Tie By Tie 22 (More Interviews)

Another long day writing Burberry for the Kids shop for Fall 2010. A promised though here are some more ideas for interviews, more in the stripe department.    As before I left them primarily with navy until the last option which is a slight variation off the navy theme (its navy with burgundy as well.)  Many will tell you that burgundy is a color that can comfortably be worn on interviews and they are probably right, but I would stay away from a strong burgundy that is close to red.  Not because red indicates power or red is a challenging color or an eye attracting color (which it is and you do want them to concentrate on you not your tie) but mostly because out of all the applicants will NOT be wearing red and therefore you should not be wearing red either. 🙂

A Boring Stripe/Check in Navy.

A boring small chevron weave:

A boring squares pattern in burgundy and navy.  The navy tones the burgundy down (or the burgundy livens the navy, depending on if your glass is half empty or half full 🙂 ).

As we are talking about interviews, here is some unsolicited advice.  In a small business one wears many hats and HR is one of my many.  Having read through literally thousands of resumes here are some things that have always either piqued my interest or turned me off.

1) As your resume if your first foot forward and allows your prospective employer to learn about you, PLEASE use spell check to make sure you spelled things correctly. If you are using word or most web browsers, those squiggly red lines under the word means you spelled it wrong :-).

2) Even after you have ascertained that everything is spelled correctly give your resume over to a friend or a professional to proofread so you can get a feel for how it flows and if it makes sense.  It may make sense to you but thats because you know what its supposed to say.

3) The email address you send the resume from or the email address that is on your resume should not be one that you use in a chat room or just hanging with your cronies.  You are interviewing for a job, not trying to get picked up or pick someone else up (I hope).  I cannot tell you how many silly email addresses I have seen resume’s come from or containing silly reply to addresses.  Get a gmail, yahoo or hotmail account that has your name in it and nothing else.   Emails that come into my HR box from HOTYOUNGSTUD@AOL.com or the female version thereof, usually get deleted immediately, and for those that dont delete it you are usually stepping up to bat with a reviewer who already has a jaundiced eye of you due to your bad judgement call of email addresses.

4) Many resume builder services tell you to have a paragraph entitled Objective where ostensibly the applicant is supposed to tell you what he wants to gain from the job or his/her career.  I have no idea who made this up but if you ask me its “silly” (I am being nice here).   First of all, everyone does the boilerplate response, “To seek meaningful employment, blah blah blah” .  That means to your employer that you just filled in what you were supposed to.  Secondly,  Your prospective employer doesn’t really care at this point how you want to advance your career.  He cares what you can do for him.  Sort of the Ask not what your country can do for you…Ask what you can do for your country.

Here is my suggestion.  Instead of a line about how this job can help you, why dont you put in a summary line of what you can do to help the boss achieve HIS goals, and why he should hire you.  A line to the effect of  “I can bring to the table quality A, B and C to help company XYZ get to JKL.”   That shows your employer that you are looking to help him in his goals.  How can anyone ignore that?

5) Arrive to the interview on time.  Nay, better yet early.  Dont make them wait for you.  Leave early enough to get there in time.  Better you wait for them a half hour then they wait for you 5 or 10 minutes.  If you absolutely HAVE to be late, communicate with a phone call (dont leave a voice mail, make sure you get in touch with them) and not only an email (Not all HR personal are attached to their PC at all times) . They are making time for you, be considerate of that time.

6) Make sure your clothing is above all else, CLEAN.  ESPECIALLY your shoes.

7) After the interview follow up with an email thanking them for the opportunity, telling them again that you look forward to putting your skills to work for them and letting them know that if they have any questions you are available to answer vie email and or phone.

Good luck!

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 12:02 am  Leave a Comment  


For the sake of clarity with regard to yesterday’s post please allow me elaborate. There is no question that Mr. Flusser is correct conceptually that when one pattern jockeys for position with another pattern the potential for compromise as opposed to victory exists.  What I mean by that is that instead of a shirt or a suit creating a background for the tie to be noticed the possibility of the two blending together is strong.  There are however a few ways for the patterns to get noticed.  One of course is to change the sizes of the patterns so that they are distinct in and of their own right and dont blend into each other.  This is what Flusser recommends and its correct.  So of course, this:

Looks better than this small patterned tie (which IMO looks OK, even if not as sharp as the larger patterned tie):

And this with its contrast against the cream shirt of course is easiest as it doesnt involve mixing of patterns.

Which is comprised of this:

My main complaint was the fact that while the concept may have been true, the picture that Mr. Flusser used to elucidate that point was exaggerated, almost as if to show that the eye cannot ever tolerate similarly sized patterns without glazing over.  Assuming that would be correct then the lesson is better taught with a clear picture rather than a blurry one.  Mr. Flusser uses a blurry picture to complete a thought while attempting to bolster his position I personally feel he weakens it.

