New NFL Uniforms

Our beloved football season is almost here again, and what better way to celebrate than with a quick look at the minor “fashion” changes in the league this year.  Namely, the new uniforms three teams have adopted.  Let’s dive right in!

Minnesota Vikings

130425090849-adrian-peterson-minnesota-vikings-uniform-single-image-cutVery nice.  Very, very nice.  The Vikings have fully embraced their true purple color scheme now, eliminating the white and yellow highlights nearly across the board, and brightening the purple to a much more vibrant shade.  The leg stripes are gone altogether, while the sleeve stripes have been greatly minimized. There’s also some minor, nifty altered touches to the fonts on the uniforms, too.

logoThe logo was only slightly changed, with the viking’s hair braids a bit looser, his horns a bit more curved.  Don’t mess with a classic!  This is  a pitch perfect modernization of an otherwise set-in-stone, and classic look.  Perfect.

Miami Dolphins

temp_OZA4342--nfl_mezz_1280_1024_originalLess perfect, but still pretty good.  The colors appear to have been made more vibrant, just like the Vikings upgrade, and the fonts have been made more futuristic.  The orange in the uniforms has all but disappeared, relegated to only minor touches here and there.

tempEMMS9576--nfl_mezz_1280_1024_crop_exactThe logo, on the other hand, has undergone a complete makeover, with the old dolphin, which had barely changed since the team’s inception, replaced with an entirely new one.  It’s in a different position than the old, and instead of leaning down, as if jumping through something, is now pointed upwards, soaring into a jump.  We’re not sure about it, it’s a bit bland, and the old logo, though it was kind of silly, was honestly lovable.

Jacksonville Jaguars

BIjcNWpCQAANBKG.jpg large…Oh.  Oh, dear.  Well, points for trying something new, at least.  This one is a nearly complete overhaul, and virtually eliminates the teal in the uniform in favor of black and more black.  Do we really need another all-black uniform in the league?  But the minor details are a bit bonkers.  It looks like they’re trying to attract the middle school set…  Circa 1993.  Everything is XTREEEEM (if you were a kid in the late ’80s/early ’90s, you will instantly know what we mean)!  The spikes on the fonts, and the stripes on the shoulders look more at home on a supervillan than a football team.  And what’s with the sleeves being different colors?  We are not fans.

jaghelmetAgh!  What?  The logo has been updated a bit, with slightly altered, more rounded and realistic features on the Jaguar head: this we like.  But a two-tone helmet?  It’s unique, we’ll give them that, but it looks a little too much like a college team, to be honest.  They could look truly awful in bright Florida sunshine.

Ties, Ties, and More Ties

We’ve been off talking about fashion vis-a-vis films, the quirks of football, and so on, for a while.  Well, it’s time to go back to our roots, and talk about the intricacies of one of our favorite subjects: ties!  We’ve been thinking about ties more than usual lately, especially since we’re involved with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society right now, selling special red ties featuring the LLS’s logo embroidered on the tip at $195 each, with $50 of each sale going back to the LLS.  And they happen to be available right now in both our Long Island and Naples showrooms!  Be sure to drop by and pick one up, or give us a call to order one.

You know why we’re thinking about ties, but what, someone might ask, could one possibly be thinking about ties so much?  Ties are just ties, right?  Well, not really.  Ties are deceptively simple.  After all, it’s just a strip of fabric around your neck.  But there really is no end to the little details and slight alterations to the basic tie formula one can find out there, and believe it or not, the right tie can make a suit, while the wrong tie can completely destroy it.  Let’s go over some of those fine details…

Patterns

cotton-tiesThis is the obvious one.  The first thing you’ll notice on a tie rack, after the colors, are the patterns.  There are an insane number of them, but here are the principal ones…

