4 Facts Non-Fragrance Enthusiasts Should Know About Perfume Aficionados

1.We Were Once Like You

Most of us start out owning and using only one fragrance, two or three, if we’re fancy. Initially, some of us didn’t even bother with cologne because our Speedstick or Axe/Lynx deodorant smelled amazing enough, to us. Then, something happens; maybe it occurred when we went to a friends’ house for pre-drinks to go clubbing nice and liquored up, and asked if we could try on what’s inside that funky looking bottle sitting on his table or dresser, so we excitedly spritz That same night, ladies complimented us and couldn’t keep themselves off of our fragrant necks. We loved it. Colognes, or “Fragrances” as we soon learned they are called, became our other “liquid courage”.

Every fragrance journey has its own beginning. For some, their first steps into the perfume world could have been initiated when something suddenly clicked in them, after spraying a tester in the perfume department. Something within them yearned. Whatever it was, our collection started with one, and soon grew.

Fragrances Late April 2016

2.Yes We Do Need 20+ Bottles

We may not even use them all, but it’s nice to know they’re there. Think of it like building and owning a collection of CDs (do people still have those?) you cannot have only one album to listen to your whole life. It’s nice to be able to pop in any album that suits your mood of the day.  When you have a large collection, you (ideally) visit each and every one of your items, at least once in a while;but sometimes, you are just loving that one album so much that it’s the only thing you want to listen to, all day for the whole week.

Fragrances, are like our mood-rings. Sometimes we want a woody-spicy fragrance, and others we want to spray on some vetiver juice, or whatever specific note we are craving at that moment.  In the event that we don’t like that compact disk our fragrance bottle anymore, we can always sell it, or wait to sell it until it becomes a “vintage”.

3.We’re Not As Crazy As You Might Think

Well… maybe a few of us, are.

Entertainment is one of, if not the biggest, industries in the world. A big part of life is seeking out and enjoying positive stimulus.  Everyone seeks to fulfill that drive in some way, or another. The visually-oriented buy art & movies to observe and please their eyes. Those that are sound-oriented, satisfy themselves by buying and listening to music through CDs and music accessories (headphones, sound systems). Another niche is taste-orientated, whom attend restaurants to eat lavish meals.

Then you have us, the fragrance heads. We are olfaction-oriented, we follow our nose -just like Toucan Sam told us to. We wish to satisfy our snouts, without resorting to dangerous substances.

Buying and owning an expensive bottle, or two, or twenty, of fragrances may not be so absurd, after all.

4.There’s An Explanataion to Our Fixation

Because Science

That’s why. And anecdotes.

Scent, is a very powerful sense. Food, mood, memory, and mating. Smell influences.

When in a restaurant, you will feel hungry before you even see your dish, because you already pick up the wafts of your coming meal. Your appetite is whetted. Contrasting to that, the smell of sour milk will not make you want to even look at what’s inside the carton, you already know it wouldn’t taste good, without needing a sip.

In a nutshell: the smell-center in our brains is linked to our memory and emotional center. Fragrances of all types have the ability to solidify a new memory or resurface an old one. Perfumes are a way to voluntarily trigger these events.

For those that want more details:

Aromatic substances enter the nasal cavity, and are sensed by the olfactory neurons, the smell particles react with your olfactory bulb, transmitting into your brain’s limbic system. The limbic system is where emotions, instincts, and memories exist. That is, over-simplifying it, since neurology is extremely complex.

smell and memory 2

The phenomenon of a positive memory resurfacing after the rush of a nostalgic smell has been discussed  the French writer Marcel Proust. At the end of a bad day, he sat down and enjoyed a cup of tea; the smell wafted into his nose and instantly, he was transported out of a negative place and into a pleasant time from his past. Immediately improving his mood. Fragrance-flashback, is the name.

Pheromones play an important role in reproduction for virtually all animals, vertebrate or invertebrate. Humans are not so evolved as to be immune to the influence of others’ bodily essences. Fragrances are but one way that we can harness the power of scent to attract mates.

Phermones

Additionally, smell may be the first sense to have evolved, maybe we just wanted out of that primordial soup. Evidence from a study conducted at the University of Chicago, lead by Dr. Javant Pinto and Dr. Martha McClintock, suggests that olfaction is the last sense that goes as we near death.

