Introduction

This article may be a bit of a refresher course for most you beaner’s reading because – as you may well see – we have covered both of these items before. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go over and re-enforce the knowledge you’ve learned (or forgot for that matter).

With Autumn well and truly upon us, now more than ever, is the time for guys to start think about accessories. With the weather no longer restricting how we layer, it’s time to let our imaginations run wild. And there is no easier way to do this than with a tie or a pocket square.

Both these pieces are great because they are the quint-essential masculine accessories. The fact that they’ve been around for years proves this and they are also the only true accessories that women can’t use… or if they do, they are just trying to seduce you. So why wouldn’t you want to incorporate them into your outfits?

Ties

Now for the rules on how to wear a tie check out the other articles that I’ve written on them. But for a quick run-down follow these simple rules:

  • Use your tie as an anchor or a statement – so if you are wearing plaid/striped shirts stick with a solid tie to anchor it in. The same applies with a pattern tie, use a solid coloured shirt.
  • Keep it in the family – if you are wearing a pink shirt, try something in red or orange. Blue? Same principle. What about white? Black, brown or navy. Black? Stick with either navy or grey. A white tie just makes you look like an Italian mobster.
  • Make sure your knot suits your collar – this one is real easy. If you favour a wide-spread collar then start learning a Windsor knot. It will balance out your shirt. For narrow-spreads stick with a four-in-hand.

For this season, I would recommend buying a couple of wool-based ties in striped patterns. They really are the ‘tie of the season’ and as well as being stylish and on trend, will keep your neck warm as well. I tend to favour them in dark neutral colours when the temperature drops because I prefer to us my shirts to add colour to my wardrobe, but you may like it the other way around.

  • ASOS Stripe Skinny Tie
  • ASOS Stripe Skinny Tie
  • Grey Grammar Stripe Slim Tie
  • Navy Striped Slim Textured Tie
  • Fred Perry College Stripe Tie
  • Paul Smith Men's Accessories 618H-102 Black Tie
  • 618H-K33 Damson Tie
  • gucci Diagonal stripe tie
  • gucci Diagonal stripe tie
  • gucci Diagonal stripe tie
  • dunhill Woven tie
  • gucci Check tie
Pocket Squares

Now some of you out there may be thinking that wearing a pocket square should only be something that’s worn for the office. In some respects that is true and if you are interested in them for that reason then check out a recent article I did. However, this doesn’t have to be! They go great with blazers and I’ve recently started putting them with my other jackets as well, like my denim one. The key to pulling one off casually is to buy the right material and wear it properly.

So cotton is the way forward here guys. Silk is for men who sleep on it or Hugh Heffner and that’s it. Also, try to get one that isn’t just plain old white. Experiment and go for ones in plaids or gingham checks and bold primary colours. Don’t worry too much about having it matching other parts of your outfit, in this case breaking the rules shows that you know the rules well.

When it comes to putting it in the pocket, then here you can really go wild. Allow it express your personally a bit. If you’re the kind of person that likes your outfits to be in the right position then sure why not stick with the straight edged look. Or why not just stuff it in and see how that looks? A bit Sprezza Tura goes a long way. My biggest tip is to do the straight edge fold but rather than having it so the folded edge shows, turn it upside down and let messy bits roam!

  • Navy Squares Woven Silk Pocket Scarf, Lanvin
  • Grey Skull Print Pocket Square, Alexander McQueen
  • Red Heart Silk Pocket Square
  • Hackett Tiny Dot Pocket Square
  • Simon Carter Silk Dot Pocket Square
  • Blue Club Silk Pocket Square
  • Black and Blue Circles Pocket Square
  • Navy Paisley Pocket Square
  • Charcoal Spotted Pocket Square
Ways To Wear

And as always here are some fool-proof ways of incorporating ties and pocket squares into your look:

  • Pair a dark solid tie and a primary colour plaid shirt with some chinos and a denim jacket. Then take a gingham check pocket square in the same colour as the plaid and push it into the breast pocket of your jacket. This also works during the spring with a denim shirt instead. The key here is to make sure the denim is on the dark side.
  • With your navy blazer (which I’d hope would be a regular in your wardrobe by now) have a white pocket square to pair it with. Combine the jacket with a white shirt and jeans and you’ve got a classic, simple, smart/casual outfit. As for the tie, why not try a wool striped version. But this time have one of the stripes neutral and the other coloured. My preference is a navy and yellow one I own that really ups the preppy factor.
  • Another great autumn piece is a waistcoat. Pair this with a simple coloured shirt in white, pink or blue and a patterned tie. Maybe go for one that is in a plaid pattern – nearly all high street shops are selling them now – but my favourite are the ones you can find in H&M.

So there you have it, ties and pocket squares are not only a really masculine accessory but if done correctly they can really liven up and individualise an outfit. Go and pick some up for yourselves as soon as possible!

Matt