A few months ago, I wrote about a cool tie-to-suit matching interface on TheTieBar.com. It's meant to help men stop second-guessing their online purchases and easily coordinate their outfits.
Well it turns out that I was presented with the opportunity to interview the CEO of Tie Bar, Greg Shugar, via email. And here it is:
SB: Thanks for taking the time to chat with me! How did you get involved with selling men's accessories?
GS: As a courtroom attorney in Chicago, I was required to wear a necktie every day. I soon found myself to be a ‘tie guy’ but also became frustrated at paying $50 every time I wanted to add a necktie to my wardrobe. I had a hard time understanding why neckties were priced so high relative to other men’s business clothing (for example, I often bought my dress shirts for $40). After looking for but not finding a brand of necktie that was regularly priced inexpensively, my wife Gina and I wondered if it were possible to start a label of our own, and if so, if it would be financially feasible to sell a high-quality silk necktie for an inexpensive price. We soon found ourselves receiving silk necktie samples from factories around the world. We learned what actually makes a tie to be “high quality”. I then began designing with no fashion background. I soon discovered that it wasn’t easy. Neckties are three-dimensional designs, not two-dimensional. Our first collection was scrapped and we never even put them up for sale (we gave them away to charity). Eventually, though, I started to get the hang of it.
SB: Why do you think men need extra help coordinating their outfits? Why are women assumed to have more intuition when it comes to fashion?
GS: You may not like this answer – I don’t agree that women have more intuition when it comes to fashion. I think women enjoy shopping more, so maybe you can say that they have more experience shopping. I think more than anything, it’s a confidence issue with men shopping for themselves. The ‘rules’ of fashion (if there is such a thing) isn’t rocket science. Men can figure it out just as easily and quickly as women.
SB: When it comes to accessories, women live by Chanel's famous guideline, "Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off." Is there one tip you would offer men to help them put together a fashionable outfit?
GS: Yes. Always make sure your shirt is properly tucked. That your collar stays in your shirt. Your tie’s knot is firm. Your tie is straight. You zipper is zipped. Your jacket collar is fixed. Your belt is straight. I might sound like someone’s mother but you wouldn’t believe how many men leave the house with one of these issues unresolved. You can be wearing a $6,000 Tom Ford Suit and a $800 custom shirt, but if your tie isn’t straightened or your fly is open, you’ll look like a schlub.
SB: Which is your favorite tie on the site?
GS: I’m starting to wear more medallions (larger patterns). My tie of choice (which seems to change with every collection) is our Implode - Brown tie which can be found here.
Here's a close-up of the print from Mr. Shugar's current favorite tie:
Implode - Brown. An absolute stunning weave of silk with a colorful medallion design. When you're not feeling like a total bore, don this tie.
Interested in learning more about men's fashion and accessories? Check out my latest blog entry at One More New Yorker for an interview with Matt Fox, local New Yorker and the owner of FineAndDandyShop.com.