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Black tie. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion.
Black tie. Photo: Men's Individual Fashion.

Bow tie: The revival of a man’s classic


August 29, 2015

 

If we think of bow ties, we associate opera conductors, our grand fathers and professors. It is common among professionals which have to bend over often such as architects, doctors and bar tenders. Whereas it is very popular and common in England and in the USA, the bow tie has a comeback in Germany. „Sales are very good and the bow tie has a revival in Germany“, says Jennifer Stock, press responsible at Felix W.


It is appropriate for official occasions such as operas and receptions. The classic dress codes „black tie“ and „white tie“ require a black and a white bow tie. Thus, it is no surprise that the back bow tie is the most popular accessory in Germany’s leading bow tie online shop von Floerke.


The accessory is another subspecies of tie, which developed from the fact that men started to wear garments on the neck while wearing shirts. The manufaction process is sophisticated, says David Schirrmacher, founder and CEO of „von Floerke“ at the interview with Men’s Individual Fashion. „The tailor has to sew the bow tie inside out and to sew the silk with the lining. The bow tie is then turned outside in order to avoid a visible stitching“ the young entrepreneur says.   


The advantage of a bow tie is that it is nearly impossible to be stained and to hang down to the table although you have to bend over often. It is not too spread in Germany, although it supports a man in his main fashion goal: To guide attention to the face and thus to the personality. It is especially advisable for slim man. A tie has big impact on a man’s appearance. A broader tie makes him appear smaller, a slim tie taller. If a man chooses a bow tie, the vertical line on the torso disappears, which is beneficial to tall and slim man.

The bow tie is hip again

 

As an alternative more and more fashion companies offer bow ties. Tommy Hilfiger and H&M included it to their range of garments. Luxury labels such as Versace and Gucci rediscovered the bow tie. The German manufacturer Felix W., which we also recommend for their good price performance ratio in suits matters, offers a big selection. However, it was von Floerke based in Germany’s former capital Bonn, which started the trend to sell high quality bow ties in Germany with their collection „a Gentleman’s one“ and which is on the rise. Men’s Individual Fashion visited the label in July and will write an article about it. There are more and more colours, spotted and even jeans fabric bow ties which enables the man to integrate the garment into every style.

 

You should know about your bow ties that it isn’t supposed to exceed the shirt’s collar or the face width (although you wish so, but then you might be a comedian). The garment is offered pre tied, which is easier or as a gentleman’s one. According to the English idiom a bow tie which is tied by himself is a „gentleman’s one“. You need some practice, but after all for gentlemen and connoisseurs a gentleman’s one is the logical choice.

 

On balance, the bow tie is totally appropriate for conservative professions and branches and for rather older men. Younger man might consider one as a show item or as an alternative for evening occasions. 

How to build up a budget for smaller or larger fashion investments

Photo: Men's Individual Fashion
Photo: Men's Individual Fashion

 

May 23, 2015

 

Decent shoes, quality jeans and maybe a brilliant watch: This all costs some money (although less than you might think). The typical situation is the entry into business life. Men have to substantially extend their wardrobe which causes a noticable investment in suits, shirts and shoes. The other scenario is when men discover the value of Goodyear welted shoes, which cost more than sticked ones (but last far longer with appropriate care).

 

In any case it is important to have a general understanding of money, saving and investment strategies. Some might dream of an Aston Martin, a Swiss watch and a suit from Savile Row, but most of us are happy with some decent garments which are one priority among others on a bigger list.

 

Therefore Russian Anna N. Kazakova, founder of Life as an Investment based in Stockholm, Sweden, gives a piece of advice for investment planning.

Anna N. Kazakova.  Photo: www.anastasiasphotography.se
Anna N. Kazakova. Photo: www.anastasiasphotography.se

First of all we need to define the word ”investment” here. Let us take the one, that is the easiest to google for and the most common:


Investment is the action or process of investing money for profit.


Investing in clothes will not happen by the definition of the word “investment”, however, there are possibilities to plan your budget more wisely and avoid the spontaneous, usually unnecessary shopping. 


Yes, quality in clothes does matter, but do not mix the word “quality” and “brands”.  The first does not necessarily means the other. Do not pay extra for the brand. 


If you are thinking about buy – use – sell and get at least 40% of the money back, you could bet that you can get it back on watch, bags, wallets and other accessories, that are not relative to the size like shoes or clothes.  Here the market is wider, the demand is higher, therefore, your deal is better. 

