Tag Archives: Mens fashion

Copy cat

Sometimes in the world of fashion, it can be hard to not flat out copy someone’s clothes. In fact, at times, I see the likes of @matthewgraber, @thedressedchest, and @ejsamson and I say to myself immediately…Self! You are gonna copy the mess outta that outfit! But whenever possible, it’s always better to be inspired by another’s fashion sense than to simply copy it, like this:

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For instance, if you were a superhero who started as a scrawny weakling, who volunteered for an experimental government program that gave you super strength, speed and agility, plus you had an awesome shield and you were way into America…then you’d be Captain America. Now if you were the Fighting American you would have still started as a scrawny weakling, who volunteered for an experimental government program that gave you super strength, speed and agility, plus you would still have an awesome shield and you would also be way into America. But you’d be a copycat…and not a very popular one.

Besides, what looks good on you may not look so good on me. So be inspired!

First, figure out why you like that particular outfit. Is it the shirt, the tie, the blazer, the pocket square, the lapel pin, the color scheme? What is it that made you take notice? If it’s a specific item, then buy it! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with buying that exact item. That’s why they make more than one…so lots of people can have them. Then you can take that item an incorporate it into a combo that’s all your own, like so:


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If it’s something like the color scheme, why not try recreating the outfit with similar colors that you already have? Don’t go out and buy a bunch of new things to create an exact replica of the picture. Instead, use what you have, perhaps going a shade lighter or darker in certain areas.

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You may be delightfully surprised at the outcome…or feel angry at me for having wasted your time. In either case, we did something together. And isn’t that what’s important…togetherness!


50 yard Dashing

It’s rare that you find someone online that you immediately connect with and want to form a partnership with…what?what do you mean, that’s exactly what match.com is?!!!!

Well whatever, I’m not talking romance here! I’m talking about falling in love, WITH A PRODUCT!!

Let’s start over.

Have you ever found an awesome product and then found out the people who make it are even awesomer?! It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does, it’s amazing! It happened for me with a few companies, and one shining example is the guys over at Dashing Debonaire!

Their beautifully handcrafted pocket squares make you want buy their products, their customer service and kindness make you want to KEEP buying their products. See for yourself in the interview below.


I like to start with this question – Where did the name Dashing Debonaire come from?

Joe: Pretty much read Miguel’s answer. LOL. We were going through so much at our day jobs taking in long hours and not enjoying where we were in life. We were not able to spend time with our loved ones. What makes us happy is fashion. We had an extensive collection of men’s accessories, but wanted more options and designs that we loved. We could not find that in the current market and while we were going to a family function, Miguel brought up the idea of a men’s accessory line. That is when the idea of “Dashing Debonaire” came. For more details, you can read his story.

Miguel: Funny story is that we were just talking in the car and I wanted to come up with a name that seemed elegant, sophisticated, and catchy. Now I’m a big wrestling fan, and one of my favorite wrestlers at the time was called, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes. He would give grooming tips, manly advice, and brought a sense of style to his wrestling gimmick in a very humorous way. As we were building the name of the company, all that kept sticking out was the word “dashing.” From there I just started free styling like a rapper with random words that were synonyms of “dashing” and out came “debonaire” in my really bad fake French accent and it just stuck! Joe was like, “you got it! DASHING DEBONAIRE!” After that, I just kept talking in my bad French accent for a week straight until Joe threatened to stop talking to me.


While you make other accessories, it began with pocket squares, why?

Joe: To be honest, when looking at other pocket squares we owned, we wanted to see if we can do something different. Many major companies do it with just stitching on the corners. We prototyped many concepts and folds to see what would look best. I think we had a total of 10 pocket squares with the same pattern, but different folds. We kept testing the durability of each prototype and came to the conclusion that our current fold and stitch was the option we loved most. Pocket squares are a product that we love collecting too! We enjoy wearing them with all our suits.

Miguel: Currently, I am a professor of psychology in a graduate program at a small school in the Los Angeles county. Before that, I worked at a mental health clinic as a child psychologist. With these 2 awesome jobs, I have to be presentable and I loved to dress up. I own a lot of men’s accessories (especially pocket squares) and frankly I was tired of searching for ones I liked as well as buying them. I also saw that some of the accessories I bought would just end up damaged because of poor quality due to the lack of craftsmanship these major companies had, especially the way the corners would be folded. I knew that teaming up with Joe, we could make way better quality men’s accessories and create styles that were just as good. We started with the pocket square because these are products we love collecting as they always bring a sense of “polish-ness” to a suit when worn correctly.


