I will be the first to admit that when I started seeing suits combined with sneakers I was a little slow to embrace the concept. Maybe the side of me that’s occasionally a bit over zealous when it comes to respecting the traditions of classic menswear raised alarms. But as we age, and hopefully become more in tune with how we express ourselves through clothing, I think we loosen up a bit and yearn for new ways to explore and individualize our style. Likewise, the last few years I’ve brushed aside some of those old stuffy pretenses and become a bit more easy going.
Scarves are one of those things that I wish I could convince more men to take advantage of, especially on this side of the pond. Not only can a scarf sharpen almost any ensemble, they are always reliable when it comes to locking in heat; I wouldn't dream of braving a snow storm without the embrace of some plush cashmere around my neck. Perhaps what turns men off of scarves is the popularity amongst women wearing them in so many settings, creating some illusion of femininity. Or maybe the fact that you don't see very many men rocking silk summer scarves is good evidence that we just don’t bother with things that aren’t completely necessary.
When you think about the neck tie, it's a rather peculiar item of clothing. Apart from adorning a shirt and tie, it doesn't really have any practical purpose. The origin of the neck tie apparently dates way back to the French who caught on to the small-knotted neckerchiefs that were worn by soldiers of the Croatian military during the Thirty Years War of the 1600s. This was the birth of the Cravat, as it was known, which was later made fashionable amongst French nobility by King Louis XIV. The industrial revolution eventually ignited the desire for a less complicated, low maintenance cravat to specify one’s status in society; right from the very beginning, the tie possessed an inherent association with position and formality.