Category Archives: Accessories and Furnishings

Your Ultimate Super Hero: DAD


As a child, I was impressed to no end by the caped crusader – Batman. I was especially enamored with gadgetry and powers of the Bat Cave and the Bat Mobile.

Superman held a similar and even more profound fascination, probably because of his ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound and to run faster than a speeding bullet.    My boyhood attempts to fly down the stairs, with my favorite blanket as my cape, failed miserably and painfully, so the fact that he could fly as high and faster than a jet airplane put him over the top.  In addition to those two, many other fictional super heroes, from Spiderman to R2D2, have filled up comic books and entertainment screens, providing us with a fantastical type of inspiration and first-rate entertainment.


As I got older I became (and still am) even more impressed by the seemingly super human abilities – whether athletic/physical, intellectual, or artistic/creative – of certain real people.   Real people doing amazing things can also be highly entertaining, with the added bonus of inspiration that isn’t so fantastical, but more believable.


As much as we love to see people, real or not, doing amazing things, the people who are the closest to us, who love us without condition, or who have touched our lives in a personal way that saved us from harm or raised us up to a new level of thinking and doing are our true super heroes.  For me, certain teachers and coaches come to mind.  The client who has gone out of his way to help me build my business.  Of course, a variety of emergency service personnel, doctors and nurses, and those you serve in our armed forces (though not necessarily known in a personal way) are on that list as well.  Above all others (more often than not), the people who brought us into this world, our first and most important role models, our parents, are our truest heroes.  Once as a boy and now as a man, my Dad is my ultimate super hero.  You probably feel the same way.


Every year, on Father’s Day, we give particular focus to that man who made it all possible, who has provided so much for us that words alone cannot express our gratitude.   Sure it’s the thought that counts, but a little gift now and then adds to the impact of those thoughts.  If you’re not sure what give Dad this year, anything from this list of truly innovative items is sure to honor and delight your ultimate super hero:

Batman CL


Super Hero cuff links.   What better gift for your super hero than cuff links that will remind him of a favorite super hero from his childhood?


Power Stays.   Does your shirt collar ever slide under the lapel of your jacket or do the collar points sometimes look like they are ready for takeoff when you’re not wearing a tie?  What if every point and spread collar shirt could be easily turned into a hidden button down collar, giving you maximum control over how it looks and behaves?  That is exactly what you get with magnetic collar stays from wurkin stiffs.


Leather Accessories.   Most men don’t replace or update their wallets and money clips as often as they should.  This is an ideal occasion to give the gift of leather accessories from Bryant Park, all made in the USA of superhero quality for the discriminating, style conscious man.


Business and Travel Cases by TUMI.  Innovation, quality, and reliably solving real problems are all hallmarks of the TUMI brand.  On average, someone who gets one product from TUMI ends up owning at least seven TUMI products.  If he is not already a collector, this is a great time to get Dad started.


Sunglass Cases by Holland & Sherry Bespoke.  Sunglasses are often damaged simply because they aren’t properly protected when not being worn.  H&S Bespoke cases offer elegant, stylish protection.


 Ties and Pocket Squares.   Last but not least, while the idea of giving a tie on Father’s Day is not new, Dad could probably use a new tie or two that look current – the right width, color, and pattern to complement his current jackets and shirts.  A lot of men are now wearing a pocket square to complement their tie or as an accent piece in place of a tie.

Follow the Tom James 12 Essentials Gift Guide and you are sure to be a hero to your ultimate hero.



5 ways to use COLOR to put a Spring in your Step

Orange shirtWhen not watching the games of March Madness,  I was out in the garden a lot on the weekends in March.  Where I live it was time to plant more herbs and to get my vegetable garden going.   Mostly though the mission was to wake up the garden from it’s winter hibernation and to add some fresh color.

I especially like the vibrant pink tones of the fuschias, and geraniums.  The yellow and orange tones provided by the marigolds and ranunculus are already making the back yard a happier place.   The colors of spring and summer have a way of doing that.

Color is a favorite topic for most any publication about design, be it fashion, interior design or creating the best landing page for your website.  A uniquely potent medium, color is full of emotion and energy – a powerful resource for your image and personal style/branding.   The colors that you wear and how they are combined can dramatically impact how you are perceived by others.  Doing it well immediately increases your level of influence.
















No matter the season, there are occasions and venues that require dark, neutral clothing, but lighter shades of blue and gray, as well as earth tones (tan, olive, brown) are the perfect backdrop or frame for the colorful shirts, ties, and pocket squares (and socks)  that the warmer, brighter months invite.  For Spring, think LIGHT and BRIGHT!   Lighter tones inspire comfort and ease – a certain cool, while brighter tones energize and command attention.


orange and blue   multi color

Here are five ways to use color to get some Spring into your appearance:

  1. Depending on where you live and what business you are in, you might work more color into your suits, blazers, jackets, and pants.  Why not consider a blazer that is bluer than navy or a light weight jacket in a favorite color made from linen or cotton, or tropical weight wool?
  2. Depending on your natural coloring, as well as your profession, lighter clothing may not be your best choice. Introducing stronger, brighter colors with classic charcoals or navies can create a more dramatic, more powerful, and more flattering look. Pump up the volume with bolder colors in your shirt and/or tie, and turn a subdued, staid outfit into a true star of your wardrobe.
  3. Wear shirts with color other than your basic blue.  With light to medium shades of blue or gray clothing, introduce shirts in tones of orange, green, pink and lavender.
  4. Point #2 applies to your casual wardrobe especially!  In that case you have even more latitude with color and pattern.  Have fun!  If not now, then when?
  5. With respect to neck wear and pocket squares, who’s to stop you from throwing caution to the wind?  I still prefer and recommend the more classic patterns, solids included, but as far as color, wear what you like that coordinates with your shirt and jacket.  By all means, go bright and go light.  That being said, a sharp navy tie with a seersucker, summer tan, or light blue suit is elegance personified.


Tailgate Ready

Dressing the Best at the Tailgate

Pity the man with the vegetable tray. I really have nothing against cut up vegetables and Ranch dip, but I’m glad that I wasn’t the one who showed up at the season’s first Tailgate party with that in hand. It’s just better form to arrive with most anything wrapped in bacon, great sausage to throw on the grill, a bottle of really good Napa Cab or a great new micro brew. All that being said, if you are not the host, what would be worse than not bringing something excellent to share would be to arrive empty-handed.

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Don’t give Dad a new Tie for Father’s Day

(That is, until you read this!)

Men who wear ties given to them by their children (bless their good intentions!) are doomed to wearing bad ties – ties that are vulgar, distracting, and sartorially, if not socially, offensive. OK, you may be the one, rare exception to that rule. But the rule is that ties which are given as gifts (whether by children or most anyone else) exhibit more whimsy than elegance, more flash than dance.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t want a new tie or two somewhere around the middle of June. Of course you should. That is an excellent time to be adding some new classic or seasonal neckwear to your repertoire of wardrobe accessories. I’m just saying that you should be choosy and particular about what those new ties look like and of what materials and how they are made. On that note, here are three to suggest to anyone who may be inclined to gift you with a tie.

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