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Ask The Tailor: Cuffed Jeans and Tie Clips

The Tailor - Tailored ManHello again my fashion-conscious friends. This month I discuss cuffed jeans, the tie clip, and make a return to the topic of pocket squares just briefly. Enjoy and keep the questions coming!

What should I know about tie clips?

Pete in Alexandria, VA

Just like in real estate, when it comes to tie clips it’s all about location, location, location. The clip should never be too high and never too low. Please don’t ever wear your tie clip on an angle (don’t be that fella), and don’t wear it if it’s not necessary. If you’re wearing a vest or waist coat, leave the tie clip in the drawer. We have a more detailed look at tie clips on our blog.


I see a lot of men wearing cuffed jeans, is this a trend that will continue? How do I know if I can get away with it?

Uncle Doug in Washington D.C.

The raw denim jean is here to stay, my friend. What’s “raw denim?” It’s the darker blue jeans that you used to see Arthur Fonzarelli wearing back in the 1950s (well, actually the 1970s as if it were the Happy Days of the 1950s, but you know what I mean). Those classic dark jeans, made popular by James Dean and a young Marlon Brando, are back in a strong way, and I wish they had never left (don’t get me started on that unfortunate acid-wash diversion).

The proper way to fit yourself for raw denim jeans is to get a pair a few inches longer than your inseam. Why? Several reasons: (1) to reveal the stitching on the inside of the jeans, (2) to utilize the contrasting color of the flip side of the denim, (3) so you can show off your socks and shoes, (4) to give your look a little more depth and layering, and (5) because The Fonz did it (“HEYYYYYY!!!”)

Alright, maybe The Fonz isn’t the best reason for cuffing our classic denim jeans, but it’s still a great idea. And remind yourself that it’s an option, you don’t always have to cuff your pants. Obviously you won’t be cuffing your jeans if you pair them with sneakers or cowboy boots. But when you’re wearing bold socks and your best loafers, cuff those jeans and stand out. While other guys are stuck in ill-fitted jeans (hanging off their rears, too short/too long, too baggy/too skinny), you’ll have a perfect look because you can cuff it just right (1 ½ to 2 inches). That’s something The Fonz will think is really cool.

I often wear a bow tie, is there a rule about pocket squares and bow ties?

RJ in McLean, VA

The rule is: break the rules. First, kudos on wearing a bow tie, it’s men like you who keep the flame of men’s fashion burning bright. Or something like that. But to your point --- follow the same basic principles as with a regular tie: don’t necessarily match the colors of your pocket square, just complement them. If you have a blue checked tie, choose a pocket square with white and blue, but you can go with a pattern or print. Or go solid, that’s never a bad choice. With a bow tie get bold --- choose a tie with some depth to it and accent it with a pocket square that has stripes or a floral pattern. Experiment, be adventurous. Make a statement --- and don’t forget to get bold with the shirt too.

My father is difficult to shop for. He mentioned headphones in passing. What should I look for?

Sal in Norfolk, VA

Give dear old Dad a sweet treat --- wireless headphones from Sharper Image. These dandies receive a signal from as far as 150 feet away and they work with all the major TVs on the market. The next time Dad wants to binge on House of Cards, Madmen, or Game of Thrones, or just watch the football game on Sunday without disturbing the rest of the house, he’ll love these comfy headphones. I sport a pair and Mrs. Tailor is thankful she doesn’t have to listen to my marathon sessions of Mannix and Columbo.

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