Why Every Man Should Wear a Watch

It’s kind of sad when you think about it, but a watch is a once indispensable accessory that is becoming less and less common. Thanks to the meteoric rise of the mobile phone (which, incidentally, just turned 40 years old – happy birthday mobiles!) we no longer automatically look at our wrists when someone asks us the time; we pull our phone out of our pockets instead. I’m as guilty of it as the next person – I used to be unable to leave the house if I wasn’t wearing my watch, now however, I have a whole array of watches stuck at various times stuffed still sort-of-loved, but definitely unworn into a drawer somewhere.

Men's watches

But I’ve been thinking about this today and I’m going to take a stand and I’m going to start wearing my watch again, and here are a few reasons why.

When you’re waiting for someone, and they’re late, as my friends inevitably are (or is it that I’m always early? See – I need to start wearing a watch!) it looks so much less desperate to take the odd glance at your wrist watch instead of constantly checking your phone. A watch says “Hey, I’m not lonely – I’m waiting for someone!” whilst a mobile phone says “I’m bored, sad and lonely – please text me, someone…” It’s true – we’ve all been there.

Wearing a watch is a great way to add interest to an outfit, especially if you’re a guy. Let’s face it, women can throw on accessories with wild abandon, and sure, if we’re talking about men’s fashion, while there’s no rule that says men can’t do that too, some guys either don’t want to jingle as they walk, or just hands down can’t pull it off. Now, a watch: everyone can rock a watch.

watches for men

Thirdly, a watch makes a great present, and is great for adding interest to men’s wear. Whether it’s new and you’ve had it engraved for a special someone or it’s a family heirloom that’s been handed down through one or more generations, a watch is a truly unique gift and will mean so much more (or it should do!) than giving someone the latest mobile phone. And another thing; what do you think your child would rather receive on his or her 18th birthday? A worn and loved watch that holds definitely sentimental, and perhaps monetary, value, or a worn and battered Samsung Galaxy that’s 18 years out of date?

I was about to finish off on this post and write my final paragraph however another thought just struck me. A really awesome reason for wearing a watch is to make sure you’re on time! DON’T leave your friend sitting alone in the pub nursing a beer and too worried to go to the bathroom in case someone steals it and DO make sure you get to work with enough time to log on and pretend you’ve been there an hour before your boss. Yes, you say, but I’ve got my phone for that. But imagine, if you will, a world where everyone started wearing a watch again; maybe, just maybe, it would make us all a little more aware of time if it’s sitting there on our wrist.

g shock

OK, so I really am done now. That’s just my two cents worth on the whole watch debate. Now excuse me while I go and buy 5 new watch batteries.

 What do you think? Let us know in the comments – and don’t forget to check out our range of men’s urban t-shirts on our Ethereal Clothing website!

How to Tie a Tie: A Gentleman’s Guide

Any self-respecting gentleman should be able to tie a tie but it’s a sad fact that these days more and more guys are resorting to clip on ties. Sure, it might be quicker and it might be easier, but there is something so much more impressive about taking the time and effort to wearing a tie you have to knot yourself. This especially goes for important business meetings, job interviews and er…court appearances.

But there’s not just one way to tie a tie and depending on your shirt’s collar and the material of the tie, you should be tying different knots if you want to really give your appearance the edge. Here we take a look at three different knots – and how to create them.

For all knots you should be standing in front of a mirror with your shirt buttoned up and your collar up.

The Four in Hand Knot: this is generally the most common way of tying men’s ties – mainly because it’s the easiest! Use it when: your tie is made from heavier fabric and your shirt has a smaller spread collar.

  1. Make sure the wider end of the tie is hanging on the side of your body that you write with i.e. wide end on the right if you’re right handed and vice versa.
  2. Find the front seam on the narrow end of the tie and place the wide section over the narrow part ensuring they are crossing on the seam.
  3. Pass the wide part behind the narrow part and bring it around so it’s facing to your left
  4. Do this again then pull the wide end through the gap that is around your collar/neck
  5. Pull the wide end down through the knot at the front of the tie
  6. To tighten, pull it up by sliding it up at the narrow section. Finally straighten it and you’re good to go!
how to tie a tie

The Four in Hand Knot

The Half Windsor Knot: this knot is a somewhat small symmetrical triangle. Use it when:  you’re wearing a wide tie and a shirt that is made from a lightweight material with a standard collar.

  1. Ensure you have around 12” of the widest end of the tie hanging below the narrow end.
  2. Pass the wide section over the narrow end and bring it around and under the narrow part.
  3. Bring up the wide end and pass it downwards through the loop between your shirt collar and the tie.
  4. Next pass the wider section across the narrow part of the tie so it is going from right to left.
  5. Pass the wide part upwards into and through the loop for the second time.
  6. The wide section should then be pulled downwards through the front of the knot.
  7. Finally pull the knot tighter and make sure it’s central within your collars so it doesn’t look crooked.
tying a tie

The Half Windsor Knot

The Windsor Knot: similar to the Half Windsor but with a larger triangle-shaped knot. Use it when: you’re in a formal setting and wearing a shirt that has a wide spread collar.

  1. Make sure the wide part of the tie hangs approximately 12” below the narrow section then pass the wide part over the narrow.
  2. Pull the wide end through the loop that’s between the tie and your collar and bring it down towards the front of the shirt.
  3. Pass the wide part under the narrow end and towards your right hand side.
  4. Next pull the wide section through the gap again. If done correctly, you’ll have a triangle where the knot sits.
  5. Take the wide end of the tie and wrap it around this triangle – you need to be pulling it from right to left.
  6. Pass the wide part upwards through the loop yet again and then through the front of the knot.
  7. You’re nearly done – just adjust to make sure the knot is central and the tie is hanging correctly.
men's ties

The Windsor Knot

So there you have it: three different ways of wearing a tie; next time you’re wearing a suit, instead of reaching for the clip-on, why not give it the heave-ho and be brave and attempt to get knotted instead. It might mean setting the alarm an hour earlier to practice but at least you’ll be looking dapper!

Do you have any unique ways of knotting your ties that you’d like to share? Why not let us know in the comments box?

And if you’re looking for casual men’s t-shirts why not swing on over to our urban tee website

Men’s White Shirts – A Wardrobe Essential

If you’re a guy reading this you probably don’t need us to tell you that the amount of ‘wardrobe essentials’ that you’re supposed to have are a lot fewer in number than your female counterparts. Whilst the ladies are told that they ‘must have’ a great trouser suit, a classic mackintosh, a pencil skirt, a crisp white blouse, a great pair of heels and of course an LBD (that’s a little black dress, don’t you know!) – among a myriad of other garments, for men the go-to items are considerably less.

So what should you, as a self-respecting man about town, have hanging in your closet? And do you?! Obviously a pair of nicely fitting blue jeans is probably top of most men’s lists, as well as some great white t-shirts. A good quality cashmere sweater will never go out of style and a pair of smart-casual chinos is always handy, as well as a blazer and a couple of decently-cut dark suits; especially if you work in a traditional office environment. Get these basics sorted, add a couple of good quality white shirts and you’ll be laughing.

men's shirts

Finding the perfect white men’s shirt can be a little tricky but once you’ve nailed it you’ll have the perfect capsule wardrobe to take you from breakfast meeting to boardroom to after works drinks – and even a formal black tie event. But don’t forget, it has to be white; a blue or grey shirt just isn’t going to cut it under these circumstances.

A crisp, white shirt says you’re a confident professional who cares about the way he dresses – providing it’s clean and wrinkle-free of course! And it’s not only the colour that can make a difference, but the fabric you choose too can play a part in how you pull off your finished look. For a preppy look choose something made from Oxford cloth with its basket weave finish – shirts made from this will walk the line between casual and smart, whilst for a dressier look that you can still wear with your favourite denims, opt for poplin.

If you’re wearing a plain white shirt you can afford to be a little more flamboyant with your accessories too. Try rolling your sleeves up and sporting a smart, brightly coloured or otherwise eye-catching watch on your wrist. Or say goodbye to your boring black loafers and throw caution to the wind with something a little braver in the footwear department. For a pop of colour throw a bright red cashmere sweater over the top, or alternatively tone it down with a grey sweater or cardigan to soften the look.

men's white shirts

Play around with your tie too – and we don’t mean that comedy Homer Simpson tie that you got for Christmas from your aunt, but choose something understated and stylish in wool or silk. Or try Paul Smith who always does great ties, especially in the stripes department.

One thing to remember when buying men’s shirts is to make sure that the style of the collar suits your face. If you have a particularly wide or round head choose a narrow collar and conversely, if your face is on the narrow or pinched side a spread shirt collar will help give the illusion of a little more width.

homer simpson

No! Doh!

Finally, don’t just relegate your white shirt to the 9 to 5 or to weddings; if you’ve spent some money on a decent quality shirt get the most from it and use it to add a new dimension to your casual or weekend gear too.

What’s your take on this enduring men’s fashion staple? Do you love a crisp white shirt or are you a strictly t-shirt and jeans kind of guy? Let us know your thoughts in the guest book below –  and don’t forget to check out our range of men’s urban t-shirts on our website!