5.You Could Become One of Us, Yet

It all starts with curiosity, you may want to buy a new fragrance for yourself or someone else, but need to make an informed decision, so you ask the internet. You’re then wondering what all these people on Basenotes, Fragrantica, and Youtube are ranting and raving about. You need a sniff. The hypetrain drags you by the nostrils, so you get a sample or bottle to smell for yourself if the hype is real, then you are hooked.

You may be considering going to your retailer or online discounter, right now, even. The infection has begun.

Wrapping Up

Remember, a decent proportion of the things we buy are all luxuries. Dr. Dre Beats,  high definition Tvs with built-in Blu-ray, sumptuous banquets, and this scented water that we fragrance enthusiasts splash on ourselves. They are all things that, logically, are not necessary, but needed in the most primitive & instinctual of ways .

For the curious, I have an Ebay shop that sells decants/samples of hyped and popular fragrances. Try it before you buy it, so you don’t regret blowing all that cash on a fragrance/cologne bottle you end up never using. If you like the sample, you can always invest in the full bottle, later. It’s low risk and high reward.

Shop link:Fragrance Shop & ScentSampler

Save more money, get more variety.

Thank you for reading Principles of Style. I hope you enjoy this post and found the blog useful. If you have any questions, feedback, or want to share some of your style and scent tips, tricks, and insights, please leave your input in the comments section below, or send me a PM.

Share with me: What was the fragrance that started you on your fragrance journey?     What are your go-to fragrances now?

Did I miss anything? Do you disagree? Do you love it? Have I changed your life?

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3 Truths Every Fragrance Enthusiast Should Understand

For the better part of my few years in this life, I have been a fragrance enthusiast. Ever since I could first squeeze an atomizer, I have sprayed on and enjoyed everything (almost) from Armani to Zegna.

It is with the hope that this article guides new fragrance lovers, and that it entertains veteran fumeheads, that I compile this short list.

Please keep this in mind: This article is not written to dissuade or persuade; it is not declaring that you are wrong and that the author is right. The purpose, is to increase understanding.

The points discussed are simply insights; you may choose to follow the advice or ignore it. It is your choice at the end of the day, you know yourself, and your tastes, much better than I.

Here goes…

1. Avoid Blind-Buys

Blind-buying refers to buying a fragrance without testing it on your skin or even smelling it.  People generally blind-buy through others’ recommendation, or make a decision based on the published note breakdown and the inclusion of favored notes in the mystery bottles’ composition; regardless, do not bet on blind buys for a satisfying purchase. Two reasons: everyone’s skin chemistry is different and some notes combine with each other better than other. For example: I love vetiver (“vetyver”?) and I appreciate tonka bean; in theory, Hermes’ Vetiver Tonka should have been just my type. Nope. It reeked, simply did not mix well with me. Despite others’ praises, I didn’t enjoy it at all. And I tried it on multiple occasions. Not for me.

tester strips

Whatever cologne you are deciding on, use a sample or spray the display bottle next time you are in the perfume aisle. Test it out on your skin, multiple times, before buying, you’re going to be stuck with your purchase for a while, after all.

2.Niches May Disappoint You

Niches get less compliments than designers. Buy fragrances primarily for your own enjoyment, not for approval. Others’ feedback will disappoint you from time to time, but do not let that be the reason you get buyer’s remorse.If people like a scent on you, that is just a bonus.

defv

With that said, it is perfectly fine to have so-called “panty droppers” (no such thing)  and compliment-getters in your arsenal; naturally, take into consideration the situation you will be entering.

There is a reason designer houses continually manufacture and market generic fresh-aquatics, because the majority of people like fragrances to smell that way, or rather, that is the idea that they conform to; anything that deviates, is snubbed. Think of it like McDonald’s and other fast-food franchises’ “food”. The meals themselves are often mediocre and not good for you in any way; despite that, people eat that stuff up in the millions of pounds per year. People do not always like what is fine and unique, they like what is accessible and recognizable. Not bashing designers as a whole, there are some kick-ass designer fragrances out there that Principles of Style and other fragrance aficionados and reviewers recommend and stand by.

