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Tie Advice (Long post)

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    Tie Advice (Long post)


    I'm new to this forum but have been reading all the great work by Dappered writers for some time now. I'm hear because I am looking for some advice regarding what kind of tie to wear to my girlfriend's law school's semi-formal (ie suits but no tuxes). I'm in my early 20s and while I don't want to be the center of attention, I don't want to blend in with all the "slubbos" either. I personally find that people that stand out just enough make better first impressions on me than the ultra-conservative guy standing in the corner.

    I might not normally put so much thought into what tie I would wear, but see the event as a good benchmark of me segueing into a more mature wardrobe. Even a year ago I only had one black suit and spent fall and winter in hoodies. With the help of this website I've made progress but still have some loose ends to tie up like what to do in this situation.

    I know have 3 suit options: Navy, Dark Charcoal with light wide pin stripes, and black.

    Navy: I am heavily leaning toward the navy but could be dissuaded. Feel the fit is the best -- "best" is clearly subjective, but I mean that it is trim enough in the sides and broad enough up top to give a crisp look. Pictures may need to make it up here if they'd help. I'm about 6'5", 220 with an athletic build so slim suits are no go for me; pants fit well.

    Dark Charcoal: Definitely cut in a more traditional way but not baggy. I could bring it in a bit but it is my conservative player in the rotation. It is unfortunately a little darker than I remembered it and closer to black than grey. For some reason I remember being very happy about the find but not the "best" look. Don't know if the pinstripes make me look wider or taller and don't know what my desired outcome should be.

    Black: Out of a project to save an old suit I had mostly grown out of, I took the jacket to the tailor and picked up separate pants. It is a solid black with a bit of texture, but no real concern about the pants not matching the jacket. Fit is the most tapered in the jacket and sleeves are near trendy short levels but not too far off the natural break in the wrist. I like the way it fits and the silhouette it gives me but not sure I want to wear black.

    As I lean towards navy, I am thinking about wearing a burgundy check shirt. It is really similar to the red check shirt Joe talked about (search "patterns" and its like the 4th down? I did my research but can't say it has yielded a solution yet). I again want to stay away from a plain solid white or light blue (and almost want to stay away from a solid in general but I may end up wearing a solid). Beside for the burgundy check, I have a teal microcheck, white with blue windowpane, and white french cuff with texture (have gotten a lot of compliments when I wear it even though it is solid). The dilemma, and main point of this thread, is what tie should I wear with the choices I have? I realize it may be hard to say without pictures and will try to fix that and that I over complicated the issue but considering different suits and shirts, but wanted to hear some opinions.

    My date's dress is blue (not navy, not royal, just blue) and coordinating wouldn't be bad but also could take it or leave it. From a footwear perspective, I have various shades of browns and burgundy I'd like to experiment with -- never wore brown shoes with the blue suit -- as well as my go to black dress shoes.

    Opinions greatly appreciated in whatever way they come at me. The event is quickly approaching (this Saturday night) so while I won't buy a new suit, a new shirt or tie isn't out of the question. Thanks even for just reading this, realize its a very long post with no pictures.


    First off, I am not into people trying hard to stand out with clothes (not referring to how bold the clothes are, but rather to the mentality of being Mr BAM-I-look-standout-better-than-the-two-guys-next-to-me-with-my-bright-pink-and-green-tie). It all hangs on your confidence and carrying yourself. This is not heavily directed at you, as you said you don't want to be the total center of attention, but I am here to tell you that if you wear all classic and conservative pieces in this outfit, it is not one bit the outfits fault that you didn't stand out better. "He looks great in that outfit," compliments do not come because your socks peeked out and were polka dots or your tie is skinny and your shirt was bold. It was because you charm their eyes out with how comfortable and confident it looks while you wear it.

    Now for some simple advice from your information, of course it us just my opinions here:

    Brown shoes and navy is fine. I love black suits, then dark charcoal, but fit and color is still up to you. You don't need to match your date because you are not in the same category of clothing or gender, so it is not a big plus or a big minus to match or decide not to. I like solid knitted ties because I think it keeps away from distracting patterns or bad choices since they are a solid and the interest comes from the texture, but color is not my thing. I tend to do black, burgundy, gray, light blue or navy ties. I'll leave the shirt to the other Dappered Dans. Black shoes work with any of those.

    I don't know if that helps much, but basically I was saying that you can be handsome even if you went textbook conservative in your outfit. James Bond doesn't use nifty patterns or tricks, but his classic suits don't stop the whole room from remembering him most.



      This tie:

      or this tie:

      or this tie:

      You'll look more refined than anyone else.



        Also, what's wrong with a solid white button down? Leave the patterned shirts for work, they're not for semi-formal events in the evening.



          Agreed with albert on shirt tie combos.

          I would go with the navy suit, as you said it fits you best and you will be most confident in it. Brown or black shoes are fine. If you have a dark suit on, you don't want to have a dark shirt, especially in the evening. White shirt is a classic, and no one has ever done wrong by a white shirt. You said you already have one with texture and french cuffs? Great. Wear it.

