Style Tips

Great Christmas Gift Ideas for Men: Neckties: Give Dad, or any Other Man in Your Life, The Gift of Style!

A necktie can be a very personal gift, despite the slew of holiday advertising from other retailers that try to convince you to stay away from holiday hallmarks. By paying attention to what types of neckties the recipient of your gift already wears most frequently, you can begin to develop a pattern of taste that will allow you to pick out a similar or complementary product. When it boils down to the final decision however, many factors and questions immediately spring to mind.

Contemporary Styles and Colours

Popular styles in the necktie vary – depending on the age, occupation, and taste of the gentleman you might be buying the product for.

For young men, stripes are very much in style – the bolder the better. Be on the lookout for aggressive colours that hitherto may have carried a social stigma for being too effete, such as pinks, purples, and aqua. Do not be afraid to experiment; most stylish young men are not afraid of colour and will appreciate the challenge that a brightly coloured tie might afford them in expanding their accessories.

For older men, a tastefully patterned or perhaps even a paisley print might be a better choice – paisley skinny ties from TieSecret has made a return to the fashion stage and looks wonderful on a necktie with a jet black base with gold trim. Be on the lookout for wine, crimson, navy, gold, and silver coloured ties to impart a sense of distinguished and confident style.

Price Points, Name Brands, and Quality

It is recommended that you always purchase neckwear from reputable and trusted names in the fashion industry – designer neckwear can be affordable if you are a wise and patient consumer. A more modestly priced necktie from Geoffrey Beene, Calvin Klein, Ted Baker, or DKNY will last a great deal longer than a cheap imitation – and can be bought at the very same department store in most instances.

Some of the more luxurious neckwear to be found comes from designers such as Ermenegildo Zegna or Brioni – it is of vital important to purchase these brands directly from reputable menswear stores or from legitimate online dealers; eBay is filled to the rafters with third-rate imitations and knock-offs, buyer beware being a very wise precept to follow when considering a purchase of expensive designer neckties. Zegna and Brioni ties are handmade, extremely thick and supple, and extremely fashionable – oft-times several steps ahead of the competition.

Department stores such as Winners that focus on name brands often carry a full line of designer neckwear at fantastic prices – so be sure to spend some time hunting for bargains at like-minded outlets.

Final Thoughts & Recommendations

No matter what the tie, be sure that it is woven silk – not printed silk nor polyester. Ensure that it does not have any major hitches in the tie at the time of purchase; roll the tie over a few times to inspect it for stains, hitches, or pronounced wrinkles. Any tie is sure to accrue some amount of battle damage over its lifespan – but there’s no need to accelerate the process by buying a tie in less than mint condition from the retailer!

Always be confident in your selection – never buy a piece that only seems lukewarm to your sensibilities. This way you can be sure that your gift will be well appreciated and, best of all, you can have the pride of seeing it worn by that special man in your life!

Dirty Denim, Men’s Fashion on Sundance Channel: Director Douglas Keeve, Designers Chip & Pepper on Denim Style

Highlighting both the stylistic as well as the hard-nosed business aspects of the savagely cut-throat designer denim business in beautiful California, Sundance Channel’s web-series Dirty Denim is quick, informative, and extremely interesting for those who have a passion for looking good and dressing even better.

Chip and Pepper, Hudson Jeans, J Brand, Henry Duarte, and Other Designers

Dirty Denim, although a fairly brief webseries, chronicles the rise and continued flow of the denim wave – a huge resurgent interest in designer denim since the turn of this century. Peter Kim of Hudson Jeans opens up the first episode of the webseries (“Birth of Jeans”) with a very insightful statement to the effect that denim has become high fashion, it has expanded beyond its utilitarian roots and stands shoulder to shoulder with haute couture.

Chip and Pepper, as the central designers that the web-series focuses on, bring a dynamic and irascible humour to the show – their ebullient and playful personalities providing the perfect counterbalance to the somewhat serious business tone offered in most industry documentaries. The episodes vary in length, normally between three and five minutes, and are the perfect length to establish a point and see it played through in various instances.