Related: Fragrance/Cologne Reviews & Fragrance Shop & ScentSampler

3.Fragrances Don’t Really Expire After 3 Years

Fragrance Library 2016 (5)

Yup, it’s all lies, for the most part. Fragrances don’t exactly age as gracefully as wine, but  with proper storage in a cool, dark, and dry place, maybe keeping it in the original box inside your closet, fragrances can last upwards of a half-decade without much alteration to the perfume or the performance. Granted, if you don’t finish a standard 100ml fragrance in 10 years, it may be time to discard it, because you have probably found others you like enough not to bother with your vintage bottle. Another way to look at it is, if fragrance really did expire so quickly, salesmen would be losing a ton of money continually replace their expansive and expensive stock.

Thank you for reading Principles of Style. I hope you enjoy this post and found the blog useful. If you have any questions, feedback, or want to share some of your style and scent tips, tricks, and insights, please leave your input in the comments section below, or send me a PM.

Did I miss anything? Do you disagree? Do you love it? Have I changed your life?

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Footwear: The Modern Guide to Properly Wearing Socks

Socks are the bridge between shoes and pants.When you sit, your pant legs will ride up, exposing your legs. A bare leg is considered a faux-pas (a sign of bad etiquette) no one wants to see your bush (hairy legs). This subtle slip up can burn bridges in the high-profile professional world. Thin silk dress socks that reach at the calf, are ideal.

Match Your Socks to Your Pants

As a rule of thumb (toe, in this case) your socks’ colour and fabric must be as close to  pants’ as possible. Shoes do not dictate the socks, pants do. Solid black trousers call for solid black socks, and so on. Matching your socks to your shoes,gives the impression that your legs are shorter than they really are (right). Matching your socks to your trousers lengthens your legs (left, top and bottom), which is great for men of shorter stature.

Dress Shoes Need Dress Socks

No two ways about it.When dressing formally, wear only formal garments.  Thick white cotton tube-socks with a refined worsted wool suit and leather oxford shoes, don’t pair well together, as illustrated in the previous images.

White Socks Only to The Gym

White socks and exercise go foot-in-foot (I couldn’t resist), unless you’re going to exercie, do not wear white socks, even in casual settings. Yes, white pants would call for white socks, but tread lightly, make sure the socks are understated, smooth, and streamlined

No Socks with Sandals 

It’s surprising how this shabby look has never died. Sandals, and flip-flops are meant to be worn with bare feet, with clean and trimmed nails, of course. It doesn’t matter how stylish  your sandals are, and it doesn’t matter how awesome your socks are, no one is going to take you seriously when you sport socks and sandals.

socks sandals long socks - Copy
No one can rock’em like this.

Short Socks for Shorts

Wearing long socks with your short-pants makes you look like you have no idea what you’re doing, worst of all, it leaves impressions that you don’t care how you look. Not caring isn’t always the cool thing to do, you will be perceived as socially inept, by others. Wear ankle-socks or no-show socks with your shorts.

Cool Socks Rock

To bend the rules, one must master the rules. Classically, the advice is to match socks and shoes, appropriate when keeping a low-profile. In modern times, wearing eye-catching socks has become a trend. The sartorially adventurous balance on the thread between bold and foolish. Integrating colours into an outfit requires some finesse. Any garment is fair game, provided it coordinates well with the outfit. The key is contrasting the socks to the rest of your clothes. 

not cool socks
Whoops! Wrong socks.

cool socks - Copy

That’s better…

Nevermind…Ditch the Socks

With the climate warming up in the Spring and Summer, the sock-less look is hot. The no-sock style is a simple way to effectively dress down any outfit, and set the wearer apart from the rest. The best part, it’s one less item to worry about when composing an outfit. Not without its practical disadvantages, though, a little preparation is needed to successfully pull off the sock-less look.

no sock style featured image

Thank you for reading Principles of Style. I hope you enjoy this post and found the blog useful. If you have any questions, feedback, or want to share some of your style and scent tips, tricks, and insights, please leave your input in the comments section below, or send me a PM.

Did I miss anything? Do you disagree? Do you love it? Have I changed your life? Let me know.