What makes Sir Francis Earl so classy? Is it the top hat?

Joe: Hmmm. This one’s a hard one. He doesn’t really tell us about his past much. He does come from a very prominent family, from what I’ve heard, and loves helping people. When he told us that he wanted to fund a business and wanted Miguel and me to help him, we didn’t hesitate since we already had a business concept in mind, Dashing Debonaire! Maybe one day you can interview him. He’s just such a busy man. We barely see him sometimes. We just get a ton of calls and text messages. As for his hat, it is actually a derby hat that has been past down from several generations. He doesn’t leave home without it. Though sometimes he’ll change it out for a baseball cap and if he’s festive, a stocking cap for the holiday season.

Miguel: That Sir Francis Earl guy… what an egomaniac that guy is… I mean a brilliant person he is. *side note, please edit that “egomaniac” sentence out. Don’t want to lose my job. Yeah, the guy is super classy but he really doesn’t speak much about his past even though, he likes talking about himself a lot. It’s always, do this, and do that, and get me that or get me this. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Please also, edit that last rant out too. But if you were to ask him directly, why is he so classy, he’d probably say, “why wouldn’t I be? And it’s called a derby hat.”


Can you give us some insight into your creative process? For instance, do you design a square and then name it? Or do you come up with a concept/name and then go in search of a fabric that fits?

Joe: When we go through swatches and swatches of fabric, we first look at what we like and if we would wear it ourselves. We sort through all the choices and vote for the select few that make it in the end. Its definitely a labor intensive several days of coming up with the final choices. After we obtain the fabrics we like, we then stitch them and model them in our suits. We then go through a list of names that we have, see what they would most seem like and maybe even match them to the personalities of our friends.

Miguel: Honestly, we just have swatches hanging on the wall and throw a dart at them. From there, where ever the dart lands, we create it. Just kidding. We actually examine swatches meticulously and choose what we like. We then sort through the ones we really like from what we really love. From the fabrics we love, we let it marinate for a couple of days (sometimes weeks), and then come back to see how much we really love it. If it still makes an impression on us, then we select it. I stitch the selected fabric as a bow tie and a pocket square. Then, I take pictures of them styled and send them to Joe with what I like and don’t like about the accessory. He gives me his feedback as well. If we both agree it makes the cut as a bow tie or pocket square or both, then we name it. I go through a 1920s census of the most popular names during that decade and pick it according to what name jumps out the most from the fabric. I then create a little back story with the meaning of the name and TIE it into the caption of the accessory. It’s fun for me to do, since it’s a creative process.


You guys generously use your success to support charitable causes, why is that important to you?

Joe: Miguel and my upbringing was extremely difficult. We didn’t really have much growing up, but appreciated every moment of it. Our parents brought us up with such respect and humility. Even though we didn’t have much, we ensured to help those less fortunate than us. This was part of our mantra day in and day out. We lived and breathed it. So as I grew older and became the adult in which I was self-sufficient, I wanted to make sure I never forgot my humble beginnings. So when it came time to start a business, both Miguel and I were on the same page to ensure we help others and give back to the community any way possible. Whether it is volunteering, donating money or fundraising. We love the community we are in and want to help anyone we can. With all the successes of Dashing Debonaire, we are so fortunate to be able to help others and will continue to do so with the help of our customers. We cannot thank them enough.

Miguel: I think it’s fair to say that Joe and myself know what it feels like to be in need. We grew up in very similar areas where it was really rough in Los Angeles. Not a lot of people from our neighborhood grew up to be anything other than gang members or full time criminals. Since we don’t like jail all that much, we went a different route. With some luck and perseverance, someone believed in us and gave us a shot because they saw something in us. Now that we’re in professional positions that we can provide for others, we would like to give others the same shot they gave us. Joe and myself have always been on the same page to give back the community. I am very lucky that we both have that same vision of always wanting to “help” any way we can. It’s even part of our mission statement that we want to be the “best fashion accessory brand” and part of that is serving those who need it most. 

You guys treat your customers with such kindness, almost to the point of befriending them – why do you take that approach?

