Why the Bow Tie is ALWAYS Better...
Posted On 11/19/2014 By Lauren Allison
From the moment I was old enough to really begin to appreciate men’s fashion, my eyes have always been drawn to the man in the bow tie. After a traditional upbringing in the heart of the South where the art of being a gentleman is not yet lost followed by a proper initiation into life as a lady of one of the oldest and certainly most distinguished women’s fraternities in the country, my affection for the bow tie, whether pre-tied or self tie, remains positively unfettered, and I am all the more convinced, as an individual, every person, if they really thought about the message of the bow tie, would want to be the man in the bow tie, would want to be on the arm of the man in the bow tie. As I venture forth into my thirties, I continue to tell my single friends they most assuredly want a man who embraces the bow tie, and I know, as a mother, I aspire to be the sort of mother that raises my five year-old son to be a man that wears a bow tie. Perhaps my aspirations seem moderately silly, but allow me to share a few reasons why the bow tie should trump the neck tie or dress tie in your fashion lineup every single time:
Wearing a bow tie communicates you are a composed gentleman: The bow tie has been around far longer than then traditional necktie or dress tie, originating with Croatian warriors fighting in the 16th century Prussian War who used a brightly colored scarf looped through the top holes of their shirts to keep them closed during battle in lieu of buttons. When Louis XIV, otherwise known as Louis the Great or the Sun King, who reigned in France for 72 years, spotted the accessory, he ordered his tailors to make similar scarves for him and encouraged members of the fashion forward upper class to wear them in his court and for special occasions. Some 500 years later, the bow tie remains the go-to formal accessory for men and boys from all walks of life for special occasions like weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. A bow tie remains the embodiment of propriety, yet as lovable hipsters and fashionable up-and-comers begin to use them to properly accent less formal attire like a boys’ dress shirt, I am pleased to see my generation and the ones that follow returning to the sophisticated attire somehow lost by the a few of those in the generations following the baby boomers who somehow wrongly decided wearing tattered denim and a ball cap to work projected or promoted self-confidence or success. On behalf of women everywhere, let me simply say this to those man boys who elect to still wear cargo pants and a college football t-shirt to office-You don’t look like an ambitious go-getter, a future CEO (unless you, uh, invented Facebook), but instead, you look more like someone who did not care enough about your duties to roll out of bed more than thirty seconds before you had to leave for rush house traffic. You make me question whether you bothered to brush your teeth, and frankly, in a professional setting, that is really something I should never have to question. Prospective romantic partners, investors, customers, grandmothers, and employers love that image, right?
Wearing a bow tie shows you are a gusty leader: I remember reading a terrific quote about bow tie wearers in The New York Times, and as I recall, it said something like this, “Bow ties are worn by doctors, lawyers, and professors, and by people hoping to look like the above…but perhaps most of all, wearing a bow tie is a way of broadcasting an aggressive lack of concern for what other people think.” A bow tie wearer is a man brave enough to stand out in the room, especially when something like 93% of the American male population hides in the herd of department store neckties. A bow tie wearer is a man bold enough to embody propriety, a classic formal accessory that has stood the test of time, a man absolutely unwilling to abandon class or tradition or yield to the fickleness of mere trends. People remember the man or the boy in the bow tie, his independence, his confidence, especially if he is dressed in a pre-tied or self tie bow tie by Extras So Sweet, LLC. Think about it: Have you ever heard people talking the next day about the man at the party in a golf shirt and Dockers or the guy in a brown necktie when both spent the evening being utterly overshadowed by the man in the bow tie? If I rallied off some famous bow-tie wearers, it would undoubtedly sound like a Who’s Who of gusty leaders. Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and Winston Churchill all wore bow ties, and that duo defeated Hitler. Abraham Lincoln was a bow tie devotee, and he ended slavery, united a divided nation after the Civil War, and remains arguably the best President in American history. As a general rule, if the bow tie was the go-to formal accessory for men brave enough to literally save the world, it is probably something worth adding to your son’s wardrobe.
Wearing a bow tie proves you are practical: How many times have you spotted a man at the office with a coffee stain on his necktie? Or perhaps your toddler leaned over his plate at brunch after church and managed to soak it in maple syrup? From a sensible standpoint, a bow tie simply does not get in the way of life, even in situations when a tie clip on your neck tie will not save you. Pediatricians have long elected to wear bow ties because they remained out of grabbing range for patients. Gynecologists often choose bow ties as well, perhaps for the very same reason. A bow tie will not get caught in the car door when you turn and grab your cup of coffee on the way to the office in the morning. A bow tie will not get trapped in the subway door. A bow tie will not get caught in the cog of machinery like a shredder, garbage disposal, fax machine, or printer. If you have a toddler, a bow tie also will not get in the way or risk getting sprinkled when your little man decides to slip out of the reception and perch himself over the urinal on his own. As the chief overseer of household laundry and mother of a five year-old determined to establish his independence, particularly in public restrooms, that reason alone is enough to make certain that he is always dressed for church or a special event in a bow tie. If the guy in your life is acrobatic enough to still manage to get a stain on his bow tie, Extras So Sweet, LLC has you covered, in that, all of the bow ties are washable and come packaged with special instructions on how to spot clean them. View the entire Extras So Sweet, LLC line of bow ties here: http://www.tuxgear.com/cart/handmade-bow-ties/handmade-pre-tied-bow-ties-c-227_233_249.html
Wearing a bow tie projects both intellectualism and masculinity: Bow ties have recently experienced resurgence in the fashion world with many labeling them “Geek Chic,” perhaps a tribute to the list of impactful intellectuals and Nobel Prize winners who proudly wear them. Albert Einstein always wore a bow tie. So did Thomas Edison, Mark Twain, and Sigmund Freud. There is fierce debate among bow tie aficionados about whether a man should select a self tie or pre-tied bow tie, and even though our Tuxgear Style Experts can easily show you how to tie a self tie bow tie, I think some of the intellectualism among bow tie wearers comes from simply being able to prove that the wearer is capable of tying the self tie model! (Hint: It isn’t hard at all and never has to be perfect, but self tie devotees, we’ll keep your secret. You are elite and awesome!) At Extras So Sweet, LLC, we let you come down on either side of that debate without any judgment as every single model of our bow ties is available in self tie and pre-tied varieties! Modern media moguls like Jay-Z and professional athletes like Cam Newton, Richard Sherman, and Russell Westbrook often sport bow ties. Apple and Pixar co-founder Steve Jobs wore bow ties whenever he elected to forego his infamous black mock turtleneck. The bow tie allows its wear to demonstrate he is a bit of a Renaissance Man-a man with respect for classic style yet brave enough to stand out from the herd, a leader engaging in an act of defiance surrounded by sheep in department store neckties. Movie screen renegades like Humphrey Bogart always preferred bow ties as did Rat Packer, Frank Sinatra, who always did things his way. Even beloved fictional characters embody the bold truth that the bow tie projects a perfect combination of intellectualism and masculinity. Dr. Who wears bow ties. Indiana Jones wears a bow tie. James Bond wears a bow tie. Professional athlete Dhani Jones, a strictly bow tie man, perfectly surmised the power of the bow tie: “When you wear a bow tie, doors open for you. Your posture is a little more erect. Your shoulders are a little further back. Your style is a little more dynamic. It’s about the re-establishment of the gentleman.”
Have I convinced you yet to add a bow tie or ten to your wardrobe? To put your husband or your sons in them and to watch their swagger come to life right before your eyes? If so, I can unabashedly say that you will not find a better handmade bow tie on the market than those created by Extras So Sweet, LLC. Every variety is hand sewn in the United States, available in all sizes from infant to adult, and every pattern is available in self tie and pre-tied varieties. Our prices are always reasonable with almost every single bow tie less than $20, and we have some amazing Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales coming up! Since I am betting my supervisor may not make it this far through my blog entry, I can also let you in on a little secret. Since November is the month of thankfulness, you can save 10% on your bow tie right now by typing the promo code, “Thanks,” at check out! And if my boss asks, you did not hear that from me…
When I started writing for Tuxgear, Inc. and Extras So Sweet, LLC, I was surprised at the number of men who sheepishly told me they did not see themselves as “bow tie guys.” Since I have been told that I don’t really have a filter, I wanted to ask them: So, you don’t want women like me to see you as an intellectual? A gentleman? A hero? A masculine, confident leader? A practical guy? A game changer? A man that changes the world? Oh, ok. To those men a little hesitant about embracing the bow tie, I challenge you to reject the herd and choose a bow tie. Keep company with great men and great minds. The first step in making a change…well, in this case, is really just putting on the bow tie, so pick out a handmade bow tie from Extras So Sweet, LLC and let the world see you for the man you really are, the man you aspire to be. When I see a boy in a bow tie, especially for the first time, I cannot help but smile, and in my mind, the words of one of my favorite bow tie devotees immediately come to mind: Here’s looking at you, kid!