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Simple Things You Can Do Right Now To Instantly Be More Attractive

Smile

And Smile often. A smile is the universal sign that says “I’m approachable”. It shows that you are confident and don’t take things too seriously or let them get you down, people feel at ease with someone who seems friendly, and everyone likes to be around happy people.

couple smile

Compliment

It doesn’t cost you, and often it pays off. Give genuine and specific compliments. “Nice shirt” doesn’t cut it, “that shirt looks good on you” is an improvement, but “I really like how that shirt fits you, you have good taste” is a step above that. Avoid body-related complements, even “you look like you lost some weight” can be a wild card. Be creative, and be decent.

Spray On a Great Fragrance

Putting on the right fragrance will instantly boost your sex appeal. Generally, women like masculine scents that are fresh & clean. Hold back on your oud-heavy niches. Citrics, woods, and the occasional gourmands (dessert-y scents) hit the right notes with the ladies. Don’t know how what scent to use?  My introduction to fragrances/colognes post will give you the map and the mini fragrance reviews will give you a starting point for your fragrance journey.

how-to-wear-cologne-for-men

Speak Less

This one is counter-intuitive, but the less you speak about yourself, the more alluring you become, and the less chance that you will say something stupid. Think Becky is a bitch and Biff is a bastard? Keep them as thoughts. No one likes people who say uncouth things  and bad mouth others.

Listen More

Encourage people to talk. Everyone’s favorite topic is themselves, so let your company talk about their favorite topic. People realize you’ll pay attention to them discuss how their day went, their desires, and their concerns, They will want to be near you,more often. Plus, you always learn more when you listen.

My mother always told me that “there’s a reason we have two ears and only one mouth”.

Put the Phone Down

When you are with someone, show that you value their time and their presence. This especially applies to dates. You invited your love interest for dinner & drinks, not your smartphone. A cellphone won’t give you any loving (until someone makes an app for that) and if your company feels you care more about your phone than them, neither will they. Show interest in them, and they will show interest in you.

text on a date rude

Straighten That Back

Good posture displays strength and vitality on a subconscious level. Chin up, chest up, and eyes forward. Sit up straight as you read this page. When you walk, walk with direction, and face the horizon; the ground isn’t going anywhere.

Tip: Books, phones, and tablets, whatever reading apparatus you are using, bring it near face-level. This includes texting.

text-neck-syndrome2

Lastly…

Read more of this blog, Principles of Style. It will be worth your time. Go to the home page or click the “previous” and “next” buttons at the end of this article. The driving force behind the creation of this blog is to enable men to become attractive in their own way, and give them the necessary skills. You will look better, smell better, and feel better. Self-confidence is of paramount importance for literally anything in life. A confident “you” makes an attractive “you”.

Just by reading this article  your appeal is rising, this knowledge will benefit you.

So, get out there, and go be a sexier “you” than you were a few minutes ago.

Thank you for reading Principles of Style. I hope you enjoy this post and found the blog useful. If you have any questions, feedback, or want to share some of your style and scent tips, tricks, and insights, please leave your input in the comments section below, or send me a PM.

Did I miss anything? Do you disagree? Do you love it? Have I changed your life?                    Let me know.

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8 Tips to Pull Off the Sockless Look Without Knocking Everybody Out

The sockless look is on trend for the Summer. Freedom from the confines of the fabric foot sleeves has its allure, the fashionable no-sock style is not without its functional short comings, though. There’s the chaffing of heels and the blistering of poor soles everywhere, and then there’s the funk. Foot funk.

A pair of feet pacing in shoes, all day and every day in the sweltering heat, are going to stink. You may look fresh but you won’t be smelling all that fresh, and that is in no way attractive.

Don’t sweat it, though, we will defy biology itself.

Here are 8 tips to pull off the sockless look without knocking everybody out:

1.Drink Lots of Water

It’s hot, so you should be keeping hydrated; get the bulk of your fluids from good ol’ H2O. Drinking alcohol, and eating oily and spicy foods contribute to the stench,so  limit your intake of those. Sweat is essentially salt, dirt, oil, bacteria, a bunch of other stuff, and water. Drinking lots of water will help dilute the sweat, decreasing overall B.O.

