wrong type of suit or during the wrong occasion (is there a wrong occasion?)

We’ll be going over the do’s and don’ts of skinny ties to help you always look your best.

The skinny tie basics

What constitutes a skinny tie? Well, a “regular” tie is usually about 3.5 inches wide, anything slimmer will be referred to as a skinny tie.

There are three sizes: 1.5-1.75 inches, 2-2.5 inches, and 2.75 to 3.25 inches.

Once you pick your perfect size (try each on to see how they look) you’ll need to pick the right fabric. Choose from all the regular tie fabrics like cotton, silk, knit cotton, microfiber, and wool.

Next, decide on the right length. According to Skinnyties.com about 90% of you will be getting a tie that’s about 56-58 inches, so don’t overthink the length too much. If you are above 6′ 3″ the site recommends a 58 inch long tie.

Now pull the whole tie together with a tie bar. Here are the recommended sizes based on the width of your tie, courtesy of skinnyties.com:

1.5″ tie = 1.25″ tie bar
1.75″-2″ tie = 1.5″ or 1.75″ tie bar2.25″ – 3″ tie = 1.75″ tie bar

When to wear a skinny tie

Now that you have your tie picked out, when can you wear it? First, you’ll want to make sure your proposed suit or outfit goes with the tie.

You will want slim fitting shirt, jacket, and narrow pants to match the skinny tie aesthetic.

The skinny tie goes great in casual settings, but it’s often not recommended for very formal events. You can get away with it at a formal event, but make sure it is a black silk tie.

A skinny tie goes great with a vest or with a well-fitted button down. Generally the types of men wearing these ties are slim and tall, especially since the skinny tie can make them appear even more tall and slim.

When do you wear your skinny tie? Have you worn one to a very formal event? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Dress Socks or No Socks?

When is it appropriate to sport the “no sock” look? You know the one I’m talking about, the guys wearing loafers, suits, and pants that are a little higher up so you can see their ankles….and the fact that they’re not wearing socks.

 

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You commonly see this around fashion shows, but when else is it appropriate to be forgoing socks when wearing a suit?

The “Stop wearing dress shoes with no socks” argument

Over at Made Man, Joshua Fruhlinger remarks his disdain for men “rolling up their trousers, slipping on leather dress shoes, and leaving their socks at home.” He equates the look to when people decided that wearing a blazer with jeans was ok.

Here’s his argument:

“When you wear dress shoes without socks, you look unfinished. You look like a man-boy in a short suit. You look like a guy named ‘Blake’ who wants to tell you about his yacht that never leaves the slip.”

– Joshua, Made Man

I totally get it. It’s someone wearing a very formal outfit but still attempting to appear casual and fun. Suits were made to be formal. They’re meant for business meetings, weddings, and other important events.

Another argument against the “no socks” look is the fact that it can bread bacteria. When your feet sweat into your shoes it turns them into a sauna. This is a breeding ground for bacteria that thrive in moisture. It can make your shoes start to smell as well.

The “No socks” look is cool argument

Over at He Spoke Style, Brian mentions that there are 3 divisive things in the entire world: politics, sports, and the age-old socks or no socks debate. He says the issues is “so incredibly polarizing”.

He argues for and against the no socks debate.

His “no socks” pro argument is that it makes you stay cool on warm days. Another point is that for some shoes, like boat shoes, you aren’t supposed to wear socks with them.

Over at The Shoe Snob Blog, the author Justin argues that it’s really based on the outfit. He says an outfit like tan shoes, loafers, khaki jeans, a casual button up, and a sportcoat can allow for the no socks look.

“For me, the lighter your clothes (in color and it cloth weight) the easier it is to go sockless, as the contrast between skin and clothing is not so strong (hence why it is considered sartorial blasphemy to wear white socks with dress clothes).”

– Justin, The Shoe Snob Blog

 

Will this question ever have a clear answer?

No, I don’t see one. From what I’ve heard and read, there are people who embrace the no-socks look, and those that despise it. There are also many people in the middle who don’t care much either way.

