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Hello there, I have a question about the early Edwardian ties, around 1900. I can see some men on the photos wearing scarf ties, but i cannot find them anywhere to buy (unless they are just silk square scarves, tied in that way). Also, is it possible to wear an ascot outside the collar during the day, just plain tie without ruche or any other knot? I have seen some examples of the same way of tying an ascot as inside the shirt, but outside tucked into a waistcoat. And last one, also Edwardian neckties. Is there any difference between a necktie and tie ?

Kind regards,

-Daniel

Thanks so much for writing, Daniel. The only “Edwardian Ties” I’ve ever come across are usually found on sites like GentlemansEmporium.com. These ties are generally for the highest of formal wear occasions and are very Dandy in deed. But you will most likely have a hard time finding them in a brick in mortar store which is why I would recommend just going with a plain ascot which always has the perfect blend of casual yet dressy. You will also most likely have a difficult time finding ascots sold in stores these days, yet plenty of online shops offer them like Sterling Ascots and Ceravelo.

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As for your other inquiry, if you take a look at the photos below, it’s entirely possibly to wear an ascot on the outside of the collar for a more casual look, but if that’s truly the look you are going for I would almost recommend just wearing a silk scarf like the one seen on Johnny Depp. Back in the day I used to wear an ascot from time to time and I loved how it looked. I didn’t even have a proper ascot, I just used a thin cotton scarf that I had and it looked great (at least I thought so).  What was great about it is it didn’t have the ruching on the back so if I wanted to wear it like a scarf, I still could. You can find plenty of silk scarf options online, which will lay the best, at stores like Nordstrom. Once you find what you are looking for, head on over to our “How To Tie an Ascot” tutorial.

I hope this helps Daniel. Thanks again for the question. Be sure to keep reading and as always, stay Dandy.

-BD

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One of my favorite #menswear blogs Parisian Gentleman recently published an article reinforcing a firm belief of mine that one should be well-dressed while traveling on a plane. Not to say you need to be in a three-piece suit while taking your family on a trip to Disney World, but at the very least make an effort and don’t travel in pajama pants.

As Hugo points out,“Being elegantly dressed triggers a set of reactions with people you meet during your voyage – from ground agents, to the security team, to the border police, the cabin crew and the passengers, with these encounters accompanied by reactions which are consistently the same – smiles, kindness, respect and politeness — to the degree which camouflage cargo shorts with hiking sandals could never hope to replicate.”

[via Parisian Gentleman]

OF THE PLEASURE OF TRAVELING ELEGANTLY

Traveling has been part of the DNA of Parisian Gentleman since we began this project seven years ago.

Sonya, Greg and I have been roaming the world tirelessly for the needs of our editorial work as well as for a number of side activities related to Parisian Gentleman – ranging from university conferences to private receptions, various “sartorial” events, PG events, and book signings, to visiting a staggering amount of workshops and manufactures for my books (as well as attending international trade salons, movie sets, interviews for the press—traditional and digital). As a matter of reality, we’ve been on the road more days then we can count.

Last year, for the research work for my upcoming “The Italian Gentleman” book and for the various signing events for “The Parisian Gentleman”, we traveled for a solid 9 months without setting foot back home. We trekked all over Italy of course, but also we spent significant time in Spain, the UK, the US, Asia, South America, Canada, and in Eastern Europe.

Of course, “on the road” is a figure of speech here. We mostly took the plane. And by mostly, I mean an obscene amount of time over the past twelve months.

Yet we never compromised with one of our internal rules – that of always traveling well-dressed. Be it with a full suit or sports jacket, a tie, a pocket square, or at the very least, a pair of well-shined shoes and a nice, freshly ironed shirt. This rule we wouldn’t cheat on, no matter the destination or the duration of the trip.

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It’s a rule which might seem ludicrous to many – as it seems understood that the priority when traveling, in particular on a long-haul flight, would be to put comfort over style, for obvious reasons and benefits.

Still, having traveled a solid couple hundred times fully suited-up (with tie) over the past couple of years – and not only in business class (not by a long stretch) – I can attest that it is perfectly possible to travel while dressed elegantly. Not only that, but chances are, traveling in style will improve, almost constantly, the quality of your travel experience.

And why ? Being elegantly dressed triggers a set of reactions with people you meet during your voyage – from ground agents, to the security team, to the border police, the cabin crew and the passengers, with these encounters accompanied by reactions which are consistently the same – smiles, kindness, respect and politeness — to the degree which camouflage cargo shorts with hiking sandals could never hope to replicate.

