Collar Pins

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An elegantly worn tie should have a slight forward arch below the knot. Back in the days when three piece suits were more common than two piece suits, the tie was supported by the vest, forcing it a bit forward. Achieving this arch nowadays can be hard without the vest, however there are some tools to get there. Wearing a collar pin or a shirt with a tab collar can help your tie to ‘pop’, but then again, these accessories have become less common to wear. Obviously, this is not an excuse to forget about dressing well all together. We should always strive to present ourselves well, like Frank Sinatra did.

A long time ago, the collars of many dress shirts were specifically designed to wear them with a collar pin. One would pin the collar pin or bar through the collars to hold up the tie. Some collar pins look a lot like a safety pin while others might look more like an extended piercing with two small balls at both ends. The latter is called a barbell and both ends screw off to easily shove the pin through the holes in the collar wings. The third possible design is a bar with clips on both ends that takes hold of the collar ends (picture).

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The pin collar style is suited for all face shapes except for a diamond shape face. Shirts with this type of collar are not meant to wear without a tie, as the holes in the collar wings will look strange. The tab collar is another option to create an arch in your tie. Two small pieces of fabric and a button connect the collar wings together. The tie is worn over this ‘tab’. This will keep your collar nice in place and make your tie look really good.


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Hallmarks of a Quality Dress Shirt

1. Always trust your instincts. The first test is to make sure the material feels good to the touch. A quality dress shirt should be woven from 250 two-ply cotton and will therefore be stronger, softer and less sensitive to wrinkling. The design of the fabric should match where any two pieces of fabrics meet.

2. Also, make sure the shirt is single-needle stitched—more yarn is used, but seams are stronger. Inspect the seam running down the side of the shirt for smoothness and make sure it does not pucker.

3. The collar of a great fitting custom shirt should be firm and crisp. It should not be limp and under no circumstances it should have any wrinkles or bubbles. A well made custom shirt should have removable stays or built in stays for a crisp, firm look. The collar should be constructed in two pieces and hand turned.

4. A quality dress shirt should have split-yoke detailing. The yoke is cut in two and sewn up the middle rather than placed in as one piece.

5. Pay attention to the buttons: Mother-of-pearl is preferable to plastic. They should be sewn with a cross locked stitch to ensure your buttons stay firmly attached. Examine the shirt sleeve a couple of inches above the cuff for a gauntlet button that closes up the sleeve.


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Healthy Teeth

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What is a great outfit without a great smile? Men turn out to give more attention to shaving and skin care, but what about dental care? We found a nice article on this subject on

After having recently researched the preventative measures to keep my teeth through old-age and retain a smile worth showing, here’s a few tips I learned that will help save your smile:

  1. First thing’s first, stumble our from the covers and drink a tall glass of water.  Our lack of water consumption, and typically dry household air, radically dehydrates your body and mouth over the course of the night. Bearing in mind that a dry mouth breeds the very bacteria that cause gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath, start your morning off with as much water as you can drink in one sitting. One glass (10-12oz) is great, two is better. Your body and mouth will thank you!
  2. Floss, every tooth, morning, night and throughout the day. Lunch at Peter Luger’s leaving you picking at your teeth all afternoon? Reach for your dime-store solution to most periodontal problems. Starting behind your last molar, floss between each crevice twice, once pulling outward to clean the forward tooth, once pushing backward for the rear surface.  Difficulty fitting the string between your teeth? Experiment with thicknesses, from ribbon to fine until you discover what feels most comfortable.
  3. Rinse with warm water before brushing. Brush each tooth, moving the brush in small circles across the surface. Pay special attention to darker or discolored areas and crevices in molars that tend to catch food.
  4. While we’re on the subject, invest in a quality toothbrush. While we have no issue forking over money for new phones, televisions and gaming systems, the thought of spending money on a toothbrush technology seems unreasonable. Though the initial investment may hurt, trade up your traditional brush for its electronic counterpart. If you’re anything like me, you’re staring down the price-point, starting around $50, alongside the 2-for-1 supermarket special. This isn’t apples to apples, not even apples to oranges…this is like comparing a Ferrari to a Razor Scooter. You won’t regret it.
    After your purchase, read the directions! Most require charging well ahead of use and contain specific details regarding angle and pressure of brushing. Start chipping away at years of missed plaque and debris from traditional brushes!
  5. Rinse with warm water. Spit. Rinse again. Spit. Gargle. Spit. Rinse with non-alcoholic, fluoride rinse for 20-30 seconds. Spit. Leave for 20 minutes before eating or drinking again. Find a wash sans alcohol since, similar to booze, the chemical dries out your mouth and gums.
  6. Stay fresh throughout the day. Dental health shouldn’t be relegated to morning and nights. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, succeeding any cup of coffee, tea, alcohol, juice or other sugary drink. If you must consume sugars or dyes, water will limit the exposure to your teeth.  Use treated toothpicks, like those soaked in Tea Tree Oil, a natural antiseptic, to remove debris and chew sugarless gum to continually stimulate saliva production. If possible, keep a travel brush in your desk for discreet, after lunch, before meeting runs to brighten your smile.
  7. Consider investing in a humidifier for the bedroom. In additional to keeping your skin, sinuses and eyes better hydrated, thus preventing a myriad of other unsavory conditions, the balanced environment will help avoid hours of dryness throughout the night. If a humidifier seems too bulky, try setting a glass or pot of warm water adjacent to the radiator or floor grate for forced hot air.


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