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coco chanel

April 23, 2010

“The best color in the whole world, is the one that looks good, on you!” ~Coco Chanel

This year, the month of May is filled with events requiring a somewhat formal attire. A few days ago, I was commissioned by my brother A- to accompany him on a trip to the mall. We work for the same company, and one of May’s events includes a week long business trip.  He just bought himself a new suit for the occasion, and although he was still relishing in that purchase, he realized that the suit itself would not do without the right dress shirts,  shoes, and ties to complement it. This is where I come in. As the older sister and female, I presumably have the know-how, to mix, match, and accessorize appropriately. Unfortunately, when it comes to men’s clothing, I have to say, I’m a bit clueless; but, I didn’t admit that to A- and happily obliged.  I knew countless hours of flipping through J.Crew catalogs would come in handy someday!

Our strategic game plan began with dress shirts, so we made our way through Express for Men (buy one get one half off–two shirts–check), Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers (great for ideas but slightly out of our price range), and Macy’s (styles similar to BR and BB at half the price–two more shirts–check). Our plan was almost thwarted by fruitless attempts to find the right dress shoes, until a detour into Aldo (motivated by a pair of adorable gray peep-toed heels in the window) produced the perfect pair. Five hours, one belt, and a few pairs of socks later, we emerged victorious.

We saved the slightly daunting task of choosing ties for the weekend. Although, I took the opportunity to ask tie advice of a hipster employee at one of the aforementioned  stores (this of course while A- was in the dressing room so as to save him from any embarrassment), so I’m ready for the challenge. For anyone who may be tie shopping, or just curious, here are the shirt and tie rules of thumb:

1) Make a statement with either your shirt or your tie…not both.

2) When pairing a striped shirt with a striped tie be sure the stripes are not the same width, and stripes should generally flow in opposite directions.

3) Shirt and tie colors should coordinate and complement one another.

4) Novelty ties are never okay. (you can say that again…yeesh!)


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