If there was ever a time of year most appropriate to don festive neckwear, it’s now. But accessorizing isn’t always as simple as it seems.With an ever-increasing array of items available to help men look dapper, it can be hard on the style sensibilities (and even the wallets) of the most accomplished men-about-town to look their best this holiday season and beyond.

That’s why we turned to cult favorite The Tie Bar‘s CEO Michael Alter and VP of Merchandising Allyson Lewis for this issue of the Pursuitist Q&A

Fresh off the launch of their new Washington, DC pop up, The Tie Bar is taking the country by storm as an affordable yet stylish destination for men of all ages to find their ideal accessories “look”. 

Here’s what they have to say about style, holiday gifts, and more. 

So many workplaces are casual now — particularly for Millennials. How do you wear a tie to work and not look stuffy if your workplace is less formal? 

A pocket-square with a cool blazer is a great way to accessorize but foregoes the standard suit and tie in favor of a more casual vibe. A knit tie is also a perfect option if you want something that looks pulled together, but still more casual.

Novelty belts are having a really big moment in the men’s market too. Gone are the days of boring brown or black leather options only. Men are really loving belts in fun new fabrics, colors, and textures, allowing the belt to become a big statement in their look for the first time. – AL

Necktie vs. Skinny Tie. How do you decide which to wear, and when?

Different width sizes all appeal to men in different ways:

  • 2 inches: 2 in. is for true risk takers looking to push the style envelope.
  • 2.5 in. is the classic skinny width that’s ideally suited (no pun intended) for slimmer jacket silhouettes and lapels.
  • 3 in. is the perfect in-between width for the average-sized guy who wants something a bit more modern.
  • 3.25 in. – 3.5 in. is best for larger guys aiming for a more traditional look.

Other things to consider when buying a tie are:

  • Is it similar in size to the width of your jacket’s lapel?
  • Is it proportionate to your body size?
  • Does it appropriately represent your style?

If you answer yes to the questions above then you’ve picked the best width for you! -AL

What knots are most popular? 

Some popular knot styles include:

  • The Windsor tie knot is a wide, triangular knot. Best for spread collar shirts. The most formal tie knot you will find
  • The Half Windsor tie knot is a versatile symmetrical knot. Best for light/medium weight ties.
  • The Four in Hand tie knot is a slightly asymmetrical knot. Best for heavier weight ties
  • The Pratt or Shelby tie knot is a wide knot, although not as wide as a Windsor. It’s a polished look – AL

You’ve had great luck with celebrity endorsements – Jesse Tyler Ferguson and “Tie The Knot,” and Dwyane Wade and his custom collection. Any other partnerships in the works? 

We are so fortunate to have gained a long list of celebrity brand fans over the years. Especially when that has turned into long standing partnerships like our Tie The Knot collection with Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson or our ongoing collection with NBA star Dwyane Wade.

We recently partnered with Neil Patrick Harris who worked with us for Father’s Day this year as a website curator for charity. We also had Andy Samberg wear one of our newest bowtie designs on the red carpet when he hosted the Emmy Awards this year. That was an exciting moment for us too. – MA

From pocket squares to tie bars to lapel pins, men have more options than ever on how to style a look. What’s the best way to determine a signature style? 

Across the board there continues to be a big trend in men’s accessories.

Suiting can quickly become really expensive, and the accessories provide the perfect opportunity to customize your look without having to buy a whole new outfit each time.  You can have one or two suits and get an infinite number of different looks just by incorporating a range of accessories.

Also, accessories provide an affordable way to try a trend that he may not have thought to try before.  For example, if he wants to wear more pink, rather than committing to a pink shirt, he could start by adding a pink tie or pocket square into the mix. – AL

Let’s talk tie and accessory styles. What’s particularly popular right now, and what’s out? 

We’re known for staying ahead of the pack when it comes to trends. The Tie Bar is regularly praised for our innovative use of fabric in neckwear.

We love taking a classic menswear pattern (like glen plaid or window pane) and adding it in with an unexpected fabrications like linen.

Many products like our colored tied bars, one inch tie bars, and flannel ties were introduced by The Tie Bar before anywhere else.

Right now foulard patterns are back in a big way.  We also are loving taking a classic summer pattern like gingham and mixing it in with a fall fabrication like a wool tweed.

Wearing a tie that doesn’t fit well with your size or wearing a tie bar between the wrong buttons will always be out for us! -AL

Holidays are fast approaching, but so many gift guides say “don’t just get dad a tie.” Obviously, you sell ties … so what would you suggest for holiday gifting? 

This holiday season the idea of personalized giving goes into everything The Tie Bar is doing. Whether that be customizing your own gift style boxes in-store or online, custom monograming on scarves, or working with The Tie Bar stylists directly to select a gift based on your guys personality or style. A lot of our accessories such as pocket squares, lapel flowers, or tie bars make for great stocking stuffers and with our unbeatable prices there are so many things to choose from.  Give Dad something that both he and your wallet will appreciate. -AL

What’s next for the brand? 

Our once “pop up” location in Chicago has now operated as our brand’s permanent flagship for the past year.  We see tremendous opportunity to have a permanent store presence in Washington D.C. and additional markets down the line. We are excited to see what comes from our time here.  – MA

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