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Accessorize and Make the World a Happier Place, G'dammit.

We often get asked about the dog on our site. She is the store mascot and she works at the store with us. This dog loves dressing up as you can see from the bow tie. Something happens when we dress her up with an accessory…she acts differently… and I have a feeling it’s because she gets more compliments (even more than usual, if that’s possible) on how amazing she looks.

By using a few small add-ons you can go from having an outfit that’s fair to an outfit that gets you as many compliments as a dog in a fancy tie! Let’s face it, the world is a better place on days you get compliments. They give you the spring in your step and the wag in your tail.

An accessory is, according to the dictionary: “…a thing that can be added to something else in order to make it more useful, versatile, or attractive.” Men only have a handful of “Things They Can Add” options: It’s not like women who can add on everything from fascinators to fake eyelashes. For men it’s organized, it’s simple: tie, pocket square, suspenders, cufflinks.

It’s not too flashy to make these simple additions, and yet somewhere between 1960’s James Bond and 1990’s Homer Simpson, accessories got lost on men. I’d like to show you a few ways you can make your wardrobe more versatile so you can get the most out of your clothing.

This outfit pictured is something you can wear on a casual first date, to a bar, a game. What makes it casual? The patch pockets, the rough wool and deconstructed shoulder. It’s got a sweater-like quality – we actually call this kind of jacket a “swayzer” because it’s a cross between a sweater and a blazer. Lets say Swayzer guy has been invited out with the boys to an afternoon raptors game. He’s meeting the guys for beers at a sports bar then heading to the game. But he also has plans with his girlfriend and her parents to go to a pretty fancy restaurant and can’t make it home to change. He wears an open collared shirt and jeans with the jacket. A tie or pocket square hides in the inside jacket pocket to be used for the more important, more formal evening event.

The accessory, which Patrick Swayzer busts out prior to the dinner date, says to the parents, the girlfriend, and even the waiter: I have made an effort. I know what I am doing. All thanks to a simple accessory.

Tuxedos. Heres the thing: Some guys say they are just going to buy a black suit and wear it LIKE a tuxedo because they would NEVER use the tux again. So, they buy a black suit, get a tux shirt, a bow tie, cufflinks and sure, it’s a “passable” tux-look. But if you are busting this “passable” fake tux out at EVERY black tie event and we have a lot of Black Tie events every year in Toronto… weddings, awards show, Charity Balls, TIFF Gala Parties, Gallery Openings…whatever it is, even if you just go once a year, go in a tux. You can accessorize your tuxedo to be useful on many occasions. We women are jealous!…do you realize we have to buy an entire new outfit EVERY TIME??!!!

You have to get accessory savvy once you buy a tux. Let’s say you got married in the tux pictured and you were being traditional so you went with a black bow tie. Now, you are going to the Book Lovers Ball and it’s a little more fun so you can use something more fun, a little more laid back. While we are deconstructing the tuxedo, May I suggest accessorizing with a funky shirt? Who says it has to be white? This shirt can then be used with your casual outfit.

One more way a tux can be useful is as a dinner jacket. Remember casual Patrick Swayzer? Here he is dressed in the exact same outfit except the tux jacket instead of the wool one. He just got more use out of the tux jacket he said he would never wear. And the accessories he bought for his gala nights can easily be used with the casual jacket to spice it up.

So, now you have a few things in your closet that are useful and more versatile which I hope will bring on those compliments.

Note: since writing this blog our dear dog in the bow tie passed away. She is sorely missed.

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