Joe: We love people and we love our customers! Without them, there would not be a Dashing Debonaire. Their input about our products make us extremely happy to do what we do. We love our new found happiness. Keep sending those e-mails. We love reading them! 🙂

Miguel: Simple answer! Without their support in buying our products, there is no us. We want them to understand that we are down to earth and every day consumers just like them. Just because we manufacture these products, doesn’t mean we have lost touch of how they should be treated as our clients. Plus, we love seeing how excited and happy they get when they post pictures of their new Dashing Debonaire product because honestly, we are just as happy and excited to make them for you!


Is it fair to say, you guys are serious about what you do, but you don’t take yourselves too seriously?

Joe: There’s definitely a good balance between the two. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority and we take that extremely serious. If they’re not happy, we aren’t. So when we are focusing on the business side of things, we are laser focused and are serious. But, there has to be a balance because the relationship that I have with Miguel, we can just grab a beer or two and laugh the day away with things that happened through our day or just reminiscing on the past. We’ve probably known each other for over two decades now. The stories of the past make us smile and definitely were the good times.

Miguel: I love what we do! I love that we are able to create something that people actually like. To see someone place a Dashing Debonaire pocket square or bowtie as part of their accessory rotation is humbling and inspiring. These 2 feelings go hand in hand for me… it’s humbling because someone actually invested in a handmade product we stitched ourselves and they thought it was good enough to be a part of their styling. Not only that, but it also shows me that our customers believe in our brand because they took a chance to invest in a start up company like ours. Then that leads for me to feel inspired because I want to continue to create high quality, handmade, stylish products so new customers can find something they like and feel good about it. For example, it’s such a great feeling that you, Christian, bought something from us and had no clue what Dashing Debonaire was. However, you saw something you loved, believed in our product, and decided to invest in many of our merchandise. That’s were my gratitude develops because to see you style something we created from it’s inception and then talk so highly about our company is so rewarding and I am immensely thankful for your support. That goes to say (again) that without our customers, there is no Dashing Debonaire. That’s something I will never forget if it’s just the 2 of us running the company or if we grow to 2,000 employees. Staying grounded and remembering where I started has always been part of my life motto since day one. So a BIG thank you to everyone that has and will buy something form us.

Who would win an arm wrestling contest, Joe or Miguel?

Joe: Miguel would!

Miguel: Joe would!

You guys are childhood friends. What was your favorite game to play together?

Joe: I can’t remember any games that we played together. We mostly just hung out and had our parents drive us to maybe a comic book store to get a new comic, just hang out at a mall or catch a movie.

Miguel: I don’t think we ever played any games together… as adults we play a lot of drinking games… does that count? HAHAHA! Just kidding! Basically, Joe and myself are really huge comic nerds and collectors, so a lot of our childhood would either be spent at the mall, comic book store or arcade. stackosquare2

And now Five Signature Questions with Christian:

Who is your Favorite Superhero or Villain?

Joe: Superman hands down. Looks like Miguel chose Batman. We’ll see who wins next year. Ahem. Superman.

Miguel: I’m going to pick a favorite superhero AND super-villain if that’s okay. Superhero: Batman, ummmm because he’s BATMAN! Super-Villain: The Joker, because I secretly wish he was a superhero, and depending on how you look at perspective, he’s just a misunderstood superhero that likes hurting innocent people… so maybe he isn’t a superhero… nevermind.

Who wins in a fight Batman or Superman?

Joe: Superman! Unless Batman has kryptonite on him. Then I’m not sure.

Miguel: Batman, hands down. If someone says otherwise… you’re wrong and we can’t be friends. Right Joe? That’s right.

Which Star Wars Character would you be?

Joe: Han Solo. I wanted Princess Leia.

Miguel: One of the Ewoks cause they live a awesome tree city community! Who wouldn’t want to live in trees?!

What’s your Favorite cereal of all time?

Joe: Pop’s cereal. Maybe because that was the only one my parents bought and I knew of.

Miguel: Cinnamon Toast Crunch with or without milk! They need to bring Chef Wendell back though.

Are your dirty clothes on the floor or in the hamper, right now?

Joe: Hamper. Can’t deal with dirty clothes on the floor.

Miguel: Hamper! Always the Hamper!

Setting the Bar

Taking something awesome and combining it with something else, that is also awesome, tends to yield fantastic results. For instance, take Transfomers. Cars, awesome! Robots, awesome! Combined… amazing!