But thats just my opinion and I haven’t yet sold any books 😉

Published in: on January 11, 2010 at 9:52 pm  Comments (1)  

Weekend Edition (My Beef with Flusser)

Friday I posted a picture of an Attolini teal blue small patterned unlined tie paired with a small striped Hickey Freeman Shirt and a green jacket.  This was the picture:

Flusserian pundits will recall that on Page 70 of Dressing the man, (a very excellent book,) Alan Flusser maintains that small prints or patterns demand larger patterns to correctly complement them, otherwise the small against the small forces the eye to work overtime to distinguish between where the tie ends and the shirt or second patterned item begins.  He then accompanies that theory with the following picture to be found on page 71:

Indeed at first glance, this does seem to bolster the thought that smaller patterns might force the eye into a tizzy and almost create a blur between the two competing patterns trying to figure out where each ends and begins.

But if you take a closer look at the picture here and better yet in the book itself, (If you have the book flip it open to page 71, if you don’t have the book you can rely on my picture posted here) you might want to question the following:

There is no doubt in my mind that the top picture on page 71 was for whatever reason BLURRY to begin with, and the bottom ensemble is quite clear. So while the concept might sometimes be true the visual proof that is utilized to hammer home that point is somewhat suspect. Does it mean that Flusser as a whole is off the mark? Certainly not, and as I mentioned the book is great. However it does tell you (or at least me) that this Flusserian principal must be taken with a grain of salt. To that end I offer up my grain of salt in the form of my picture from Friday.

A very good weekend/workweek to all.

Queries of the Week – Volume 5

Here are some of this weeks search terms that brought readers to FTWU’s virtual door.

1) Can one wear a plaid shirt with a paisley tie? – Depending on the size of the plaid and the paisley it can work but care must be made not to have the shirt and tie compete with each other in how busy this can look.So the answer is , yes it can, but not always.  Too big a plaid should be reserved for casual and tie-less.  Smaller plaids are OK and paisley will work there.

2) What tie colors for an olive shirt? – Burgundy, Navy, Black, are a few of the classic colors that come to mind that will work against an olive shirt.  Suit colors will govern though which.

3) Brown suit with a grey shirt – This works as well and I like the combo.  As I have mentioned before, try and keep the grey in the shirt lighter rather than darker as too dark will always dress down any ensemble.

4) Purple stripe tie with blue check shirt? – The checks and the strips off the bat might compete with each other and the purple against the blue will add more negative oompf to it, and will probably take it over the top. Without a visual my initial response will be to avoid.

5) Burgundy ties green shirt – Depending on the green, this can look really sharp. We had a great deep Plummy/burgundy tie with dark olive green paisleys running through it that sold marvelously. Of course it was more for events than for regular business and I Imagine that the question is asked with that in mind.

6) How far out does a pocket square extend – My pictures on the blog are misleading, because I often pull the square out further than it should be and I do that to give an idea of what the square looks like and why I put it in the particular ensemble.  In reality it should just peak out of the pocket to break up the breast of the jacket. Perhaps a little more.  certainly not enough to take over the whole left breast and have the eye drawn to there and away from the Shirt/Tie which lines up with the persons face.

7) How far down should a tie go? – Nowadays the best place for the tie to end is either just at the tip of the belt or in the middle of the belt buckle. The Italians like to see it ending a little higher than that.

Have a great week all!

PS:  Cashmere sweaters now under 200 dollars  Cashmere scarves 20% off . Still time enough to get them to you before the Holidays!

Published in: on December 20, 2009 at 12:57 pm  Comments (1)  

Queries of the Week – Volume 4

Here are some of this weeks search terms that brought readers to FTWU’s virtual door.  Lots of weather related searches, like matching with coats and sweaters etc so lead off is this:

1) Blue sweater with a charcoal suit? – FTWU says yes.  A blue sweater will work well with a charcoal suit, be it Navy or a lighter blue.  Charcoal is versatile and goes with almost everything.  Posts on this blog will give you visual confirmations on that.

2) Green ties go with what? – Green is an under-appreciated color.  It works well with Navy, with Black, with Brown and with Camel.  These are a few colors off the top of my head, many others work as well.  Some shades are better than others and to pair exactly which with which needs a case by case look over, but as a rule green is good.

