The History of Tie Clips

Picture source: GQ

Accessories have the ability to upgrade your look significantly. Take for example the tie clip, this small and simple accessory can add sophistication to any suit and tie combination. Furthermore, apart from its great addition to your look, it is also very practical to keep your tie in place on occasions where you have to lean across a table with food and candles, stand up frequently or shake many hands.

Tie clips, tie bars, tie slides, tie clasps… They all refer to the horizontal thing that securely clips a neck tie to the dress shirt. The tie as we know it today, became popular around the year 1850. About 20 years later, men started using tie pins to affix the tie to the shirt. Eventually, in the 1920s, tie clips became more popular, because they did not require to puncture and thus damage the delicate ties.

The tie clip had been gratefully embraced by the American corporate, civic, and political culture. It could easily be used as a miniature billboard and most presidents have their signature put on a tie clip. Other than that, tie clips were also used for memorial purposes, like for the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Many civic-minded groups, schools and corporations followed.

Now the question remains, how did this accessory, once a menswear staple, fall so precipitously from favor? As fashion became more casual during the 20th century, the tie clip started fading from the fashion world. Suits in general became less popular to wear to sport games, which gave the tie clip a more ‘corporate’ image. Moreover, the typical lifelong job at one company became less common and people were not as tied to one company as they used to be. This also resulted in leaving the typical tie clip, with the name of the company on it, at home.

Lately, the tie clip seems to be making a comeback. Although it’s still not common to wear it, we vote in favor of the tie clip! It is still functional and can make your look much more sophisticated very easily. For those lucky enough to have bought one years ago, got one as a gift or inherited one: dig it up, make it shine and start wearing it! For the unfortunate people among us that do not have a tie clip roaming around or the one you already have should not ever be seen in daylight, we have bad and good news. Let’s start with the bad news. The tie clip has become an endangered species. Especially in comparison with neck ties. Even if you are not looking to buy a tie in Manhattan, you will still be bombarded with the amount of ties that are available in stores and even on the streets. A tie clip, however, is no where to be found in the big department stores. The good news is, nowadays literally anything can be purchased over the internet. You can find some very affordable tie clips on Amazon.com or Thetiebar.com. For a fancier clip, you should visit Mrporter.com.

 

Article source: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/fashion/2007/05/here_lies_the_tie_clip.html?nav=tap3, by Paul Devlin

How to Choose a Cologne

Scientists have investigated the effect of scent and it has been proven that we unconsciously store different scents in our memory. It has even been found that the well-known ‘Axe-effect’ really exists. Although unconsciously, someone’s scent is one of the most influential factors on the formation of your first impression about that person.

Fortunately, we are not totally dependent on our very own body odor. We can influence the smell that we distribute  to people around us by using a refined perfume. When you have found the right perfume that fits you, it can become your signature scent that will make people remember you. It might sound cliché, but it’s true.

For the guys that do not have a female friend, girlfriend or sister to help them out – because let’s face it, that’s the easiest way to pick a great scent that women like – here’s a guide on how to choose a cologne all by yourself. This guide is based on the guide by Everyguyed.com.

 

Fragrance Construction

To create a perfume, a mixture of diverse fragrances is mixed into a dissolvent. The dissolvent is in most cases alcohol. The alcohol evaporates fast, but the fragrance ingredients will stay on your skin and will evaporate much slower.

Perfume types

Most people cannot tell the difference between for example an Eau de Parfum and an Eau de Toilette, while it is actually pretty simple. The difference lies in the relative amount of fragrance ingredients. Here’s an overview of perfume types and their properties:

  • Perfume: 20-40% fragrance ingredients
  • Eau de Parfum: 10-20% fragrance ingredients
  • Eau de Toilette: 5-10% fragrance ingredients
  • Eau de Cologne: 2-5% fragrance ingredients

Choosing a perfume type is mostly a matter of personal preference. Keep in mind that as the fragrance concentrate gets higher, the price also rises. On the other hand, when using a perfume with a higher fragrance concentrate, less of the product is needed to achieve the same scent intensity with a lower concentrate perfume. There is no distinction between perfume types for men or women, colognes for example can be used by either sex. However, colognes are usually marketed to men as an alternative for perfume.

A classical constructed perfume consists of three notes: top notes, middle notes and base notes. These notes interact and create a full and rich scent.

Top Notes

Top notes, or tête in French, are the aromas that are dominant in the first few minutes after applying the perfume. These are usually bold scents and you can still smell the dissolvent at this point. As the top notes will influence your first impression of the perfume, these are meant to get your attention and are important in the sales of perfumes. Typical top notes are citrus fragrances. As the top notes evaporate, it is time to shine for the middle.