Be classy 


It is ok to spend on the garment item a certain amount of money, an item that you know is classy and always will be in you wardrobe, but not the most forward one that will be defined as tacky already next season. 


*Although I did have a weird story about investing in shoes.  I bought a pair of very high heels shoes (14 cm) and went partying in them.  I took another pair of shoes to change.  When I was changing high heels to the after party pair, a guy came to me and offered 10 times more money then I paid for them if I sell them for him now.  The whole situation was a little bit ridiculous, but I was a poor student at that time, so I agreed and made a deal.  Speaking investment language I did an exit from the investment by selling the whole asset for a really good price.  The same night I came home and order the same pair of shoes… putting them back on my balance sheet, sorry, wardrobe.


The challenge that almost everybody have with saving money for the their object of desire is – WAITING.  Waiting until you save enough money so you can buy a better quality and more expensive suit, shoes, you name it.  Stop shopping crap for 20 $ a piece and wait passionately – is the hardest thing.

  

The reason why it is so hard is that you need to change your common way of behavior, your habits.  It is the same hardship as go on a diet and stay on it till the diet becomes your lifestyle. You will suffer; you will not feel good about your decision sometime, so you need to stay strong. In that some visualization can help. Print out your object of desire, put this picture in your wallet, so every time you open it to buy some crap you will change your mind. Put it on your fringe so every time you stay at home, and not going out to have an expensive dinner – you know and see the reason why. 


Know your numbers


The second suggestion is making a plan and control your economy, like, my monthly income is xxx, my fixed costs (apartment, utilities, etc) are yyy, my variable costs are zzz (food bill, telephone bill, etc.), I am going to save that amount of money per month. Great – you decided how much you will save. So pay yourself first and transfer this amount of money from your main bank account to another one, which is not connected to the bankcard. Then you will less possibility to spend this money.  Be kind to yourself and set milestone goals. 3 months, 6 months, one year for example. Give yourself a discount rate or a corridor where if you saved 80% of the amount you planned is still ok, and that means the goal is achieved.


So good luck! Be strong! Be wise! And plan thoughtfully not only the way you save money, but also the way you spend it! 

"You have to let go"-Obituary to a loyal companion


 

January 27, 2015

 

We were inseparable for nearly eight years. It was my companion during many cold winters. As a reward for an excellent taken home exam I bought it at a Lacoste shop in Heidelberg. In cold winters in China and Sweden it warmed my head up, it had the best panorama view with me on the Great Wall. A few months ago, I forgot it in the changing room of a thermal bath.

 

A few weeks I refused to accept. After being cold plenty of times on my bike, the realization comes to me naturally. I have to buy a new woolly hat and go on. I told the sales lady at the cashier it was a big day. She was a little amused, but also understanding and comments that you have to let go. The new woolly hat and me are not so close yet, it feels alien. 

Leather zarf: Drink coffee on the way with style

This article is also available in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Swedish. Further languages... 

 

 January 8, 2015 

 

On St. Nicolas day I strolled around in Stuttgart and just entered the boutique since one of my favourite jumpers is from this label and I wanted to show my friend the shop. Then I went crazy out of enthusiasm. Massimo Dutti created a leather zarf for take away coffee cups. The branch manager realized quick that I was passionate fashion blogger in coffee ecstasy and that I was allowed to take photographs right away and then did need to buy this accessory. 

 

Busy working days and travels pave the way for the paper coffee cup. The most civilized way to enjoy coffee is in an Italian espresso bar, in which an excellent coffee machine makes hot espresso. This silence is a feature of southern Europe, where the sun and the art of life is so present. Continental and northern Europeans drink a lot more coffee and not in a bar, but on the way.

 

 

German speaking area is coffee land. Far north people have to warm up even more, Scandinavia has the highest coffee consumption worldwide. „Fika“ in Swedisch means „having coffee and a candy“, frequently more than once a day. Swedes need this like breathing.


Let's face it: Not every coffee cup made of paper is stylish (apart from it was designed in Scandinavia). Often cups are too hot, double cubs and paper zarfs are either insufficient or look odd. A little test series in my kitchen with boiling water and regular to go paper cups confirmed the isolation feature of the leather zarf. 

Massimo Dutti gave me a fantastic zarf made of leather. It protects against heat, looks high-grade and brightens up even the ugliest paper cup. In my opinion the ultimative accessory for passionate coffee drinkers, who use take away cups a lot and don't want to loose style while enjoying. Whether the leather colour has to match the belt or the shoes I don't care.