Down and Dirty Denim Details – How Jeans are Made, Washed, and Stylized

The second episode of Dirty Denim is particularly interesting from a sartorial and stylistic standpoint – Chip and Pepper discuss the denim wash and detailing process. Explaining that the wash and dye process can be fairly expensive, and that each grind, hole, tear, and stitch has to be laid down and designed by hand – one can immediately appreciate the workmanship necessary to produce a designer pair of denim jeans. Jeff Rudes of J Brand jeans is particularly illuminating on this subject.

Taking a trip to the wash house in downtown Los Angeles, the twins immediately describe the wash process and provide a humourous interaction with what they term the developer, who creatively puts various designs on each individual pair of jeans.

Henry Duarte showcases a particular pair of what is commonly termed destroyed denim jeans, articulating just how much work and computerized design is necessary to produce these glamourous, cosmopolitan fashion statements. Beyond what appears to be simply-worn blue jeans, a myriad of design elements and aesthetic choices are necessarily made, intentionally producing a highly individual and stylistic product.

Directed by Douglas Keeve, Dirty Denim is a surprising little gem that stylish men should consider required viewing – particulary if one wishes to understand a little bit more about an industry that continues to be extremely lucrative and extremely influential in terms of both smart casual style and designer fashion.

Straight Eye for the Queer Guy, Men’s Fashion: Fresh, New Wardrobe and Clothing Suggestions for Gay Men

Gay men sometimes are beholden to a metrosexual stereotype regardless of their stylistic persuasion – whether they are couch potatos or do, in fact, dress to impress. Though this pre-emptive assumption can be beneficial or positive in the sense that many people perceive gay men to be fashionable and cosmopolitan, it can also lead to assumptions regarding fashion choices that simply do not hold water.

Conservative, Muted Colours with a Bold Accessory (Ties, Cufflinks, Eyeglasses)

Breaking the mould is one thing that should be at the top of all men’s lists, as nobody makes an impression without standing out a bit from the crowd. Challenging the flamboyant and excessive stereotype with a more streamlined, serious, and yet polished look is one suggested avenue for gay men who wish to strike out in an individualistic direction.

Fit is still supremely important, though it should be tapered in suit jackets and dress shirts without looking too tight – appropriate fit is not only aesthetically attractive, but it is comfortable and well-rounded. Just as suit jackets that are too large look slovenly and unattractive, the same holds true for suit jackets or dress shirts that are too tight.

Colour is another consideration, particularly in the sense that the liberalization of men’s fashion has increased the spectrum of commonly worn colours. What this means is that pushing the envelope no longer means only combining an entire ensemble of bold tones, but also the possibility of incorporating these bright hues via a striking centerpiece on a background of well-tailored, conservative base colours.

Gay men should consider choosing a mix-and-match approach to building an image that is both unpredictable and captivating; by selecting premium quality items from both conservative and bold categories (and accentuating the bold by limiting it to one exquisite centerpiece such as a gold paisley necktie or a nice pair of Dolce & Gabbana eyeglasses) gay men will not only display excellent taste in co-ordinating a wardrobe but will also find a greater range of individual expression that diverges in an unexpected yet professional direction.

Gay Fashion Faux Pas – No More Sockless Shoes, Boys!

One unfortunate byproduct of having crafted a market specific to gay fashion trends is the explicit possibility of crafting some truly horrific advice for men who are simply looking to improve their image. No larger culprit can be found than a receding insinuation that loafers be worn without socks.

No shoe, particularly leather shoes such as the high-quality designer footwear normally associated with this trend, should ever be worn sockless. Not only will wearing leather shoes or loafers without socks contribute to extremely smelly feet, it will also contribute to a pair warped, discoloured, and odorous leather shoes. For those who can’t relinquish their sockless revolution without a fight, sandals or the extremely interesting Sanuk brand of “sidewalk surfers” are the most appropriate forms of footwear that can be worn without socks.

