How and When Should Men Wear A Tie?

Ties are a fundamental accessory in a man’s essential wardrobe, they can add personality, elegance, and formality to many types of looks, no matter what your personal style is. Rules about style and formality, in both work and social settings, are changing so quickly that it can be tough to know when you should and shouldn’t wear a tie.

So, in this episode of 2 Minute Tuesday we’re discussing when and how men should wear a tie! For a full breakdown on our favorite ties and specific tips, make sure you check out our tie article!

 

With What?

A key thing to remember about ties starts with what you should be wearing them with. Dressier looks like suits and sport coats are definitely options you can and should wear a tie with. For more of a hybrid look, try wearing a tie with a bomber jacket, it can give your casual look a cool dressy vibe. One word of warning though, you don’t want to wear just a tie on its own without a jacket, it just doesn’t look right.

 

With What Types of Dress Codes?

When to wear a tie can also be determined by the dress code or how formal your place of work happens to be. Dress codes like “Formal”, “Cocktail Attire” or “Cocktail Party” often call for a suit and a tie. Business casual tends to lean slightly more casual but a tie can be appropriate given the right scenario. One tip we love, try a knit tie in those less-dressy situations, they’re not as dressy as a silk tie and will give your look a cool vibe.

If you aren’t totally sure about dress codes, ultimately you want to go with the crowd and let that dictate when a tie is appropriate. Always being stylish and a bit more dressed up is a great thing most of the time. But, you don’t want to be significantly overdressing for occasions or workplaces that don’t call for it. It can seem like you’re trying too hard or attempting to stand out, and not in a good way.

Summer Travel Essentials And Accessories

Summer travel season is here and hopefully, you’ve got a trip or two on the books. Whether you’re taking a week away to hit somewhere warm and tropical, seeking out nature, or hitting the road for some sightseeing, you’re going to need some essentials to get you through all types of situations. If you’ve seen Ashley’s Instagram you know that we both travel quite a bit, and we’ve found that outside of finding the right travel bag, these small, easily packable items can make all the difference in the world.

Plus, almost all of these items can be found on Amazon so it will make your pre-trip shopping as easy as a few clicks.

 

 

Pain Relievers

Whether you’re nursing a hangover from a few too many poolside cocktails or dealing with aches and pains from hikes or exercise, a few of these can change the game.

 

Band-Aids

If you’ve ever dealt with vacation blisters from a day of walking and sightseeing or accidents in nature you know how handy a pack of these band-aids in your dopp kit can be.

 

Dopp Kit

Speaking of dopp kits, having the right one is not only stylish but helps keep you organized and prepared for any type of trip.

Dopp Kit Picks:

Jack Spade

Jack Spade 2

Filson

Vetelli

Budget Friendly: Herschel

Sunscreen

We can’t stress enough the importance of sunscreen, whether you’re at the pool or beach or just out and about.  Don’t forget proper lip balm with sunscreen too!

Sunscreen/Lip Balm Picks:

Anthelios

Neutrogena

Jack Black

Burt’s Bees

Jack Black

 

Noise Cancelling Headphones

An absolute must when traveling on any kind of plane journey, these can turn a rough flight into a relaxing one.  We’ve tried a bunch and the ones listed below are our favorites.

Headphone Picks:

Bose

Sony

Budget-Friendly: Cowin

Earbud Option

 

Sandals/Flip Flops

Sure, we’ve talked about how a lot of guys wear them too often during summer, but if you’re going to be in/around a body of water they’re definitely a great thing to have.

Flip Flop Picks:

Hurley

Scott

Rainbow

 

Clorox Wipes

For a quick clean up on potentially dirty surfaces that can make you sick, nothing beats the convenience of these Clorox wipes.

 

Emergen-C

Airports and planes can be a virus and bacterial hot zone, so make sure you’re taking proper precautions by downing a few Emergen-Cs and keeping your immune system in check.

 

External Battery Pack

Keep your devices juiced up and ready to go with one of these handy battery packs.  Another item that you’ll be so glad you have when you need it.

