Elagance in Black and White

Elegant Business Attire in Black & White

formal-business-attireTypically the simpler a look the more formal it will be. It is not surprising that formal dress codes like Black Tie and White Tie consist solely of clothing items in either black or white. Although black and white ensembles are typically considered to be formal and non-business-like, there are in fact ways you can create an outfit using only these two colors that is perfect for everyday office wear. Below are some tips to use only black and white for traditional office attire.

1. Patterns
One way to dress down a formal color is by using certain fabric patterns. Typically the larger and more noticeable a pattern the less formal it will look. Black suits with pin stripes are a perfect example, but also wearing a tie with playful polka dots or intricate paisley design will do the trick of “dressing down”.

2. Cuts & Styles
You can also create a more casual look by using more modern and trendy cuts. Suits can have narrow lapels, pants can be straight-cut with no cuffs, dress shirts can have a cut-away collar, and neckties can be slim and skinny. All this will take away from formality, and at the same time will add a trendier touch.

3. Presentation
Even if every clothing item is formal by itself, it can be casual and more relaxed if presented a certain way. Neckties can be worn a bit looser with the top shirt button left unbuttoned, pocket squares can be folded in a more casual way (have the look at the “puff fold” in my tutorial on How to Fold a Pocket Square for instance), and jackets can be left open and loose.

4. Combinations
Color, cut, and presentation are not the only things that can dress down a formal outfit. Also just as effective are adding certain clothing items and/or accessories that are much more casual. A pair for black canvas shoes added to classic black suit, white shirt, and black skinny tie, is a good example.

Other Readings You May Like:
My Tips for Matching a Pink Tie
Matching Ties and Pocket Squares

Matching a Pink Tie

How to Wear Pink Ties

Ever since celebrity and business tycoon Donal Trump showcased the solid bright pink tie on his TV series “The Apprentice”, businessmen all over the US coming from all industries are adding pink ties to their collection of neckwear. Before you add a pink tie to your ensemble however, there are a few basic dress rules you should follow. Below I am outlining three main conundrums for wearing the pink tie.

#1 Season:
Just like it is considered a fashion Faux Pas to wear white pants after labor day, pink ties should only be worn during the spring and summer season. Wearing a pink necktie with a tan colored suit on a cold and rainy day during Fall just doesn’t look right. Thus, reserve your pink ties for the months from March through August, and avoid the summer look the pink tie during rainy, cold, and overcast days.

#2 Suit Colors & Patterns:
Since pink is a color for spring and summer it must be matched with a complementing outfit. Excellent suit colors for pink ties are tan, beige, navy, light gray, and even charcoal. Just as important as the suit color is the fabric. Match the pink tie with a summer suit made from a lighter wool, cotton, seersucker, and even linen. What you want to avoid are heavy fabrics and darker earth-tones such as olive and dark brown. Just like the fabric should be lighter in weight, the pattern should be delicate and subtle. Perfect suit patterns are fine pin-stripes, very light checks, as well as solids.

#3 Accessories
Just like the suit color, fabric, and pattern need to harmonize with the “summer look”, the accessories you choose need to be equally “summer like”. Should you decide to add a pocket square to your ensemble then a matching pink one would be perfect. (You may also want to read my guide on How to Fold a Pocket Square). Dress shoes should have a thinner and lighter sole that is preferable made from leather rather than a winter-like rubber. Excellent shoe, and also belt colors, are any shade of brown as well as classic black.

May I also Suggest:
Ties & Pocket Squares
Style Tips for Skinny Ties

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Tie Storage Tips

How to Store Your Ties

storing-mens-tiesYou can probably guess that I am quite the tie aficionado. In fact, over the years I have collected over a hundred different neckties in all imaginable colors, designs, and cuts. As my tie collection grew, finding a particular tie became more and more difficult. Eventually I decided to store my ties in a way that allowed me to quickly find the one I had been looking for. Below I am giving you tips to store your neckties.

Buy a Tie Rack or Two
In my biased opinion specialty made tie racks are the way to go – especially if you have over two dozen different ties. Not only will it be easy to quickly see your entire collection, but quality tie racks will also protect the fabric of the tie. When shopping for a tie rack there are a few things you want to consider: How many ties fit on the rack, how secure are the ties (can they slide off easily), and finally how easy is it to remove and/or hang a tie on the tie rack? After trying a few different tie rack designs I decided that I prefer those tie racks that you can mount inside of your closet door. The individual hangers fold in, keeping the needed storage space at a minimum, while at the same time making it easy to quickly find the tie you have been looking for.

Don’t Overstuff
I suggest you don’t over-stuff your tie rack for two reasons: First, keeping some space between the ties allows the fabric to breathe which will eliminate odors. Second, having some space between each tie makes it much easier to find the tie you are looking for.

Sort by Color
When matching a tie to shirt and suit it is the color that matters most. Thus, it makes sense to sort your neckties by color and to arrange them from light to dark. I actually have seven different tie racks that I mounted on the inside of my closer door. The colors are as follows: Red ties, yellow and green ties, black white silver ties, blue ties, brown and burgundy ties, orange pink and purple ties, multi-colored neckties.

I hope this tie storage advice was helpful. Should you not want to spend money on a tie rack then you can also use a hanger, or roll up your ties and place them into a drawer. Regardless of which method you choose, make sure that your ties are not hung in direct sunlight as this may cause colors to fade.

Other Blog Posts You Might Like:
Tie Tips & Tricks
Skinny Tie Style Tips

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