Skinny jeans are another particular fashion faux pas that has been appropriated from the gay community and now is in widespread use by trend-seeking hipsters. Skinny jeans, without reservation, are not flattering on men in any context and cannot be worn in any professional capacity. Further, men of average build and those more heavyset will look absolutely ridiculous in a pair of skinny jeans.

By keeping a trained eye and a motivation for complementary mixing-and-matching that blends the best of both style worlds, gay men can express themselves without falling prey to aesthetic prejudice or sartorial pigeonholing – unable to be categorized, these men gain much greater power through the expression of their individual image and personality.

Hot Summer Fashion for Men – Staying Cool: Fabrics and Colours Can Keep You From Sweating Too Much!

Whether one is travelling south during the winter, going on a caribbean cruise, or simply calls a tropical climate their home – it is supremely important to invest in some warm weather clothing that will protect you from sweating and discomfort while out and about during the day. Many factors can influence your daily (and nightly) comfort, including fabric choices, colours, and even types of garments.

What to Wear, Staying Cool Under the Sun

A few garments and accessories to consider mandatory would be a pair of nice sunglasses, a beautiful hat to protect you from the bearing down heat of the sun, as well as chinos, polo shirts, short sleeve collared shirts, and a beautiful linen jacket. These are the staples of a summerwear wardrobe and are truly requisite for any man looking to remain stylish while avoiding discomfort while spending time out in the heat.

Some of the most popular sunglasses this season available to men are being offered by popular designers Dolce & Gabbana, or D & G. Some particular styles that are especially trendy for this summer include the Valentino and the Revo. Another popular designer in men’s summer eyewear is Christian Dior, whom is offering a few stunning models such as the Black Tie, and the Flavour. With beautiful tints ranging from mauve to chocolate – this year’s collection is hard to beat.

With regards to polo shirts, Lacoste is certainly one of the best labels on the market at the moment. With an accessible price point, being relatively inexpensive for designer menswear, it is truly great style for both young and old. Lacoste is famous for using very bright colours in their collections, helping to inspire a boisterous, youthful, energetic look that is still fitting and appropriate for more mature gentlemen.

Some of the standout contenders in the collection for this summer season include a vintage washed pique polo available in 23 colours, as well as a Silver Collection bead pique polo available in two colours in a contrast collar styling. Lacoste also produces a full line of menswear outside of their hallmark polo shirt product that is well worth looking into.

Finally, to top off any look ranging from a designer polo to a lightweight summer sport shirt, a linen jacket for strolling or for dinner is a near must for any sharp dressed gentleman looking to put a finish on a somewhat casual summer look. A more casual and modern look has been introduced by legendary designer Armani in the Guru linen jacket. Featuring a mandarin collar and large patch pockets topped off with contrast threaded topstitching – the jacket blends a slim silhouette with a very fresh and innovative styling. For another modern and stylish look, a cotton blazer is also a cool alternative – Calvin Klein offering a beautiful classic fit, zip-up cotton blazer for under $200 this season from their website.

Colours and Other Suggestions to Stay Cool

Lighter colours will benefit any summer wardrobe – not only due to their aesthetic value but also for the obvious practical reasons of repelling sunlight rather than absorbing it into the fabric. Black and other darker fabrics grow extremely hot under the sweltering heat of the sun and so it is best to ensure that your summer wardrobe is comprised of lighter, more vibrant colours for more than one reason.

Other accessories that are often forgotten about are socks – many men simply wear crew socks all year long without consideration to the temperatures of their feet in constraining footwear. While sandals may be a viable alternative with several beautiful styles being offered by quality companies such as Clark’s, many times dress shoes must still be worn during the summer months for formal or corporate functions. For this reason, men should surely invest in some SmartWool socks.

Despite the common conception that wool is hot, sticky, and wet – smartwool socks are comfortable both in the coldest months of the winter as well as the dog days of summer. Ensure that the socks are dress socks of a thin construction rather than heavier guage crew or athletic socks however – this distinction makes a world of difference.

Outfitted in the proper wardrobe a gentleman can have confidence not only in his image but also in his comfort – and that truly is the most important factor when faced with rising temperatures and bright, beautiful outdoor scenery.