Merry Christmas from How To Be Swell

Merry Christmas all you swell readers. My wish for you is to be surrounded by loved ones and enjoying your favorite holiday festivities. I love Christmas, and being a hopeless romantic I am always nostalgic for my favorite sights and sounds of the season. One of my favorite images this time of year is the big city shopping districts all decked out for Christmas, like those immortalized in movies like Miracle on 34th street, Christmas Story, and more recently, Elf.  You can imagine holiday shoppers bustling about carrying packages with large bows for that special someone, and Santa on the street corner ringing bells for the Salvation Army so those less fortunate can enjoy the Holiday as well.

Harry Winston Store in NYC

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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

I’m Bringing Paisley Back

paisleyAhh My favorite pattern, If Justin Timberlake can Bring Sexy Back, I can Bring Paisley back! Well it never actually left, it seems to be in a perpetual state of renaissance, as much of an oxymoron that may be. The Paisley pattern is one of the most enduring in textiles. Its name is derived from a town of the same name in central Scotland. Paisley (the town) was where a huge surge of textiles bearing the design were manufactured in the early 19th century, to meet the demand of the returning colonial soldiers who had seen it in the far east. It is English for a design of eastern origin. Resembling a twisted teardrop, the kidney-shaped the design is known as Boteh Jegheh and it has been used in Iran since the Sassanid Dynasty (AD 224 to AD 651).express-paisley-button-down-1

HandlerImports from the East India Company in the first half of the 17th century made paisley and other eastern patterns popular. It was thought to ward off evil demons. Paisley was also particularly popular during the sixties identified with psychedelic style and the interest in Indian culture promoted by the The Beatles trip to India in 1968. At that time Fender even made a pink paisley version of their Telecaster guitar, by using wallpaper on the guitar bodies.

Today you can find it in all sorts of great clothing and accessories for men and for women. It is so much more than just some design you once saw on your grandfathers handkerchief. contrary to what the uninitiated may think it is a very masculine design, representing strength and fertility. Although that thought never enters my mind when I wear it, I just like the look. A quite a few mens designers have incorporated it into ties, pocket squares, shirts and even jackets! And for women the options are endless.

bow tie

shortsA few designers have done a great job with this; Indochino has a nice assortment shirts, ties and accessories, and Bertigo offers some beautiful shirts with contrasting color cuffs, but one of my favorite conceptions of it is in the extra slim fit shirt from Express. It’s done in a black and white paisley pattern. Cut in a slim (athletic) fit and is 100 percent cotton, so it is comfortable and durable. The make it is a few patterns, and they are all great, and if you hit them during a sale (which seems like all the time) you can get a nice quality, great looking dress shirt for pretty little.

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Milk and Sugar

Here is another great post from my friends at the Cordial Churchman. I read it this morning on the first day of spring and I wanted share it with my swell readers as well. This post is about the seersucker bow-tie, the perfect accoutrement for your spring wardrobe. If you haven’t checked out The Cordial Churchman yet, I urge you too now. They make beautiful bow ties and will even convert and re purpose some of your old neck ties for you. In a word they are Swell!

The Cordial Churchman Blog

Since this week has quickly become seersucker week after selling more seersucker bow ties than we thought possible, I thought I’d share a little about this special fabric.  Maybe I’m a geek, but I think it is pretty cool.  Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

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Seersucker is a thin, puckered, all-cotton fabric, commonly striped or chequered, used to make clothing for spring and summer wear. The word came into English from Hindustani (Urdu and Hindi), which originates from the Persian words “shir o shekar”, meaning “milk and sugar”, probably from the resemblance of its smooth and rough stripes to the smooth texture of milk and the bumpy texture of sugar.

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During the British colonial period, seersucker was a popular material in Britain’s warm weather colonies like British India. When Seersucker was first introduced in the United States, it was used for a broad array of clothing items. For suits, the…

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How to Buy an Enagement Ring

engagedYou’ve been courting this girl for some time now, and things have progressed to the point where you know what is next… She has probably looking at you with arms folded and tapping her foot in anticipation for some months now. Uh Oh what do you do?! You have been wanting to buy her a ring and make her an honest woman, but where on earth do you begin? Being a Gemologist, I can’t believe it took me this long to post about this. Continuing the Every Swell man should learn series, here it is all you swell gents, a crash course in buying an engagement ring. Now, put on some antiperspirant, and wipe the sweat from your brow, it can be complicated, but I will help you through it. Continue reading

The Cartier Roadster

headlightThis may not be a new and exciting timepiece for everyone, but for me it is an all time favorite, that I have yet to write about. The Cartier Roadster had been a “Holy Grail” watch for me for a long time. You know the type, that piece that you would want to acquire using any means necessary, but has always been just out of reach. Rest assured my crusade was not in vain, I’ve made my conquest and this watch rests in my personal collection. I didn’t consider this to be a grail watch because of some technical prowess, or revolutionary complication, the feeling was purely about style and design. Being the car aficionado that I am, when I first laid eyes on this watch and understood its nuances, I was captivated. I knew that I would have to have this object of beauty. It was unmistakably the most interesting watch that I had ever seen.IMG_1249 Continue reading