3) Is blue and white elegant for an affair? – A solid navy blue suit together with a white shirt can be elegant and quite so.  Add a white linen pocket square and a silver or cream tie and viola! Please bear in mind though that there is elegant and dressy and then there is proper protocol.  If the affair is black tie and you show wearing the above mentioned ensemble you will be elegant but its not what was called for, so always consider and be sensitive to the host’s wishes.

4) What color tie goes with a red shirt? – Hmmmmm….Do I have to answer this? ;-).  Seriously though, I cannot imagine in what setting you would want a tie with a RED shirt.  If its red stripped on a white field or something of that nature, then stick to a subtle type of tie as you will already have enough attention in the shirt.

5) How to match suit colours? – I imagine that this question meant how to match complimenting items to a suit and if that is the case, I think that the answer is that a beginner should look to nature for help.  Usually the way that things grow, the colors that you see in flowers and in articles of nature are a good guide.  Seriously, go outside in the Summer, look at trees in the Fall, and head to a florist and admire G-d’s Handiwork.  He does an amazing job of decorating 🙂

6) Suit, shirt, and tie combinations for an interview? – In one word “Subtle”. Here is not where you want to make fashion statements.  Here is where you want to blend in as far as dress code and shine as far as what you can offer to the company.   Navy Suit, (clean) White shirt, Blue tie with a subtle pattern, polished shoes and thats all.  If its a firm that every one wears pocket squares and you know this for a fact then wear a solid white or light blue square.  Last thing you want is them to be focusing on your clothing and not you.

7) Will an Orange tie work with a yellow shirt? – There is a major difference between matching and working.  Orange and Yellow match, but they will come off really strong together.  Dont forget to bring the sunglasses 🙂

Have a great week and a Happy Hannukah for those that are celebrating!

Remember, with a few shopping weeks left till Christmas, http://www.FourInHand.com is on sale on Cashmeres!

Published in: on December 13, 2009 at 12:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Queries of the week – Volume 3

Here are some of this weeks search terms that brought readers to FTWU’s virtual door.

1) What type pocket square with stripe tie? – In general keep to different type patterns and colors when adding a square, so if your tie is striped then you might want to introduce a  solid square or if you are more comfortable mixing patterns a patterned square (thats not a stripe) will work. You certainly want to avoid too much of a similar thing in the same ensemble, be it color or pattern.

2) Rust and black shirt – Black suit burgundy shirt – Brown suit and red shirt – This type of question has come up alot recently.  My feeling is that anything with a dark shirt is going to be suitable only for clubbing (party going) or the other type of “clubbing” as in mafia type  swinging of the baseball bat work.  Otherwise when in a work or dress setting, leave the dark shirt home.

3) Best tie for black suit beige shirt – As posted in this blog, you can go almost anywhere with this combination.   If its a somber occasion, then darker colors will work.  (AVOID MEDIUM BLUE – NAVY THOUGH).  A more festive one and burgundy works well as does orange and red. (But are you really wearing a black suit to a truly festive occasion?)

4) Blue shirt with cream suit – A beautiful combination.  think of a nice almost clear day with a blue sky and some milky white clouds.  Soothing, no?  This link to the right (cream suits) shows some nice Cream and Blue pics.

5) Burgundy scarf and camel jacket (coat)?  – FTWU says no and I intentionally left that combo out when photographing in this post as I think that it looks BAD.

6) Checkered shirt with suit? – When selecting checked patterned shirts care must be taken to ensure that the checks aren’t too large which will take the shirt out of the dressy and put it squarely (I couldnt resist, please pardon the pun 😦 ) into the casual realm.   Also avoid too many colors in the checks (plaid) of the shirt which will also make it too fruity looking and sporty as well.

7) Dark brown sport coat pink shirt? – Dark brown and Pink work together and work together nicely at that.  Keep the Pink to a light pink or at best medium.  Too dark will kill the look.

Have a great week!

PS:  Paul, go easy on me 😉

rust and black shirt
Published in: on December 6, 2009 at 12:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Queries of the week – Volume 2

A very good Thanksgiving weekend to all.

Here are this weeks Search Terms which brought readers to FTWU’s doorstep.

Of course I value your opinions and wish to hear from you, and if you have a particular issue you want to hear my thoughts on, feel free to post a comment or email me at any time. Thanks for reading!

1) What shirts with grey suit? – This is a good generic question and since I have mentioned earlier that grey is a great versatile color in a suit vis a vis ties it would follow that many color shirts are safe as well.  This includes, greys, blues (the lighter the better) creams, and pretty much any color.  The only thing that must be remembered is that the color of the shirt will subsequently dictate and limit the color of the tie and accompanying accessories.