Men's Individual Fashion thanks the coffee shop Katesch, Tübingen, for it's kind help with picturing this article. We also thank Massimo Dutti for allowing us taking pictures in it's boutique. 

New years ideas 2015

 

January 3, 2015

 

What the new year will bring nobody knows. Maybe some might meet their dream girl, marry, make the next step in their career or travel. There are a lot of things you can commit to in the great new year of 2015.

 

Men's Individual Fashion has three fashion ideas for the new year. 


The investment of your life

 

Most men can't imagine how incredible good their environment will respond to a decent pair of shoes and how fundamental it improves the feeling. A decent pair of shoes manufactured via the Goodyear welted method is maybe the best investment a man can ever make. 

Building a wardrobe


It is simply a lie that positive change happens over night. It takes 38 day to establish a new habit. With knowledge and a new tricks fashion improvements can happen quick, but real fashion security takes time and is a process. Men’s Individual Fashion exists, because we give fashion competence. 


 

A beige-coloured crumble shirt started my own fashion passion over ten years ago. In 2015, Men’s Individual Fashion will present once in while single garments, accessories and strategies which might kindle some reader's desire for fashion even more. Apart from the fact that wardrobe building of jeans and for the business man of business shirts and suits save you midterm a lot of money, it feels good to know that you always have something suitable in the wardrobe. 


Fine feathers make fine birds

 

Wearing garment you choose for yourself, who belong to you and besides look great gives a deep feeling of self-confidence. In decent shoes you walk differently, good garments are like an amour. A man exude it. Finding the own style with fitting garments is the absolute basis to communicate the right things in office, on a date or in daily life. 

Why it is so hard


December 20, 2014

 

Why it is so difficult to have fun and be successful with shopping clothes, is complex. Last week, I was again reminded of one of the reasons.


„Just adjust it at the tailor's shop“


I was with a client in Stuttgart shopping clothes. He is a lawyer and wanted to extend his wardorbe. I guided him to a gentleman`s outfitter on the Königstrasse, which offers excellent shirts and has a clearance sales lately. We intended to find two decent business shirts for him. Extraordinary business shirts cost between 100 and 150 Euro and are worth it. I introduced my client to the leading manufacturers. We discussed collar designs, buttons, shoulder fit and sleeve length which is the challenge for his body shape. I asked the staff lady whether further models are available. The answer was the gentleman shall go to a tailor to shorten the sleeve. The original price of this shirt is 119 Euro, reduced price for the business shirt is 107 Euro. 


„Do you like it? I have no clue“


While looking through the shelves to a shirt which compliments my clients skin and hair colour and preferences, I noticed a young couple next to me. He searched for a fancy shirt and seemed to be quite lost. I refused with some effort the temptation to offer help and give him my card. My protégé needed a decent shirt. I had to wait quite a while until another staff lady brought herself to come to us and I require her to open a shit of another manufacturer and remove clips and needles since a sample shirt of this label and cut is not available. For courtesy reasons I asked whether here the staff opens a shirt or it is up to customers (staff opening is the standard). She answered in the affirmative with a forced smile. This shirt had too long sleeves for my client and is additionally too wide at the chest. The reduced price is 98 Euro. 



„We can't open every business shirt“


I asked to open a shirt of the third premium label and wanted to check whether these shirts fit my client`s arms. The lady told us „we can not open every shirt“. It took us some moments to realize. A lawyer with a well-informed  company and a decent salary should just buy, not try. Whether it fits or he likes it does not matter. In this shop security staff strolled around to guard the expensive business shirts. A guy from security passed us and looked sceptically at us. The guy at the door I greeted politely, this one I ignored.

 

My protégé and me had to laugh loudly. The shop staff looked excited at us. This made it even weird. We decide on immediate leave let alone leaving money here. The idea of this article is born and written down in the next coffee shop during a shopping break. In another shop we find what we looked for and the shop staff brought us shirts I asked for. We had a lot of fun and success this saturday afternoon, but not due to the every shop staff.


The gentleman's outfitter on the Königstrasse will close early next year and move to another place. On the bright yellow-red posters of the clearance sale the shop declares here a „designer outlet“ will open later. The message might be that jet set fashion kills old-established shops and that this shop is a victim. Some, however, do not belong to prime locations.