WinterWardrober

Dressing Smartly For Winter

There’s something quite satisfying about getting your wardrobe ready for a new season and with winter upon us, it’s time to re-evaluate your garments and see what new additions will enhance your look. First and formost, it has to be your winter coat.

Any man who cares about his winter wardrobe should have a quality winter coat, a rain jacket and something a bit lighter for those days where it hardly feels like winter at all. When it comes to your main winter coat, choose a good quality material and something that will not only fit in with you business wear but will complement your casual wear as well. Generally speaking, a longer, more streamline winter coat will give you a more stylish feel and if you opt for classic dark blues, greys and of course, black, you can’t go wrong. For the more adventurous, then bolder greens or burgundies can give you a strong impact when worn with the appropriate clothing underneath.

As with any winter season, layering is the best way to keep warm but also look elegant. Stylish waistcoats, cashmere jumpers, turtleneck sweaters and a woollen sports jacket are perfect additions to your wardrobe for winter. Opting for various shades of the same colour in your garments can look very smart when done properly and this kind of look works especially well when you’re working with different shades of grey.

Of course, we are also fast entering the Christmas season so a few garments to see you through the endless round of parties and get-togethers will be needed. Tailored woollen jackets, crisp white shirts, silk ties and pocket squares will always serve you well and for more casual events, then a pair of smart dark blue jeans worn with a lightweight tweed jacket or blazer will give you an elegant and sophisticated look.

Whatever your plans are for this winter, make sure that your wardrobe is up to the challenge, both on a practical and sartorial front.

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Origins Of Style – The History Of Black Tie Events

The tie began its life in seventeenth century France when Louis XIII stole the idea from the croatian mercenaries he hired to fight for him in the Thirty-Year War. The king admired the piece of cloth tied around the Croatians necks so much that he made it a compulsory accessory at the French royal court and christened it a cravat (the French word for “Croat”) in their honour. However, exactly how the black tie or bow tie we now associate with the most prestigious social occasions and special events evolved out of a piece of rag round a Croatian soldier’s neck is not quite clear.

What we do know, however, is that it was in the late nineteenth century that the dinner jacket and corresponding black tie became popular amongst the British middle and upper classes who sought an alternative to the dress coat, which was an evening tailcoat thtat had begun to seem just a tad too formal.

Then in 1886 it properly became a part of fashion history when a formal ball was held by the tobacco magnate Pierre Lorillard on his estate in Orange County in New York state. We know how much influence this event was to have by the name of the club at which it was held: The Tuxedo Club. So, not only was the dinner jacket introduced to America, but it was taken to the heart of American society and given a new name that would last to this day.

The Evolution Of The Black Tie

As the twentieth century progressed, dinner jackets and black bow ties became less associated with regular evening wear and more associated with the special events that came to be characterised by the tie that was an intrinsic part of the uniform. In turn, “black tie events” became associated with glamorous events and people, and so in time they became synonymous with Hollywood and the glitz of the film industry. Amongst its most famous advocates were Charlie Chaplin, Humphrey Bogart, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire and Dean Martin.

As time went on and the black tie lost some of its formality, other colours and designs began to creep in, but the bow tie was always a symbol of class and refinement. It would also later come to be strongly associuated with intelligence, as various famous intellectuals, politicians and scientists began to favour it, including Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Saul Bellow and Arthur Schlesinger.

In the decades after the end of the Second World War, black tie events have become increasingly less rigid in their protocol and today quite a lot of cariation is permitted. However, it’s still important to realise that black is very much used as a gentleman’s uniform. It is the beautiful dresses of the females at a black tie event that take centre stage in terms of colour and overall splendour. The male’s “uniform” should never over-shadow this. It would be ungentlemanly to do so.