2) Camel color coats with Grey scarf? – Camel is versatile, and Grey is versatile.  That being said, I think that you can do better than grey in choices of scarf colors with camel coats.  The darker the grey (close to charcoal-almost black) the better it will look, The lighter the grey the less it belongs with camel.  Focus on better contrast so that your scarf stands out causing a positive-negative effect between the scarf (accessory) and the principle garment, in this case the coat.  Click on this link for more outerwear looks which focus on contrast.

3)  Best shirt colors? – I am going to assume that the question of best shirt colors means most useful, so I am going to have to answer, light blue. (Of course, white goes with everything but we are talking colors).  I am of the opinion that light blue works with everything; Black, Charcoal, Grey, Brown (yeah Brown), Cream, White, and pretty much everything in between, not to mention Navy and Blue.  The added advantage is that not only does it work with those color suitings it also does not limit tie and accessory options.  What you do sometimes have to worry about in blue shirts is making sure that if you pair a blue shirt with a blue tie that the blues don’t clash.  Similar hues of blue might get you there.  If you are hell bent on using blue ties with blue shirts use a navy blue tie and be carefree that you aren’t clashing.

4) Blue sport coat with Black pants? – FTWU says AVOID this combo. I dont like Navy blue against Black.  The one time I did like that combo is when a woman bought 5 Colombo cashmere vests in Navy for her sons and sons-in-law for black suits and despite my telling her that I thought navy or charcoal was better with navy and black or charcoal with black she insisted on Navy with the black suits.  🙂

5) Pink Shirts Match with what? – Pink works well with Blue in all its colors, Dark Brown and Black (although sometimes it may come across strong with black contrast.  (click on the pink shirt link to the right for visuals.).  It will also work with greys but without a tie it might not say much).

6) Brown Suit Blue Shirt Red Tie? – (EDIT:  PLEASE SEE COMMENTS BELOW) FTWU says this is too much in the color department and will only draw attention to oneself. Not necessarily positive attention.  Unlike advertising and businesses, there is such a thing as bad publicity.

7) The funniest search term that I saw this week was the query of “WIFE GF”.  Not sure what the question in mind was but GF is one of the codes that I use on my ties and some scarves and squares and I do that because one of my supplier’s initials is GF.  Needless to say, I highly doubt that https://fromthewaistup.wordpress.com/ was what the one who asked about Wife GF had in mind when they clicked on the link 😉

Have a great successful, happy and healthy week!

Published in: on November 29, 2009 at 11:11 am  Comments (3)  

Queries of the week – Volume 1

I like WordPress.com blogs as they offer a nice selection of backend options that allow me to monitor whats happening with the blog, where my readers are coming from and what they are looking at.

One of the items in Blog stats is Search Engine Terms which is essentially the queries that people submitted to various search engines which turned up this blog, fromthewaistup.wordpress.com.

For example, a query of White shirt with Lilac Tie gets me in the google query all the way at the bottom of the first page.

As I am not usually in the store on Sunday’s to take pictures of ensembles I figured I would answer some of the questions that came my way.

Oh…so you know, a white shirt and lilac tie goes nicely with a grey or black suit.  😉

1) Can you wear squares with stripe shirts? Interesting question, and by squares I assume what was meant was square patterned ties.  I would say to avoid it as a rule unless you are really good at this and are comfortable relying on your own eye.  Of course there is no absolutes in any of this and visuals would be necessary to determine.

2) Grey shirt gold tie I would say to avoid this.  Although black with gold is a winner, a grey shirt unless its a dark grey will not give you enough contrast and will look off.  If the shirt is dark enough then you will look like you drive a limo or work for the mafia. (Or both 🙂 )

3) Brown suit & pink shirt – This is a nice combo.  Click on the brown suit or pink shirt link and you should get some nice looks on this.

4) Orange paisley tie with blue check shirt – The colors are right and work together (Orange and Blue) however you need to make sure that there isn’t too much happening when you blend the checks and the paisleys, which are both naturally busy patterns.

5) Pink shirt and navy tie with a black suit – I dont think so.  Black suit and Pink shirt = Yes.  Pink Shirt and Navy Tie = Yes. But that is where the connection ends.  The Navy Tie does NOT belong together with the black suit.

6) Black suits with ivory shirt and red tie – This will work, but bear in mind that as the suit backdrop is black and the contrasted shirt is white, the RED TIE is going to scream at you I AM RED AND DON’T YOU FORGET THAT!!!!!

7) There were alot of questions on the topic of Light Blue with Dark Green or other Green combos. – The simple answer is a resounding YES.  Search the blog if you haven’t yet, I am a big fan of the combo.

Enjoy the balance of the weekend of if you first get to this Monday, have a great week!

Published in: on November 22, 2009 at 4:44 pm  Comments (1)  
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