What You Need To Know About Boys' Knickerbockers and Boys' Knicker Sets
Posted On 11/01/2014 By Lauren Allison
In an effort to continue to educate our customers on the latest trends in formal wear, especially for boys and young men, we talked with Tuxgear CEO, Sandy Lindley, this week about the ultimate vintage option for your holiday photos or your ringbear, boys’ knickerbockers or “knickers” (or “knee pants). We asked Sandy specially why she thinks the “vintage” look seems particularly en vogue, even for young men, and what you should look for and important things to keep in mind when purchasing any knickerbockers for the little man in your life.
Q: MY FAMILY DECIDED TO DO THE VINTAGE LOOK FOR FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHS, AND MY DAUGHTER WOULD LIKE ME TO HELP HER CHOOSE A PAIR OF BOYS’ KNICKERS FOR MY GRANDSON TO WEAR. WHAT SHOULD I BE LOOKING FOR IN A PAIR OF KNICKERS OR A KNICKERBOCKER SET? IS THIS A STYLE CHOICE THAT WOULD MAKE OUR PHOTOS LOOK DATED OR SILLY IN A FEW YEARS?
A: Knickerbockers, often referred to in the United States as boys’ knickers or knee pants, are a form of baggy-kneed trousers, popularized in the early 20th century. Knickerbockers have long been associated with sporting endeavors, such as baseball, fencing, and even American football officiating, as they often allow the wearer more range of movement and breathability while preserving the formality of expected dress. In recent years, boys’ knickerbockers or knicker sets have become very popular for those customers looking for a more classic or vintage look for photographs, parties, or other formal events, and most boys’ knicker sets should include (1) a pair of knickerbocker trousers in a cotton, wool, or deluxe microfiber blend, (2) a cotton, button-up, flat front dress shirt, (3) a pair of suspenders, and (4) a boys’ eton hat or newsboy-style hat to match the trousers. To ensure the complete Tuxgear formal look, we always encourage our customers to make certain they order matching boys’ knee socks in white or ivory and Luna dress shoes to perfectly compliment your knickerbockers. These boys’ formal accessories are absolutely essential for the finished look and may be difficult for shoppers to find, especially if they resort to ordering separates or a boys’ knicker set manufactured in China, constructed clumsily of mystery fabric, and deeply discounted on eBay. For Tuxgear customers, we want to be the one-stop shop for the completely authentic vintage look for the special young man in your life, and our style experts visit with our customers personally to ensure they never forget important things like boys’ knee socks when they purchase any suit or set from our company. Completing your formal look at the moment you place your order is part of the Tuxgear commitment to customer service. The idea is to always avoid any last minute hunting in your home town for a specialty item or boys’ formal accessory you did not know you needed when you placed your order. At Tuxgear.com, we do not expect our customers to have to ask the questions like, “Does my boys’ knickerbocker set include knee socks in ivory or must I order them separately?” We strive to make certain our Tuxgear style experts inform our customers of exactly what to expect with any purchase and offer helpful suggestions to ensure our customers are not left scrambling to find boys’ accessories, like boys’ dress socks, boys’ belts, boys’ suspenders, locally at the very last minute in order to prevent some photograph where your kiddo is wearing thick, cotton, ankle socks and tennis shoes with his otherwise perfectly vintage knickerbockers. We want those often overlooked but essential accessories to be neatly included in your order and delivered promptly to your doorstep from Tuxgear.
-Knickerbockers are considered vintage attire, part of the recent trend that appears to have earnest staying power. We often have Tuxgear customers inquire with us about whether vintage fashion is something we think will stand the test of time as parents and grandparents consider dressing the little man in their life in something like boys’ knickerbockers, boys’ suspenders, and a boys’ eton cap for family photographs. At Tuxgear, we believe the historical homage of the vintage look will remain fashionable for the long term, and since fashion or style choices always offer an opportunity for self-expression, Tuxgear firmly believes that choosing a vintage outfit like boys’ knickerbockers for your party or special event certainly sends an important message. Vintage clothing, including boys’ knicker sets, often refers to clothing popularized at the turn of the 20th century, often before the 1920s, although you may find the term “vintage” used generically to refer to anything old. When you consider the historical implications of the time, a fashion item like boys’ knickerbockers became exceedingly popular during the “Roaring Twenties,” a time of rapid economic growth and social change for our world. The First World War was finally over. Cinema now with sound offered Americans an artistic escape. Women, clothed in flapper dressers and head wreaths, celebrated the opportunity to pursue life as more than just housewives with new abilities to work and to vote. In many ways, the choice to embrace a more vintage look for your special event or photograph seems to embody the go-getter, can-do spirit of a time of great optimism and hope in contemporary society. Dressing your young man in vintage clothing like Tuxgear boys’ knickers is an ode to a very classic look with a particularly progressive message about life in our modern world. In short, we love the concept of vintage fashion, and with so many customers choosing to wisely embrace this look year round for events like vintage fairs and markets, Tuxgear is firmly committed to keeping the boys’ knickerbockers a permanent part of our catalogue.
