Please Stop

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I recently jested that I would spend some blog time on fashion. Then, on Thursday, the fates decided to jest with me a tad. My hospital has a large summer program for local high school students. The students will basically be assigned a mentor and spend the summer learning from the mentor and going to job-related training sessions. Very internship-y.

Anywho, I got wrangled into providing the “Dress For Success” session. Stop laughing, Jake. It’s in July so I have a while to figure out what I am going to say. However, one thing keeps coming to mind. One “rule” to provide to a future job seeking male. And a way to stymie a growing pet peeve.

Ties = Accent pieces. Dudes, they are not, NOT meant to blend into your shirt like some silken chameleon. ACCENT. 

We can have a long debate about patterned ties with patterned shirts (note: the general rule is to avoid “busy-ness”, so it is permissible), but at the end of the day — you just shelled out $$ on a fancy rope that will be making you uncomfortable for the next 8-16 hours, let people see it. And if you notice a stealthy, possibly black-ops trained, tie on a colleague, perhaps choose NOT to see it. Ask that sharply dressed colleague, “what, no tie today?” and then act shocked — like you just saw the schooner in the Magic Eye picture, “OH, there it is!”

A slightly lesser known rule: pocket squares shouldn’t match your tie (or cuff links).

Please feel free to comment below, and we can hopefully hash some of your questions/concerns/disagreements in a civilized manner.

8 thoughts on “Please Stop”

  1. I’m guilty of my first-ever fashion faux pas. I bought the tie, the matching pocket square came with it, and I thought, hey, why not? Devastating.

    I have only worn pocket squares for evening events. I think they are a bit loud for the office.

  2. I recall a student in Prof. Hurt’s entourage (or was it posse?) who put everyone else to sartorial shame. Hmmm, I may even have a picture somewhere. I’m glad to hear you are sharing your fashion skillz with the young ones.

  3. I wouldn’t want to absolutely bar bolo ties, as I am sure that some savvy person can make them work. However, generally, I feel the presumption would be “no bolo ties.” Especially if you are Johnny Cash (think about it).

    Steve, are you referring to the time in 2006 where Professor Christine Hurt won me in the PILS auction? She blogged about it here:

    NB: Prof. Hurt and I discussed her theme music (which I played on portable speakers attached to my iPod as we sauntered around Sensenbrenner Hall) for some time. For those of you who are interested, that song is Windy by the Association. I think this speaks volumes about the Business Law Blogger’s general demeanor. You Go Girl!

  4. Quick note given the personal replies I’ve gotten:

    Take the advice with a grain of salt. I’ve once been told that I dress “like an old man.” Broke my heart, it did. 😛

    Probably some fallout due to my brief employment at Brooks Brothers. (BTW, Abraham Lincoln wore [and presumably was buried in] Brooks Brothers, so good company there.)

  5. I did laugh. Also, take it from a guy that lived in Arizona for approximately 15 years, bolo ties are never acceptable in a professional setting. No matter how large the turquoise stone in your tie, you will look like a bumpkin.

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