In today’s modern society, it’s just as important for men to look their best as it is for women.
And even if you think you’ve got your jacket, shirt, trousers and shoes picked out already, there are still accessories to think about. These little last-minute extras can totally make or break an outfit. To help you get heads turning for all the right reasons, here’s our men’s style guide on how to accessorise using ties, bowties and cufflinks. And for the ladies, read on to find out what you can get your guys as gifts!
You might not have given much thought to the small fasteners that keep your shirtsleeves together before, but they can really add an extra layer of style and finesse to an outfit, as well as reveal a lot about your character if you choose a pair you connect with personally.
There are far too many different styles of cufflink to mention them all, but here are some of the most popular designs:
- Knot cufflinks – the most affordable type, made from one or multiple coloured threads woven together
- Chain link cufflinks – the original cufflink made of a small chain connecting two metal bars
- Stud/button cufflinks – the most secure style with one large front-end circle connected to a smaller back-end circle via a metal bar
- Bullet back cufflinks – the most common type of cufflink with a simple and secure fastening
- Locking dual-action cufflinks – very modern design that clips into place
Just like cufflinks come in all kinds of styles, they’re also made out of all kinds of materials. Here’s a small selection of the most common:
- Silk – used in knot cufflinks for a fun, casual look
- Glass – usually reserved for modern, informal designs and lasts a lifetime
- Sterling silver – bright, elegant, durable and can be used in a variety of styles
- Precious stones – colourful and can be framed with precious metals for a more refined, formal look
- Crystal – has a natural sparkle and comes in a wide range of colours, best suited for formal events
- Gold – elegant, valuable and noble material for a truly sophisticated look
Types of Ties
Thankfully, there aren’t as many types of ties as there are cufflinks. The three main types of ties are:
- Four-in-hand necktie – the most common tie suitable for all occasions and comes in a variety of widths, materials, patterns and colours
- Seven fold tie – made from a square of silk that’s folded seven times, this tie doesn’t have a lining but it’s incredibly thick and perfect for making big knots and big statements
- Skinny necktie – a narrow tie that became popular in the 50s and 60s, this tie works equally well in the office and on a night out
3 Types of Knot Tie Every Man Should Know
There’s more than one way to tie a necktie. In fact, there are many, many ways, each of which gives your outfit a new look and says something different about your personality. But before you start experimenting with knot ties, it’s important you know how to do the three basics:
- Four-in-hand – a simple and versatile tie that’s slender, easy to do and slightly asymmetrical
- Half-Windsor – a medium-sized almost symmetrical knot that creates a deep dimple
- Windsor – the half-Windsor knot tie with an even larger knot and dimple
3 Types of Knot Tie for the More Adventurous
When you’ve mastered the four-in-hand, half-Windsor and Windsor, it’s time to move onto these more adventurous knots:
- Eldredge – a seriously eye-catching knot that involves 15 separate steps but produces amazing results
- Trinity – resembling the Celtic Triquetra knot, the trinity creates a rounded, slightly asymmetrical shape that’s visually striking
- Van Wijk – a tall and cylindrical knot that creates a striking, unmistakably helical effect
The most formal of all men’s neckwear, bowties can take you out of your comfort zone but they’re definitely not something to be afraid of. A well-chose and perfectly tied bowtie will make your outfit exude class and sophistication at any event. After all, James Bond wore them for a reason!
Types of Bowties
- The Butterfly (aka Thistle) – the standard shape most people are familiar with that suits virtually all face shapes and occasions
- The Big Butterfly (aka Jumbo Butterfly) – often paired with a tuxedo, this shape is larger than the standard butterfly and ideal for adding a cheeky edge to your outfit
- The Batwing (aka Straight or Slim) – the smallest in height and creates a clean, modern look more suitable for less formal events than the previous two bowties
- The Diamond Point – instead of being flat, the edges are pointed like a diamond, giving it more personality than the standard shapes
- The Rounded Club – the rarest type of bowtie with rounded edges to make a big impact
It’s Time to Take Action
Now that you know everything there is about ties, bowties and cufflinks, it’s time to put all this knowledge into practice and start planning your next outfit. Whether you’re getting ready to go to a classy formal event or are just preparing for another day at the office, we’ve put together suggestions to help you accessorise your outfit for each occasion.
If you’re going for a formal event…
You want to look classy and sophisticated, you can’t go wrong with a set of gold cufflinks in chain link, stud/button or bullet back styles. Pair these with a solid black bowtie in a big butterfly style for a straightforward formal look or a diamond point style for a bit more personality.
Dressing for casual events mean…
You want to impress the people around you but not appear overly flash, choose silk knot, glass or stainless steel cufflinks. Skip the bowtie and instead pick a necktie with a polka dot, paisley or striped pattern and tie it in a four-in-hand or half-Windsor knot.
Everyday work wear…
Can be tricky to pull off the smart-casual look that you find in most workplaces, but the right accessories will help you do just that. Silk knot, glass, stainless steel and chain link cufflinks are all suitable for the office and can help you add a touch of familiarity and character to your suit. For more casual workplaces, a brown, green or dark red (depending on the colour of your shirt) necktie in plaid, polka dot or paisley works well. But if you’re in more of a formal work environment, stick with a white, grey or navy blue tie in stripes or a pin dot pattern and go for one of the three must-know knot ties.
Preparing for a night out…
Means you should look out for classic yet stylish cufflinks, such as chain link, precious stone or sterling silver cufflinks, that compliment your outfit to impress your date. If it’s a formal event you’re attending, go with the bowtie and a batwing knot for a modern edge or a rounded club knot for added flair. If it’s a slightly more casual event you’re going to, choose a silk tie in black or white and opt for an impressive Eldredge or Van Wijk knot.
With this ultimate guide in hand, we’re sure you’ll be able to slay your next outfit!