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By Jamie Henfrey

Accessories should always be chosen with a great deal of care as they often have the power to raise the look of an outfit or destroy it completely. A well chosen shirt and tie can do wonders for a tired suit and disguise many faults that may have been made in its origanal selection by an inexperienced shopper.

Shirts are a great way to express oneself but should never overpower and outfit as they are the foundation to achieving a strong and stylish look. I prefer to wear good quality cotton as it makes your skin feel so much fresher and if you follow some simple care routines they are surprisingly easy to look after and well worth the small effort involved. When selecting your shirt always have your intended suit or jacket near at hand as you will avoid wasting time and money on mistake purchases that are nearly always wrong. Keep patterns small and classic and stay with soft colours that will compliment your outfit rather than dominate it. If you are struggling to find a good match then often a good quality white shirt is the perfect choice rather than trying to find a crazy colour that will make you look silly. Choose a collar shape that you like and don’t be afraid to ask if you can try one on to make sure you like it , most good shirt stores have a few available to try on these days.

Marc Oliver Shirts

Ties are being worn to a lesser degree these days so it is all the more important achieve a balanced look when you do wear one. I find people often revert to wearing a tie when an event or appointment really matters to them, they hope it will add a little formality to their appearance and portray an image of someone you could depend on. Always choose a good quality silk tie as they make better knots and ensure it has been cut on the bias as it prevents twisting when being worn. Again choose the colour with care and avoid vulgar patterns and overly strong colours that may at first seem fun as their initial appeal will fade very quickly. There is little point in buying a good tie and then not bothering to put in a little time and effort in learning how to tie it correctly. Learn couple of basic knots as they can be really effective making you the envy of the less skilled .Try the half Windsor or for finer thinner fabrics the full Windsor, again ask you the shop you are in to show you how to do them, if they don’t know to then maybe you should find a shop that knows it’s trade.

Silk Ties

Shoes are often the biggest problem area for most men as I find a real reluctance to part with cash being behind their initial choices. Make no mistake good shoes are a very serious work of art and take many hours to produce and use fine quality leathers. I recommend buying a few good pairs of shoes overtime rather than a few quick fashion choices that won’t last .You get what you pay for! And with shoes this is absolutely true as I have never regretted buying a smart well fitting shoe as they can last for years and make your feet feel fantastic. The most disappointing area again can be presentation and preparation , I always smile when I see people who don’t bother to care for their shoes , a simple routine using a good quality shoe wax will keep them looking great for years and takes only a few minutes to do each time.

These days there a wide range of finishing accessories available to men and these can run into many hundreds of pounds and are often best left to a minimum. Don’t lavish huge sums on cuff-links but invest in a few good pairs in classic colours or designs that will go easily with your wardrobe, job done!

Cuff-links

One final tip to bear in mind is to think beforehand where and when you will be wearing your outfit it will focus your mind on buying the correct accessory items. If you know a women who has great taste why not ask her to come shopping with you, she will tell you bluntly when you get it wrong.

Remember it is better to hear it in the store before you pay for it rather than while at a function wearing it!


Jamie Henfrey founded Marc Oliver in 2008. With an extensive background in men’s tailoring and design, he’s had the opportunity to distinguish himself by serving many of England’s leading figures from the word of sport and finance. As head designer for Marc Oliver tailoring he has been the driving force behind the brand that has attracted many of today’s leading entrepreneurs and company directors to the label, as they appreciate his fresh approach to tailoring.  He also enjoys working as a stylist, branding and retail strategy consultant to some of the UK’s very best designer brands.

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