Qweary: Am I Wearing Ties Right?

Audrey A asked: I've recently discovered the wonders of wearing ties. It makes me feel amazing about myself in a totally unexpected way. I'm wearing my ties (they are quite colorful and have stripes) mostly with white or black or grey button-ups but I happen to own a lot of plaid button-ups, mostly blue (turquoise) but I have some red too. My question is: what kind of tie am I supposed to wear with that? Is that even possible? Because I REALLY like ties and I feel so utterly confident when I wear one, I wanna wear them as much as possible! But I don't wanna make some fashion faux-pas that would make me go back to feeling like an idiot.

You’re NOT an idiot! And there are no rules. Allison Graham, Bing, & Mimi (Lover of Stories) do multiple patterns and colors really well.

Allison combines a checked shirt with a heavy-texture knit tie and a school-boy cardigan finished off with tailored pants and the most incredible velvet loafers. How does she do it? Easy: Coordination. Each piece of the outfit compliments the other pieces. (Striking that balance between coordination and subtlety is the art of style.)

Here, Allison pairs white pants and a cream top (a “fashion” faux-paus that completely works here - and beautifully, too) with a loud floral shirt and silk tie. Again, the look is stylish because she nails the balance between coordination and subtlety and this look is so perfectly her.

Bing (from: idreamofdapper.com)

Bing (from: idreamofdapper.com)

I love this look for two reasons: 1) I love black. Black on black is my favorite. 2) Patterned shirts and patterned ties, worn together, do me in. (In a lovely way.) Bing’s tie/shirt combo is subtle, but because of the colors, very visually striking. A+

In this outfit, Mimi packed in a lot of gorgeous autumnal texture - crushed suede olive monkstraps, wine cords, knit tie, floral shirt, but it’s the blazer that really anchors the look. Mimi’s accessories - the informal pocket square and playful pattern on their belt really add to this outfit without minimizing the visual impact of any other piece.

Bing (from: idreamofdapper.com)

Bing (from: idreamofdapper.com)

I love this look for two reasons: 1) I love black. Black on black is my favorite. 2) Patterned shirts and patterned ties, worn together, do me in. (In a lovely way.) Bing’s tie/shirt combo is subtle, but because of the colors, very visually striking. A+

And lastly, this person, whoever they are, understands color and texture and everything right in the world. 

So, in summary, you can totally wear a patterned tie and shirt. Really, anything can work. Play with it - colors, patterns, designs, textures. Ties are supposed to add something to an outfit. A plain tie against a patterned shirt can add just as much as a patterned tie can against a patterned shirt. It’s all about balance and finding what works for you in that day.

Topman 5th Ave Flagship Store Opening Nov 5th in NYC

Our sponsor Topman is opening a TOPSHOP TOPMAN mega store in the heart of New York: a 40,000 sq foot flagship on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 49th Street. This is their second largest store in the world! The store will bring all their pieces from Britian as well as exclusive pieces just for the 5th avenue store. Join me at their grand #UNLOCK5TH opening on November 5th along with other bloggers including the famous menswear face on the internet, Adam Gallagher. I'm heading to New York a few days early to chat with Topman's press, and I'll keep you updated! In the mean time, check out what Adam Gallagher has to say about the store:

Bonobos x Sonny Oram Fall 2014 Style Challenge

Sonny Oram Bonobos 2014 Fall Style Challenge

Recently Bonobos invited me to do a style challenge based off their Fall  2014 men's suit lookbook. I recognized a lot of subtle texture and pattern shifts between suits and ties and appreciated the mixing of suit jackets and pants. When I saw the photo below with the dotted jacket, I immediately thought of my partner Ru's recently acquired Ted Baker suit. She generously leant it to me for the shoot:

Bonobos Fall Lookbook 2014

Rather than wearing it with matching pants, I decided to take a different approach and put it on with my new burgundy chinos from Frank & Oak. Then instead of a plain white dress shirt, I wore my Topman shirt with small checks to give a nod to their commendable interest in pattern mixing:

Bonobos Fall Lookbook 2014

The tie was the last piece of the process. I wanted something contrasting but, as my friend Boris pointed out, not so much that it took attention away from Ted Baker's beautiful built in pocket square. After previewing every single tie I owned and feeling it wasn't quite right, Ru remembered some of her grandfather's old ties. It just happened to be the same burgundy as my pants, and the pop of yellow was just enough color to be exciting but not draw away from the pocket square.

