Let’s face it: living the dapper life can be hard on the bank account.
We all drool over those bespoke suits and super sexy wingtips. But not everyone can make a habit of acquiring such finery on a regular basis. Perhaps you have a few nice items but, rely —like most of us — on the chance treasure found at the local thrift. That’s certainly how I roll. So how do I take my few essential nice outfits and make them new and dashing with every wear? I shake it up with the little details: the accessories that dazzle and stun the admirer each and every time!
Cufflinks, tie bars, and mini-bow ties are a few of the many accessories that can set the dapper chap apart. And in fashion forward NYC, it’s nice to be the one who stands out from a city of well-dressed hoi polloi. A great outfit can look new and fresh with every wear if proper attention is paid to accessories. There’s no doubt about it: tie bars are back! (Why they ever fell out of favor is beyond me!) Besides being dapper as fuck, tie bars are great conversation pieces — particularly vintage ones that come in a variety of styles. Simple and classy ones can be found at most department stores and shops these days, and they can be quite elegant. But I encourage you all to take a gander at the local thrift for some classic pieces that usually come with a story.
I picked up the gems pictured above on a day trip up the Hudson. Just an hour or so away from the city, a small town like Cold Spring or New Paltz can offer a treasure trove of affordable ($3-$5 each) and unique accents pieces for the well-dressed dandy. The main streets of these little hamlets are lined with antique shops full of this stuff. Where else can you find a tie bar of a boy and his dog on a raft, or barber scissors; or my favorite: the telegraph?
Of course, my love for the little things in life includes cufflinks too. If you’ve got a shirt with French cuffs (if not, get several stat!), then you will want a nice collection of cufflinks. They don’t have to cost a fortune either. If the pickings are slim in your neck of the woods, head out of town for a day and pillage small-town America where demand for such finery isn’t quite as intense, and the prices can be dirt cheap! Besides looking sensational, they are a tool of seduction. Sit across from your date, elbow on bar/table, chin resting on palm, cufflink exposed, and watch them melt.
My thoughts about mini-bow ties are a bit more daring, as the clip-on tie debate still rages. In principle, I am opposed to clip on ties, with one exception: the mid-century mini clip-on bow tie. Unlike the typical butterfly bow tie — which deservedly continues to reign supreme — these little guys are more akin to the less ubiquitous straight/thistle bow. Popular through much of the mid-twentieth century, and measuring anywhere from 2 ½-5 inches long and 1-1.5 inches wide, these clip-ons should be worn with confidence and perhaps a sense of irony. Simply stated, they are just too damn adorable and wearing one may result in endless fawning and cheek pinching (wearer be warned). Also, it’s nice to get an old timey tie box to put these little treasures in.
When I am not fretting about the future of humanity, or why my kitties meow and cry all the time, thoughts of other important matters such as how to accent my outfit tomorrow, or what my next adventure of rural thrifting/antiquing may bring makes my heart whole again.With a solid collection of tie bars, cuff links, and mini bow ties, I can rest assured that with each new day, I will be able to assemble a fierce new ensemble that is both empowering and complimentary to my budget. And I hope you can too!
By guest blogger, C. Haber Dash
(Cover photo from dandyportraits.blogspot.com)