Battery Pack Picks:

Power Bank

Belkin

Anker

 

Cable Organizer / Tech Dopp Kit

Keep your carry on or briefcase organized and stress-free with one of these easy-to-use cord organizers.

Organizer Picks:

Grid-It

BagSmart

This Is Ground

 

Lint Roller

A must-have for any dark clothing. We like this handy small version the best for traveling:

Travel Lint Roller

 

Portable Steamer 

Small and easy-to-use, a steamer is well worth the packing space. This is the only one we use and recommend:

Portable Steamer

 

Portable Speaker

A fun, easy way to add some atmosphere to any trip.  We’ve tested and used a bunch and these are our favorites.

Speaker Picks:

JBL

Anker

Ultimate Ears

How Many Rings Should Men Wear?

Over-accessorizing is a common problem a lot of guys fall prey to.  While we definitely believe the right accessories can really elevate your look, it’s important to know how to do it right.  In this episode of 2 Minute Tuesday we’re answering a viewer question about rings.  Should a man wear them?  If so, how many are too many?

1 Ring Per Hand Max

Stick to this rule as the be-all, end-all of ring rules.  Any more than that and you’re going to look like you are trying too hard.

Skip The Thumb Ring

Thumb rings are a definite no-go, they just come off as tacky and cheesy.  Keep your rings to your forefinger, middle finger, and maybe your pinky.

 

Mixing Metals Is Ok

We’re not diehards about not mixing metal types with rings and watches, but it does look best if your rings are somewhat consistent with your watch or other accessories.

5 Best Budget-Friendly Spring Essentials

Finding the right budget-friendly Spring essentials is all about choosing the right affordable brands and focusing on the right accessories you can add to your outfit to really elevate your look and supplement your Essential Wardrobe.

Here are our picks for the 5 Best Budget-Friendly Spring Essentials for 2019!

 

  

1. Polo Shirts

We’ve always been huge fans H&M polos, the fit is great and they offer awesome bang for the buck. Get a range of basic colors (navy, black, grey, light grey) and wear them until Fall.

Picks:

Polos

Alternative 1

Alternative 2

 

2. Braided Leather Belt

A low-key way to mix up your belt style without doing anything crazy. These belts are best for casual looks and we recommend options in dark brown, light brown, or black.

Picks:

Belt 1

Belt 2

Belt 3

3. Silk Knit Ties

An easy, affordable way to mix up your tie routine. Silk knit ties add texture and a bit of casual flair that’s perfect for spring occasions (weddings/parties) or the office.

Picks:

My Favorite Knit Ties

Alternative Knit Ties

 

4. Chino Pants

Obviously, we love chino pants for Spring and Uniqlo chinos are the cream of the crop for budget-friendly options.  The fit and price are excellent and they even offer in-store hemming for free.  They come in slim and straight fits.

Picks:

My Favorite Budget-Friendly Chinos

Alternative 1

Alternative 2

 

5. Canvas Sneakers

A classic casual sneaker option that’s both stylish and affordable.  Solid colors like white and navy are super versatile but don’t be afraid to mix it up with a fun checkerboard pattern or some color.

Picks:

Sneakers 1

Sneakers 2

Sneakers 3

Sneakers 4

Sneakers 5

7 Accessories You Should Get Rid Of Now

We’ve talked about how important it is to regularly clean out your wardrobe of items that are old, out of style, and no longer worth it. This goes for your accessories too. Accessories are a key part of your overall style, and a few wrong choices or out of date items can easily ruin an otherwise great look.

1. Wide bracelets

My position on this is well known, it’s time to ditch the stacked bracelets and wide leather straps. Their time has come and gone.

2. Too-wide ties

It’s important to keep an eye on your tie’s width. Not everyone should wear a skinny tie (it should be proportionate to your body type and suit style) but anything wider than 3” is just going to look out of date and out of style.

3. Belts with big buckles or large logos

Another item I’ve talked about before, get rid of ‘em! Belts should be minimal. The same goes for super-wide belt widths and contrasting stitching, definitely a big no.