The shoes were a no-brainer, as Ru got them for me on her last trip to Scotland and I was already giving appreciation for English style in this look. All in all, I felt I had a lot of luck in finding the perfect pieces to put this outfit together.

Hope you enjoy my outfit, and let me know what you think in the comments!

Sonny Oram Bonobos 2014 Fall Style Challenge
Sonny Oram Bonobos 2014 Fall Style Challenge
Sonny Oram Bonobos 2014 Fall Style Challenge
Sonny Oram Bonobos 2014 Fall Style Challenge
Sonny Oram Bonobos 2014 Fall Style Challenge

Outfit Details:
Suit Jacket: Ted Baker ELRAND
Shirt: Topman White Grey Grid Long Sleeve Smart Shirt
Tie: Royal Campbell Club Tie: Ru collection
Pants: Frank & Oak
Shoes: Poste, bought in Scotland
Hair: Wynter at Troy Anthony's Barbershop 

Sam Murray, photography
Ru, director
Boris Vadimovich, styling assistance

Style Profile: Kim, Myanmar/New York

After meeting Kim on Tumblr a few years ago, I've continued to admire Kim's ability to pull off a wide range of styles. In the past Kim sent in looks that were very city smart, with bright yellow snap backs and layered jackets over red stripes, pink shirts and drop crotch pants, occasionally stepping it up a notch with a button up with contrast collars and multi colored boat shoes. I certainly hope you enjoy the looks Kim is bringing us today and the interview to follow. One cool thing to note is Kim's shirt in the second outfit Kim picked the fabric and had it tailor-made in Myanmar several years ago when it was affordable.

Where did you grow up & where do you live now?
I grew up in Yangon which used to be the capital of Myanmar. I currently live in Queens, New York.

How do you think your friends would define your style?
I think they will say dapper at times when I need to attend formal events and swag out when I'm not attending formal events.

What’s your favorite item in your wardrobe?
Snapbacks or beanies.

What’s your biggest style challenge?
Trying to make my outfits look timeless so that I can pull it off in the next 10 years. There are different styles emerging all the time so tryingto make a style look and feel timeless is very challenge but interesting. 

Which literary figures do you most admire?
Milan Kundera

Who’s your style icon?
It's really hard for me to choose one because I get all my inspirations from so many people - sometimes I will get inspiration from a random person from New York streets, you know.

Look 1:
Run DMC sweatshirt: Urban Outfitters [read disclaimer]
Black Jeans: Forever 21
Brown Desert Boots: Clarks
Backpack: Flud Watches
Watch: Movado
Haircut: Manetamed, Williamsburg, NY

Look 2:
V-neck button-down shirt: Tailor made in Myanmar
Beige dress pants: Next Generation (Thai Brand)
Watch: Movado
Shoes: Toms

Look 3:
Hawaiian shirt: Buffalo Exchange
Glasses: Ray-ban Club Master
Watch: Kenneth Cole
Shorts: A&F Jeans  [read disclaimer]
Bag: no brand, bought in Japan
Straw Fedora: Gap
Shoes: Toms 

Follow Kim: Lookbook | Instagram | Tumblr

Autumn's Awake, So I'm Awake

I don't know about you but, it's feeling 22...degrees cooler than summer and I'm not even mad. I'm breaking out the Henley's, rescuing knit scarves from captivity, and enjoying the crunch of leaves beneath my monk strap shoes. Why, you ask? Because it's FALL. So, in the spirit of the season and (because of the fact that lesbians obviously love park benches) I decided to share with you my long hair, don't care, tomboy-inspired look!

IMG_1885 -1.jpg

Henley: Urban Pipeline at Khol’s
Waistcoat: Topman via Nordstrom Rack
Pants: Mossimo at Target
Shoes: Johnston & Murphy via eBay
Hat: George at WalMart

Photography by Ryan Fryoux Studio

Coming to Qwear This November: Environment Month

Inspired by mother nature herself, this November we are going to highlight brands that dedicate themselves to eco-friendly practices! Stay tuned as we feature our favorite brands including VejaLUSHDeadwoodForageWe Three LeavesBrave GentlemanMoo ShoesVAUTERiz Boardshorts, and Timberland

Can't wait to get started? Follow us on twitter @qwearfashion for exclusive sneak peaks and tweet your ideas at us!