Don’t Wear a Tie on Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is this coming Weekend and it’s important to look good.  Last time we explored the different outfits for different occasions.   This year we’re going a little different.  While we normally have a pro-tie stance, sometimes it’s best to go against the grain and ditch the tie.  However, the lack of tie doesn’t give you an excuse to dress down!   Here are some tie-less looks that can work best for any of your Valentine’s Day plans!

Polo Shirt and Suit

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A suit and polo shirt has gotten a bad rap for a long time.  However, when the fit is perfect, it’s a great alternative to a full suit and tie.  Here I’m wearing the classic navy suit with a light grey-blue spread collar polo.  With the straight-fold white pocket square, you definitely have some Mad Men vibes.

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The best way to get around the stigma of the polo shirt is to make sure the polo fits and has a nice stand out collar.  This particular one has a spread one and a deep placket (three buttons!). All those details make it look more like a popover shirt than the typical prepster/frat polo.

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This ensemble is perfect for a going to a dinner that isn’t too fancy and not too casual at the same time, just like your outfit. There are plenty of options with this outfit, thanks to the grounding nature of the suit.  You could go with a print one or a solid, like I did!

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Lazio Fit Linen-Wool Suit from Suit Supply, Polo from Uniqlo, Shoes from Allen Edmonds

Button-Down and Cardigan

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Raj is a preppy guy and when he goes casual, he simply ditches the tie and throws on a cardigan as his only layer.   This look is perfect for a mid-morning brunch date or for a staying in and cooking dinner at home.

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These pieces are all prep-trad staples: striped oxford shirt, shawl cardigan, and the essential khaki chino.  Thanks to loafers, this outfit just screams comfy.

Shirt from Brooks Brothers, Sweater from H&M, Pants from J. Crew

Sneakers and Sweater  

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Depending on the date, you may be able to put a sweater over the button up. Throw on a nice fitted denim jacket and you’ve got a cool and casual vibe that your date is going to dig. It’s perfect for a first date when you don’t want to go too casual or too formal.
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You could either go with sneakers or nice brown dress shoes; it all depends on your personality.  For me, I’d suggest sneakers because I like the contrast between the semi-formal top (sweater, coat) and the casual shoe.  If you’re doing some walking (maybe a stroll through the city or park), you’re definitely going to want to wear something comfortable, yet stylish.  These New Balance sneakers get the job done!

Big thanks to @matt_xm for contributing!  He’s got some great outfits for all you more street oriented dressers.  Matt definitely gives me inspiration for those dressed down days.  I smell a bigger collab coming!

Jacket from Oni, Thrifted Sweater, Shirt from Naked & Famous, Pants – Dockers Alpha,

Henley and Vest

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Yes, you can wear a henley  on a date.  Just make sure it’s long sleeve so you can can pair it with a vest and chinos to put a cool dressy spin on a super casual shirt.  Keeping the colors dark on all the pieces will keep you slim looking for your date and will look even better with a final layer like a coat or leather jacket!

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Now most guys probably will do something similar so it’s important to set yourself apart from the guys who look like this.  How do you do so?  Make sure everything fits spectacularly.  Keep the pants, shirt, and vest slim and go sockless with loafers!  It may be a little #menswear, but it’s a great look that has become one of my casual go-to’s when I don’t want an actual button up shirt!  You could even try and wear it with a suit, but that’s coming soon!

Don’t forget to keep your shoegame on point!

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Henley from H&M, Vest from TopMan, Pants from Express, Shoes from Zara 

Band Collar and Sport Coat

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This is the most intense outfit out of the previous ones.  It’s the most mature without being the most dressy.  Instead of the typical button-up shirt, why not try the band collar?  It’s notable for the fact that it is missing the entire collar. With a striped version (as opposed to a plain one), you get a nice 1920’s-detachable-collar vibe with your outfit. The added cardigan creates a cool three piece look that is still much more casual than wearing an actual waistcoat.  It’ll keep you warm in the evening!

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Take it to the next level by going completely Ethan style and mixing patterns.   Here, I wear a windowpane suit jacket, with a striped shirt, and a floral print pocket square.  When your lady sees all the details, she’ll know that you dressed yourself with confidence.  It may be a small detail, but those details count!  This takes it above just a typical dressy Valentine’s outfit, into a stylish subtle-stand out one.

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Thrifted Band Collar Shirt, Cardigan from J. Crew, Suit Jacket from H&M, Pants from Banana Republic 

I hope this gives you some inspiration for your Valentine’s Day outfit!  Definitely remember that these aren’t set outfits.  You can combine features of each of these to fir your style!  You could pair the NB sneakers with the first outfit or you could even wear a denim jacket over the vest/henley ensemble!  Just don’t forget that you don’t need to wear a tie to look good!

So what are your plans for your outfit?  Are you going casual? Or are you going to go full-suit?  Let us know by commenting below!

Always a pleasure,

Ethan W.

Street x Sprezza

Photography by Vince H., