Don't get in knots about silk ties!

Posted on March 27, 2019 by Wendy Gomersall

The golden rule is make sure you untie your silk tie and hang it when you take it off. Leaving the knot in place may be tempting, but it will leave creases, permanently spoiling the look of the tie. Tie hangers are great, allowing your silk ties to hang beautifully and making choosing a tie in the morning easier and quicker. And best of all, you will always know where to find your fave. 

When travelling, don't carry your tie loose in your suitcase. Crush marks can be difficult to remove and shoes and toiletries can do irreparable damage. If you travel regularly for business a tie case is a good investment. Alternatively when you travel, fold your tie in four and place it inside your suit pocket.

Removing stains from silk ties can be a challenge. Don't attempt to wash it – water and silk are not friends – and dry cleaning is definitely not recommended. Spots can often be removed by careful use of a spot cleaner – or club soda – using a clean cloth. Treat grease marks with a little talcum powder to absorb the grease over a period of several hours – or overnight – then gently wipe the residue away using a clean cloth.

Tie bars are not only great bling for men, they are an extremely practical accessory. Keeping your tie where it ought to be - out of your soup and any machinery!

But if the worst comes to the worst and your tie is cactus, what a great excuse to buy a beautiful new silk tie.

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So, what is a fat boy tie?

Posted on February 02, 2019 by Wendy Gomersall

This type of fat boy holds little interest to Harley Davidson enthusiasts and has much more to do with mens formal fashion.

Where the name came from I really don’t know, but fat boy (or fatboy) ties have really taken off in recent years as an alternative to a cravat or regular tie at weddings. You can buy them “untied” or “pre-tied” with matching adjustable neckbands.

The knot of a fat boy is looser and longer and the body of the tie is lavish. Satin, silk or tapestry-style fabrics are perfect. A talented dressmaker could make one to match the bridesmaid dresses or you can buy them in myriad colours. 
Worn with a matching or contrasting vest a fat boy tie lends an air of elegance without the formality of the cravat.

View our collection of fat boy ties.


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Father of the bride raises the bar

Posted on December 07, 2018 by Wendy Gomersall

Father-of-the-bride signs to I Loved Her First.  

Not a dry eye at the wedding reception when, rather than making a traditional speech, Nicole Cortez' father surprised her by signing (that's not a typo!) "I Loved Her First".

Nicole posted the vid on YouTube and explains that she is a sign language interpreter and her dad learned to sign the song secretly - it took him a year.

Simply beautiful.

Keep watching to the end - he has a special message for the bridegroom!

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Posted on December 01, 2015 by Wendy Gomersall

A Touch Of Bling For Men

Cufflink Man

Even in today’s enlightened age, a man wearing an earring can be frowned upon in the professional world and coming to work with a nose stud can be a career limiting move!

A single ring on each hand is just about acceptable and a stylish watch is a must. But in a shirt and tie culture even a classy gold chain goes unseen.

So what is a bloke to do if he likes a bit of bling? A pair of cufflinks may be the answer. They can be glitzy or gold. Crystal or mother of pearl. They can be sober or snazzy. And there are a myriad designs and price points to chose from.

Stay away from the overtly novelty type – no Homer Simpson donuts – but a discreet silver jet for example looks quite good. I would also avoid sporting logos, imagine reaching out to sign that new employment contract and your cuff becomes visible – wouldn’t it be a shame if your would-be employer is a one-eyed fan of the opposing team!

A sleek finishing touch to the business suit and an essential at any formal occasion, cufflinks provide the glamour. And at a black tie dinner you can team your cufflinks with a set of matching shirt studs – onyx and gold are my favourite.

Cufflinks make a great gift for a man who attends lots of formal events – or for someone who loves to wear French cuffs. And have become increasingly popular as gifts for men in the wedding party.

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The Formal Shirt

Posted on November 01, 2015 by Wendy Gomersall

TuxedoMens formal wear has certainly evolved over the years and the formal shirt is no exception. From its original construction in a tunic style with a detachable collar and cuffs, to the contemporary turn-down collar style.