4. Lapel flowers/pins

I don’t mind a bit of flair, like a thoughtfully chosen pocket square or tie bar, but at a certain point, less is more. You don’t need to add on a lapel pin/flower in addition to all the other accessories you’re wearing, it’s too much.

5. Extra-wide tie bars

If your tie bar goes past your tie, you’re in trouble. Additionally, anything more than 2 inches wide, (unless you’re a broader guy with a 44” chest or larger), is just too long.

6. Colored shoelaces

Another trend that had its day, simple and understated is the way to go with shoelaces. You want that nice pair of shoes to do the talking, not the brightly-colored laces.

7. Big, chunky metal rings

A simple band or signet ring is just fine, but large bulky rings just look dated and over the top.

Best Travel Accessories

Obviously, we all know traveling can be super hectic; between the crazy lines, delayed flights, and packed planes, there’s a reason there’s a bar right by almost every gate.  Outside of finding the right travel bag, being prepared with the right accessories can make your trip smooth and easy.  Both Dorian and I travel a lot for work so we’ve learned a thing or two about what to bring on trips, and we decided to put together a foolproof list that’s suitable for nearly any journey.  Plus, almost all of these items can be found on Amazon so it will make your pre-trip shopping as easy as a few clicks.

 

Here’s our go-to list of travel accessories:

Portable steamer

You never know what the iron situation will be where you’re going and a portable steamer is small, light, easy to pack, and super effective.

Small lint roller

A must-have for keeping dark clothing and suits/blazers looking their best, we love this version because it has an easy-to-use covered design.

Jack Spade dopp kit

In addition to having the right bag, a proper dopp kit is going to keep all your toiletries organized and in good order.  We also like this budget-friendly version from Herschel.

Wireless Bose or Sony Bluetooth headphones

Wireless headphones with noise canceling are ideal for plane trips and will keep your tunes or podcasts sounding crisp and clear.  They also keep you feeling much more refreshed and alert by drowning out the excessive plane noise. We also like this budget-friendly version from Cowin.

Eye mask for sleeping

A necessity if you plan on surviving that redeye, they block out all the light so you can get deeper, more restful sleep. We find that the versions that don’t sit right on your eyes (like the ones linked above) are much, much more comfortable and effective.

Cabeau memory foam neck pillow

Speaking of surviving a red eye, a good neck pillow is a must. Memory foam is the best because it packs up super small and is very comfortable. Plus, this one from Cabeau is Tim Ferris approved!

Portable battery from Belkin or Anker

Never miss another ‘Gram opportunity because of a dead phone again. These small, portable batteries will keep you charged up and ready to go.

The Bagel power strip

If you travel internationally you know the hassles of different wall plug adapters. The Bagel is very small and works worldwide to keeps all your devices charged up.

ExOfficio boxer briefs

These outstanding briefs are super durable and quick-drying so you’ll be cool and comfortable all trip. We’re big fans of ExOfficio and have featured them before.

Tech Dopp Kit from This Is Ground

Just like you keep your toiletries organized, having a handy case will keep your cords, chargers, and devices squared away and easy-to-find. We also love the Bandito from This is Ground and the Grid-it from Cocoon.

The Cord Taco from This is Ground

If you’re traveling light, sometimes a small cord organizer is all you need.

So now that you’re properly prepared for a smooth trip all that’s left is to grab some snacks and a drink at the bar, have a safe flight!

How To Wear A Tie Bar

As I’ve talked about before, details like well-chosen accessories can make a huge impact on your outfit. Whether you call it a tie bar or tie clip, this classic accessory is an easy way to add a bit of extra flair to your dressy outfits.  But, there are a few easy tips you need to know when selecting and wearing one.

The two biggest, and really, only, mistakes you can make with a tie bar are: wearing it too high or low and using a tie bar that is not the proper size for your tie width. So let’s fix those problems once and for all.

 

Choosing The Right Size Tie Bar

The key here is to make sure your tie bar does not exceed the length of your tie width and hang over the edge, definitely not a good look.

