Neck n’ Neck Vintage Co.

A man’s wardrobe choices can make or break his entire career. But, what many don’t realize is, a man’s choice in accessories can make or break his entire wardrobe. Now, often, the most prominent accessory a man in business professional/formal attire is his tie. That being said, where do you think you ought to build your wardrobe’s versatility? If you guessed “From my tie rack,” you’re today’s winner.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetYou’ve likely heard of my go-to groomer Vince Jamael, of Adrian Fanus Grooming, Inc. (and if you haven’t, just click this whole sentence and you’ll get taken to a handful of posts on this site dealing with his greatness). One thing you may not know about Vince is that he’s not only a well-groomed groomer, but he’s also something like a style icon in his own circle. Always well-dressed for any occasion, Vince is constantly asked where he gets his threads. And, more often than you’d believe, his answer is “From XYZ Vintage Clothing Shop.” Much of his style is vintage with an intentional new school flare. Head to toe, the brother is sharp and I don’t say that about everyone.

I can recall the year after I graduated from undergrad and was sleeping on Vince’s living room couch (times were tough but look what God has done five years later), and I saw that he had this dope tie. Now, I didn’t have any skinny ties in my wardrobe at the time and, not only was this one skinny but it was a vibrant shade of red and made of cotton. Far outside my realm of comfort but it had my attention. Vince caught me checking it out and said I could have it if I wanted it. That was my first step to exploring more nontraditional styles of neckwear.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetFast forward to present day and Vince has started his own neckwear company, Neck n’ Neck Vintage Co., based out of Brooklyn. His business model is a unique one, in which he carefully curates only the most exclusive neckties from vintage shops, both across the United States and in his international travels. His goal is to provide his clientele with the caliber of tie that their grandfather would look for at a reasonable price. The curation, purchase, and restoration of these timeless pieces are responsibilities that fall squarely on Vince’s shoulders alone, but ones that he accepts.

“My passion for helping young men and women feel their best when they put on a necktie is helping to make this dream a reality,” Vince said when asked why he’s investing so much into this vision. “I recall looking at classic photos of gentlemen from older days and thinking ‘What if we combined their knowledge of proper dress with this generation’s fashion sense? We’d be unstoppable.’ So here I am, trying to create a brand that is truly timeless.”

Initially doing private consultations to present clients with his neckwear, Vince is now able to be contacted on Instagram at @vtg_ties. As the brand grows, he will develop more avenues through which his pieces can be purchased but right now, he prefers “personal style consultations to cold cash-based sales.”

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You can’t put a tie on without a shirt without looking like a Chippendale, so get the shirt and trousers together but, when you’ve got those two checked off, make sure your neck speaks to a level of distinction without breaking the bank. The best way to do that? Grab a distinguishing necktie from Neck n’ Neck Vintage Co. and let it tell a story without you having to say a word.

Make quality neckwear a priority.

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The men’s white button up…really necessary? (Response)

Yesterday, I ended up reading my brother Marcus Hawley’s, owner of Natty Neckware, blog post, “The men’s white button up…really necessary?”  I’m telling you, this guy hit the nail on the head.  Marcus’s specialty is neckwear but how often do you see a bow or necktie without a collared shirt?  (Don’t worry.  I’ll wait.)  Therefore, he not only needs to have an eye for designing ties, he also needs to know what they would be well-paired with, just in case he is ever asked by a customer “Hey, I have shirts in colors x, y, and z.  What ties do you have that would go well with 2 of 3?”

In the post, found on his blog Notably Natty, he briefly examines the origin of the white button up and moves into the contemporary uses of it, from formal to causal wear.  And, I must say, he is right.  Last weekend, I wore a white button up untucked with some Levis and Chucks.  This morning, I’m in another white with a navy suit with British Tan Cole Hanns and no tie.  Tomorrow, I could do a light sweater over a white button up, some chinos, and a pair of Clarks.  As Marcus so perfectly put in his introductory paragraph, “(t)he versatility of the white button up does something for an ensemble that most other colored shirts cannot do which is remain both timeless and always on trend.”

Take a minute to check out his blog, as well as his neckwear, and leave some feedback.  The brother put me in my best piece of neckwear, which I also paired with a white shirt, and, now, the combination sits as my headshot on LinkedIn.

Headshot

 

Make professional development a priority.

Young Professional See, Young Professional Do

Do you know what I don’t understand?  So many professionals not knowing how to dress.  In 2015, there is no excuse for you to be 5’8″ in a 3 button suit with all three buttons buttoned.  Or to have your belt not matching your shoes when you have a full suit on.  I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but books get left on the shelf every day, B.

Suggestion: How about you find a book on being well-dressed or, if you can humble yourself, find someone who is a successful professional who looks like they have a sense of style and ask where they shop?  Or you could subscribe to a magazine like Forbes and imitate the top CEOs (if that’s the look you’re going for).  Better yet, hire me or someone else who has served as a wardrobe stylist for professionals at all levels of their career, from CEO to college intern to creative professional.  You only get one chance to make a first impression.  Do you want to look like you’re still in the 7th grade wearing your wino uncle’s sports coat or do you want to look like you went to see a tailor who knows how to make every inch of that Goodwill-bought suit look like it was made for you?

The choice is yours.

Make professional development a priority.

Dissecting Your Tie

As men, we own ties. Some of us enjoy wearing them. The majority of us even know how to tie our own ties. But many of us don’t really know our ties. The second you put a tie on, it becomes a part of your personality so it makes sense to know a bit about what makes it complement your shirt and slacks so well.

This infographic I came across dissects a tie, pointing out the key elements of it. True, on a regular day, I’ll never mention the shell of a tie but you never know who you may meet or what conversations you may have that could lead to opportunities. It’s always better to know a lot about a few things, a little about all/most things, and nothing about nothing.

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