Mad Men Flight

Believe me when I say : being dressed, and behaving elegantly for a long trip will almost always bring its fair share of perks and good surprises : last-minute upgrades for your seat arrangements, fast-pass for the check-in line, ease of access to many frequent flyer salons, and fast-tracks even without the right ticket, second servings of red wine and crackers, and a wealth of other similar tidbits that will make your trip more enjoyable. Dressing well, especially when sharp clothes are paired with elegant behavior, will earn you a lot of sympathy – especially when you act well in the gravity of a difficult situation without irritation or annoyance, and keep that smile alive.

Climbing in a place for a long-haul travel in a bespoke suit with a well-tied tie and a nice pair of shoes is a surprisingly positive experience – both for your own benefit and that of the crew, who seems to appreciate nicely dressed and well-behaved passengers. More often than not, the cabin crew will be particularly considerate to “that guy with the suit and the long hair” and his partner “that girl in the suit with a tie and suspenders, in seats 14 E and F”. Over the years, some crew members even approached us to say how nice it was for them to serve passengers that set themselves apart from the usual fare, in a positive way.

I like to travel while wearing a tie, if only to set myself apart from the crowd.

Another reason I prefer to wear a tie during travel is because this small gesture lends an “ambiance from the past” to the travel experience — as if crossing the Atlantic in an airplane was still an event in itself, a special occasion worth dressing well for in advance.

If you’re wearing a shirt from a quality source and if your tie is light and the knot is sturdy, you’ll be able to travel an entire eight-hours-plus trip without looking worse for wear, although you may need to loosen the tie a bit and open up your shirt collar a button or two for a nap…

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Of course these days, traveling well-dressed does not necessarily require wearing a tie. Indeed, a nice travel jacket with a well-fitted button-down shirt and a good pair of cotton trousers will do the trick as well.

Traveling elegantly dressed is important, as far as I’m concerned — if only because it turns a deeply boring and frankly tiring experience in a truly pleasant human experience.

Try it for yourself, and see the difference…

SmokeyBearWatch

I want thaaaaat…. Filson has been absolutely killing it with their watches lately and their newest collaboration is no exception. Introducing the Limited Edition Smokey Bear Watch.

Filson has worked with many industries and organizations over the past 119 years, but some of our most special relationships have been with the men and women who work in the woods. This year, we celebrate one of our nation’s most beloved outdoorsmen with a special, limited-edition Smokey Bear Watch. This individually-numbered watch is boxed with a collection of Smokey Bear goods. Each watch comes with a certificate of authenticity, a book that tells the story of Smokey Bear and Filson’s relationship with the outdoors, and six postcards of reimagined, vintage Smokey posters.

FEATURES

  • Four piece, bolt-reinforced roller buckle style closure
  • Stainless steel case back with brass PVD plating and Filson logo is secured by six screws
  • Limited to 1000 pieces
  • Individually numbered
  • Assembled in Detroit at the Shinola Watch Factory
  • 43mm stainless-steel case
  • Argonite 715 quartz movement
  • Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal

$1,000

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Our favorite milliner Nick Fouquet just launched his newly redesigned website which includes (at long last) an online store! The fact that I can now order my own Nick Fouquet hat online makes me happier than words can say, however that feeling quickly vanishes when I realize the cost of the hats start at over $1000… Soul-crushing is a word I would use.

Still, if you have some money saved up or if dropping a cool G is no big deal to you, I suggest heading over to Nick’s revamped site and start picking one out. I’ve selected my top favorite designs from his Spring 16 line below to help with your decision making process. All kidding aside, seeing these hats up close confirms that they truly are works of art and I really, really, really want one.

www.nickfouquet.com

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MillionDollarCollar

Now here is a common problem us men have, especially during the summer months when wearing a tie while out becomes less common. Here you are, putting a lot of time and effort into planning the perfect outfit for the night, only once you’re out, you notice your open collar droops down and completely ruins the look. A problem I am shocked has taken so long to find a solution for, but thankfully that’s where Million Dollar Collar comes in.

The idea is pretty simple and ingenious I must say. Basically a collar stay for the placket of your shirt, with just a little help from your tailor or seamstress, you install the thin plastic stay into your shirt and then sew it back up. Boom, no more sagging collar.

I am totally onboard for picking some of these up while the temps still call for an open collar (plus it doesn’t hurt that the wife loves this look). One word of caution, I wouldn’t put shirts with these installed into the dryer as I’m sure they would warp. But you wouldn’t be putting those shirts in the dryer anyways, right? You should always dry clean or line dry your shirts to prolong their life.

With multiple packs available ranging from 3 ($9) to 20 ($46) I would highly recommend picking some of these up and installing them in your favorite shirts.