  • Solids: Versatile and simultaneously daring and conservative.  Dark solids go well with solid suits, patterned jackets, and shirts.  Basically, the go-to tie pattern.
  • Reps or Stripes: Stripes usually show up diagonally, and are pretty much the “safe business tie.”  Order, dependability and trustworthiness are the name of the game here, though boldly colored stripes can be a subtle way of saying “look at me” more strongly.  You can pull one of these off with a striped shirt, but you have to carefully compare the stripe pattern of the shirt with the tie, and make sure they don’t clash.  Shorter people should avoid horizontal stripes at all costs!
  • Checks or Plaids: Usually made of wool, and traditionally seen as casualwear, they go well with tweed or herringbone patterns in flannel or summer jackets.  Plaids are never, ever worn with a pin-striped suit.
  • Foulards or Ivy League: Very popular right now, these ties repeat a small, usually subtle motif of some sort all over the tie, from top to bottom.  From the basic polka dots (the smaller the dot, the more formal the tie) to neat patterns of basic shapes, there’s an endless supply of things one can do here.  They can be formal, casual, and everything in-between, depending on the pattern.
  • Clubs: Associated with particular sports clubs or other associations, these ties feature little golfers, animals, vehicles, shields and swords, and so on.  Really only meant to be worn at a club that matches the theme, unless one is going for some sort of sarcastic irony.
  • Florals and Abstracts: Debonair and stylish, they are not nearly as rigid or formal as the other main patterns . Paisley is a perfect example of a floral that is attractive, daring, and understated and formal at the same time.
  • Neat: Usually small, tight patterns woven into the tie fabric, geometric or otherwise.  A good standard tie to wear when you’re tired of the solids.

When picking a tie for a suit or sport coat, the patterns and the colors are the most important part of the decision.  You want to make sure everything works together.  It doesn’t always have to be a perfect match, but as long as colors and patterns compliment each other, you should be good to go!

With solid suits: it’s almost a free-for-all.  You can bring in almost any tie pattern you’d like here.  You only need to consider what style of shirt to wear with it.  Plain suit?  Easy to pick a tie there, you can wear anything.  Striped?  You want to go with any patterned tie except striped, unless the width of the stripes on the tie is vastly different from the width of the stripes on the shirt.  With pinstriped suits, if you want a striped tie, the width of the stripes on the suit and the tie should never be the same.  Very narrow striped ties will work on a wide, pinstriped suit.  When in doubt, go with any other patterned tie, like neats, paisleys, polka dots, et cetera.  With plaid or window paned suits, you could always go bold with a plaid on plaid tie/suit combo, but this isn’t for everyone.  Stripes will always work with a plaid suit, as well as solids, solid textured ties, or small, neat patterns.

Don’t forget to work patterns with colors!

Widths

mens-skinny-tie1Standard width for ties is 3.5″ (roughly 9cm), and that’s always classic, and will never be out of style.  You can make a small or a big knot with it.  Standard width ties, no matter the type, should always have a dimple formed in the tie just below the knot.  We’re talking about a classic look here, worn with all types of suits, and all body builds.

The skinny tie is more of a fashion trend, and most popularly seen with very slim fitting suits, and very leanly built men.  That is not to say that these suits and men should only use skinny ties.  Rarely will you see a football player wearing a skinny tie.  With skinny knots, you will not get the big double Windsor knot, and most likely will not get a dimple in the tie.  It will just be rounded below the knot.

Colors

google_colors_tie_1-p151183049997960475env51_325The tie’s job is to tie (ha!) all parts of the outfit together.  If you want, though, you can make it more of a statement piece, as long as you don’t look like a refugee from a Tim Burton movie.

johnny-depp-mad-hatter

What happens when you don’t take our advice.

There should be similar, if not the same, coloring of the suit in some part of the tie coloring.  This could be the whole tie, or only small hints. Once you get this, then you want to bring in colors of the shirt, and then any other colors that will compliment the outfit.  For example, a navy suit with a white shirt will look great with a tie that might have navy, blue & yellow coloring, or navy & lavender coloring.  If you want more of a bold fashion look, go with a color that compliments the suit color, but doesn’t have any of the suit coloring in it.  We at Joseph’s don’t favor a tie that matches the shirt, and has none of the suit coloring in it.

Length

long-tied-necktieAfter tying the knot, the tip of the tie should come to the middle of your belt buckle.  Guys 6’2″ and over might want to look into extra long ties.

Pocket Squares

Howtofoldpocketsquare-fOur advice on pocket squares is to match the shirt, OR bring in tons of complimentary colors that will create a distinctive look with the outfit.  Most men match their pocket square with their tie pattern.  We do not do this, and don’t recommend it!

Bowties

11.5.12-Menswear-Monday-5

Bowties are a great look with a suit, a sport coat, or a tuxedo.  Mostly seen worn with tuxes, lately, fashion trends call for bowties with everything.  All different shapes, sizes and patterns.  The same rules apply with bowties that apply with ties.

To wrap all of this information up, our founder and owner, Joey Wendt, had this to say on the subject: “Never underestimate the power that a tie or bowtie can have on an outfit.  Have some fun, go bold, and make what may be a conservative look stand out.  Your standard navy pinstripe suit, white shirt, and navy diagonal striped tie don’t get noticed.”

