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Ties | Manolo for the Men - Part 10
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King Cannes

Gael Garcia Bernal

Y Tu Mama Tambien’s Gael Gabriel Bernal rocks the Cannes film festival in a super slim (Thom Browne?) jacket and splayed extra-long skinny tie.

Izzy’s one complaint is the stringy, frizzy hair.

The Ben Silver Tie

Ben Silver TieBen Silver Tie2

Not only does Ben Silver, purveyor of classic menswear in Charleston, South Carolina, claim to have the world’s largest selection of striped ties, but all of them are handmade and of the highest quality.

Izzy is especially fond of these linen examples above, which combine muted colors and exquisite texture.

Choral Dirge

Izzy recently received the following distress call from a reader:

Lady Prisspott here again with another burning question about formal wear. It seems her Ladyship has gotten herself in a bit of a pickle. Her Ladyship has insinuated herself into an unofficial position as the fashion advisor to the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington DC. It has been a crusade of her Ladyship to update their look. The official concert attire has been a tuxedo worn with a wing collar, bow tie and cummerbund. It is her Ladyship’s contention that the wing collar should only be worn with the more formal waistcoat and that when wearing a cummerbund the less formal turndown (sometimes called tennis collar) was the only appropriate choice. The pleas and lectures (ok, whining and bitching) have not fallen on deaf ears and for the silver anniversary concert at the Kennedy Center the chorus will make the switch to turndown collars. “Huzah and welcome to the 21st century” I say, however this change comes with the bitter sting of unintended consequences but I do plead damnum absque injuria. It seems this change is made possible by a generous donation of cravats to be worn with the new collar style. Her Ladyship is informed that the wearing of a cravat rather than a bow tie, albeit with a turndown collar, may continue. It appears that the general trend toward less formality in dress has finally caught up with formal attire. It is bad enough that the notched lapel has crept into formal attire but now it is considered acceptable to wear a cravat with a tuxedo. This cravat and tuxedo look has even been worn to the Oscars to the raves of so called fashion critics. Well fine, if that’s the way it must be her Ladyship shall not remain hidebound but shall accept the inevitable. Here then is the dilemma. How does her Ladyship advise the fine gentleman of the chorus to wear the tuxedo and cravat? Since the chorus chooses to wear a cummerbund does one tuck the end of the tie under the cummerbund or let it flop about over the cummerbund? Does one eschew the cummerbund as too formal with a cravat? If so how does one cover the unpleated portion of the pleated front tux shirt (with turndown collar of course)? Does one eschew the pleated front shirt also as too formal? If so then isn’t one left simply wearing business attire with shiny lapels? Help me dearest Izzy the repercussions are endless and as we are entering uncharted territory her Ladyship has no reference material upon which to rely and is at a loss as to how to advise her dear charges.

Alas, this news leaves Izzy utterly distraught and demoralized. When even gay men are wearing ties with tuxedos, what hope can there be for the rest of mankind?

To respond first to the issue of the choice of collar, although the original ideal was that of a wing collar paired with a waistcoat and peaked-lapel jacket, for quite some time it has been perfectly fine to wear a wing collar with a cummerbund. (Incidentally, it was the Duke of Windsor who popularized wearing a turn-down collar with a dinner jacket.)

As for wearing a tie with a tuxedo, has Lady Prisspott truly beseeched the chorus to avoid this horrendous mistake? Do they really wish to look like they’re going to the prom in Oshkosh? Do they really wish to hide their shirt studs, one of the few pieces of jewelry a gentleman is permitted to wear? Shouldn’t their patriotism spur them to do their part to improve style in Washington, DC, as opposed to reinforce the awful status quo?

If, however, they simply will not relent, then the next best solution is to have them exchange the cummerbund for a vest, which will go far better with a tie. If, perish the thought, they don’t like that idea, then they should ditch the cummerbund, and try to find a shirt whose pleats extend all the way to the waist. If they find that search too difficult, they should simply go with a plain-fronted shirt.

Izzy hopes her Ladyship will persuade the chorus to make the right decision. In the meantime, he will be praying for our country.

Borderline Fault


Like a sloppy serve, John McEnroe’s tie is too long. To the belt it should extend, no more, no less.

Buying the Holiday Tie for the Man

Manolo says, one of traditional gifts for the man, one which is frequently and justifably open to the mocking, is the cravat. This it is because too often the purchase of the gift tie it has devolved into the opportunity to buy for your loved one the novelty tie made of the cheap material.

Trust the Manolo most sane men do not wish to wear the cheap novelty tie. Most sane men wish to wear the tie that compliments the complexion and emphasizes their superior sense of the style.

Yes, when you were twelve years of the age, your father wore to his place of employment the “super special tie” you presented to him for the Dia del Padre. And so you now believe that every man wishes to have the novelty tie, never mind that your father did not that year recieve the promtion from his boss, who would never again give the poor old man the full measure of the respect he deserved.

This year, do not humliate the man in your life with the gift of the ridiculous and/or perhaps blasphemous tie, instead spend the little more moneys and buy for him the silk tie like this from the Ermenegildo Zegna

Ermenegildo Zegna Ties  Manolo Likes!  Click!

This tie above, it meets the Manolo’s standards for the gift tie. Firstly, it of the highest quality, and secondly, the color it is strong, and the pattern it is interesting without being overpowering.

Here is the tie from the Dolce and the Gabanna that at the first glance appears to be less than it actually is…

Dolce & Gabbana Tie   Manolo Likes!  Click!

If you look at the closeup of the whole tie, you will notice that despite it having only the black and the silver, that the pattern nonetheless pops and is filled with the life-affirming pizzazz.