Still not convinced? Okay how about this…David Hasselhoff, awesome! Red swim trunks, awesome! Combined you get Baywatch! The greatest historical account of aging gracefully on a beach!

But does this work in fashion…

Ties are awesome. Being cool and hip and trendy is awesome.  So what would happen if you combined all of that? The answer is easy. You get The Tie Bar! An affordable amazing place to get the men’s accessories we all need and love.

And you don’t have to take my word for it, you can ask the slew of celebrities that don the Tie Bar’s beautiful neck wear. Celebrities not good enough you? Then perhaps GQ can convince you, since The Tie Bar is regularly shown off on it’s cover and in it’s pages.

For those of us in the D.C. metro area, we can go see for ourselves! That’s right, The Tie Bar, has opened up a shop located within the Shaw neighborhood’s trendy apartment retail community The Shay (1935 9th St NW, Washington D.C.), the temporary shop will remain open for a limited time this fall season and offer shoppers an exclusive sampling of The Tie Bar’s latest offerings.

If this is getting you all excited, then you’ll be happy to know that we were able to interview Mr. Michael Corrigan the Publicist for The Tie Bar and all around extremely kind fellow!

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I always ask about the name. So The Tie Bar is a truly inspired name, because tie bars are awesome, but also because your site is like a bar, but, instead of serving countless kinds of alcohol, you serve something much more addicting…ties! So how did you come up with that name?

The company was founded by a husband and wife duo, a little over a decade ago here in Chicago. The husband spilled a drink on his tie and after discovering it was ruined, wondered why it cost so much. As lawyers, they were sick of spending a fortune on neckties and knew there had to be a solution. The idea behind The Tie Bar was born!


Many big names have worn your ties, like, Neil Patrick Harris, Justin Timberlake, and Jimmy Fallon. Who’s was the coolest person to ever wear your ties…is it Bruce Willis!!? I mean when John McLane takes time from showing Hans Gruber who’s boss to wear one of your ties, that’s got to be a big deal…right?

We are so fortunate to have gained a long list of celebrity brand fans over the years. Especially when that has turned into long standing partnerships like our Tie The Knot collection with Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson or our ongoing collection with NBA star Dwyane Wade.  Neil Patrick Harris worked with us for Father’s Day this year as a website curator for charity, that promotion we were very excited about!  We also had Andy Samberg wear one of our newest bowtie designs on the red carpet when he hosted the Emmy Awards this year. That was an exciting moment for us too.

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You have one of the most affordable product lines available to tie-loving men, how much effort goes into keeping the prices so reasonable, the quality so high and the selection so large?

Over the last decade, a lot has changed. Our operating costs have risen steadily over the years, but we refuse to sacrifice our quality in anyway.  We take a tremendous amount of pride and are willing to put in the hard work required to remain the top destination for premium men’s accessories at awesome prices.

Your blog – Behind the Bar, give us a much more personal glimpse into the The Tie Bar team. How did you all decide to launch that in addition to everything else you have going on?


We really wanted an opportunity to explore things and places that we love, preview new developments that the brand has going on, and allow us to continue being a style and overall lifestyle authority for our shoppers. The positive feedback that we have gotten on it has been so great for us.

The Ask A Stylist feature on the website is genius!! Who gets credit for that?

With over 10,000 products on our website, we understand that sometimes guys need a little styling help.  We are happy to oblige!

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The Tie Bar Bus came to D.C. and I missed it! But it seemed like a really fun premise. Will you be doing something like that again?

We are so happy to announce that we are opening our first DC pop up shop this NovemberIt will be located within the Shaw neighborhood’s trendy apartment retail community The Shay (1924 8th St NW, Washington D.C.) the temporary shop will remain open throughout the upcoming holiday season and offer shoppers an exclusive sampling of The Tie Bar’s latest offerings.

Is working at The Tie Bar as much fun as it seems?

Everything and more!


Now Five Signature Questions with Christian:

Who is your Favorite Superhero or Villain?

Batman.  There is something so much cooler about a superhero that does not rely on his superpowers.  We also are biased towards the Batmobile around here

Who wins in a fight Batman or Superman?

I guess we will find out when the movie comes out next year!

Which Star Wars Character would you be?

Han Solo any day of the week.

What’s your Favorite cereal of all time?

Raisin Brain all the way.

Are your dirty clothes on the floor or in the hamper, right now?                      

Never! Ok maybe occasionally guilty on that one.

