Navy Stripe: The Most Useful Tie


From a purely logical standpoint, the most useful tie you will own is a navy-blue club stripe. Followed by a brown or burgundy in the same pattern. The first reason is that a dark tie is more versatile than a pale tie. It is more sober, more business-like and, outside of work, can play the supporting role to more adventurous clothing combinations. Second, the most useful dark colour it can be in is navy blue. As with suits, which are most … [Read more...]

The Boating Blazer


No matter how much I, or others, write about versatility; about the sensible purchases of high-quality multi-purpose garments, do not let it fool you into believing that each and every garment has to be one of year long utility. The ‘special’ garments are often the most fun to purchase and indeed wear and they are often items that you confine to a specific season, or a particular event. They are gratifying items to own, largely because they … [Read more...]

The Rules And How To Break Them. No.6


Rule 6: Black tie must be bound by tradition In my previous post, one reader commented: “You did a good job of pointing out common ‘sins’ of black tie attire, yet I feel you could explain better why these things are sins. I understand that you might call tradition the entire point of black tie, but I’d be interested in hearing what the actual downsides of breaking these rules would be.” The post can be seen here. This is a great … [Read more...]

Sartorial Love/Hate: Buttoned Up Collars


One of the curiosities of modern times is that purposeless adornment needs explanation. Buildings with even the slightest hint of ‘decoration’ – nowhere near the gauche cherubs and unicorns of mish-mashed Neo-Classical – are considered too haberdashed, the wearing of bow ties and buttonholes prompts questions of ‘What’s the occasion?’ It seems any extravagance of design, any fanciful curlicues need an excuse superior to the ancient … [Read more...]

The Three Black-Tie Sins


Criticism of what people wear to black-tie events tends to focus on obvious sins: wearing a lounge suit, wearing a coloured tie and wearing a long tie instead of a bow (though this is less objectionable than one may think). These are some of the biggest sins against the traditions of the dinner outfit, and stand out as such. They also stand out because they are committed by a relatively small number of people. For that reason, I don’t think … [Read more...]