New Tie Alert! 👔

A few weeks ago, I posted about Neck ‘n Neck Vintage Co., a startup out of Brooklyn, New York. Yesterday, I received my first necktie from Neck ‘n Neck and I am impressed. While neckwear curator Vince Jamael specializes in providing customers with quality vintage ties from notable brands, I purchased mine after letting him know some of the styles I was interested in and then he provided me with samples that ranged in style but met my criteria. I finally settled on the Bert Pulitzer paisley that is pictured above. Having sold menswear for years with Nordstrom, Inc., I can recognize quality neckwear pieces when I see and/or touch them and this one passed the test. An impeccable silk tie with a vintage look and a width that, though may not always be on the cutting edge of fashion, will never go out of style.

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While a quality new suit will cost you hundreds of dollars and a well-made shirt is even going to be around $50 (closer to the $30 range if you know where and when to shop), a few ties from Neck ‘n Neck Vintage Co. can add some versatility to your wardrobe in no time for little cost. The more I mature, the more my tastes in whiskey and neckwear align. At this point in my life, I like my ties like I like my whiskey: classic and neat.

So, go ahead, follow @vtg_ties on Instagram, and let them know which pieces you’re interested in. You can thank me later.

 

Make being well-dressed a priority.

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Breaking Monotony

Everyone has a style. I encourage and respect that (even if I don’t always like certain people’s). Do what works for you.

But, sometimes, you have to try something new. We’re not Amish (unless you are, in which case I’m assuming someone printed this post for you). Therefore, you have wardrobe options. If you’re always bright and colorful, try some earthy fall colors in the coming months. If you’re constantly wearing black, go buy a crimson tie or canary skirt to add a bit of flare to your wardrobe. You never know how a different look will make you feel until you try it.

And that doesn’t just go for color schemes but grooming as well. For months at a time, I’ll let my hair and beard grow. Then one day I’ll get bored, cut both off, and start fresh. The beautiful thing (right now) is that it’ll all grow back. Or, ladies, if you’re thinking about trying a different hairdo, look at some folks who have a similar head shape, bone structure, and complexion and, if you like the way they wear their hair, go for it. The worst that can happen is you hate it and, in 3 months, you’ll be able to move back toward what you had before.

While we’re talking about switching up styles, know that different outfits serve different purposes. It is a must that I tailor some of my clothes because of the caliber of event they’re regularly worn to. Others can be worn right off the rack. And the accessories change with events too. If I’m shooting for a night on the town, I may don a suit and v-neck with loafers and earrings if I want to sauce it up. But, when I feel like looking smart but stylish for a meeting with a client, I’m throwing on cosmetic frames with a suit and well-polished hard bottoms (Note to myself and you: Polish shoes tonight). Either way, it’s about looking confident and comfortable in whatever you wear. And you don’t have to step out of your comfort zone daily but you should do it frequently enough to shake things up.

You never know what you’ll need to look like in your next work environment, so developing versatility and comfort now should be the game plan. Whether your employer, your significant other, or that barista at Starbucks that has been giving you the eye for the past few months, it’s nice to see that you can try something new and still look (and perform) like a winner.

All in all, no matter how old you are, you’re too young not to have fun and enjoy life.

Make being well-dressed and well-groomed priorities.

Oh, by the way, I’ve got a crazy post coming for next week’s fashion post. Make sure you’re subscribed to the blog so you don’t miss out on #TailoredAndTaperedTuesdays.

The Business of Casual

The vibe of the school I work at is relaxed. Super relaxed. And that’s great because, though I have enough suit, shirt, and tie combinations to make it through a month, I don’t always feel like wearing them. But the department I work in must tread carefully. And that’s perfect for me because it allows me to explore wardrobe options that I could in a more rigid corporation. If I feel like wearing a suit, I wear a suit. If I don’t have a meeting that day and feel like a polo and chinos with some Onitsuka Tiger low tops, I can do that. It’s important to have a fluid wardrobe these days because, as businesses lean more to a causal look in the workplace in order to make employees more comfortable, if you cannot walk into an interview looking both put-together and relaxed, you run the risk of not getting the job. No matter how great your résumé looks or how well-versed you are on the past, present, and future direction of the organization, an inability to present yourself a as good fit to that environment will invariably prevent you from gaining employment.

A few rules for being professional in a more liberal environment.
1) Ties are not always bad. Most days, I don’t wear ties because the parents at the school I work at put their kids here so that they would not conform to the corporate structure. They want their kids to think outside the box and, therefore, they must see the outside of the box on a regular basis. But, depending on what I have going on during a given day, I will wrap a stylish necktie around my collar and make a casual outfit look great.
2) There is a time and place for suits. I have traditionally cut and fitted suits. Depending on who I’m meeting with and the presence I want to have, I choose to wear a suit from time to time. Doing so is fine as long as it’s appropriate for my day. On Grandparents’ Day, because I’m working with a more traditional crowd, I’m dressed more conservatively. During the end of year party, jeans, a polo, and sneakers are perfectly acceptable. Realizing whose attention you have at the moment and being able to adapt to that audience is critical to your ability to succeed.
3) Look clean. Cleanliness has nothing to do with being dressed up. If ripped jeans and graphic tees are your organization’s thing, rock ripped jeans and an appropriate graphic. If you’re in slacks, a shirt and a tie, make sure they’re pressed. You don’t have to be dressed up but you should look (and smell) like you didn’t just roll out of the bed, rinse your mouth out, and hop in the car. Be intentional with everything from your hair to your shoes.

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Today, I had to take a leadership role in a  committee meeting. For that, I put on the outfit you see in this post’s feature photo. Tomorrow is Friday and my calendar is pretty wide open. I’ll be relaxing. In liberal environments, don’t do the most when it comes to dressing, but don’t do the least. Be you and be comfortable. People will respect your style and your ability to maneuver in and out of different situations with apparent ease.

 

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.

Five Ways to Wear the Navy Suit

I believe that every young professional man should have a navy blue suit.  But is it just for the office or can you make it work in your favor in multiple settings?  In this YouTube video, Mr.  Porter gives us five looks at what we, as men, can do with the suits.  Though all styles won’t fit your personality, tweak his suggestions, have fun with them, and, before you know it, you will have added more dimensions to your wardrobe.  Enjoy!

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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