Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Untie Your Shoe Strings... Take Off Your Cufflinks...

Greetings Gentle Readers,

Just coming to you with a little something short and sweet. Oft in our #AfternoonTip series of Tweets on Twitter (Are you following us on Twitter? You should be... if you were yo
u'd already know this! @SartoriallySvvy or just click here) we talk not only about how to put together and pull off great looks, wardrobing secrets, and tips to up the ante on your personal style, but how to care for your precious pieces, and how to add polish and panache and those perfect punches to every ensemble. So, we figured why not bring a bit of that to you, our dear gentle readers in something a little longer than 140 characters. Something that people often fail to realize, is that it's not only having quality garments, but caring for them, and ensuring that they last and stand the test of time. This way, they'll look as great in 10 years as they did the 1st day that you bought them... That being said, we decided to bring you the 4 essential items every Sartorially Savvy gentleman should have on his dresser. And ladies, you might think this is strictly for the fellas, but, you should take heed also. Perhaps you can impart a little wisdom (or a nice gift) to your favorite gentleman. So, without further ado...

The Fantastic Four

1. Shoe horns: Remember when you were younger and you'd try to stuff your foot into your shoes without unlacing them, and crushing the backs, (and effectively jeopardizing the structural integrity of the shoe, taking years off its life, rendering it close to unable to keep your foot in place in the shoe) and you'd hear your mother yell at you (or in our case, knock you upside your head) and tell you to unlace the shoes and use a shoe horn. Well, all that is for a good reason, though you may have not known it at the time. And now that you're older, and probably investing a bit more into your footwear, your mother's instruction still holds true. And sure many of you may think that using your finger(s) to get into loafers and lace-ups alike is just as effective, but we're here to tell you, it's not. Not only does using your finger stretch out the back of your shoes, over time, making them too big, but it's inefficient! A shoe horn goes in the back of your shoe, you slide your foot in, and you're good to go. Whereas, using your finger, you're jamming your foot into the shoe, and trying to get your now crushed and stuck finger out. Can we say, counterproductive. You can get a shoehorn everywhere that shoes are sold. Most higher end places will give you a shoe horn when you try on a pair of shoes, and you can keep it.

2. Collar Stays: Probably the most obscure on our Fantastic Four, but they've been around forever. Look in the collar of any proper dress shirt and you're likely to find a pair of collar stays. A collar stay is... well, it's pretty self explanatory. It's a metal tab that keeps a collar in place, crisp and stiff. They also prevent the dreaded "pancake collar" where the collar of your shirt falls completely flat and spread out... like... a... pancake. If, on the rarity you purchase a dress shirt, and it does not already have collar stays, it will assuredly have the slots for them underneath the collar. When you're not wearing a tie, collar stay is especially pertinent to keep the collar crisp (Even though you should still keep them in when you're wearing a tie too). Just a little personal tip (that we learned the hard way ONE good time) always remember to remove your collar stays when laundering your dress shirts.... Just trust us on this one.

3. Tie bars: A recent resurgence in retro styles (Thank you "Mad Men") has made this vintage accessory in vogue once more. Tie bars have been around since since the 19th century when wearing ties 1st became popular. Designed to keep ties in place and looking neat and clean; a tie bar fastens a necktie to a shirt, effectively keeping it from moving, come rain, sleet, snow, wind, hail... etc. Throughout the course of time, these utilitarian tools have become, as most things do, stylized, turning into one of the most acceptable and popular forms of jewelry for men. Tie bars come in various and sundry shapes, styles, widths and sizes... it's kind of a "whatever floats your boat" type deal. So, by all means, express a little personality and personal style. (P.S. if anyone would like to donate that Thom Browne for Harry Winston tie bar that's pictured here... we'd greatly, greatly, greatly appreciate it. Just saying...)

4. Cufflinks: Continuing our trend of functional yet stylish pieces... brings us to the classic cufflink. Before there were buttons to fasten the cuffs of a shirt together, other devices had to be used. Cufflinks are designed only for use with shirts which have buttonholes on both sides of the cuff, but no buttons. These may be either single or double-length (French) cuffs, and may be worn either "kissing," with the ends pinched together, or "barrel-style," with one end overlapping the other. Kissing cuffs are the usual standard. Like tie bars, cuff links are standard issue when it comes to men's jewelry, and thus, are often ways in which many men express personal style, personality traits or hobbies (Which is precisely how you should treat them). Play tennis? Cop a pair of tennis ball &raquet cuff links... Can't think of a hobby that you'd like binding the cuff of your shirt, a pair of classic monogrammed links is always in style and can become a heirloom for generations to come (vintage shops and thrift stores are excellent places to find unique links to start or add to your collection). (Unrelated side-note: Dear Santa, it would be magnificent if these Cartier links magically appeared in our collection... once again, just saying.)

And that wraps up our Fantastic Four. So remember fellas (and ladies looking for great gift ideas for fellas) these 4 things should be on your dressers for the rest of your days... Because a truly Sartorially Savvy gent knows that style's in the subtlety. Until next time, we remain...

Stylishly yours,
Sartorially Savvy
"Fashion fades, style is eternal." ~Yves Saint Laurent

P.S. For your up to the minute tips on staying classically stylish, timelessly chic, and always Sartorially Savvy follow us on Twitter (@SartoriallySvvy or click here)


  1. Thank you for posting.Very well written.Waiting for updating

    Jeux Yepi

    Jeux friv

  2. Thanks, i have not used them. Your post is very useful for us.