Often mistakenly called wing-tip shirts (confused with wing-tip shoes I guess), wing collar shirts are favoured by barristers. However, their popularity as formalwear declined when the dinner jacket replaced the tailcoat as the norm for evening wear. And the detachable wing collar is a rarity now.

Todays formal shirts tend to have either a turn-down collar or a built in wing collar.  Some prefer the turn-down variety as these hide the neckband of the bow tie. Either style is acceptable today.

Formal ShirtFormal shirts can be plain or pique.  Pique relates to the weave of the shirt – the finer the pique the more elegant the shirt.  The most popular pique weave is birdseye (or Marcella) which has a fine diamond pattern.  The front panel of the shirt can be pleated or plain. True pleated shirts really look the part, however you can also buy shirts with the pleats woven in. These are great alternative for men who need to wear the shirts regular, say as part of a uniform, as they are much easier to launder.

Cufflinks are an essential finishing touch to mens formal wear.  And studs are an optional extra.  But visible buttons really are a no-no.  If you don’t want to wear shirt studs, then select a formal shirt that has concealed buttons.

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Caring For Mens Formal Wear

Posted on October 19, 2014 by Wendy Gomersall

Like owning a pet, purchasing mens formal wear comes with responsibility. If you want to get your money’s worth and look as great each time you wear it as you did first time on, then you need to take care of your suit, tux, dress shirt, etc.

Jackets should be hung on shaped wooden hangers to avoid crease lines and to maintain a good shape to the shoulders. When hanging, cotton garment bags or covers should be used to allow the fabric to breathe, prevent moisture build-up, stop dust marks on the shoulders and to help keep critters out. Keeping cedar chips in the wardrobe will also repel moths and moisture.

Remember to brush off any superficial dirt and gently dab off minor stains with a soft damp cloth before hanging your suit.

Follow the manufacturers care instructions for all your garments. If it says don’t dry clean, then guess what, don’t dry clean! Traditionally dress shirts were laundered using starch on the bib front, collar and cuffs, but good quality modern formal shirts tend to be dry cleanable. Avoid dry cleaning your suits, whether formal or business, too often as this will shorten their lifespan. If you have been in a smoky, smelly environment, you can usually air them before hanging to remove the odours.

Any creases can be removed by a gentle steaming – home steamers can be a good investment. But a great tip for removing creases when travelling (or even at home) it to hang the garment in the bathroom while you take your shower.

If you don’t wear your dress shoes very often, store them in cotton bags.  This will allow them to breathe and keep them dust free. A cedar shoe tree is also an inexpensive investment to maintain the shape of your shoes and remove any excess moisture.

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What are Cravats?

Posted on October 12, 2014 by Wendy Gomersall

The Cravat

Cravats have their roots in history rather than modern fashion. The cravat is the forerunner to today’s mens ties.  Originating in Croatia and adopted by the French, who switched from wearing stiff linen ruffs to the softer, looser neckwear favoured by the Croatian military.

Traditionally a narrow length of white linen decorated with lace, a fringe, or knotted tassels, the cravat was worn wrapped about the throat and loosely tied in front.  Nowadays however cravats come in all sorts of colours, but when coloured cravats were first introduced they were said to depict certain things.  For example blue was for calmness and black was – not unsurprisingly – for mourning.  Red signified love or rage – one would want to be sure which emotion that wearer was expressing!

Popular through the ages the cravat has had many incarnations and has seen a recent revival for everyday wear by MasterChef judge, Matt Preston.  However the most popular use of cravats in today’s society is to lend an elegant touch to the groom’s outfit.

For wedding cravats, muted colours are more popular – greys, ivory, silver, black or white.  However they look fabulous in antique gold or burgundy.  And can, of course, be matched to the colour of the bridesmaids’ dresses.

While cravats are now available ready-tied with adjustable neck bands, the original cravat can either be worn informally or with a formal cravat pin. To tie, drape the cravat around your neck and cross the long end over the short. Take the longer end back underneath and pass back through the loop. Fold the longer end over the knot and pass over again or fold down and fasten with your cravat pin.

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