2. Powder Your Feet

Talcum powder will keep your feet dry and prevent friction burns. It’s great because it’s cheap and widely available.  Before you put your shoes on, puff some on your feet, spreading it all around and between toes. Maybe throw some inside, and tap your shoes to distribute it evenly throughout.  Pay attention when wearing black or any other dark colours, so you’re not all dusty.

 

talcum feet

3. Stick on Some Moleskin Pads

Moleskins are great for breaking in new shoes,  you know, those that mercilessly cut up  your Achilles. They act as a sort of buffer between the shoes and your feet, reducing friction that gets feet raw and painful. You can cut them into any shape then stick them onto any spot that’s bothering you. Pack some band-aids, in case.

4. Take Care of Your Toenails

Don’t  get me wrong, I am not telling you to get a pedicure, unless you want want one; it’s a free world. What mean is using a nail clipper to cut and file your nails, so they don’t scare off the ladies when you take your shoes off. It doesn’t have to be anything high-end. Long nails pushing up against the toe box can generate discomfort; trimmed toenails look good and let your toes be more comfortable inside your shoe.

Remember to scrape out that dirt underneath the toenails with that little hook at the end of the file. Humid shoes are a breeding ground for bacteria, and these little buggers will help make your foot stink. If you’re feeling experimental, sniff the nail cleaner tool after digging up that under-nail crud, it is rank!

5.Wash Your Feet Daily

It goes without saying that one should shower daily, especially after getting all sweaty in the humid outdoors. I do hope you have been already doing this without my telling so. Wash your feet once, or even twice daily, if possible. Be sure to get right in between the toes so you don’t accumulate any toe jam. Of course, dry your feet thoroughly after getting wet; again, humid feet turn into smelly feet.

wash feet.jpg

 

6. Wear Shoes That Are Breathable

Shoes are made from a range of materials, discount shoes made from synthetics like polyurethane(faux-leather) are pretty much plastic wrap or Tupperware for your feet, they don’t let any air or moisture in or out. Leading to (you guessed it) foot funk. Go for naturals like cotton-canvas and leather shoes.

7.  Give Your Shoes Some R & R

Like I wrote in the 8 Ways to Make Your Clothing Last Longer Without Expensive Gimmicks article, give your shoes at least a day of rest between uses and put in cedar shoe trees at the end of the day. Again, to keep in-shoe humidity from accumulating, to a minimum.

shoe-tree

8. When All Else Fails…

Well, you can’t win them all; some people are just naturally odorous, you can blame genetics on this one. You can wear socks and pull of the sockless look at the same time, all you need to do is wear these little ballerina socks.

They’re actually called “no-show” socks, they’re affordable and easy to find for men. They do look a little silly, but then again, no one will be able to see them  when you got your shoes on.

Thank you for reading Principles of Style. I hope you enjoy this post and found the blog useful. If you have any questions, feedback, or want to share some of your style and scent tips, tricks, and insights, please leave your input in the comments section below, or send me a PM.

Did I miss anything? Do you disagree? Do you love it? Have I changed your life? Let me know.

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Reformulations of Fragrances: The Threat is Real

In my early childhood, my mother would bathe me in a large laundry bucket filled with warm, anise-infused water. Back when I could fit into a bucket, now I can’t even fit in my own bathtub. First-world problems. Since then, I’ve always loved the scent of star anise and the few fond memories of my childhood I associated its aroma with.

Then, I discovered Au Masculin by Lolita Lempicka, thanks to the Youtube fragrance reviewer, Redolessence (comment “Bernie sent me”). I instantly bought a 5ml mini to sample. It was amazing, I absolutely adored this total licorice-bomb. Au Masculin performed very well on my skin, it lasted all day and projected so well that I could smell it, clearly, through my clothes, even bundled up, on a frigid Canadian winter day. I quite honestly never experienced a fragrance as intoxicating to me as Au Masculin, before. Thank you Annick Menardo! 

 It didn’t take long, for me to use up the whole decant,so I went shopping around for a full bottle of Au Masculin. The issue was, that the only the new bottles (the old one had the sprayer embedded in its bottle) were available at my usual fragrance discounters; I figured it was a simple repackaging and went with the new bottle, which has an external sprayer and a cap. The presentation wasn’t nearly as nice as before, but I didn’t care, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Impatiently, I made the order, anyway.