If you do plan to try out a no socks look, get a second opinion from a trusted friend who will give you honest feedback. Also, try not to forgo socks if you plan to be wearing the outfit for more than a few hours. The last thing you need is to come home with shoes that stink.

The Essential Everyday Carry Gear

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Everyday carry, or EDC, is just what it sounds like. It’s a term referring to the items you carry everyday. This can mean your cellphone, wallet, keys, pens, some people even have tools like knives and flashlights.

EDC has become a bit of a community, with tons of blogs, sites, and forums dedicated to people (mostly men) sharing pictures of their gear. Some people consider everyday carry to be just what is in your pockets, while others include their bags and the gear within as well.

What’s the point of EDC? Think of it kind of like a convenient system. You will start thinking of the items you carry around with you in terms of their necessity and utility. Maybe you used to always carry a set of keys and your phone, but now you realize that carry a small pocketknife would be useful as well. Some people will think of their EDC items in terms of disaster preparedness, their occupation, safety, wilderness. It all depends on your circumstances and needs.

Everyday carry can become a habit. Once you sit down and really think about the items you’re carrying, you will realize what you do and don’t need with you. When you start noticing times when you needed a pen, or a flashlight, you will remember and look towards getting one. Rather than just grabbing whatever is on the kitchen table as you leave for the day, you will have your essential items that you know will come in handy.

It’s also about minimalism. If you don’t carry a bag, how much can you really fit in your pockets? Maybe a phone, wallet, keys, and folding knife. You have to really think about the items you need versus the items you want, but that aren’t necessary.

Common Everyday Carry Items

There’s no all encompassing everyday carry kit, it’s up to you to create one that fits your needs and style. And once you’ve caught the EDC bug after looking at everyone else’s photos, you will start finding items you really want to carry.

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Essentials

Phone
Whether you still rock a flip phone or have the latest smartphone, they’re pretty indispensable these days. You could get by without carrying one, but why put yourself through that? A smartphone is a combination camera, flashlight, map, watch, and notepad. Instead of carry all those individual items you just need one phone to do all those tasks.

Keychain
Let’s face it, you probably have way too many keys, reward cards, and other doodads on your keychain. It’s time to start pairing down that key collection to just the essentials. Get a nice keychain like a leather key fob. Or check out this article from Everydaycarry.com on the best keychains.

Wallet
This is probably your biggest headache if you find your wallet is constantly stuffed to the brim. Think of George’s wallet in Seinfeld and how he could barely fold it closed. If that’s you, it’s time to slim down. Many of the items in your wallet are unessential. Those rewards cards you barely use, the 3 extra credit cards, the business cards. They can all stay at home, you don’t need them daily. Find a nice slim wallet for a little cash, your ID, and one or two credit cards. The Everyday Carry website has excellent reviews on wallets.

Extras

Watch
This is one of the EDC items that doesn’t need space in your pocket. A watch not only helps you tell time without needed to pull your phone out of your pocket every few minutes, they also add to your style.

Notebook
It has been shown that taking notes by hand, as opposed to on the computer, helps us remember better. Carry around a tiny notebook (some just contain a few pages) to help you remember thoughts and reminders you’d like to keep fresh.

Pen
No notebook is complete without a decent pen. You don’t have to go out and spend hundreds on one, but get one you know will last and not dry up too quickly.

Multitool
Multitools come in many different forms, and they’re one of the EDC communities favorite items. You can get credit card sized ones, or full on Swiss Army type tools with knives, pliers, and the works.

Flashlight
Your cellphone flashlight may only go so far, and it’s also bulky. There are many small, high powered flashlights that will fit in your pocket and on your keychain.

Knife
If you want a credit-card sized multitool, it probably won’t come with a knife. In this case, you’ll want a small dedicated knife. You’ll start noticing how often it comes in handy once you bring it with you.

Resources

Everyday Carry
Reddit.com/r/EDC
Everyday Carry Blog

How to keep your shoes clean

Mario Bemer mathis

In honor of Mario Bemer’s recent visit to our showroom, we wanted to discuss the topic of footwear. Specifically, we want to help you keep those new Mario Bemer shoes as clean as the day you got them.

