White Tie, Black Tie, And Watches: Is It Ever Okay To Wear A Watch With A Tux?

Reblogged from Hodinkee WEDNESDAY MARCH 30, 2016

The trend in men’s style over the last few hundred years has been towards less and less complexity, but every once in a while, one still gets an invitation that says, “black tie.” There’s a tendency to think of the black tie dress code as something rigidly fixed, but despite that, there’s still room for sometimes very varying ideas on what, exactly, is or is not okay for a gent to don at a black tie event – and one of the subjects we’ve seen HODINKEE readers wax right wrathful over, is whether or not you should or should not wear a watch. Let’s get into this delightfully contentious subject and see whether or not, whether pro or stridently con, you’re on the right side of history and custom.

Ralph Lauren 867 Square Model, White Gold

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The Most Amazingly Swell Men’s Skivvies Money Can Buy

charcoal-orange-300x300We can’t really talk about how to look and dress swell with out addressing the basic foundation of clothing. Of course we all know that if you sweat wear an undershirt, going commando is for kids, and tightey-whiteys are way out, but there should be more thought put into your underwear than just grabbing a package of what is on sale at your local stuff-mart. Continue reading

A Swell Guide to Growing up Already, and Being a Man.

oliver-strewe-man-and-boy-watching-work-oriomo-plateau-western-papua-new-guineaWelcome to my 100th Blog post on How to be Swell! What better way to celebrate 100 posts than to go back to basics and discuss what it takes to be Swell! I stumbled across a great list of what it means to be a man the other day, I found it on Business Insider, feel free to read it in its entirety. I was inspired by some of what was there to compile my own list, maybe you could call this post “finally the follow up to Frederick Douglass on Being Swell” . Nah, I like a Swell Guide to Growing up Already.

So I co-opted this list read from  @GSElevator and John Carney (@Carney) of CNBC.com  and edited it to suit my swell readers and added some quotes that are meaningful to me as well We’ve all seen and perhaps grown tired of guides and lists that are full of tedious clichés and humdrum regurgitated meme wisdom.  so, here is a swell look at what it means to be a swell man today loosely categorized, now Grow up already. Continue reading

Something Swell from Detroit

Stainless-Steel-_-Motor-Agate-Fordite-Cufflinks-1132_largeI came across one of the coolest designers this week, If you are a car nut like I am you will agree this stuff is great. A company called Urban Relic Design has created some swell mens and ladies jewelry from what they call Fordite. They do lots of jewelry in gemstones and metals, and plenty of recycled materials, which I really think is pretty swell of them, but what I fell in love with was what they call Fordite. Fordite is kind of a play on words, the root being the Ford automobile and the Suffix “ite” to sound like a natural gemstone, they also call it Motor agate.Sterling-Silver-and-Motor-Agate-Fordite-Ring-1066_large

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The French Cuffed Shirt

With Pearls

I am a man who like jewelry. Of course I would, I am a gemologist, I run a jewelry store, and I blog about mens fashion and jewelry. Unfortunately there is a limit (contrary to what some men believe) to how much jewelry men can wear. I am not going to lie, there are some days I push that limit, but if you do it right and subtle you can get away with just a little extra. Here is where the french cuffed shirt comes in . Now that is sort of tongue in cheek, I don’t wear frenched cuffs just to wear extra jewelry, that’s a bonus.20121206-182004.jpg Continue reading

Mad Men Marketing Part II- Banana Republic Mad Men Collection

Mad Men® Collection Straw FedoraOkay I admit it, I am a sucker. I love cross promotion, I fall for product placements, and believe brand ambassadors. There are literally hundreds of examples of great partnerships and cross promotions out there; The James Bond Omega, Breitling for Bently, and Ball for BMW. Product placement has been around since Thomas Edison and Moving Pictures, and Mad Men is a show that is built perfectly for and flawlessly executes good product placement. For seasons Five and Six, the “Mad Men” creators are going at the idea of cross promotion and going at it hard. I admit they have some great ideas and it has worked on me yet again. That’s why I am writing about it here; a two-part series on Mad Men Marketing.

Part 2: Banana Republic Mad Men Collection Continue reading

Swell driving shoes-The original Car Shoe

Car Shoe Classic driving shoeCars with nice leather and heated steering wheels may have eliminated the need for driving gloves for the modern driver, but driving shoes certainly still have a place. I haven’t put much thought into driving shoes until recently, even though I have always been aware of them. Now, I’ve found a great driving shoe that you all need to check out.

Not my car…..unfortunately

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The Proper Care and Feeding of your Summer Style

After writing on mens swim wear, I decided to continue the trend of helping men look swell in summer wear. When it is warm us guys want to be comfortable, and we sometimes have limited options depending on the occasion, so here is a guide to help – The care and feeding of your summer style.

Shorts:

There arent many items in a man’s wardrobe that elicit as much debate as shorts do.I am going to give you some help on wearing them. Shorts are a modern addition to a man’s wardrobe and thus are still finding acceptance.  Although common everywhere in North America, they are not common in many other parts of the world,even where its hot.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries there were many English words for shortened men’s pants. “Knickerbockers” were baggy pants that gathered below the knee, shorter, tighter-fitting trousers that ended at the knee were “knee pants”, and “short pants” sometimes meant knee-pants and sometimes meant shorter garments still. Outside of swimming trunks or boxer shorts most varieties were considered clothing for boys, both unofficially and as part of many school uniforms. Grown men didn’t start wearing shorts beyond a few extremely hot climates around the globe until after World War II.  Soldiers stationed in the tropics were issued short trousers both for comfort and to ration cloth, and this caught on when they came home. Continue reading

The Skinny Tie

There are so many options in neck wear for men today. Some have varied in popularity throughout history, and most are closely related through a common ancestor. The cravat (or cravatte) is the original neck-cloth, dating back to the 17th century Croatian military garb. Next came the Ascot, which was a more tailored version of the cravat, it was designed for casual or “morning” wear (I saw someone wearing an Ascot looking real smart just this weekend). That was very quickly followed by the bow-ties and string ties. I love bow ties as I’ve said before. Some argue that bow-ties and the cravat originated together, or are even one in the same, I believe they are distinctly different. Frome all of those we can derive the modern-day necktie. Since neckties evolved from the early cravats, their width has varied, stretching from barely an inch thick to a ridiculously wide five inches.  Today, the typical tie  is about 3.5 inches wide. Of course these aren’t the only options men have, but if you read this blog don’t even consider items such as the Bola tie unless you are an oil magnate living in Dallas Texas.   Continue reading

Montblanc-Legend

The history of Montblanc dates back to 1906 when a Hamburg stationery trader, a Hamburg banker, and a Berlin engineer decide to produce fountain pens. The gentlemen eventually created the Simplo Filler pen Company, based in Hamburg Germany and co-owned by the three; Claus-Johannes Voss, Christian Lausen and Wilhelm Dziambor. In 1910 they introduced the”Montblanc” fountain pen and by 1913 the Montblanc star was trademarked. In 1935, after nearly 25 years of business in pens and stationary, they branched out and began a separate leather goods production works in Lämmerspiel Germany, to make small luxury leather goods and to build upon their existing products.

Meisterstuck pen

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