No matter whether you opt for a four-in-hand or a half-windsor, the right neckwear deserves the right dimple: Noticeable yet subtle, practiced yet effortless. Sounds pretty tricky, we know, but it doesn’t have to be. Here, three techniques that are all but guaranteed to make a serious dent in your neckwear game.

Technique 1: The Accidental Dimple
Okay, this one’s hardly a technique at all. Provided you’ve tied things properly, a dimple will form naturally near the center while you’re tying your tie. Hold it in place with your index finger (from below the knot) as you tighten the knot. Once you’ve cinched everything up, it’s time for some cosmetic work. Pinch the bottom of the knot to accentuate the dimple, while puffing up the sides of the tie just below the knot.

NOTE: While a symmetrical half-windsor knot should have a centered dimple, a four-in-hand is a naturally off-kilter knot, and looks best with a dimple that’s slightly askew.

Technique 2: The Pen Trick
Having trouble creating the right crevice for your dimple? Slide a pen or pencil (or a knitting needle, if you live with your grandmother) into the unfinished tie knot, right before that final tightening. Now pull the knot tight while holding your implement of choice a couple inches above the knot itself. This will help the knot create a natural divot, and you’ll have enough slack left in the tie to finesse it into exactly the right spot as you finish tightening your knot. Slide it out, and be careful not to get ink on your shirt or tie.

Technique 3: The Side Dimple (a k a, the “Lino”)
The side dimple is less pronounced than the centered version, with the edge of the tie slightly flipped up and running through the right hand side of the knot. This is particularly endemic to knit ties, and calls to mind the Italian guy at your local café (or on your local men’s style blog) whose daily agenda seems to consist solely of sipping espresso and looking cool. If it doesn’t happen on its own, try this: fold up a small section as you’re tying your tie, and ensure it doesn’t flip down as you tighten the knot.

NOTE: This is strictly a four-in-hand procedure, but then, if you’re wearing a knit tie you should be using a four-in-hand anyway.

Hey guys, New York City guy here. I have a daytime wedding and reception to go in August, so I know it’s going to be on the warmer side. As a result, I plan on wearing a khaki suit. I was thinking about wearing a white oxford-type of shirt because it’s lightweight versus a traditional/work attire white button down. Is this acceptable to do?

An oxfordcloth shirt is indeed less dressy than one made from broadcloath (see our complete guide to dress shirts for more insight), but then, sometimes style trumps formality. Provided you get yourself the right oxford shirt, a daytime wedding in August can definitely be one of those moments. Since it’s an inherently casual look, the key is to class it up with right accessories, such as a slim silk tie and a pocket square—which will look especially sharp with that khaki suit. Do it right and you’ll send the message that you’re rocking a more casual shirt as a matter of choice rather than cluelessness. And it’s a practical choice, too: A daytime wedding in New York August is bound to be hot, and if you’re having a good time you’re going to sweat. The great thing about oxfordcloth is how easy it is to clean. Just chuck it in the wash the next day and you’re good to go for work the next week.

All of this assumes, by the way, that you’re already covered in the footwear department. Drop me a line if not and I’d be happy to advise—or, if you’re in a mood to browse, start with these toffee-colored double-monks from To Boot, which will look great with that suit—and with jeans and that white oxford shirt the following weekend.

Rules of Style (Volume 3)

By Style Is Power, June 23rd, 2010,in Rules of Style » | No Comments »

Style Rule #9
Patterned socks should be worn with a solid color suit

Style Rule #11
Wear either suspenders or a belt, never both

Style Rule #29
Style cannot be bought

More Rules of Style

By Style Is Power, June 8th, 2010,in Rules of Style » | 38 Comments »

Style Rule #7
Tall, slender men: avoid stripes

Style Rule #23
Your sports coat and trousers should not match, but should complement each other

Style Rule #37
Your tie should complement your jacket, not strictly match it .

The Rules of Style

By Style Is Power, May 24th, 2010,in Rules of Style » | 49 Comments »

Style Rule #19
If you can’t slip two fingers between your collar and your neck the shirt is too small.

Style Rule #36
Your sports coat and trousers should not match, but should complement each other.

Style Rule #41
Your shirt color should be lighter than your tie.