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A guide to help the average man... look less average

Filtering by Tag: ties

Accessories Part 4: Necklaces & Scarves, and Ties

Mark Kwak

You know, I started this accessories series several months ago and never really got to finishing it. Man, I'm terrible. Well, here I am to continue it at least.

In case you forgot, I was simply going over all the different accessories that a man can wear. Before I started the series, I had this notion that men simply do not wear accessories (save watches). Turns out there are a ton of accessories guys wear, and I wanted to let you know my thoughts on all of the different types. Today we go over accessories that go around your neck: necklaces, scarves, and ties.

Okay, necklaces.

Necklaces used to be huge. Remember those shell necklaces everyone wore in middle school, or perhaps the black laced necklaces with some sort of emblem on it? Well, today, necklaces aren't as big a deal, and in fact, I don't recommend folks wearing one unless it has some sort of sentimental value.

Are you a devout Christian that wears a cross necklace? Or a guy whose mother gave you a pure silver necklace when you graduated college? In these cases, I'm all for wearing necklaces. Otherwise, I'm going to say don't do it. For that reason, I'm not going to even put any recommendations here, sorry.


Scarves are one of my favorite accessories. However, they are really only appropriate during one, maybe two seasons a year. For this reason, I wouldn't go too crazy on buying a ton of scarves. Get a couple high quality ones, and you're good to go.

For the one or two you get, I recommend going cashmere. It'll be the warmest and most comfortable option. Also, I recommend going with a fairly conservative color like gray, black, navy, or brown. This will ensure your ability to match it with all different kinds of outfits. I'm particularly a fan of some of these below:

Here's one I own that I'm a big fan of from Black Fleece:

Oh and of course Burberry scarves. They can be a bit pretentious, but getting it in a more muted color like black/gray could be cool:

Either way, get a couple nice scarves and you'll be set for the winter, warm and toasty.

Ties. Ah, this could be a section all on its own. And it probably will be one day. Neck ties are cool, and they show off your character more than you think. If you have the opportunity to wear a tie, make sure to put some thought into it, and try to complement the rest of your outfit.

A couple quick rules to keep in mind:

If you're wearing a jacket, try to match the width of your tie to the width of your lapel at the widest spot. These days, a 2" 3/4 inch tie is a pretty good width to have.

Also, to make your tie look a bit sleeker, wear it with a dimple, perhaps a tie clip when appropriate, and find the right knot for your look (four-in-hand is my favorite).

I think a man will usually end up with a bunch of ties in their life, but here are a couple essentials in my book.

1. The black tie.

2. The wool tie.

3. The striped tie.

4. The pindot tie.

If you want to add a couple more, I'd suggest getting some more solid colored ties outside of the black one, and perhaps a knit tie. Just typing this stuff up, I realize that it may take a couple more posts to really delve into ties.... So that's what I'll do instead.

Anyhow, when people are interacting with you, they're looking at your face, so make sure you keep your neck-wear game up. These accessories should help immensely. Cheers.

Style rules - part 1

Mark Kwak

Ralph Lauren has been in business for quite some time (since 1967 to be exact), and has become one of the best known American fashion designers of all time. I'd say that's enough experience and credibility to know a thing or two about style rules that men should follow. Anyway, Ralph Lauren put up a series of menswear rules that I think are fairly spot on. Wanted to put them up here and give a bit of my commentary in case you're interested. Here's the first three:

I know why this is #1 in the series. In my opinion, it's the most important. Fit is indeed everything, and people can tell.

Before anyone knows the brand, the fabric quality, or whatever, they can immediately tell if something fits well on your or doesn't. This is why it is important for you to buy the right sizes, find designers that fit you well, and get things tailored if they don't fit you well off the rack. A shirt that is 2 inches too long, or a jacket that has slightly large shoulders can really make the difference between you looking mediocre, and looking glorious (or exquisite, fantastic, amazing, simplerman-ish hah, etc.).

I know there are a lot of things you need to keep in mind when finding the right fit, but just to give you the rundown, you need to pay attention to: body/pant length, body/pant width, collar size, shoulder seams, sleeve length, armhole size, waist size, and rise, among others. Don't compromise, and use tailors liberally. Again, remember it's #1.

This rule is one I agree with as well, but only to a certain extent. Yes, if you unbutton one of your shirt buttons, it is customary to take off your tie as well. However, to me, this is not a steadfast rule by any means, mainly because unbuttoned collars with loose ties can look great on the right occasions.

Do I propose you loosen your tie at a business meeting? Probably not. However, let's say you just left a dinner party that you suited up for earlier, and are ready to dance it up at the night club. Loosening that tie may be the best look for you, as it gives off the image that you were at something important before, but now you're ready to relax and have some fun.

When buying a tie, it's important to write down or remember the width of your suit lapels. When someone wears thick peak lapels with a skinny tie, it just looks off. Likewise, wide ties don't look very good on jackets with thin lapels. Now, the rule is that the widest part of your tie should be directly proportionate to the widest part of your lapels, but I say there's some wiggle room there. No man will randomly come up to you to inspect your tie's exact width against your lapel's exact width. Frankly, that would be ridiculous, and I would probably shove that dude away for coming so close to me.

Instead, ballpark it and don't worry if the tie doesn't exactly match up to your lapel. Just make sure that you know which ties go with which suits in your collection, since it does actually matter what tie goes with what suit.


Anyhow, hope that helps some of you out! I'll bring you some more of these, but thought it would be good to start somewhere.