When I finally received Au Masculin in the mail, I savagely tore through the packaging, yanked off the cap, and drenched myself in Au Masculin. The fragrance was very different from what I had experienced in the mini-bottle; the new one’s smell and performance paled in comparison to the original. Initially, I thought my nose was playing tricks on me, so I took a break from Au Masculin for a day or two, then tried it again over the next 3 days in a row. Something was off.

Paranoid, I desperately googled for an answer to, I needed to find out if anyone had the same disappointing experience as I did. Was I nose blind? Did I order the wrong fragrance? Was I sold a counterfeit? No, I had it right. It turned out that that the Lolita Lempicka company reformulated Au Masculin, mercilessly butchering a masterpiece (it was to me, at least) in the process. 

Before this fragrance, I never paid any mind to the whole reformulation debates and complaints that dedicated frag-heads loved so much to make. It’s almost like the story about the boy who cried “wolf!”, with these people. One person writes “reformulation” on a forum or review-comment, and the whole lot of them freak out, buying 10 back-up bottles of the “vintage” edition, often at an extortionate price. Sometimes it’s just a false alarm. Chalk it up as “mass paranoia”, or so I thought.

I’ll admit, I previously looked down upon such people. Chances are that their collections are already extensive as it is, full of bottles and decants that they will never finish in their lifetime. With so many fragrances available and being introduced into the market, there will always the chance that they will find another favorite. No point in holding onto a relic. I am a bit wiser now.  Some fragrances simply cannot be replaced, no matter how closely another fragrance resembles it, or how well a supposed clone (smell-alike) imitates the original, nostalgia accepts no substitutes.

To the disappointment of many a fragster, the threat of reformulation is very much real. Lolita Lempicka’s Au Masculin showed me the harsh reality of reformulations. I honestly felt as if the fragrance house slapped me, the consumer, in the face, trying to pass-off a sad, watered-down perversion, as the original fragrance I so adored. Never before, have I actually felt angered over something as trivial as scented alcohol-water. It’s silly, but when the one thing that inspires or resurrects fond memories, is desecrated, it is understandable and justified to be outraged. The experience is akin to someone burning your baby picture in front of your very own eyes, and then telling you that you won’t miss it, anyway.

I repeat: the threat of reformulations is real.

What has your experience been with reformulations? Comment about it.

Thank you for reading Principles of Style. I hope you enjoy this post and found the blog useful. If you have any questions, feedback, or want to share some of your style and scent tips, tricks, and insights, please leave your input in the comments section below, or send me a PM.

Did I miss anything? Do you disagree? Do you love it? Have I changed your life? Let me know.

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The Neck Tie: The Long and Short of It

The King of Men’s Accessories

Ties are a status symbol, a quintessentially manly item. When one thinks of a male accessory, ties are likely the first to come to mind, probably attached to a successful business man. This ornamental neckwear has been the decoration of choice since the early 1900s, and is still relevant today, as much in the business world, as it is in the fashion world. It’s funny how a strip of cloth can have influence in this world.

Fabric Types

Silk is the gold standard for tie fabric; quality ties are 100% silk. Wools like cashmere and tweed, are suited for all but the most formal occasions, they’re great for fall and winter wear. The most casual ties are made of cotton,  linen, knits (of most fabrics) and even the occasional leather;  it takes cojones and style know-how to rock a leather tie. 

Be wary of polyester ties pretending to be silk ties, as they cheapen the look of any tie.

Prints, Patterns, and Colours

Ties can be more than an obligation to comply with a dress code, they can be a form of self-expression. Done right, they can fit into any social context. Solids are the safest bet, especially in high profile situations. There’s a vast variety of prints and patterns, among the most common are stripes, dots, plaids, paisleys, florals, repeating motifs (animals, objects, monogram initials) and a myriad of other designs. Observe the patterns on the pictures throughout this article.

With designs,a rule of thumb is that the smaller and more spaced together a print is, the more formal it becomes; contrasting to that, bigger and more spaced out patterns are considered less formal. Use your judgement, and  observe what the more experienced are wearing.

