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.

Are These The Best Chino Pants Of 2019?

As we discussed in our Spring Essentials and our Budget-Friendly Chino Pants posts, chino pants are a major wardrobe key.  Since we’re in prime chino pants season we thought we’d dive in on the all-new chino pants from our friends over at The Tie Bar.  How do they stack up? Are they the best chino pants of 2019?

Extra special thanks to our friends at The Tie Bar for sponsoring this video! Don’t forget to check out our picks and outfit details below.

 

Materials & Construction

We really liked the stretch chino fabric which had a nice weight and thickness.  They are available in 3 versatile colors and have a sharp, dressy feel.  You should note that they are flat front but do come with a crease, which we actually didn’t mind since it added a slight slimming effect to the leg.

Fit

The Tie Bar chino pants come in a slim fit that’s trim but not tight.  The thighs have a little bit of room and the leg has a nice taper down to the ankle.  Overall, these would be a great fit for a range of body types from large to medium builds.

Price

Like with all things Tie Bar, we felt these chinos were a great value for the money at $60 plus free shipping. They’re of high-quality and definitely compare favorably to a lot of the other chinos we see that are more expensive.

Outfit Details

Look 1:

Chinos

Denim Jacket (similar)

T-Shirt (similar)

Sneakers

Sunglasses

Belt (similar)

Look 2:

Chinos

Blazer

Loafers

T-Shirt (similar)

Sunglasses

Belt (similar)

Shop everything from The Tie Bar right here:

The Tie Bar Chinos

The Tie Bar Shirts

Best Budget-Friendly Chinos For 2019

If you don’t know by now, chinos are an absolute must-own, especially for the Spring and Summer months.  They’re super versatile, very comfortable, and a key part of a stylish Essential Wardrobe.  There are a ton of versions out there but we wanted to highlight a few of our absolute favorite budget-friendly chinos.  For more chino goodness, check out 3 Ways To Style Your Chinos and our Chino Fit Guide.

  

Uniqlo

Uniqlo’s chinos are the perfect affordable basic, they’re good quality, have a very clean design and come in two excellent fits, a slim fit and a straight fit.  Plus, they also offer free hemming in-store and online. For $40 these can’t be beaten.

Uniqlo Slim Fit

Uniqlo Straight Fit

  

J.Crew

J.Crew is slightly more expensive, still very well-priced at just below $70, but their heavier chino fabric is very good quality and they offer a ton of great colors.  We recommend their slim fit or straight fit.

J.Crew Slim Fit

J.Crew Straight Fit

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.

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.

Holiday Gifts under $200 for Him

This season, I wanted to break up my annual gift guides by price and gender, so in this one, I want to talk about the gifts under $200 for the various men in your life. 

Essentials Box

My all-time favorite company for ties and pocket squares has this great Essentials Box that includes ties, pocket squares, socks as well as tie bars & collar stays for the man who likes to class it up or needs a little help in the accessories department.

$165 – The Tie Bar Essentials Box

Minimalist Pocket Knife

Well-designed, minimalist and with a simple construction with many handle options makes this one a winner in my book.

$99 – $179 – Grovemade Minimalist Knife

Clear Ice Cube Maker Kit

For someone into cocktails, this is a great addition to their bar that they might not have. It’s easy to give glasses, stirrers, shakers or booze, but a clear ice cube maker kit is a cut above the standard items one would give.

$80 – Neat Ice Cube Kit

Leather Dopp Kit

Like I mentioned in my Accessory Essentials Series, this dopp kit is fan-freaking-tastic and I’ve gifted it many times over the years.

$130 – Jack Spade Dopp Kit

Wireless Earbuds (iOS & Android)

The AirPods are truly the best wireless earbuds available right now (for iOS users) and the Jaybird Run are equally good for Android.

$159 to $265 – Apple AirPods or Jaybird Run

Best Backup or Rucksack

I’ve gone over the best backpacks or rucksacks before, and my top choices are definitely pricey, but for an everyday, go-anywhere, do-anything bag, this one is my top choice. I love that it comes in different colors in case your recipient may prefer something other than black.

$135 – Aef Fit Pack 2