Here is another in the family of the yellowy gold, this one from the Kenzo
Kenzo Silk Tie     Manolo Likes!  Click!

Again, the color is strong and the pattern it is just whimsical enough to enliven the tie, yet not so whimsical as to endanger the prospects for the promotion.

One of the Manolo’s rules for the gift giving is that the perfect gift it is something that the recipient would hesitate to buy for himself, but once owned could not imagine living without. This Kenzo tie, it is of that type, the type that will be worn more frequently than you would have initially imagined.

There are many more ties worth the giving at the Manolo’s Cravats Worth the Wearing.

Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich…

Manolo Loves the Malkovich    Click on the Coupon!

Manolo says, Give the gift of Malkovich this Christmas!

The Manolo he especially loves the John Malkovich beret, and he thinks the ties and the t-shirts they are indeed most smart and quirky, like the Malkovich himself!

Cravats Worth The Wearing

Manolo says, the Manolo he has made the website the help the man pick out the ties that are worth wearing. It contains pictures of 24 beautiful ties that any man would be proud to own.

Click here to go to Manolo’s Cravats Worth The Wearing.

The Bowtie

One of the Manolo’s many internet friends has asked the Manolo the question about the cravats.

Manolo – In the field of Architecture, there is a long history of wearing the bowtie. It has the advantage of not getting ruined while working over the drawings and models. Also, in England, the bowtie seems to be more commonplace than in America.

Manolo says, many thanks to my friend for the information about the venerable bowite. However, the advice, the Manolo he belives it still stands.

Indeed, the architect, he is accorded more of the freedom with regard to the dress, as his occupation, it straddles the divide between the arts and the business.

This freedom, it can manifest itself in the ways of interest. For the example, among the architects, the round eye glasses in style of La Corbusier it is preeminent. (Manolo must admit that he himself must, from the time to the time, don the spectacles, and his choice is the owlish spectacles of La Corbusier, but then Manolo he is not the businessman.)


As the I.M. Pei knows, the bowtie it should only be worn with the tuxedo. It is the black tie, of the black tie affair.

Indeed, the bowtie, it is still worn for business by some, but in the general, one must be wary, as it projects the image of fustiness, of the old-fashioned whimsicality, and of the general sense of contrarianness.

Manolo says, the bowtie, it makes the young man the old fogey.

The Cravat

Manolo says, the topic of the ties, it is indeed the one of difficulty. On the one of the hands, the tie, it is one of the few of the areas in which the well-dressed man he can express his sense of the color and the drama. Yet on the other of the hands, the temptation to go over the board and wear the garish and outlandish cravats, it is great.

First, the Manolo he will tell you, as the always, that you must buy the ties of the highest quality you can afford. Cheap ties look cheap.

The most expensive of the ties, those of the French houses of the Charvet and the Hermes (which the Manolo he adores), they are in the range of the $150 to the $300, depending upon the material.

Happily, the excellent quality silk ties, they are readily available, at prices that are not beyond the means of the working man. For under $100 of the American dollars you can have the tie that will be the envy of your friends and coworkers. Ten of these, they will give you the first rate wardrobe of the neckwear. And if these ties, they are properly cared for, they will last you for the lifetime.

With the ties, as with so many of the things, the Italians, they make some of the best. They use the highest quality of the silk, and their workmanship, it is superb.

This same can be said of only one of the American manufacturers, Robert Talbott, although the ties of the Talbott, especially the super fantastic seven-fold ties. There are also the few custom makers the Manolo he approves of, such as the Seigo Katsuragawa in Manhattan, who has the ties made in the Japan on the looms of the kimono.

Manolo says, the process of the picking of the correct tie, it is more than the somewhat complex. Becuase the tie, it expresses the personality and projects the image of the wearer.

It is also complex because the decision it is based on so many of the factors. First the man, he must take into account the complexion of his skin, and then he must consider the colors of the shirt and the suit he is to wear with the tie. (For the American men, unlike those of the Europe, this is somewhat simpler, as they only typically wear the shirts of the white and the blue.)

The man shopping for the tie, he must keep these things in mind. (Of the course, most of the ties, they are bought for the man by the woman…but that’s the other story. Here at the Manolo for the Men, we will assume that the man, he does the shopping for himself.) The process it should not be stressful, but it does take the care.

Having said these things, the Manolo he will now show you five ties that he himself thinks are worth the wearing.

Manolo says, there is no blue silk like the blue silk of the Hermes, it is unmatched. This tie, it has a subtle iridescence that the Manolo he thinks would make it superb with the dark grey or dark blue suit.

Kenzo Ties
This tie by the Kenzo, the colors they are traditional, yet the tie, it embodies some of the spiritedness of the Kenzo.

Ermenegildo Zegna Ties

This tie, by the Ermenegildo Zegna, it has the interesting combination of the colors and pattern, yet it remains subtle. With the best of the Zegna ties the patterns they draw you in, rather than leap out at you.

Corneliani Ties
This tie by the Corneliani, it is an understated variation of the striped rep tie, in the tones of the earthy olive with the accents of the sky blue.

Burberry Ties
Although the Manolo he himself prefers the more subtle ties, there are times when the man, he needs the tie that speaks with the authority and the tradition. This tie from the Burberry it is just that tie. Perfect for the young American man who is climbing the ladder of the success to wear for the employment interview.

Manolo says, unless the man he is Thurston Howell III he should avoid the ascot. It is ridiculous. Likewise, unless the man he is a professor, or wishes to project the whimisical image, he should avoid the bowties. Their day as proper business wear, it has passed.

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