Middle Notes

The middle notes, or coeur in French, will rise after the top notes evaporated, usually after approximately ten minutes. Middle notes last for about half an hour. Soft floral notes are mostly used for this layer.

Base Notes

Base notes, or fond in French, are the odors that lasts after the top and middle notes have evaporated. Base notes are usually soft and subtle, like the scent of different types of wood. The base notes emerge after an hour or two after you have applied the perfume and these will linger until you change or shower.

 

All together, these notes create a layered, complex scent that changes while you wear it. It takes some practice to recognize different notes in a perfume, but a basic understanding of this can help you to select a great perfume over a mediocre one.

Picking A Scent

Important in the steps of selecting your personal scent, is to always make sure it fits with your personality and style. Go to a store where they sell a good selection of fragrances and try different scents on the tester cards. Remember that you should not rush this decision on investing in your personal signature scent. The best thing to do is to write down your favorites and come back later to try them again, since your sense of smell can be overwhelmed smelling many different fragrances.

If you feel like it is getting hard to smell the difference between scents, make sure you take a little break and smell the coffee beans that are usually around to ‘reset’ your nose. Coffee beans are known to remove odors and neutralize the perception of scent.

After you have selected two or three fragrances that you like, never skip the last step of testing them on your own skin. The same perfume can smell different on another person, because it interacts with your sweat, body heat and body chemistry.

 

Wearing Your New Scent

Where most women have developed their own elaborate ritual to apply their perfumes, many men seem to be confused at this point. Applying your fragrance is not subject to a real science, but we have some useful advise on where and how to apply.

Your body generates most heat on the wrists and neck, which is why these are called the ‘pulse points’. Perfume applied onto these points will emerge  from your body. Applied under your clothes like on the chest, back and thighs, perfume will be kept away from air and thus linger longer. Be careful with overuse, you don’t want to be walking around like one big cloud of perfume.

Do not combine your fragrance with a powerfully scented deodorant, as unexpected interactions can create unpleasant smell. Most department stores sell complementary deodorants, shower gels and more made from the same fragrance concentrate that was used for your perfume. Other than that, you can also use an unscented deodorant.

As you become more comfortable wearing your new personal fragrance, you can think about investing in other perfumes for different occasions.

 

Article source: http://everyguyed.com/howto/choose-cologne/

Combining an Outfit the Night Before

Picture source: http://asuitablewardrobe.dynend.com/

As the days that mother used to lay out our clothes carefully selected for the day are bygone time, at least for most guys, we have to deal with this ourselves. For many men, this task is a lot harder than expected. Your clothes have to be appropriate for the plans of the day, and they have to match following the various rules of outfit combining. For example, your belt should match your shoes, or your tie should pick up on the colors of your suit and shirt etcetera.

We found an interesting piece on combining your outfit on Asuitablewardrobe.com.

“André Churchwell lays out his clothes for the next day before he goes to sleep for the night. Great minds think alike, says I.  After all, assuming a man has no-one to do it for him, and who does, choosing one’s clothes the night before saves time in the morning. It is not so much that the time required can mean a missed flight. No, the important thing is that one never has to spend the day grumbling under one’s breath over a not quite right necktie that there was no time to change.

I begin the process by choosing my tailored clothing based on the most formal thing I will be doing the next day. The choice is a function of rotation more than anything else. The season’s suits are on a closet bar with the most recently worn on the right. Odd jackets are on a separate bar. If it is a suburban day, for example, choosing something is just a matter of pulling an appropriate item from the far left on the bar and hanging it on a valet so I can choose accessories. That is where the trouble comes in.

Choosing accessories basically means I have to decide whether the day will feature a tie or a shirt. If I have a new necktie that I want to wear, for example, then the shirt has to complement it. Or, I may want to try a particular shirt with the jacket, and need a necktie that works with the two of them. Selection of the primary accessory generally takes no time to speak of. Deciding on the other is the hard part, usually requiring me to look through every option I own. Sometimes more than once.  Sometimes a lot more than once. I am a case study in how long it can take to decide on a black knit necktie but things are all downhill after that.

Shirt and tie in hand, it is just a minute more to choose a pocket square in a different texture than my necktie. Shoes follow, then socks that complement without matching, braces and cufflinks if I will be wearing them.

Trust me, this is all better done the night before. One needs time for jacket steaming and shoe brushing in the morning. I need a valet.”

 

Article source: http://asuitablewardrobe.dynend.com/2011/10/i-need-valet.html, editor: Will Boehlke