          I'd go with that first tie that albert posted, which is awesome, or something like that. You don't need to look flashy to stand out, and people with pink shirts and pink tie combos think they look great, but they look like they're ready for junior prom.

          Most of all, have fun and be confident



            also, if you don't want to pay $75 for that tie, (although I do really dig it) has tons of decent ties for $15.

            I got this eggplant wool one, and I'm wearing it to a wedding next week. its brighter in real life than on the website, but looks great.




              I'm going to go against the grain here a suggest you go with your original instinct of not wearing a white shirt. A semi-formal event for folks in law school isn't the same thing as a semi-formal event for folks in their '40's. If you don't want to wear a white shirt, don't wear one.



                Ok. My previous posts were done in haste, so I didn't completely elaborate. If I were to design you an outfit out of what you have it would be this:

                Navy suit, white shirt, burgundy grenadine tie (ok, you don't have that one), black belt, black shoes.

                Don't wear the charcoal suit if it has pinstripes. Pinstripes are usually only for business settings, and then only for the board room.

                Brown shoes are fine, but this is a more formal evening event. If it starts after 7, black shoes are usually the norm.

                These are just suggestions. Obviously, feel free to do whatever you want.



                  To elaborate: only wear the non-white shirt if it comes naturally to you. Don't wear it just to wear it. I think this is also what Canon was hitting on earlier.




                    Welcome to the thread bro! First i want to say your choices so far are good. With this being a semi formal, the navy or charcoal are your best options. The navy will give you a boost in confidence becasue of the nature of the color, it says Im young but dont fux with me. NAVY SUIT!

                    My wife is an attorney and i had to go to these things before, and let me tell you, what you see on TV isnt true they are not all built and look the same. you will look better than most.

                    Shirt, no pattern its semi formal so its a step below black tie. Go with the white w/ FC, if you have some very nice cuffs, now is the time to rock them. If you dont, when your out buy a pair of nice ones (remember to match your metals, if you wear gold cuffs wear a gold tie bar slightly slanted IMO)

                    Shoes, since you didnt say if you had black shoes or not (which would be your best choice) w/ the formality thing, the BUGUNDY shoes will do just fine. Shine them rock them. Get some cool socks too (not sure of your level of spezzatura) but opt to pick up a pair of argyle socks from target in some cool color blend. if your not into that just make sure your socks match your pants.

                    The tie, i suggest a very rich looking tie that has depth in either, maroon, wine, dark burnt orange (its a contrast to the blue, and good option for the fall), dark green olive even (i know target has some nice socks that have a shade of green, or true dark purple. SInce you only have three days to get an item i would opt against online. Go to a store, avoid ties that have tacky patterns or are too shiny, i would stay solid or a rep tie. Or switch it up and get a sick bowtie in those colors above w/ stripes.

                    Good luck Saturday!

                    "The key to Success is the Quality of Execution"



                      I'll just add to go to your local thrift shop and get some ties... I got some AMAZING ties this weekend at the thrift shop and the most I paid was $5 for the vintage Oscar de la Renta silk tie I'm wearing today. Also, you'll learn a ton about the difference between a good tie and a cheap tie. You'll just be able to feel it without looking.



                        Good post, agree with everything that's been said so far: Navy suit, white shirt w/ FC, black shoes, and a fall-colored tie. I too have bought some of my best ties second-hand for next to nothing.

                        Max, Do you think this burnt orange paisley tie is too much? I think the navy suit and orange tie is a great suggestion.

                        I'm also thinking about this as a general casual fall tie: Zenith Plaid - Orange. I know it's a bit nuts but there are a lot of colors (pant/shirt/jacket pairing options) in that tie. Sorry Don, don't mean to hijack.

                        My Measurements: 6' 1" height, 35" sleeves, 41-42" chest/jacket, 35" waist, 34" inseam, 11.5D/EEE shoes, 200 lbs



                          @ JC, hahaha, great point , i too own a vintage oscar de la renta in burgundy...1.99 oyeaaaaaaa

                          Yacko, i really like the color, exactly what i was thinking. i am not a big fan of paisley though, this is just a personal preference. I think that tie would be an excellent choice for anyone. I really like that tie over a blue shirt and blue suit, like it has in the tiebar. didnt think putting it in an all blue colorway would make it stick out so perfectly.

                          Edit: i just read the rest of Yackos Post and i freaking love that zenith plaid tie...That is FIRRRRRRRRRE, yea your right about options i just had like 6 combos run through my head...all centered around blue and olive...Sorry Don, tangent...

                          Yacko: did you see it in the taupe combo with the light blue shirt, thats nice....

                          but yea Don, go with burnt orange man, you will look above everyone else with that color combo...if you go with the burnt orange, opt for gold accesories, it will keep balance

                          "The key to Success is the Quality of Execution"



                            I just want to chime in and say that Target's argyle socks are indeed off the hook. I'm preeetty sure I own every pattern they sell, because I am nuts for them.



                              Orange and blue are complimentary, and in my opinion it is best when the blue is majority and orange is the highlight, so yes, the touch of orange would be great. I wouldn't do it, but I think it would look nice if you don't go for the other options mentioned.

                              Good luck!