The Tie Bar has become my ultimate go-to source for quality and inexpensive neckties. Seriously. And here is some serious truth: Whenever a necktie garners my attention in a magazine or on the Internet, I immediately visit The Tie Bar online to scour the myriad of patterns, colors, and materials in an attempt to duplicate the necktie of interest. Yes, I really do that. Because, for the low price of $15.00, their neckties are ridiculously good. Given that fact, my present tie collection is heavily stocked with their merchandise; much to the chagrin of my darling wife, as she thinks I own too many neckties. But can a gentleman possess too many? Well…probably. Nevertheless, that being said, I have added another Tie Bar beauty on my must-have list. Comprised of 100% cotton and rocking an impossibly audacious of color and pattern, this offering was constructed with spring on the mind. And spring is coming – I’m just going to ignore those snowflakes fluttering outside my window right now. So, my order is being placed tonight. Those colors are just too awesome to pass up. Sorry Stephanie – I love you.
Granted, spring may have officially arrived yesterday, but the temperatures have retained a wintry feel that echoes early January. Nonetheless, the season has technically shifted, and the gentleman would be wise to prepare his spring attire for the upcoming heat wave. Okay, perhaps that is a stretch, but it would be intelligent to get the proper gear ready. Now, despite the warm weather that will soon be arriving (we hope), it might be a little premature to emancipate the shorts and tee shirts from the closet. That being said, plenty of gentlemen will still hold fast to their suit attire. However, the dreary days of winter will soon be forgotten, and a lighter touch will be required when we decide to get suited and booted. And usually that lighter touch arrives in the form of playful, whimsical accessories that temper the seriousness of your standard business suit. That being said, I came across this fun Ted Baker necktie being offered online by Von Maur. Yes, polka dots are still popular; and the boldness of those dots, along with the vibrant colors, are just enough to loosen up a stiff suit – if just a little bit. Bonus: Currently it’s on sale for $39.00, which is reasonable given the brand and design. So, check it out. Von Maur offers free shipping with a no hassle return if it doesn’t tickle your fancy. For more purchasing details, visit Von Maur HERE for more information.
This endorsement is going to be brief: Every gentleman should own at least one linen pocket square. Okay, that is all, may the remainder of your day be wonderful and productive. Not good enough? Of course, you are correct, I should at least provide some rationale behind my hasty recommendation. Well, believe it or not, spring will soon be upon us. And although linen pocket squares or handkerchiefs can be worn year-round, the changing of the seasons from winter to spring usually mark the reintroduction of lighter, less weighted fabrics. Not that cotton or silk are particularly heavy, but linen provides a nice airy, feathery touch to any gentleman’s suit jacket. Much like a wool pocket, the subtle texture of linen provides a much desired hint of elegance to your presentation. They are very easy to fold, and they remain upright while tucked inside your breast pocket throughout the day. Because linen’s demeanor is so effortlessly easy, so impossibly cool, we humbly suggest an easy fold; a simple square or irregularly squared fold will suffice. And so, there you have it, a few reasons why you should own a linen pocket square. Now, the one presented above is pretty hefty – in price that is – so we also suggesting visiting The Tie Bar and perusing their very affordable selection of squares. Unless, however, you don’t mind dropping $75.00 on a square. In that case, head over to Mr Porter and snatch up the beauty pictured above. The choice is yours. Now – may the remainder of your day be wonderful and productive.
So, as the cashier quietly tabulated the cost of my latest haul of gentlemanly hosiery, I noticed that a few selections in the bunch were priced higher than others. Thinking that was slightly odd, I surmised that I had haphazardly read the price-tags, thus leading to the modestly higher prices than I expected. And so, as I began my departure from the shopping outlet, I decided to inspect the price-tags once again. As I expected, I had misread the lapels and totally muffed the cost. Nevertheless, they were double discounted, so the damage was minimal. I also discovered the reason why three of my socks were valued a little more – they were of a cashmere blend. Actually – 23% cashmere, 45% viscose, and 32% nylon – to be exact. Now to be perfectly honest, up to this point in my fashion life, I had only dealt with cotton or various cotton blends in regards to socks. And I was fine with that.