-When it comes to selecting boys’ knickerbockers, remember, like all things in life, you get what you pay for. Remember, a boys’ knicker set is considered formal or dress attire much like a boys’ suit or daytime tuxedo, so quality, like affordability, must be a critical factor when a customer makes his or her selection of boys’ knickers. We absolutely cringe when we hear horror stories from customers that call us for help when the boys’ knicker set they ordered from some questionable seller on eBay for less than $20 arrives in the wrong size, missing a boys’ newsboy cap, or suspenders with no stretch or flexibility and cheap hardware that either breaks altogether or snags the trouser fabric when affixed to the knickerbockers. Simply put, size, fabric choice (for optimal washability), and construction must always be weighed more heavily when selecting formal attire for boys or young men as children are always more active in dress clothing than adults. At Tuxgear, we choose every item in our catalogue to ensure your young man will have, for example, knickerbockers that do not split at the seams if he elects to race down the aisle to work off the wiggles before the ceremony and boys’ knee socks you can easily launder to remove the grass stains he acquired during a game of tag at your outdoor reception. Tuxgear proudly offers a wide variety of boys’ knicker sets in stylish colors and stripes and uniquely chic accessories like checkered or patterned boys’ suspenders or even a navy or burgundy velvet vest for the holiday season, all competitively priced for around $30 per set. View our entire Tuxgear collection of boys’ knicker sets here: http://www.tuxgear.com/cart/boys-formal-wear/boys-knickers-c-178_101.html
-For our Tuxgear customers looking for a more elegant, keepsake quality vintage look for their photographs or special event, we also proudly offer custom boys’ knicker sets by Extras So Sweet, LLC, with handmade, pre-tied boys’ bow ties in a variety of stylish colors and patterns like plaids, paisley, and pin dot, one-of-a-kind knickerbocker fabrics, and more colorful and elastic suspenders for maximized flexibility with more durable hardware to ensure your boys’ knickerbockers are never snagged or torn while remaining perfectly in place around your young man’s waist during every moment of your special event, all for less than $60 per set. View the entire Extras So Sweet, LLC collection of custom boys’ knicker sets here: http://www.tuxgear.com/cart/extras-so-sweet/custom-boys-knicker-sets-c-227_243.html
-If you are shopping for the perfect vintage look for your little ringbearer, all of our boys’ knicker sets look terrific with any one of our handsewn ring pillows by Extras So Sweet, LLC, all featuring polished patterns in burlap, hemp, lace, satin, and venice beaded trim. View the entire Extras So Sweet, LLC, collection of handmade original ring pillows here: http://www.tuxgear.com/cart/extras-so-sweet/ring-pillows-c-227_231.html
Why You Should Always BUY, Never RENT Your Ringerbearer Tuxedo
Posted On 10/16/2014 By Lauren Allison
One of the most common questions we get here at Tuxgear, Inc., is why a customer should purchase a boys’ tuxedo or boys’ suit for a wedding or special event when it is seemingly so easy to rent one from a local vendor. To address this critical question, we sat down with Tuxgear, Inc. Chief Executive Officer, Sandy Lindley, a formal wear expert with over three decades in the industry, and we asked her to provide us with a few major reasons to BUY and never RENT your boys’ fashion suit or boys’ tuxedo. Her answers provided amazing insight we felt compelled to share with any customer in the market for boys’ tuxedo or boys’ suit, especially if your little man has the honor of being the ringbearer at any upcoming wedding.
Q: MY SON IS GOING TO BE A RINGBEARER AT A WEDDING IN A FEW MONTHS. WHY SHOULD WE BUY A BOYS’ TUXEDO FROM TUXGEAR, INC. INSTEAD OF JUST GOING TO THE FORMALWEAR STORE HERE IN OUR HOMETOWN TO RENT THE BOYS’ TUXEDO THAT HE PROBABLY WILL ONLY WEAR FOR ONE DAY?
A: GREAT QUESTION! IT IS CERTAINLY A QUESTION MANY OF OUR TUXGEAR, INC. CUSTOMERS ASK ME EVERY DAY WHEN TAKING CUSTOMER SERVICE CALLS. HERE ARE THE ESSENTIALS FOR WHY IT IS POSITIVELY IMPERATIVE TO BUY RATHER THAN RENT YOUR BOYS’ TUXEDO FOR THE BIG DAY!
- Rental Retailers are expensive. Whether the family of the ringbearer must bear the cost or the bride and groom bear the cost of the rental, either would be lucky to find a traditional tuxedo or wedding day suit with all of the accessories for less than $100. At Tuxgear, we are consistently secret-shopping our competitors, especially those in the rental industry, and this past week, we could not find such a rental suit for less than $150 in or 3T, 4T, or a 5T size. Those expenses only increase when families wait until the last minute to rent the tuxedo. So, if you have a wedding that is not planned six months to a year in advance, the reality is you are assuredly going to pay more at Rental Retailer. At Tuxgear, our product prices never increase whether you plan to marry in one year or one week from your order date, and we can get you a Tuxedo crafted especially for your child, one that will not require week’s works of costly alternations, on your doorstep the very next day after your place your order. Planning ahead is never a bad thing, and we encourage our Tuxgear customers to take advantage of our unique over order policy that allows families to order one to two additional sizes of the same tuxedo or suit to ensure optimal fit with the option to return up to two for a full refund. It absolutely makes no sense to rent an ill-fitting tuxedo from a rental retailer for over $100 when you could own a tuxedo made especially and fitted perfectly for your ringbearer for less $60.
- Rental Retailers do not carry true children’s sizes. What most retailers do not tell their customers is that they actually do not carry true children’s sizes in most of their suits and tuxedos, but they are not about to miss the opportunity to make a sale of several tuxedos for an entire wedding party based on that tiny detail. So, they send a suit that is really a young man’s suit that has been altered within an inch of its life by some seamstress in another country, ill-fitting in all the awful places, and try to tell the mother of the ringbearer that this is a quality item that just needs to be “taken in a little to fit your son.” Further, anybody that has ever been part of a wedding party knows that the tuxedos actually do not actually arrive at the wedding site until mere days before the ceremony, so now, this frantic mother is desperately trying to locate a professional seamstress to save this rented tuxedo, one she will enjoy the benefit of for essentially one day if she is lucky, to pay for alterations that likely will cost as much as the rented tuxedo itself. If you have ever been in a wedding party, do you recall any wedding where all of the rented tuxedos arrived on time, the groomsmen came in for the fitting, and the shopkeeper, who personally measured them himself, stood back and exclaimed, “Wow! They all just fit like a glove?” No matter the sales pitch, it just does not happen. Imagine how difficult it is when trying to make what is really an adult suit somehow fit a 5 year-old without swallowing him in the process.
- Rental Retailers have hidden fees. Rental retailers often hook couples with the idea that all the men in their ceremony will have designer Italian suits, and even the most cost-minded couples who will likely be on their honeymoon when the bill arrives, tend to overlook this cost in their wedding budget. Most of these such suits, while undoubtedly stylish, are made of wool, a heavy, unbreathable fabric with very little give for movement during the ceremony. Now, think about a summer wedding complete with a sit down dinner, and a dance floor where the wedding party celebrates the happy the couple into the wee hours of the morning. Factor in a little (or a lot) of alcohol at this special, once-in-a-lifetime event. When the men return the tuxedos or suits to the rental retailer, they often must be professionally cleaned or perhaps even have a seem or two repaired, and the rental retailer will surely charge you far more than your local dry cleaner or tailor because they are most interested in rapidly readying those suits to rent to the next wedding party. Those costs for a designer Italian wool suit could easily exceed $100. Now, think about your ringbearer rental suit. Remember the one you already spent a fortune to alter? Well, now it might have grass stains on the knees of the boys’ tuxedo trousers, wedding cream cake filling on the satin lapel, chocolate finger prints on the crisp white boys’ tuxedo shirt that the precious little ringbear used as a napkin, and a few seams that need attention after he charmed all of the bridesmaids on the dance floor. Your Rental Retailer could charge you $100 or more to clean and repair that designer Italian wool suit for your little boy just, well, being a little boy, and at Tuxgear, where we specialize in formal attire for infants, boy, and young men, we simply do not think such a secretive practice is ethical or honest.
- Rental Retailers have stringent return policies. Once the shopkeeper has already made the sale for the entire wedding party, he or she really loses interest in the customer service aspect of returning any rented suit for the ringbearer. With over three decades in the wedding industry, we have heard some horror stories about shopkeepers requiring rented tuxedos and suits to be returned before 10 AM the morning after of the ceremony when the shop itself may not open till 9 AM. Many families attend church services the morning after a Saturday wedding ceremony. Many Saturday night wedding guests are, well, suddenly stricken with dehydration and a migraine headache after the wedding and have trouble getting to the rental retailer at the designated time. Many out-of-town wedding guests are busily packing and checking out of hotels for the return voyage home and simply do not have time to adhere to this inconvenient policy. Many mothers of the ringbearer have a hysterical child on their hands that did not get enough sleep because of the exciting reception the evening before and cannot load all of the rented items and the screaming child into the minivan in order to meet that deadline. So, what happens when you miss the return deadline? You guessed it: Your Rental Retailer charges you, yet again, with a late fee you never anticipated in your budget. Tuxgear sells you the boys’ tuxedo or boys’ suit, so we happily invite you to attend church, to take some aspirin and sleep in, to throw it in your suitcase and go, or to do whatever is most convenient for your family.
- Rental Retailers hide behind local shopkeepers to trick you into believing you are getting something local. At Tuxgear, we have many customers that seem apprehensive about ordering a ringbear’s suit or ringbear’s tuxedo from a “place on the Internet,” but in reality, if you went into your local formal wear store, they are ordering from their designated men’s formalwear wholesaler, likely outside the United States, and falsely reassuring you that you are buying local . If you select your boys’ suit or boys’ tuxedo complete with suspenders and bow tie from a catalogue or portfolio inside the local vendor’s shop, you can know, in all likelihood, you are ordering some mass produced, clumsily constructed suit or tuxedo made overseas (and by overseas, we do not mean Italy) with “Made in Italy” inaccurately stitched inside the jacket. Most local vendors simply cannot afford to maintain to a warehouse with suits and tuxedos in every size and every style at all times, so they order the cheapest suit they can find on the Internet, perhaps even sew their own label somewhere on the suit, while turning around and badmouthing those American businesses that happen to be open about the practice of selling quality boys’ suits and boys’ tuxedos on the Internet. Do not be fooled. If the shop keeper cannot show you the boys’ suit or boys’ tuxedo in the precise size and style you desire in the shop at that very second, they are ordering it off the Internet, and if you are going to do that anyway, it makes the very most sense to order from Tuxgear, a business that specializes in formal attire for your son. We can even accent the boys’ suit or boys’ tuxedo with a professionally hand sewn bow tie from our elite line of products made in Meridian, Idaho, Extras So Sweet, LLC, for less than $20. View our entire Extras So Sweet, LLC, bow tie collection here: http://www.tuxgear.com/cart/extras-so-sweet/handmade-bow-ties-c-227_233.html
-Rental Retailers offer suits constructed with fabric not designed for children’s clothing. There is certainly a reason why all children’s clothing is not made out of wool or silk. These fabrics are expensive, difficult to clean, unbreathable, and completely unsuitable for an active young man. Recently, elastic waistbands have become somewhat unfashionable, even though keeping boys’ trousers in place during the ceremony seems to us to be rather ideal. At Tuxgear, we offer many of our suits in a deluxe polyester-cotton or micofiber blend, and we do so because we understand our customers. These blends allow your ringbearer to move comfortably without sweating during the ceremony and the reception and look virtually identical to but are far less expensive than their wool counterparts. Almost every Tuxgear boys’ suit or boys’ tuxedo include elastic waistbands, including those hidden and fully adjustable inside the waistline of the boys’ trousers, to, with the help of a Tuxgear boys’ belt or boys’ suspenders, keep the boys’ trousers in place while allowing him to run, to dance at the reception while keeping his pants at the waistline where they should be. Almost every single Tuxgear boys’ suit or boys’ tuxedo is machine washable on a gentle cycle and never require expensive professional cleaning. So, if you elect to purchase a Tuxgear boys’ suit or boys’ tuxedo, those grass stains on the knees are easily removable for the cost of barely a cup or scoop of laundry detergent. Although we do offer over 100 different varieties of satin or satin blend ties, we also offer many handmade deluxe 100% boys’ neck ties and boys’ bow ties from Extras So Sweet, LLC for less than $20 that are always machine washable on gentle cycle in case your little man needs to remove a little cheese or chocolate fondue from his favorite Tuxgear tie. View our entire Extras So Sweet, LLC, bow tie collection here: http://www.tuxgear.com/cart/extras-so-sweet/handmade-bow-ties-c-227_233.html
Nobody Likes A Naked Suit
Posted On 10/02/2014 By Lauren Allison
When I started shopping for boys’ formal wear for my son, Jack, one of the very first things that drew me to Tuxgear.com was its firm commitment to the finished formal look. As the hardly reformed sorority girl of the Tuxgear.com team with an obsessive eye for detail, I have been to enough formal dances and other events, including many beautiful weddings for my Kappa sisters, and noticed far too many guys giving formal wear a valiant effort but never altogether succeeding. You know precisely the type: These are the guys of all ages that arrive at a “Black Tie” event in a clip-on bow tie, the ones that probably picked up their prom date with rubber bands in place to keep their French cuffed dress shirt from gaping at the wrists because they were too cheap to purchase some basic cufflinks, the mother who dressed her little ringbearer with white socks in lieu of black dress socks to accompany his designer boys’ tuxedo. When I see these formal wear fashion faux pas, I immediately have this tiny voice inside my head whisper, “Oh, almost, but not quite.” What is, in fact, most troubling about these fashion missteps is that, in the very same way a handmade bow tie (perhaps one from our Extras So Sweet, LLC collection) sends the message that the wearer is “geek chic” and “fashion forward,” the failure to properly accessorize your boys’ suit, men’s suit, boys’ tuxedo, or men’s tuxedo also sends a message, and perhaps it is not one you ever considered when shopping and skimping on boys’ formal attire.