For A Slim Tie

If you’re wearing a slimmer  2” – 2.5” wide tie, then you want to choose a 1” or 1.5” tie bar.

For A Standard Tie

If you’re wearing a standard 3” tie, then you want to use a 2” tie bar.

Now that you know how wide your tie bar should be, let me show you how to properly wear one with two different approaches.

How To Wear A Tie Bar

Now that you’ve got the right size tie bar selected, let’s move on to the right way to wear it. I highly recommend sticking to one of these two methods as any other way can throw off your entire look.

The OG Approach

This is the tried and true classic way to wear a tie bar. Your tie bar will be placed lower down on your tie which will prevent your tie from moving as much. It’s a more utilitarian use of your tie bar without it showing much. With your blazer on, attach your tie bar about 2 buttons lower than the breast pocket of your jacket.  There you go, the OG approach.

The Modern Approach

The modern approach is my personal favorite because it shows off the accessory a bit more and whether I’m styling for GQ or my clients for the red carpet, this is what I prefer do. To achieve this attach your tie bar slightly below your breast pocket – about 0.5”. Be careful though, any higher and it’ll look ridiculous.

No matter which way you choose to wear it, the right tie bar is an easy upgrade to your accessory game; try one out today!

Top Men’s Accessories Under $100

Accessories may seem like a small thing but they’re one of my favorite ways to mix up your look and add some extra personality in a very affordable way. Whether you’re adding a new tie to your rotation, trying out a new watch or piece of jewelry, or bringing in something more utilitarian like a key holder, these extra touches to your personal style will go a long way.

With that in mind, here are my favorite men’s accessories under $100!

Tie Bar – The Tie Bar

A tie bar is great because it’s both utilitarian and stylish. It’s a small touch but you can mix and match with different colors, finishes, and styles to add just a bit of personality to your tie game.

 

Knit Tie – The Tie Bar

Speaking of ties, I love the texture and look of a knit tie because it’s just a bit different from the norm.  Plus, because of look and design, knit ties crossover to more casual looks very easily, so try pairing them with a blazer and denim or an oxford and chinos.

Silver Cuff – Topman

A silver cuff is a great place to start with men’s jewelry because it’s simple and not too over-the-top. Just make sure you keep it low key and only wear one piece of jewelry at a time. 

 

Brown Frame Sunglasses – Warby Parker

I love the colored clear-framed sunglass styles that are happening right now.  They’re definitely different enough to add something new to your look but not so bold as to be distracting. Don’t forget to check out my guide to finding the right frame for your face shape!

 

Blue Frame Sunglasses – Warby Parker

As I mentioned above, clear-framed sunglasses are my favorite type of eyewear right now.  Stick with a classic frame shape and you’ll hit just the right balance of modern and timeless.

 

Key Holder – Bellroy

Since I’m sure some of you have that bulky, disorganized key ring, I recommend this key holder as a simple, smart way to keep your keys organized in a stylish way.

 

Wallet – Bellroy

Just like the key holder above, Bellroy has a knack for making stylish leather goods that are the perfect mix of minimal design and high-quality materials. Their Low Down wallet is a great pared-down choice.

 

Slim Phone Case – Elago

Finding a phone case that’s both classy and protective is tough but Elago really nails it.  They’re remarkably slim and minimal but still offer a great fit and protection, no matter what type of phone you have.

 

Watch – Timex Weekender

Despite its name, the Times Weekender is the perfect budget-friendly watch for any day of the week.  In addition to being both high-quality and very affordable, it’s classic design works well with any wardrobe choice, casual or dressy.

 

Watch Straps – Suede, Perlon, Leather, and NATO-Style

Now that you’ve got a great watch you can further mix up your look by swapping out different watch straps. Add a leather or suede one for a polished look or try nylon and perlon for something more sporty.  Buy a few and switch them up depending on your mood, it’s easy and fun.

Backpack – KNOMO London Holborn Southampton Backpack

Finding a good backpack isn’t easy, and finding an affordable one is even tougher. That’s why I love this one from Knomo so much, it’s versatile and stylish without being too bulky, something that’s really tough to find at such a great price point.