So, what could be so special about cashmere socks; perhaps they are an unnecessary luxury to possess – right? Well…after slipping my feet into a warm, devilishly soft pair….that is an argument I cannot make. Seriously, the difference between my cotton companions and my newly acquired cashmere buddies: night and day. I could feel the difference immediately; if you thought a cashmere sweater felt divine, try wearing one on your feet! And let us not forget the other components here. The hint of nylon provided a bit of stretch and resiliency, while the viscose added some tough softness into the equation. In all, I purchased three pairs: gray, purple, and green. The texture is fantastic. The fit is great. And the comfort…fabulous. If you ever have a chance to score a pair, I would highly endorse the purchase. You won’t regret it.
Granted, it can be reasonably argued that extensive ruminations of Spring 2013 are tad premature. Okay – really premature. For many areas, winter has yet to commence its blustery, wintry assault on the local populace. Nonetheless, The Tie Bar has released a tantalizing preview of color imbibed necktie clips that every well-dressed gentleman should mentally note for future considerations. Utilizing a palette of vibrant pastels, these nifty little clips are loaded with whimsical style. I already own a few clips myself, but none in this array of wonderful color. And if you are wondering about performance, these necktie clips are supremely sturdy. I have never encountered any issues with the bar slipping, falling off, or even breaking. In short – these accessories are a solid investment and ridiculously inexpensive at $15.00. So, maintain a watchful eye towards February 2013; 6 colors and three lengths: 1 inch, 1.5 inches, and 2 inches. I must demonstrate some discipline and self-control and not purchase all six!
Okay, so the thought of bypassing your trusted hosiery, as you slide into your loafers, has definitely aroused your interest. An earlier post about wearing loafers with your suit has sealed the deal. That’s it, you are sold. However, the idea of strutting around the office with your naked feet housed within your favorite leather slip-ons, well, that doesn’t sound terribly appealing – at all. Especially if you want to kick off the shoes and stretch your toes, trust, no one wants to see your dogs barking underneath your desk. Please spare your coworkers the sight and keep those bad boys locked inside a kennel. Now, if going totally barefoot is not your cup of tea, yet you still want a no-sock appearance, a cool pair of shoe liners may be the best option for you. Take these shoe liners from Johnston & Murphy for example. They’re absorbent, machine washable, and anti-microbial. And, a gentleman can still manage a no-sock appearance, maintain the integrity of his insoles, and calm the fears of his dogs breaking their leash. Thanks in advance.
I have always been cautious of discount retail chains, such as Wal-Mart and Target, that have aggressively entered the market of selling serious clothing merchandise. Beyond the standard collection of tee shirts, underwear, and socks; it feels slightly strange retrieving a gallon of milk from aisle 16 and then selecting a merino sweater from aisle 12. Prejudiced by the simple reality of kitty litter being a few feet away, I always suspected that the clothing sold was cheap. And not cheap as in price, but cheap as in cheaply constructed. One spin in the washing machine would surely send your sport shirt to a premature state of fraying and tearing.
Nevertheless, I have heard whispers that clothing from stores such as Target was actually good. In a concerted effort to offer quality products at an affordable price, Target has teamed up with various big time designers to offer such selections, as well as offering their own house brands. So, that brings me to one such brand – Merona. In search of a good cold weather cap, the thought of slapping down $50 to $70 for a cap wasn’t too thrilling. And so, I found myself in Target doing some light shopping when I spied the Merona knit cap. Now, for approximately $3.99, the risk was minimal and the reward would be tremendous if it performed its duties.
Offered up in a myriad of colors, I promptly grabbed a black, charcoal gray, and green knit cap. It’s not 100% wool though. It’s actually a blend of predominantly acrylic and some spandex for stretch. That didn’t matter. My only concern was would it keep my bald head warm. And it does. The fit is comfortable. It doesn’t lose its shape. And it keeps the dome nice and toasty. For $3.99 a pop, a gentleman can’t beat that. Sure, it’s not wool or cashmere, but I’m not trying to win on style points here. Not when arctic blasts are threatening to take off my ear lobes. Thus, the Merona knit cap passes the test. With the colors offered, it’s a great way to accessorize your look with a little color, stay warm, and do it on the cheap. This cap is a winner. And I’ll probably be back at Target to pick up a few more. There’s an orange one with my name on it.