"Hey does this go with this?" I probably say this 4 times a week to my long-suffering spouse. I've never been an especially snappy dresser, but I have always tried to be put together. I've also never had to work in an office setting with a strictly professional dress code––I taught college for years. Guys in my field routinely dress in polo shirts or something short-sleeved that matches a pair of khaki pants. I'm the kind of guy who tried to make it work with a dark jean/button down/casual blazer––a sloppy and corpulent imitation of Josh Radnor or other random "nice" guy on TV...
Then I started working a venue where I was surrounded by
What clothing item has something in common with freelance warriors, the Rat Pack, and a famous scientist from a beloved 1990's kid's show? Yep, you're staring at it: the bow tie.
Let's take a few minutes to dive into the fascinating world of this one-of-a-kind accessory.
Today is Valentine's Day, and couples of all sorts will be headed out on the town to celebrate. Whether such plans are on your radar, or you're generally interested in looking snazzy without seeming like you just came from a sales meeting, we thought we'd share some basic ideas and tips to, well, nail it.
The Half-Windsor Knot - the classic knot every man should know. It's the perfect versatile knot that works both in the office and on more formal occasions without ever drawing too much attention to itself any which way. Whether you've never tried it or if you just haven't tied it in awhile, here's a slick and well-produced how to video from MR PORTER to brush you up.
Any guy who's visited a thrift store or a secondhand shop can attest to the ties. Some are hideous, but some are great - unique, but subtle patterns, or an lived-in color combo that can bring your getup together.
There is, of course, the problem of size and the insane widths that used to pass for stylish. But! Snag that vintage necktie anyway, cause its easy to adjust.
Mr. Porter, an online men's style shop, teamed up with Drake’s of London Creative Director Michael Hill for this helpful video on folding pocket squares. Mr. Hill (he seems more like a "Mr. Hill" than a "Mike," right?) offers four options for folding the same pocket square for four different looks: business, eccentric, casual, and elegant.
I know how to tie a tie in three different ways...though I really only use the one (Half Windsor). I figured there were, oh, seven or eight other ways to do it, and perhaps I'd learn them at some point Turns out, I was way off on that number. By about, oh, a hundred and seventy seven thousand one hundred and thirty five. Ish.
Jason Loper - founder of Captain Dapper and friend of ManMade - figured out this excellent technique for turning old worn out neck ties (hit the thrift store!) into stylish DIY bow ties.
The Hill-side, a Brooklyn-based necktie and pocket square company, created this sweet animated video where a bow tie teaches you how to tie itself. It's got a great old school Sesame Street-style vibe, and actually manages to be quite informative, cause there aren't any hands to get in the way.
Trust me, you want to watch this:
Those of you in the financial or business sector have got this covered, but for those who don't wear one to work everyday, it doesn't make sense to have a closet full of suits if you only wear one five or six times a year. So, here are some quick tips for the rest of us - the recent college grad, the artist, the programmers - on buying one suit and dressing it up and down to wear it multiple ways.
We've featured a DIY technique for making your own wooden bow ties on ManMade, but if you're in the market for a high-end handmade piece created from exotic hardwoods, check out Two Guys Bow Ties.
Friends, meet Martin Green, the Brooklyn-based master of the custom suit, who's been called the world's greatest tailor, and has made a bespoke suit for nearly everyone who's in the business of needing a bespoke suit, including U.S. presidents and other government employees, and film and television departments, such as the vintage recreates
Martin's career began when he came to the U.S. in 1947 as a German concentration camp survivor, and began his apprenticeship in the garment industry as a "floorboy," running fabrics and patterns around the seamshop. He now owns that very company where he began, GGG Clothing, and tailors the best custom suits in the country.
He says, "Everybody is a perfect person. There are no two people alike that you'll meet in your lifetime...I have to make you a suit that fits you," as he describes the efforts he's able to make to accomodate for all kinds of body types and needs.
Watch this excellent video to learn more about this incredible man:
Of all the potential man crafts, the handmade neck tie is one of my favorites. It combines everything that ManMade stands for: it's made by hand, it's something you can use everyday, it's decidely cheaper than buying one at the store, and it's uniquely masculine.
Unless you're Orville Redenbacher, you're more of an occasional bow tie wearer rather than a daily guy.
Or perhaps you've never worn one, and have no idea what you'd look like in a real, hand tied deal rather than that ribbon-y thing from the tuxedo rental place.
Either way - you likely don't remember exactly how to tie
The neck tie can have a big effect on whatever you're wearing. It can dress up a pair of jeans, add punch to a blazer, and generally up whatever shirt you're wearing...provided it has a collar.
But sometimes, you wanna control the "up." There are lots occassions where your finest silk is a little overkill, or that perfectly balanced double-windsor can actually make you overdressed. In those occassions, when you need just a bit of extra style, give the just-casual-enough knit tie a shot...and while you're at it, make it yourself.
When Queens, NY-based artist Nicholas Ruiz had finished up the work for the Picasso: Guitars 1912–1914 exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, Ruiz decided to pay tribute to the artist by creating a custom bowtie from guitar picks and super glue for the exhibit opening.