Allow me to more thoroughly explain: When you contact Tuxgear.com, a business where our style experts have been in the formal wear industry for more than forty years, they will always remind you that, if you need a boys’ dress suit, boys’ tuxedo, men’s suit, or men’s tuxedo, it is critical to finish your look with the proper formal accessories. Guys only really ever take the opportunity to wear a suit or tuxedo on a very special occasion, a Bar Mitzvah, a wedding, a “Black Tie” fundraiser. In order to reflect the reverence you have the significance of the event itself and its hosts and hostesses, your suit needs to communicate not only your personal style but your personal pride in being an invited or honored guest at the event. In this regard, failing to properly accessorize your boys’ tuxedo or boys’ suit is borderline disrespectful, and the choice to avoid accessories sends a clear message to your hosts: Your event really isn’t important enough for me to be bothered with looking my personal best. Take the example of the mother who dressed her little ringbearer in white cotton socks with his boys’ tuxedo and boys’ tuxedo shoes. For the sake of argument, let’s simply assume this wedding was planned six months in advance. What message does her choice not to simply purchase some black dress socks send to the wedding party? The mother and father of the bride paying for this joyous event? I have a few possibilities, but frankly, none reflect too positively on the ringbearer’s mother. Can you imagine the ringbearer’s mother telling the bride, “Oh, I know this is the most important day of your life, but I completely spaced it and forgot to order some black socks because that is how little this day means to me?” What about her telling the mother of the bride, “I realize you and your husband have spent literally thousands on this wedding, but I just could not spare the less than $10 dollars it would take to complete the finished formal look for your ringbearer, even though he is in the wedding party.” Perhaps, even worse, can you imagine her saying, “Is there something wrong with white cotton socks with a tuxedo? I mean, they are fancy enough for me to wear to the gym, so they must be fine for a formal event, right?” Failing to finish your formal look essentially tells your hosts: (1) Your special day is not all that special to me, (2) I’m lazy and inattentive to detail, (3) I’m a cheapskate, (4) I’m tacky, or (5) All of the above. Certainly, accidents happen. As the mother of a five year old, I can attest that traveling across the country for a wedding only to realize you completely forgot to pack a dress belt is infuriating, but when the opportunity to accessorize, especially with inexpensive and quality-made items offered exclusively by Tuxgear.com, presents itself without any inconvenience, seize the moment, ensure your finished formal look, and send the right message at your event.
My breathtakingly beautiful Southern Belle of a grandmother used to say, “The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize,” and in order to further emphasize the importance of a formal finished look, I wanted to share a story of a formal wear oversight, nay, disaster that continues to plague our family to this very day, some forty years after it actually happened. On the day of my parents’ wedding, my grandmother had planned every moment of the ceremony, every look of the wedding party completely from head to toe as dictated precisely by the rules of etiquette. With her at the helm, this event was certainly to be nothing short of glamorous. The ceremony began, the string quartet welcoming the procession of groomsmen arm-in-arm with the far lovelier bridesmaids down the aisle to await the bride, and seated right next the aisle, my grandmother noticed something. One of the groomsmen had neglected to purchase tuxedo shoes like all the others, instead opting for a particular loafer known as the Hushpuppy with white cotton socks. He would later tell my father that the shoes were “too pricey” despite the fact that he easily could have rented some tuxedo shoes for the event for less than $5 on the day of the wedding. Mr. Hushpuppy, as my grandmother would call him through clenched teeth for the rest of her life, and his white cotton socks managed to make it into every single wedding group picture, equipping my grandmother with an eternal reason to grumble every time she flipped through my parents’ wedding album to see the pictures she paid to take to commemorate his cheapness. My grandmother never looked at Mr. Hushpuppy the same way, and her paranoia about the finished formal look certainly contributed to a visit (or two) to the grooms’ room prior to my wedding to thoroughly inspect the attire of every member of the wedding party. After hearing about the fashion sins of Mr. Hushpuppy for multiple decades, I was more than appreciative of her giving all of the men in the wedding party a very thorough inspection, especially before some ghastly fashion choice was memorialized for eternity in the wedding pictures.