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Had to share these beautiful family photos we recently had taken by Cara Kilian Photography to celebrate the upcoming arrival of the newest little member of our family. Her prices are very reasonable and the locations she uses for her shoots is a stunning. She has perfected the art of the sunset shoot (which has always been one of my favorite looks) and the area where she shoots near her house have so many gorgeous places to take photos. Below are some of my favorite from the shoot, and even these were hard to narrow down. Naturally, when it came time to choose just ten photos, we purchased the entire album (some 70 photos) for an extra $100. We will surely treasure these photos forever (until we do another one when our little girl arrives) but in the meantime, if you are looking for a professional photographer, we cannot recommend Cara Kilian enough.

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OxfordPennant1

We first featured Buffalo’s own Oxford Pennant back in 2014. Since then the company has grown leaps and bounds and recently moved their HQ to a small space on West Tupper St. I had noticed their sign and display window on my way to the 33 one afternoon and almost crashed my car when I thought they had opened a retail space. I contacted David Horesh, one of the owners of Oxford Pennant who was kind enough to meet me at their office to chat about his company and show me around their new space.

David told me that when he and his business partner started Oxford Pennant almost three years ago, the idea was to make some cool pennants to support their hometown and hopefully make a few bucks at the same time, thinking the “Americana” trend would kind of die out after a while. They never expected their business would explode like it has and the response to their product to be so overwhelmingly positive.

To understand what all the fuss is about, all you have to do is see one of these pennants in person. Right away you notice the weight and quality of the felt; far superior to the cardboard-like pennants currently on the market, which David loathes. Next, the simple typography and graphics used creates a perfect nostalgic feel, even when the subject matter includes popular rap lyrics. Even more fascinating regarding the meteoric rise of Oxford Pennant is the fact that they do no advertising. Instead, they rely on their customers to spread the word for them via Instagram, showcasing beautiful photographs of their product featured around the country.

While photos are a great way to get your company out there, Oxford Pennant is also highly aware of the importance of branding, so special care is taken to capitalize on unique ways to make customers aware of the Oxford Pennant brand; whether it be on the custom taping used on their packaging, the variety of stickers included with each purchase or the ingenious “mini pennants” made from left over scraps which are included in custom orders.

If you are looking for something a little bit bigger than your standard pennant, Oxford Pennant has recently expanded their catalog by offering 24″x 36″ wool felt championship banners, which are available in three designs and use hand-stiched lettering for a truly old school look and feel.

With new designs coming out all the time, a retail space (hopefully) opening up in their location soon and no shortage of lovers of beautifully crafted, hand-made in America pennants, this Buffalo-based company has a bright future ahead of it. Be sure to check out Oxford Pennant’s full catalog via their online store and order yours today.

OxfordPennant.com

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[Photos by Mark Mulville/Buffalo News]
Sharing some amazing photos by The Buffalo News which feature one of my favorite buildings in downtown Buffalo: The M&T Gold Dome Bank.

[via The Buffalo News]
The M&T Gold Dome Bank opened in 1901 with white marble walls and floors, a soaring ceiling and windows that start several feet off the ground. “The bankers were trying to create a place that liked like your money would be safe,” said Robert W. VonLangen, M&T Bank property manager. 

I’ve always enjoyed visiting this bank even though we don’t belong to it on the off chance I happen to witness someone singing the bank song from Mary Poppins inside.

While I certainly would never want the bank to close, when I visited The Federal Bar in Long Beach last year, all I could think of is how awesome the Gold Dome building would be as a bar.

Check out the full gallery here and some of my favorites below. Also, if you happen to be downtown, do yourself a favor and check out this incredible building for yourself.

SeersuckerRide17

Celebrate the coming of our beautiful Buffalo Summer with the 7th Annual BLRC Seersucker Ride. As always we ride the first Sunday of the Season. Sunday the 26th of June at Noon, we gather for Buffalo’s premiere social ride. Starting at Canalside and parading along (mostly) bike paths to the lawns of Delaware Park for our annual Summer Champagne Picnic and Lawn Fete. All are welcome and encourage to join in a playful round of Petanque!

Pack a picnic lunch to share with friends new and old. Summery fabrics, – especially Seersucker – are encouraged to enhance the communal theme. Of course we expect to see some breezy linens, madras, gingham and the like.

Each rider is responsible for their own safety and equipment, so please follow all laws and safety recommendations.

Let’s make the most of our enviable Buffalo Summer…

Check out our recap of last year’s festivities here.