There is a reason that a red tie is called a “power tie“. Red is a colour of dominance, it is eye catching and sends the message that you mean business.  The big boys in the corporations wear red ties to affirm their strength and authority in the business world.

Disclaimer:  Principles of Style does not support Donald Trump or his political views.

trump in a power tie
Like it or not, Donald Trump is powerful. To some, a fool with power,but still, a force in the capitalist world.

Principles of Style, is strictly a men’s style blog, and thus maintains political neutrality; it does not endorse or condemn individuals and the views they express.

For those of us still aspiring to be big players in our respective fields, and those entering situations in which they don’t want to stand out (work, funerals, ceremonies,etc) safe colours like navy, grey, and black, will suit our needs. When being casual, you can pretty much wear whatever  you want.

Coordinating ties with pocket squares requires a little finesse, refer to this essential pocket square guide for quick and easy examples to stylishly combine pocket squares and ties.

3 Tie Knots Every Man Must Know

There are a surprising amount of different ways people can tie a neck tie, and they’re mostly impractical. With the exception of a few.

Definitely not these. While it is important to show personality and be unique, wearing these knots will make you look like a tool. Stick to the 3 essentials, below:

The Four-in-Hand Knot
four in hand knowfour in hanfd how to

The easiest and least formal tie knot. The four-in-hand’s asymmetric look gives off a more casual vibe, this is one knot you can wear in dress-down situations.

The Windsor Knot

Windsor_Knotfull windsor how to

The Windsor is a thick and symmetrical knot, almost triangular in shape. It is the “power knot”, this is the knot you wear to job interviews, formal occasions, or wherever you want to look confident. Surprisingly, the Duke of Windsor didn’t usually wear this knot, he favored the Four-in-Hand, using ties of thick cloth.

The Half-Windsor

half windsorhalf windsor how to

Simply, it’s a less bulky Windsor knot, still symmetrical, but smaller. Use this one when a Full-Windsor would be overkill. The diagram does show more steps, but the end product is a less prominent triangle.

When in doubt, go for the four-in-hand.  Remember to tuck in the thin side of the tie behind the loop on the fat end, and don’t forget…

The Dimple

The dimple is that extra 1% that shows you are more attentive than 99% of people. It’s function is to improve the aesthetic of the tie by giving the knot some some elevation, better framing your face. Put your index finger in the center of the knot, while pinching with the thumb and middle finger, and fiddle in between with the other hand as you cinch the tie knot. There’s no exact science to it, just get that dimple in the middle.

The Right Dimensions

Proper length. Once knotted, a tie must be at a certain height to look proper. The tip of the tie should rest slightly above the belt, hanging less than halfway past the buckle (right).

Proper width. Ties are generally available in three standard sizes, as shown below. A ties’ width depends largely on the man’s frame, and the width of the suit jacket or blazer lapel width. A man of slight frame deserves a thinner tie to couple with his thinner lapels. More on lapels and suits in this detailed guide to suit jackets. Conversely, a man of stockier build requires reasonably broader garments.

tie_width_chart.png

Ideally, the widest point of the tie should be approximate to the lapel’s span.

tie and lapel width

Accessories for the Accessory

Adding to the necktie, is the tie bar. A tie bar is both functional and fashionable, it secures the tie to the shirt, preventing it from flopping about (good for when you have to eat with a tie on) and is yet another way to show a flash of personality. Tie bars come in many attractive designs.  A tie bar can attach either as a clip/clamp (my preference, for its ease of use) or a slide-on.

Its length should extend approximately 2/3 of tie’s width and attach between the 3rd and 4th button of your shirt, #1 being the uppermost button at the collar.

tie bar size

Storing Your Tie

Ties can either be hung straight or rolled-up. I prefer to roll my ties and put them in a drawer. Some say you shouldn’t hang because it will stretch out the tie, especially knits. Others say you shouldn’t roll because it will damage the ties’ tips. Rolled or hung, it doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things.

And finally, for the love of the dapper deities (Lord Beckham, Lord Ford, Lord Wooster, Lord Craig, and the other idols) no clip-on ties. Knot it like an adult. You have no excuses, now.

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