So, how can you avoid a fate similar to Mr. Hushpuppy? Remember a simple rule: Nobody likes a naked suit. A naked suit is one bare of any accessories, a bald, off-the-rack, plain number without any finishing touches like boys’ suspenders, cufflinks and stud sets, boys’ bow ties, pocket squares, cummerbunds or vests, even a tie clip in certain circumstances. Many things in this life are quite divine naked; however, a suit simply is not one of them. As a young mother forced to exist on very little sleep (as I sit here editing this blog entry at 3:56 AM), I am proud to share my personal boys’ formal suits and tuxedos accessory checklist, all available at very reasonable prices at www.tuxgear.com only, to help you ensure you have everything you could possibility need to make sure your man reflects the importance of the occasion:
- For a tuxedo….
- Tuxedo Jacket
- Tuxedo Pants
- White, Stiff-Front Tuxedo Shirt
- Bow Tie (Tuxgear.com always carries virtually every color under the sun in stock. There is never a need to special order any such item, a problem I have certainly encountered when shopping about franchises like Men’s Wearhouse)
- Cummerbund or Vest (All colors are always in stock and never special order at Tuxgear.com)
- Black or White Suspenders (Braces)
- Pocket Square (if the event is not considered “White Tie”….If the event is “Black Tie,” choose a white pocket square for the most classic look)
- Black Nylon Dress Socks (With a tuxedo, plain black dress socks are the most appropriate choice)
- Black Tuxedo Dress Shoes (and yes, these are far different from simply black dress shoes in the same way that Hushpuppies are not tuxedo shoes….)
- White gloves (if the event is considered “White Tie”)
- For a suit….
- Suit jacket
- Suit pants
- Stiff, Fold-Down Collar Dress Shirt
- Bow tie or neck tie (I absolutely adore the handmade bow ties, available in both self tie and pre-tied varieties, in the Extras So Sweet line of products available at www.tuxgear.com. Do not leave this website without checking them out!)
- Vest (Optional)
- Belt or Suspenders (Braces) to match
- Cufflinks (if the dress shirt is French cuffed)
- Pocket Square (Again, the hand sewn pocket squares from Extras So Sweet at www.tuxgear.com are, frankly, the best product for an incredible value and worth a look every time you visit our website. Remember, your pocket square should accent but not perfectly match your tie as perfect matches often make it look like perhaps the wearer is trying just a little too hard).
- Matching Dress Socks
- Matching Dress Shoes (Loafers or Hushpuppies are a very poor choice. Have I mentioned that?)
- Tie Clip to match cufflink set, if wearing a neck tie (especially a skinny tie)
Check each item off the list as you purchase at Tuxgear.com, and you can assuredly have yourself an elegantly finished formal look, suit and accessories, for far less than any department store delivered directly to your doorstep in time for your next formal event. Our Tuxgear Style Experts are available by phone at 800.601.5171 to help you select the perfect boys’ suspenders, boys’ braces, pocket squares, vests, cummerbunds, bow ties, and every other formal accessorize to have your young man looking beyond dapper for your special occasion. Let them inspire you with fashion confidence! Call us today and let us help you select the perfect tuxedo or suit complete with all of the formal accessories to ensure even the most particular of grandmothers will not only approve but applaud the very moment she sees your guy with a complete Tuxgear look.
Do you agree with Lauren’s views on the finished formal look? Find her checklist helpful? Think she is a little maniacal about her formal wear? Find us on Facebook or tweet us at @tuxgear and tell us what you think, using the hashtag #NakedSuit to join the conversation.
Welcome to the Tuxgear.com Fashion Blog!
Posted On 09/30/2014 By Lauren Allison
Welcome to the first official post here at the Tuxgear Blog. Each week, our Tuxgear Style Experts plan to keep you informed about the latest trends and styles in formal and dress attire for infants, boys, young men, and men with a new informational blog posted here every Thursday morning. Check back every Thursday to see what advice our Tuxgear Style Experts have for you, and let us know what you think on Twitter by tweeting us at @Tuxgear to join the conversation!
So, without further adieu, please enjoy our first blog posting, written by our resident lawyer, writer, and hardly reformed sorority girl, Lauren Lester Allison, “Nobody Likes A Naked Suit.”
Boys' Designer Charcoal Suit 614 by Fouger USA
Boys' White Dress Shirt by Daniel Ellissa
Boys' Purple Formal Suspenders by Tiny Penguins
Handmade Plaid Bow Tie - Purple-The Dean Bow Tie by Extra’s So Sweet