Long gone are the days of a shoe-shine on every street corner, now they seem like a luxury for the wealthy business traveler in the airport. If your shoes get scuffs or dirt marks, you could always take them to the cleaners, but why not just learn to do it yourself and save some time and money?

First off, you need the tools of the trade. These include:

  • A tin of wax
    polish
  • Shoe brush
  • Shine cloth
  • Shoe leather conditioner

Shoe polish will depend on the color of shoe you have. If you have black, get back wax, if you have brown you may want a neutral polish.

The shine cloth doesn’t need to be anything fancy, even just an old t-shirt is fine.

The shoe brush should be made of horsehair. It will be used for removing the extra polish and buffing the shoe to make it nice and shiny.

The leather conditioner can be found almost anywhere, it will be used for cleaning the leather off.

Getting Started

Before you get started, make sure you are in an area that you don’t mind getting dirty. Maybe head outside or place some newspaper around the floor.

Using the cloth, wipe the shoe clean of any dust or dirt, then apply the leather cleaner to a clean cloth and rub it on the shoe leather. Work it into the whole shoe and then set it aside for 10 minutes. After that time, use another cloth to buff it.

 

Now that the leather is clean, it’s time to polish. Use a small amount of wax at a time. If you use too much, it can be hard to remove. Now rub the polish around in small circles with the cloth. Take your brush and removed the excess, you can put some elbow grease into it, it will not ruin the shoes. Lastly, take a clean cloth and run it along the toe of the shoe in a fast motion (like you’ve seen in the movies) and on the heal.

Here is a video to help you see the process in action.

 

 

Best New Year Resolutions for Men

You want to keep improving yourself, right? What person doesn’t? We read to learn more, watch documentaries, exercise, go to Toast Masters events, network, and learn skills to help us socially and in our jobs. I don’t think there is anyone out there who is content enough to never want to improve.

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Well, it’s that time of year again when everyone starts coming up with the goals they plan to keep for the upcoming 12 months. The reality is, only 8% of those people actually will  be successful in achieving their resolution, while 49% have infrequent success, and 24% never succeed and fail on their resolution each year (Statistic Brain). The most popular type of resolution? According to Statistic Brain, it’s Self improvement or education related resolutions. Next are weight related, then money, then relationship.

As a guy, what are some of the resolutions you should be focusing on for 2016?

  • Get in shape (head to the gym more)
  • Cut out junk and processed foods
  • Take care of your body (skincare/grooming)
  • Invest in yourself (Better clothes, good haircut)
  • Focus on communicating better
  • Improve your finances (pay down debt, learn to invest)
  • Start a new hobby
  • Stop smoking
  • Drink less (especially if you’re looking to get in shape)

There are plenty more resolutions out there, these are just some of the top ones that can help you define what you want to accomplish next year.

So let’s hear it, what are your 2016 resolutions and how do you plan to demolish them?

The Best Christmas Presents for Men

As a guy, we know just what we want for Christmas, and usually we will let others know what we want. But sometimes you have that friend and they don’t even know what they want, or just say “Oh, you don’t need to get me anything” which is code for “You should get me something”.

So what do you get for that guy who won’t drop any hints? Don’t go trudging through the store aisles or pop into every place at the mall, browsing until you find that perfect thing (does that strategy ever work anyways?). Instead, we’re going to list the best products that any guy would be happy to receive as a gift this Christmas season. Let’s get into it!

kimono winston

Komono Winston Watch
$89.95
These are sleek, minimal, and come in tons of colors and designs.

aeropress

AeroPress
$32.90
It may look simple, but you shouldn’t need a huge machine to make great coffee. This little baby will make the best cup you’ve ever had.