Slob

I had to share this recently published article on BuffaloNews.com regarding Erie County’s new “anti-slob” dress code. The policy instructs some 4,000 white-collar workers to “present an appearance that reflects positively” on Erie County including:

• Skirts, slacks and other attire should cover the shoulder, back and midriff.
• Shoes should be clean and in good condition.
• Sneakers are appropriate only when denim is worn.
• Attire should be neat and professional
• Jeans should not be faded, dirty, ripped or torn.
• No flip flops, shorts or sweatpants.
• Clothing that works well or the beach, yard work and the gym is not appropriate for work.
• Reasonable exceptions may be made to accommodate injuries, disabilities and for ethnic and religious reasons.

I am 100% behind this dress code and while I am fortunate to work at a place which has a very relaxed wardrobe policy, I always take pride in my appearance and make sure I am dressed appropriately. The fact that this policy needs to be officially stated is somewhat disappointing, but if it wakes enough people up to not show up to work dressed like a slob and promote a more professional portrayal of our fair city, than I am all for it. Some may argue that this is unnecessary, pointless, etc. etc and they are free to think so… Personally, I would just be happy not to see people walking around wearing those hideous white New Balance sneakers with their suits anymore.

PS. I would also like to go on record as suggesting a similar dress code be required while attending a show at Shea’s because this epidemic must be stopped. Anyway, here the article below:

County’s ‘anti-slob’ code a small stand for civility

by 

I applaud county officials for trying.

It’s tough these days to take a stand for standards.

It’s nearly impossible not to overhear the obscene words uttered at the mall or during a downtown stroll.

Any adolescent can summon an anatomy lesson by Google-searching choice words. From sexting to Skype, technology has fast-forwarded sexual sharing and undercut teen innocence.

Popular songs have enough sexual references to make Masters and Johnson pull up the covers.

Some women’s outerwear looks like underwear. Leggings make skin-tight jeans seem Victorian. Slang references to body parts and sexual acts abound on once-Puritanical network TV.

I’m not saying the apocalypse is upon us and Western civilization will soon be consumed in a ball of hellfire. In some cases, relaxed standards signal a rejection of hypocrisy, an acceptance of openness and the erosion of snobbery and censorship.

But there are times it would be nice – particularly in public places – if civility and etiquette weren’t trampled and left gasping for breath. It’s all about respect for each other.

And if you don’t agree, bleep you.

Seriously: It’s nice to see a government entity build a breakwall against the tide of F-bombs, hypersexualization of pop culture and erosion of public behavior. Responding to complaints from judges, customers and clients, county officials this month instituted a dress code. No more coming to work looking like you just rolled out of bed, are headed to the beach or consider Jerry Garcia a sartorial template.

Proper county office attire no longer includes flip-flops, cut-offs, belly-baring T-shirts or bum-hugging jeans. But enough about the guys.

We gratefully blow taps for jewelry sporting the B-word, F-word or any combination thereof. Thankfully deep-sixed is the office hoodie, workout shorts, garden-soiled khakis, or county lawyers rockin’ their Calvins in court.

The “anti-slob” policy, brokered with union leaders, instructs some 4,000 white-collar workers to “present an appearance that reflects positively” on the county. Any offensive tattoo must be covered. Sneakers are OK only with unripped, clean jeans – and neither in a courtroom. No clothing with offensive, discriminatory or political messages. So save the F.B.I. – Federal Body Inspector – T-shirt for the Saturday pub crawl and stash the “Feel the Bern” cap. Not on county time.

“Sometimes, you couldn’t tell the worker from the client,” noted Artie Rush of the Department of Social Services. “T-shirts, shorts, sandals – it’s not right for business.”

In a better world, the notion would go without saying: You deal with the public, you represent the county, therefore you need to look professional.

Happily, most of about a dozen county workers I spoke with agreed. As a self-deputized member of the fashion police, I’m pleased to report that nearly all of some 50 workers leaving the Rath Building at lunchtime looked, if not GQ-ready, then somewhere between presentable and professional. And at least, since I’m passing judgment, on stylistic par with the typical journalist. Apparently civilization is not yet ready to slide into the primordial muck.

Valerie Meyers of the Board of Elections paired a classic summer skirt with a public-service attitude.

“Appearance matters,” she told me. “I’ve seen workers in hoodies, or wearing low tank tops with spaghetti straps – it’s not professional.”

Rush, the 16-year Social Services veteran, admits he may have inspired a few of Tommy Hilfiger’s nightmares – and contributed to the code’s creation. But he has since abandoned shorts for clean jeans set off with sneakers – and accompanied by a revelation.

“When you dress better,” he noted, “you feel better about yourself.”

One giant step for county workers. One small stride for civilization.

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