This article was written in collaboration with Christopher Lim from Cardable. Find out more at the end of the article.
"Dress to impress" is the mantra I live by, uttered by the famous comedian-turn-talkshow host Steve Harvey. If you've watched his show by the name Moniker, you'll notice that he is always dressed to the nines - I'm sure he has a wardrobe assistant to pick his clothing out for him but nonetheless, he is the epitome of "gentlemen dressing" in my humble opinion.
Wearing a suit speaks a powerful statement, and how one wears it can either make or break people's first impression of you as an individual. Some think that choosing a suit is simple - pick out matching jacket and pants, throw on a shirt and a tie, and I'm good to go. Good start, but that's not all there is to it. There is so much more to this branch of men's fashion, so much more to elaborate on that if I were to go into detail, this article would probably end up as a thesis paper. Take note though, I do not claim to be authoritative on this subject matter, but merely a topic of interest I choose to indulge myself with in my spare time
*Wink wink, this could probably be a series of articles* Let me first list down all the things I could've talked about:
- Socks and Shoes
- Accessories (Neckties, belts, cufflinks, tie-clips, pocket squares, watches, bracelets, rings, eyewear, and essential carry-ons)
- Etiquette and events
There're probably a lot more to add to the list but off the top of my head, these are the key essentials that everyone should know of. Read on to find out which ties are best for some of life’s most important events.
The Necktie, or “La Cravate” in its French term, is a male accessory dating back to the early 17th century during the time of King Louis XIII when the Croatian mercenaries he hired wore a piece of cloth around their neck as part of their uniform. Since then, the necktie has undergone many changes in style and design before it became the necktie we know of in modern times.
Today, we pair our neckties to different events or functions that we are attending. It speaks volume of our dress sense and purpose when we put on a specific tie. The right tie can garner mutual respect and even praise, while the wrong tie can lead to disastrous outcomes; and to put things into perspective, here are five different events and which ties I feel should go with it.
Wearing a shirt and tie to an interview may not always be the right approach, and with the advent of startups and the millennial culture, you might realise that some companies do not emphasise on a strict dress code (you might even find the boss wearing jeans and a t-shirt!). My take is this - research on the company and know the position you're applying for.
Now if you're going for an interview with a large corporate firm, throw on a crisp white shirt with a simple, solid-coloured, medium-sized tie (check out The Little Link's collection here). This look should be the default for any corporate job interview you're going for as it emphasizes professionalism and eagerness. A skinny, funky-patterned tie here would portray you as a juvenile and not exude seriousness in wanting the job.
2. Business Meeting
Regardless of your company's culture, whenever you head out to meet representatives from another company for a high-stakes meeting, it's important to note that YOU are representing your company. Therefore, the way you dress for it will impact the other party's first impression of you. Exuding professionalism here is of utmost importance, especially if you're in a management position (which is probably what got you into the meeting in the first place). Pair your suit with a solid or striped tie in dull/neutral colours as strong colours might be too aggressive in this case. Avoid dots and images as it might not fit the tone of the meeting; you want to keep the focus of the meeting on the subject matter and not on your tie - Check out some examples from The Little Link here.
3. Casual OOTD
Heading out in the streets with your friends or partner, this is when you'd want people to notice you. Your dressing should tell a story of your personality so don't be afraid to flaunt it. If you're throwing on a smart-casual outfit, let your tie do the talking - it should contrast your outfit but not appear too muddled. A narrow tie with patterns or images might do you well in adding flavour to your OOTD. The Little Link has a fine selection of ties for this so check it out here.
5. Fancy Dress Party
Similar to your casual OOTD, but up a notch on formality. Let your dressing do the talking and don't be afraid to let your outfit be "loud", but not "boisterous". Be bold - mix-and-match your colours and patterns, maybe even wear a couple of extra accessories. Funky, skinny ties might work well on this occasion so check out some collections here.
5. Black-Tie event
If you're one to attend social events, chances are you might have attended a black-tie event, which in and of itself, already tells you how to dress. There're a couple of ways to pull this off - a dinner jacket (a tuxedo), or a blazer. I prefer a little more flair to my materials for such occasions and would typically opt for suede, either in Maroon or Midnight Blue, while finishing off with a black bow-tie (if I'm wearing a tux) or a black satin tie. Check out some great examples from The Little Link here.
The Little Link offers many more accessories for the picking apart from ties. The items offered are great embellishments to the gentlemen dressing and every guy should have at least one of each - you never know what situation might call for it and it’s always better to be prepared. Remember, "Dress to Impress".
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