Trunk Club Gift Card
Varying prices
Do you have that friend who seems to always wear the same thing? Get him a Trunk Club gift card to level up his wardrobe.

harrys

Harry’s Winston Chrome Set
$30
Set up your boyfriend or best bro with the best grooming kit out there.

shot glasse

Shot Glasses & Carrying Case
$18
If you guys love camping as much as you love drinking, you need to get these.

knife kit

Scrimshaw Knife Kit
$45
With this kit, you can etch into this knife, creating a unique pocketknife all your own.

gin kit

Homemade Gin Kit
$48
Everyone has that friend who keeps talking about wanting to make their own alcohol or homebrew some beer. Get him this kit and see what comes out of it.

tablet case

Mod Tablet 2 Mini- Executive
$254.98
This stylish tablet case is for the businessman, or the guy who pretends to be one but is just an intern.

carry on cocktail

Carry On Cocktail- Old Fashioned
$24
You know, for those long flights where you can’t go without a stiff drink.

skin care kit

Traveler’s Skin Care Kit
$35.98
Now there’s no excuse not to have awesome skin.

the stash notebook

The Stash Notebook 5.5” x 9”
$44.98
For those guys who want a notebook that makes people go “woah”.

All About Cufflinks

Yeah, this blog is going to be all about cufflinks…why? Because cufflinks are a perfect accessory to style a professional suit. You can choose a stylish tie to show off your fun side, but sometimes ties can be quite loud, or may not go quite right with a work outfit. Cufflinks are just awesome! You can show off your interests, your sports team allegiance, add a bit of style to your toned down suit. Cufflinks are really versatile, let’s see how you can up your suit style game.

Knife Cufflinks $59.99

pocketknife cufflinks

Upcycled Winchester Bullet Cufflinks $35

bullet cufflinks

Ship in a Bottle Cufflinks $450

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Lion Cufflinks $35

lion head cufflinks

Cufflinks at Joseph Wendt Custom Clothiers

Amethyst stalactite slice & Sterling, Trancas mine geode & Sterling, Brazilian conchinas & Sterling in the front

Amethyst stalactite slice & Sterling, Trancas mine geode & Sterling, Brazilian conchinas & Sterling in the front

Crushed lapis and brass Buddhas knot...lapis goldfish & Sterling

Crushed lapis and brass Buddhas knot…lapis goldfish & Sterling

Madagascar ammonite & Sterling, Tigers eye laughing Buddha & Sterling, obsidian skull & Sterling

Madagascar ammonite & Sterling, Tigers eye laughing Buddha & Sterling, obsidian skull & Sterling

The Guide to Cufflinks Infographic
Real Men Real Style

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Get Creative with your Ties

It’s time to stop wearing boring ties! There are too many creative ties and bow ties out there that you don’t need to stick the the same old red, blue, or black tie you got from your kid for Father’s Day (c’mon we know you have a few of those). Stock up on these creative ties and you’ll be the talk of the office.

bowtie feather

Feather Bow Ties
Alright, disclaimer alert, these are bow ties we just got into the showroom. And  we couldn’t wait to show them off! Just look at these babies. Who doesn’t want a feather bow tie?

From odditymall.com

Wooden Bow Ties
I am a Shark Tank addict (the tv show about small businesses getting investments) and a company pitched their wooden bow tie company. You’ll really be making heads turn wearing one of these.

Social Primer bow tie


American Flag Bow Tie

Let your flag fly…on your neck! It’s the perfect way to show your patriotism.

Morningcreativity.com

DIY Paper Bow Tie
On the cheap? Good with your hands? Make your own paper bow tie! Especially suited for those in the creative industry.

joshbach.com



Creative Printed Neckties

Pick a unique print for your tie to show off what you love. Maybe it’s bikes, maybe it’s bees!

Gym Bags for Men

Alright, so last week we blogged a bit about men’s style in the gym. We gave you guys some examples of pants, shorts, tees, and shoes to wear while working out. The main thing you want to keep in mind when picking workout clothes is that they are comfortable. The last thing you need when working out is to have your clothes feel tight or restricting.

Now we’re going to talk about gym bags. For many guys, you head to work then straight to the gym after. That means you have to bring a bag to hold your gym clothes and other gear. You could just bring a backpack, sure. But if you want to look professional, take a look at these bags we’ve picked out. These will not look out of place on your shoulder. You can carry it while wearing your work clothes and not look mismatched.

There are tons of bags out there, and these are just a sliver of the options. Try to take a cue from these styles and check out stores or websites to find one in your budget that fits your taste.