These rules are simply what have been the standards for some time, but that’s not to say that ties can’t be used as a fun expression of one’s personality and style.  Whether you go for a bold or a conservative style, have fun with your tie selection.  Ties are an intricate part of pulling an entire outfit together, and definitely do not go unnoticed if you do it right!

NYC’s Fashion Week and FNO Post Mortem

Bold, bold, bold!!

Let us explain.  Today marks the end of the September Fashion Week here in New York City.  It got kicked off last Thursday with everyone’s favorite incredible, worldwide, synchronized fashion party, Fashion’s Night Out!  Believe it or not, FNO is only four years old.  It was started as a way to help to jumpstart fashion shopping in the recession-crippled economy with the backing of Vogue Magazine and its publisher, Anna Wintour.  Who’s Anna Wintour?  Well…

“Anna happens to be a friend of mine, a fact which is of absolutely no help in coping with the cold panic that grips me whenever we meet.”  -Barbara Amiel

So it probably wasn’t invented as a gigantic, global fashion block party.  And that’s what it has become: a night of insanely fun mini-parties filling every boutique clothing store and department store in every major city in 19 countries spilling out onto the streets.

We mean that literally.

This year, the crowd skewed a bit younger than it has in the past, and it seemed as if the designers were anticipating that.  After all, the final night of the DNC was scheduled for the same day as FNO, and young people are notoriously poor voters, so it might have been some smart reading of the tea leaves at work there.  Whatever the reason, “young” and “informal” seemed to dominate the windows and stores.  From the more preppy looks…

To “modern hipster”…

To everything in between, but still on the same wavelength…

The celebrities and designers on hand were usually dressed more formally than the collections of the stores they were helping to promote!

We recommend against the golden loafers, though.

In fact, women’s clothing completely dominated, easily outnumbering the displays for men’s clothes by four to one.

But as if to prove that Fashion’s Night Out is not Fashion Week, the runway shows on Fashion Week went in very different directions.  The key word?  “Bold!”  No, seriously, every fashion journalist on the planet said that.  And we agree.  The stripes, crazy patterns, wild color selection, leather, suede and frayed edges of the Spring Collections displayed all scream “look at me!”  After last year’s dark look, and the previous two years’ austere designers, it makes sense that we were getting a bit antsy and ready to go for broke.

Apparently, if Boy by Band of Outsiders is any indication, so for broke that we’ll be living on the beach. We’re strangely okay with this.

But to be honest, as fun as Fashion Week and FNO are, they don’t mean much in the scheme of fashion.  Yes, we can get some general ideas from them (generally looser, less-form fitting and more colorful designs will be in vogue next year), but this certainly doesn’t mean we’ll all be dressing as hipsters in lime green stripes.  Ultimately, FNO is about getting people in the door and paying attention, and Fashion Week is about selling fantasy.  On those counts, they both succeeded.

Just Hideous…

During the festivities of Super Bowl Week, we could not help but think about old and sometime current NFL (and AFL) uniforms.  Some more than others because, well, aesthetically speaking, they did NOT make the cut, and we are enormously happy that we don’t have to look at all of them every Sunday (well, except when some smarty pants thinks it’s a clever idea for a throwback week, which they often do).  In any case, we could not help but play a little fashion police with them.  Here are the worst offenders!

There is so much wrong with this one, a throwback to the original Broncos uniform, but let’s just leave it at this: stripes and more stripes are not friends, never ever.  Not even in football!  In fact, these uniforms, the original Broncos uniforms from 1960, were so hated by even their own players, that they burned them in a bonfire at the end of the season!

Dear Cincinnati Bengals: Tony the Tiger wants his outfit BACK!

The Cleveland Browns... Jail jumpsuit orange is only acceptable for inmates.

The Houston Texans' alternate uniform, all red à la Red Riding Hood. À la super wrong, too!

Green Bay's throwback version of the 1940s Packers uniform. What's up with the helmet? And where is the green in Green Bay?

The Seattle Seahawks' alternate uniforms. Highlighter colors are just to highlight words, not uniforms, thanks!

The Broncos again, this time from around 1965. If superheroes had a football team, this would be their uniform. And wow, that horse on the helmet looks hungry! In a very bad way!

The old alternate Dolphins uniform, all aqua. We get the aquatic themed thing, just NOT in a monochromatic edition.

Ahhhhhh! Our eyes! Thank goodness the Bucs went from creamsicle to pewter back in the '90s...