Mixing prints can be intimidating. But when it comes to putting together a winning shirt and tie combination, don’t be daunted. I promise – it’s easier than you think. Here are a couple of tips to live by.



Pair geometric prints with something more fluid. Linear, geometric prints (think stripes, checks, ginghams, and plaids) are surprisingly easy to coordinate. Play up the juxtaposition of a shirt’s hard lines and angles with a tie featuring a softer, swirlier pattern. Paisley, with its combination of lines and curves, makes for a nice contrast. When it comes to color, you can stick with the same hue or choose something complementary that will pop against your shirt and show that you’re not afraid to have some fun with your look.

Layer a larger pattern over a smaller one. Starting off with a small print on your shirt is a no-brainer when it comes to pattern mixing. A subtle houndstooth acts almost like a solid (a tight gingham print has the same effect) while giving your shirt some dimension and making it super easy to layer with almost anything. A tie with a circular geometric print is one of those safe bets that can work with most shirts, but as long as your tie’s design is bigger than your shirt’s pattern, you should be set for a sharp look.

Our Every Suit’s Wingman: The Tie Boutique opens Wednesday, May 29, at 11AM ET.

By Chrissy Makkas, Staff Writer

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May 29, 2013

In or out? When it comes to tucking in button-down and polo shirts, the quick answer is… it depends. So to make the decision easier on you, I’m breaking down the whens, whys, and hows of this day-to-day debate.


The Button-Down
If a button-down hangs below your hips, Esquire says that tucking the shirt in is a must. Guys, it just looks sharper. Whether you’re wearing it with dark jeans, corduroys, khakis, or dress pants – always, always keep the button-down tucked if you’re in dress pants – make sure to use a belt and tuck the shirt in nice and tight. The last thing you want is an anything-but-modern blousy tuck. If you’re wearing a jacket over a button-down, take GQ‘s advice and keep your shirt tucked in.

For a more casual look, go ahead and keep that button-down untucked – but make sure your proportions are clean. The shirt should hit above your hips, and take care to avoid pants that are too roomy. This look can easily sway toward sloppy.

If you’re adventurous, try the half-tuck. Tuck in half of your shirt, letting the other section fall over to the side of your belt buckle. The front-tuck, with both sections tucked behind the belt buckle (as seen on The Sartorialist), is another variation. This look falls into more casual territory, but it also has a bit of debonair flair (see David Beckham rock it) and shows that you’re comfortable experimenting. Proceed with caution, though, and trust your gut – the partial tuck can easily go wrong.



The Polo
The polo is inherently more casual, so the general rule is to leave it untucked, but there are a few exceptions. Esquire‘s below-the-hip rule also applies here, so if your polo is on the long side, tuck it in. On the golf course, always go with a nice, clean tuck and be sure to wear a belt – your look should be as sharp as your game. Likewise, if you’re working a polo on casual Friday, tuck it in and pair with a close shave to maintain a more professional vibe.

Looking to push some style boundaries? You can also attempt the front-tuck with a polo, but again, proceed with caution. I would only recommend it with a looser shirt and belted pair of well-fitting jeans. If you’re not feeling 100% confident (and totally nonchalant) about it, this front-tuck is best left alone.

By Chrissy Makkas, Staff Writer

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May 1, 2013