Jack Spade Gym Duffle $278

Jack Spade Duffel

Herschel Supply Co Novel Weekender Duffel Bag $79

urbanoutfitters.com

The Ultimate Gym Bag | M35 Military Tarp $181

defybags.com

Gym Bags You Want to Avoid
These bags scream “I’m going to the gym guys!”. They won’t look too great on a man wearing a suit. The bags above are perfect because they can be used as gym bags, weekend bags, or a work bag. Typical gym bags have one use only….holding gym gear. Their color schemes are too loud, and they’re just not that great looking. You’ll see why in just a second.

There are plenty of gym bags out there. Don’t settle for one just because it’s called a “gym bag”. Many of the bags above are weekender bags, but they’re meant for carrying anything. So when you’re looking for a gym bag, don’t go for the traditional gym bag.

Avoid bright colors

Underarmour.com

Avoid “gym sacks”

academy.com

Colors 101

We don’t know exactly what is stooping you from wearing colors.  Maybe it’s safe to keep your closet locked firmly onto the holy trinity of black, blue and grey (c’mon, we all know it’s a bit boring), or you just don’t want to be bothered.  Colors can be just as classic and formal as neutrals.  Not just in summer, but all year-round.  Maybe adding some color to your closet will be a stylish new year resolution you can actually keep to.

Here is what we know.  There are many shades of a color.  You may not like (or look good in) sky blue, for instance, but you might look fantastic in royal blue or navy.  Just like in a crayola box, there are so many choices, you will most likely find one that you like, and, most importantly, flatter your complexion.  Colors that are flattering to one’s complexion will make the face and eyes look brighter while the wrong shade of the same color can make skin look washed out and muddy.

So, with that said, if you can get a color analysis done, which of course would be optimal, a professional will be able to tell you exactly what colors are best for you.  A simpler alternative is to place a clothing item of color close to your face and watch for yourself the difference a great shade can do.  Or, just keep an eye out for colors you’re wearing that you get the most compliments on.  Easy enough, right?

When you figure out some colors that are right for you, go all out.  Don’t be afraid, and by all means, copy from contemporaries around you. There are no bad colors, you just have to find your right shade.

We suggest you start with basic items and then move on to matching and playing 100%.  These are some great ways to start: adding a brighter color tie to a somber suit,
a yellow wind breaker, a V-neck cashmere sweater in a forest of bright green, a purple sport coat, bright-colored t-shirts for summer (make sure they are fitted so you don’t look like a toddler).  There are a great array of colored corduroys.  Start with blue, and see how far you can go.  And stop thinking of labeling, colors are all about aesthetics.  Most importantly, have fun and make sure that whatever you buy always coordinates with what you already have!

Red: power and energy.  Great for a presentation or people who work in sales.  Psychologically, color has an impact on the person viewing it.  Here are some fun facts about how our dear brain perceives certain colors.

Yellow: conveys youthfulness, alertness and optimism.  A yellow tie can illuminate a dull suit.

Green: radiates harmony and calmness and demonstrates credibility.  Olive green is good for men in meetings.

Blue: expresses serenity and calmness in a variety of shades.  Navy blue, in particular, denotes power and authority, thus it’s the color choice for most police forces.  Looks great on TV, too.

Purple: power, creativity.  Great to add as an
accent color for business meetings and presentations.  It could be a lavender dress shirt or tie.

Orange: conveys a confident and outgoing nature.  Remember, there are many shades!

Brown: creates a comfortable and practical feeling in the onlooker and wearer.  Always make sure they are well-maintained.

Black: elegant, fashionable.  Just be aware that it can create a washed-out look, so you may want to add a brightly colored tie or bowtie.

White: a sign of virtue.  Indeed, the easiest and fastest way to look preppy.  Just make sure it’s always spotless.  A fitted white suit is always a winner for formal summer events!

Wardrobe Color Guide

paris-to-go.com

This ultra-helpful wardrobe color guide will easily help you figure out what matches what. So when you grab a purple shirt, don’t match it with yellow, go for white, tan, even brown. There are even some “Foolproof” combinations just in case you don’t feel like learning all these matches.