How the Necktie frames your face.

The illustrious necktie.  Some don’t see the use of it, some are bound to it day-to-day; yet, all look that much better while in one.
Let’s start off with a bit of history on the necktie as well as it’s definition.  A necktie, or simply tie, is a long piece of cloth worn for decorative purposes around the neck, resting under the shirt collar and knotted at the throat with the original necktie originating to 1618. (Source: Wikipedia).
How does TopNotch Male Style Tips view neckties?  I actually view them as more than a mere fashion piece.  In my opinion, they are very important to your shirt in the winter time, because although you may button your top button, that fabric around you neck can help keep you a bit warmer!  In addition to that, when properly tied and worn with a fitted shirt, nothing frames your face better!
Me wearing a tie with the top button of my shirt closed.

Me wearing a tie with the top button of my shirt closed.

Bottom line:  Guys, ties are a dime a dozen these days and it pays to have a few in your arsenal.  Whether you wear them daily or not, they can only accentuate your look!
Until next time, tie up gentlemen!

Beware of Style Trends

Dad caps, joggers (these may actually stick around), wearing ill-fitting clothing, basketball jerseys — all of these have one thing in common, they are/were trends in male fashion.
If I can advise young men and older men alike of one thing, that would be to stick to the staples and do not focus on what is trending now, focus on what will stick around for years to come.

Lean wardrobe example.

Some of these elements are:
  • Classic color button down dress/casual shirts
  • Classic color polo style shirts
  • White/black fitted v-neck shirts
  • The blue or gray tailored suit
Essentially what we want our wardrobe to be is lean and to be able to produce a multitude of combinations from the smallest quantity of clothing we can, learn more here.
Bottom line:  Trends come and go; however, some style staples stick around for a lifetime.

Be Confident in YOUR Look

I have said numerous times over and over again that confidence should be the first thing that you should put on in the mornings, that’s before deodorant, a t-shirt and boxers.  Be un-phased by questions that others have or inconsiderate looks, especially if people are hasty in those notions.
We all grow in style little by little each day and each year, take pride in your appearance and always try to put your best foot forward.  If that means that you consistently dressing better than your friends, or people in your office — then so be it.  As the old adage goes, “When you look good, you feel good”, which is very true.  One important thing to remember about clothes is that they are clothes, they should exemplify the qualities that you already have and shouldn’t compensate or make up for anything that you feel like you are lacking.

Guys, have fun and don’t let anyone rain on your parade.  Dress with confidence and work hard to look your best day in and day out.

Spring Cleaning 2016

The time has come to clean and make those closets smile!!  Throughout the year we tend to collect things that we love, like and sometimes just buy for the sake of buying.  What does all of this mean?  You end up with an excess of “things” inside of your closet that you have not worn, worn once or do not wear anymore.  That gives the need for those items to be given away, sold on eBay or otherwise just disposed of completely.
How do we know when it’s time to give some of our beloved wardrobe away?  Follow these 3 guidelines:

  1. Do you spend more than 10-15 digging through clothing trying to find something to wear?
  2. Have you not worn the garment in question in over one year?
  3. Is the garment in question ill-fitting?

If your clothing item or multiple clothing items meet any of the above, it is time to move on and get rid of it!

A lean wardrobe can make it easy to pick out clothes because you have only items that are needed and easily paired with other items within the closet.

Let’s clean those closets and simplify those wardrobes!  Leading to a lean closet with easily matched items that make you look and feel great.


I have not deserted you TopNotch readers, I’ve been working hard thinking of ways to differentiate this site and accompanied YouTube series and feel that a podcast will be a great and welcomed addition.

This has been brewing for some time. Expect an update soon.

Does Clothing BRAND Matter?

Polo, Nike, GAP — all of these are popular brand name that you more than likely know and are very familiar with.  However, in the grand scheme of things, the clothing brands that you wear, in specific, do not matter.  Yet, there are important factors to any wardrobe:

  • Comfort.  Are these items comfortable?
  • Style.  Will these items be in style for a while?  Or are the items trendy?
  • Durability.  Will these clothes last after 5 washes, 10 washes — will these items stand the test of time?

Learn about these key aspects in the latest episode of TopNotch Male Style Tips:

Suede Shoe Waterproofing

Waterproofing is somewhat of a must that should be done to suede shoes (note: one time is not enough) simply because you never know when you may be caught in the rain.  Waterproofing does not mean that your shoe is completely water-resistant, this is one of the reasons why you need to apply this protectant numerous times over a course of time.

Things to remember about waterproofing (application):

  • Pre-clean the shoes before applying the protectant (use either a dry cloth or brush)
  • Fully wet the shoe using the solution, do not leave any area dry
  • Allow the shoes to dry completely for at least 24 hours

Style Consultation Adventure with Darrell

To start off, I work with a diverse group of people — which is fun and interesting in it’s own respect.  One of my co-workers (Darrell), who is one of my workout partners, has always tended to ask me questions regarding style and fashion — this peaked my interest.  Always joking I would say, “I’m going to put you on TopNotch!”.

That day finally came and the spoils were great.

Spoils from a successful 4 hour shopping trip.

For some background, Darrell is a bigger guy, who has lost almost 100 pounds and counting, is looking to incorporate more stylish things into his wardrobe.

This is where you begin to identify the things that are wardrobe staples (essentially the items that comprise any outfit, in simple terms).  Those would be shirts, jeans/pants and shoes.  Of course belts, socks, jackets and scarves are important; however, this is just the beginning.

So, what do you do when entering stores that you’ve really never shopped at?  Find your size.  Due to our rigorous gym routines, my co-worker has a stronger athletic build and needs form fitting clothes to excentuate what he’s been building in the gym.  So, I suggested three main stores to find perfect fitting shirts:

  • Express
  • GAP
  • Banana Republic

With the above three destinations, there is no way that anyone can go wrong with a purchase at either location.  Our goal was to walk away with at least one full outfit; however, we walked away with many because of the number of shirts that we got from Express.  Next, we moved on to shoes.  For some reason, he was intrigued by Chelsea boots (which aren’t a bad choice) — my advice: You like them in pictures; but, try them on for yourself.  Needless to say, we walked away with one pair of great looking boots that can either be worn dressed up or casually.

All in all, it was a successful outing.  But don’t believe me, a picture speaks 1000 words: