Men’s T-Shirts: V-Neck versus Crew Neck

There often seems to be a lot of blog posts and articles written about “how-to…” regarding dressed up men’s fashion but there seems to be less information (from what I have found anyway) about men’s urban wear and street wear. Perhaps this is because men can just throw on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and walk out the door ready to face the day, and whilst nobody wants to over-complicate the matter surely there is a little more to it than that?!

v neck blue

And let’s face it, not all guys are super confident when it comes to getting dressed and there may well be dudes out there who are not sure whether to risk a V-neck t-shirt instead of their usual crew neck, for example, so today I’m going to take a look at crew neck versus V-neck and see what I can discover.

A lot of men don’t feel comfortable in tanks, vests, singlets, wife-beaters…whatever you call them in your neck of the woods. And yes, we call them wife-beaters in the UK where I’m from. Nice. But moving on, the tank (let’s go with tank…) can be a little tricky to pull off and feel confident in if you’re not totally happy with your upper body shape. And whilst tanks can be great for the beach or other relaxed scenarios they can be a little under-dressed even for casual restaurants or bars. And nobody likes getting turned away from bars (at least I don’t) so this is why I’m talking about men’s t-shirts right now. I think. Ethereal T-shirts

So, I seem to have lost the thread there slightly: it was the bar talk that did it, so where were we? Crew neck t-shirt v. V-neck t-shirt: let’s look at a few facts.

Crew Neck Tees :

  • If you don’t want to show off your manly/beastly chest hair (or reveal your lack of it) a crew neck will conceal what lies beneath
  • Because round neck t-shirts are the ‘classic’ urbanwear shape there are a lot more designs available so if you’re the sort of guy who would rather get his back waxed than go shopping (you would??) you’ll be able to grab yourself a tshirt without oo much hassle at all
  • A round neck will also work better under an open shirt if you’re going for a grungey or streetwear feel
  • They can seem a little ‘safe’ however so if you’re looking for something a little more metro-sexual you may want to consider a ‘V’

 

V-Neck Tees:

  • Been working out? Good for you. Flash a glimpse of your toned flesh with a V-neck shirt. This style tends to be a little more fitted too so not only will you be showing a bit more chest but you’ll be creating a sleeker looking outline too
  • This style doesn’t work as well as a crew neck under an open shirt but it will work nicely when layered  with a deep-V cardigan or button through sweater
  • Generally considered a more fashion forward option, you will probably find that a lot of traditional stores and online clothes shopping sites carry a limited range in comparison to the, some would say, more wearable traditional shaped tee.

men's urban wear

Whichever side of the urbanwear camp you fall in, as all stylish guys know it’s always good to mix things up a little and unless you are seriously averse to showing that little triangle of chest, dedicated  crew neck wearers might be pleasantly surprised to give the V-neck a trial run. The other thing to remember is that V-necks can be high cut or deep cut so you can always ease yourself into this street wear trend by keeping it fairly modest at first.

Other than that, play around, have fun and you may well find that you’ve added a whole new urban wear element to your wardrobe.   open necked t-shirt

What shape or cut of t-shirt do you like best? Know what suits you best or are you looking for a change? Let us know in the guest book and if you’re looking for a distinct take on designer t-shirts why not head over to our website for original clothing and streetwear t-shirts with a difference.

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How to Match your Tie and Shirt: the 3 Easy Rules

If you regularly wear a suit to work, like many men you may have felt just the tiniest bit of trepidation when it comes to matching your shirt to your tie. Of course men’s shirts come in a range of colours, stripes and checks and as for ties – well the variation is limitless, so how do you get it right when it comes to pairing the two and how can you ensure that you’re making an dapper style statement and not a fashion faux pas that has your colleagues sniggering behind your back?

clashing patterns

Headache Inducing Shirt & Tie Combo

It can be tempting to stick with what you know but let’s face it there aren’t that many ways a guy can make an impact in the style stakes when in the office so paying a little more attention to your tie ‘n’ shirt combo can do wonders for your look. Let’s take a look at how to create a shirt and tie dream team because you do have several options.

1)      Plain tie with a plain shirt. This is obviously the easiest pairing to go for and a great way to experiment if this is your first foray into the wonderful world of men’s fashion. There is just one main rule to bear in mind when matching a plain shirt and tie and that is to avoid wearing either both light colours or both dark colours. Or heaven forbid, matching them exactly!

Trying out a plain white shirt or a pale blue or pink shirt with a colour popping tie is an awesome way of adding some interest to your office attire. If your shirt is white you have a whole host of colours to choose from but if your shirt is coloured you should stick within the same colour pallet to avoid looking garish. For example, pair a light blue shirt with a navy tie and you’ll be killing it at the water cooler.

plain shirt and tie

Perfectly Plain…But Not Boring

2)      Plain tie with a patterned shirt. Okay, this is slightly trickier but don’t panic just yet as you can still pull this off with panache with just a modicum of care. There is just one basic rule here: match the colour of the tie to one of the colours – or something within the colour pallet – of the shirt. For example, if you’re wearing a lilac and white gingham shirt opting for a purple tie will work well.

pink men's ties

Style Points for Wearing Pink

3)      Patterned tie with a plain shirt. This is exactly the same as above; if your shirt is plain light blue go for a tie that has a shade of blue in it too, for instance a blue and white polka dot pattern.

4)      Patterned tie and patterned shirt. Right, this is where things can get a little more complex but it’s still not rocket science so don’t abandon all thoughts of ever hoping to pull off the double-patterned look. There are three things to consider:

–          Pick a detail from your tie and coordinate it with the principal colour in the shirt

–          Watch your pattern sizes – the pattern in the tie should be bigger than the pattern in the shirt otherwise the scales will look out of proportion

striped tie and check shirt

Checks and Stripes DO Work

–          Mix your patterns up: you can rock a checked shirt with a spotted tie but don’t be fooled into thinking that you can wear a check shirt and a checked tie or, possibly even worse, a spotty tie with a spotty shirt. Unless the Coco the Clown effect is the look that you were after

So you see, making a little effort doesn’t have to be a pain in the behind and as long as you keep the basic principles about matching colour families and not going spot on spot in mind you should be just fine! Play around, have fun and before you know it you’ll have upped your game with a minimum of fuss.

What are your thoughts when it comes to pairing shirts and ties? Do you play it safe or you do you like to inject some colour and a dash of daring into your otherwise boring office apparel?  Let us know in the comments, why don’t you?!

And why not follow us on Twitter too for our occasional Tweets on men’s clothing and urban fashion. Annnnnd talking of urban wear, why not check out our new website where we’ll soon be selling our very own range of street wear style men’s t-shirts?

What to Wear for a Wedding

It’s wedding season! Yes, once again that time of the year has rolled round and whether you love the opportunity to get dressed up, hit the dance floor and eye up your fellow wedding guests or the thought of sitting through a ceremony, listening to interminable ‘hilarious’ speeches and nodding politely to Great Aunt Edna’s ramblings at the dinner table brings you out in a cold sweat, there’s no escaping the fact that it’s a distinct possibility you’ll get invited to a wedding this year.

For most people, and that includes guys and girls, upon receiving a wedding invite, our first thought is either something along the lines of “Yes – an excuse to go shopping!” or alternatively “$@*% – I’ve got nothing to wear!” If you’re honoured to be chosen as a member of the wedding party; best man, usher, ring bearer or the like you’ll probably have the matter taken out of your hands as the bride and groom will decide upon your look but if you’re just one of the rabble and you don’t have a stylish other half to help you get dressed, you might be wondering how on earth you’re going to cobble a half decent outfit together.

what to wear to a wedding

“Noooooooooooo! A wedding invite!”

If you don’t wear suits on a regular basis you might want to grab that one that’s hanging in the back of your wardrobe sooner rather than later and give it a once over. Yes, they can cost a lot of money but men’s suits don’t last forever and if you’ve been wearing yours to every wedding, funeral and court appearance (?!) for the last 15 years it may well have seen better days. Check the seat, the lapels and the elbows in particular for the shininess that indicates, well, that your suit’s next stop should be your local charity shop.

If that’s the case and you’re faced with the formidable task of buying a new suit there are a few things to bear in mind before you set out on your quest. First of all fabric: it may be summer but if you’re investing in a new men’s suit you might want to go for a material that can be worn all year round and avoid linen, no matter how warm the weather. Besides linen creases terribly and it won’t be long before you look as rumpled and disheveled as the bride’s drunken uncle Monty. Rule of thumb: stick with wool, or if you can afford, it a wool-cashmere mix.

Fit is crucial when buying a suit; tempting as it may be don’t just grab the nearest thing that ‘looks about right’ – after all buying men’s t-shirts is one thing but a suit is an investment. The shoulder padding in the jacket should fit your shoulders squarely and if the pads are drooping or hanging down or there are indentations in the fabric, it’s too big and you need to drop down a size.

men's suits

It’s all about the fit

The cuffs of a suit jacket are one sure fire way to tell if the suit is too big for you. We’ve all seen guys in ill-fitting suits that look like school boys trying to impress in their older brother or dad’s suit. Getting the length of the cuff right is vital if this is NOT the look you’re going for. Make sure that the cuffs hang no lower than the point where your thumb joins your hand.

You’ve got your suit but what about your shirt and tie? Contrary to popular belief, you can play around with spots, stripes and checks – just don’t go overboard or you’ll end up looking like a third rate comedian. Men’s shirts in a two-colour way check will look great with a plain suit and a bold striped tie. If you go for a stripy shirt AND a stripy tie ensure that the stripes are of different widths. Likewise if you wear a patterned tie with a striped shirt if the stripes are wide make sure your pattern is smaller or more low key – and vice versa.

men's suits and ties

A tasteful clash of stripes and patterns

Getting dressed for a wedding doesn’t have to be a complete nightmare and with a few pointers you’ll be able to relax and maybe even look forward to it! After all even the dullest sounding weddings can turn into nights out to remember. Although obviously it does help if there’s a free bar involved.

Have you got any crazy wedding stories or formal menswear fashion tips? Why not leave them in the comments or come on over to our Facebook page and share them on there? 

Plaid: a Wardrobe Staple for Guys

Anyone with even a passing interest in men’s fashion should have by now realized that colour blocking and bright colours are a big trend this Spring and Summer for both men and women, however some of us are not quite ready to hit the streets in bright purple skinny jeans teamed with a bright orange t-shirt and sky blue trainers, so what’s a guy who wants to stand out in the crowd in a slightly more subtle way to do?

Men’s style can be a tricky thing to get right when it comes to the fine line between looking good and being fashion aware and falling into the abyss of ridiculousness, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Take plaid for example; a plaid men’s shirt worn over a white t-shirt is a look that says ‘I’ve thought about this – but I’m not trying to frighten small children with my fashion choices’.

mens checked shirts

Let’s check out (bad pun intended) a few ways to make plaid work for you.

First of all try and keep the rest of your outfit simple; crisp white men’s t-shirts look great when worn under any colour combination  of checked shirt, or you could try a coloured tee under a more subtle plaid. The weather and season will also play a part in which shirt you choose: flannel is thicker and works better when the weather is cold whilst cotton naturally is better for the warmer months.

Depending on the fabric and season, you can play around with styling too. Try wearing your work-style black and red or blue and green flannel shirt over a white men’s tee and twin with dark denim jeans and work boots. If it’s warmer and you’re wearing a cotton short sleeve shirt why not wear it open over a t-shirt and team it with smart city shorts (which are going to be huge for guys this summer). A pair of boat or deck shoes will complete the look – you can even give a nod to the colour pop trend with your footwear if you like.

short sleeve plaid shirts

Plaid shirts are not the only way to wear the trend. Why not turn it on its head and instead wear a pair of plaid shorts with a basic t-shirt in any colour instead? Or if you feel that’s too much and you’re the kind of guy who doesn’t like to part with his jeans, there are loads of great, summery checkered sports shoes around at the moment – from Nike hi-tops to canvas Converse All Stars.

You can even take the trend into the workplace if you feel that your work clothes are lacking a little in the men’s trends department. A checkered tie worn with a plain white shirt is a great way to show that you’ve made an effort – even if your plan for the day is to basically read the news online and watch Youtube videos!

checkered converse

So why not check plaid out (again with the bad puns…) and see what looks you can create without having to go overboard with the colour blocking trend. There are loads of options out there at the moment and for a unique take on men’s urban wear check out our website for some clever t-shirt designs to wear under your shirt.

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!

Men’s Spring Summer 2013 Fashion Trends

If you like to think of yourself as a bit of a well-dressed man about town you’ll no doubt be wondering what trends the summer 2013 season has in store for you. Well guys, it’s time to smarten up because next summer you’re going to be channeling your inner Jay Gatsby and reaching deep within yourself to unleash that preppy monster lurking somewhere in the dark recesses of your sartorial soul.

Yes, that’s right; next summer is looking decidedly grown up, with shorts being the most consistent look on the men’s catwalks. If you’re not the biggest fan of your thighs (do guys worry about that sort of stuff too?) don’t worry because we’re not talking Kylie-esque hot pants, we’re looking at smart, knee-length, dressy, tailored shorts. Manly shorts. Teamed with overcoats, double breasted blazers and men’s designer shirts, this is the look that guys in the know will be rocking come summer.

kylie minogue hot pants

Gratuitous picture of Kylie’s gold hot pants

If you’re a fan of colour you’ll be loving next season as blue was a dominant force at the summer 2013 men’s fashion shows. Electric blue, duck egg blue, aqua – it seems designers couldn’t get enough of this aptly summery hue both for men’s shirts and trousers. Unusual textures and fabrics will also come out to play, elevating the smarter looks to something slightly quirkier and injecting a little personality into the tailored trend.

For those of you who don’t do tailoring or suits, thanks to 2012 being an action packed year for sporting events there’s also a strong influence of sportswear coming through, albeit a styled-up one. This will not be the summer where you’ll be killing it with the ladies in a faded old football shirt, but one where you’ll be sporting (excuse the pun) patterned bomber jackets, lux parkas and smart men’s t-shirts.

mens designer t-shirts

T-shirts can be smart too

A touch of military flare, smarter men’s shirts and printed t-shirts should also be hanging in any self-respecting gent’s wardrobe as will garments in shades of orange, yellow and brown. All in all, summer 2013 is looking decidedly chipper on the men’s fashion front and there should be something to keep everyone happy, whether you’re a wannabe 1930’s suave playboy or you fancy going all out in a textured orange silk bomber jacket teamed with navy blue sailor striped trousers.

In fact the only black cloud that I can foresee on this otherwise cheerfully hued, up and coming summer season, and my apologies for saving the bad news for last, is that there was more than one disturbing occurrence of socks and sandals at the men’s fashion shows. The designers may be extolling the aesthetic virtues of opened toed footwear and wool, but frankly, gentlemen, that is something you’ll need to decide for yourselves just how much of a dedicated follower of fashion you really are.

socks and sandals

I can’t believe people still think this is OK

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!