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.

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:

Clothes brush adds life to your clothes!

A simple brush can really alter the way your clothes look in a meaningful way.  Not only does it help remove lint and buildup from the fibers in the material it also gives the fabric a refreshed appearance.

So, before you go out and start brushing away, there are several steps that must be taken while doing so or you might ruin the fabric you are trying to restore.  I have adhered to the following and have had remarkable results:

  • Lay the article on a flat surface, such as a table or ironing board
  • When removing debris from the fabric brush against the fabric grain/texture
  • Brush with the grain to restore the fabric to it’s normal conditioning

The clothes brush is an essential piece to any wardrobe that will help you keep your clothes in peak condition longer than you can imagine.

Being Comfortable in Your Clothes

Feeling great is at the core of dressing stylish; think about it, who wouldn’t want to feel good in the clothes that they are in?  Whether you are building a new wardrobe or just adding and/or removing a few, make sure that you are comfortable with what these pieces are.  There are look books and guidebooks on the internet relating to men’s style;however, you should incorporate the ideas presented in the resources in your own way.

Whenever you can add a bit of your own flavor to the mix, your personality and confidence will shine through; let it.

In addition, be on the lookout for my latest episode of TopNotch Male Style Tips, which will be uploaded later today.

Tie Tuesdays; does it matter?

Tie Tuesday is a common workplace term.  However, is it something that is used for the correct reason; heightening your workplace dress – or just to have a tie on with absolutely anything?  Ties should not just be worn on Tuesday, they are excellent pieces to be worn at any day of the week, Sunday through Saturday.  Do not wear a tie if the rest of your outfit does not work with it; simply adding a tie to an outfit that isn’t dressy or “hip” just makes your addition a detriment.

  • Can you wear a tie with jeans? Yes.  A tie with jeans can look fantastic; however, a tie instantly dresses up an outfit so in order for it to theoretically “work” you will need to wear it more relaxed with the top button unbuttoned.
  • My favorite tie is a Bugs Bunny tie.  Can I wear it? No.
  • Can I wear a tie other days of the week?  Yes, absolutely, in fact I try not to wear ties on “Tie Tuesday” just to be different.  Primarily because of my stance on the day itself.

Wear your tie to add style to your outfit; not only as part of a workplace gimmick.