ALPHA MALE: Neckties For Fall
Thursday, September 20, 2012
In neckwear, those archival looks have helped bring bow ties back en vogue. But do not just think of this dandy as a black tie affair. Modern bow ties are cut from all sorts of fabrics, from dobby print cottons to donegal tweed and brightly dyed linens. The modern gent expresses himself with a pop of color or texture (remember our discussions of accessories like socks or pocket squares for this too). Bow ties, for some, add that subtle talking point.
Tie Tip 1: If you can pull off the bow tie, go for a real one that you tie yourself.
The slight irregularity of an imperfect knot or end is a personal touch all your own, and the satisfaction in knowing how to tie one is a nice little benefit.
Heritage has also heavily influenced the weights of fabric and texture of ties, and seasonality plays a bigger role in selection. Think of those plaid flannel shirts made for a New England winter. They are the perfect piece to draw inspiration from for your neckwear. Many varieties of heavy weight ties exist today that compliment the textures of the season. Your closet no longer needs to be filled with just silk basics from a department store.
Tie Tip 2: Compliment the weight and seasonality of your tie to your outfit.
The heavier the fabric of your clothes, the heavier the tie. Lighter linen or cotton should be saved for warmer months while cotton flannels and wools should make an appearance after Labor Day.
If you look at the top trendsetters and designer brands today, you can gain some insight into what will become tomorrow's department store or big box themes. Heritage will still around, but it is being pushed out of its comfort zone of blocky plaids and oversized flannels and into sleeker, modernized looks. European tailoring meets colonial sensibility. That means a mix of high and low styles and trimmer fits. The same goes for your ties.
Tie Tip 3: The width of your tie should correlate to overlying pieces like the lapels on a suit jacket or blazer.
The thinner the lapel, the thinner the tie.
While suit lapels matter to your neckwear choice, no longer is a tie reserved for the office or your "Sunday best". You can sport a tie with a nice Oxford, Merino wool sweater and cropped Harrington or Baracuta jacket to go with those killer tweed trousers you bought this season. I always preach layers to make an outfit interesting and your tie can be a great contributor to this philosophy.
Tie Tip 4: Your tie colors and pattern should complement your look, but do not worry about a perfect match.
You want to look put together, but do not overthink it.
What these trends help to highlight is how there is a new style that has emerged that infuses in a serious way formal elegance with casual cool and presents now a wide variety of neckwear options. Your tie choice is a perfect example of how something once regarded as a formal staple, has penetrated the mainstream. Nowadays, feel free to sport a tie in any scenario and see how it can empower your style and confidence.
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