Accessory Buffet

Have you ever been to a buffet?

For instance, a breakfast buffet. You walk in and they’re all like do you need menus or do you want the buffet? And you’re like how much is the buffet? And they’re like $28.00 per person. And you’re like well can I go take a look? And they’re like yeah sure sweetie (in my story the waitress is always a very kind old southern lady).

So you go take a look. This is make or break time. If the buffet is a conglomeration off-color eggs, soggy bacon, that weird pudding like substance near the fruit, and only lemon poppy seed muffins. Then it’s a pass. A hard pass.

BUT if it’s one of those magical buffets…You know, one of those buffets with an omelet station, crispy bacon, blueberry muffins, cheese danishes, those little boxes of cereal you can sneak out and some guy carving beef as you awkwardly say a little more…a little more…more…Gimme the Knife I’ll do it Myself! If it’s THAT buffet, they’re getting your 28 big ones!

The point…? Men’s accessory sites can be like buffets, there’s so much to choose from on each site. But you want to make sure you’re choosing from products you want to wear and not simply wading through weird pudding substance.


Harrison Blake Apparel is a men’s accessory brand. But their site isn’t filled with things you don’t want, in fact, it’s hard not to add everything to your cart. It’s definitely a magical buffet! They carry one of the largest selections of lapel pins, plus, they have ties, bow ties, pocket squares, bracelets and tie bars! And they have the Selected Monthly Club and the Bow Tie Club. Want to know more about these clubs and Harrison Blake? Checkout the interview below with Harrison Blake owner (Oh! And Published Author), Richard Taylor!

So I have to ask, because I ask everyone – Where did the name Harrison Blake come from? 

The name Harrison Blake means so much to me, because Harrison Blake is my son. Everything I do with this business has to be positive because of this. 


In a sea of men’s accessories, most companies either don’t have lapel pins or they have them as an afterthought. But your lapel pin selection seems to be a focal point – why is that?

The lapel pins are what we started with. They are a point of pride for us because we have the largest selection of lapel pins for the best price. These small accessories can transform your look and we wanted nail down a niche.



You offer the “Selected Monthly Club” and the “Bow Tie Club,” can you tell us more about those?

The SELECTED Monthly Club by Harrison Blake is a subscription club that delivers 5 classy accessories and unique products for gentlemen. Each box will contain a wide range of products; from neckties, accessories, lapel pins to wardrobe accessories – each selected to complement your lifestyle and help you live the life of a gentleman. Each of these items will be exclusive and hand selected – not just items currently for sale on our website.

The BOW TIE CLUB by Harrison Blake is a subscription club that delivers 2 unique bow ties every month for only $16! We all know how expensive bow ties can be – so this is an incredible service for bow tie lovers! Each package will contain two different bow ties every month in a wide range of styles, designs and patterns… Imagine the bow tie collection that you’ll build and the money you will save!

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What are manlier, mustaches or anchors?

I will go with anchors.  Popeye had no mustache, but he had an anchor tattoo.

Is there a particular product that you sell that you would like consumers to pay more attention too?

We have developed a nice variety of bracelet choices that we don’t promote too much. Hopefully we showcase them more in the coming months. 

What do you like better and why – neck tie or bow tie?

I like neckties better. I don’t think they’ll ever go out of style and they are great statement pieces.


Dude! Did you write a book? Tell us about it!

Yes, I wrote a few fiction books and also The Life of a Gentleman, which engages the reader and delivers a powerful message.

Style is only the beginning as you will also learn about etiquette, manners, personal finance, mental health, and speech. This book does not talk down to the reader, but rather builds up with simple language, an engaging delivery and an encouraging tone. This is the essential guide to transform any man or adolescent male into a sophisticated gentleman that the world must respect. I felt it was important to write down information that many young men miss out on these days.

When you get dressed up, tie bar or no tie bar?

Most of the time, a simple tie bar.


And now Five Signature Questions with Christian: 

Who is your Favorite Superhero or Villain?

My favorite superhero is Batman. He seems like such a creative and innovative guy.

Who wins in a fight Batman or Superman?

Superman has an unfair edge in my opinion, over everyone…

Which Star Wars Character would you be?

Luke Skywalker for sure!

What’s your Favorite cereal of all time?

I can crush a box of Honey Smacks

Are your dirty clothes on the floor or in the hamper, right now?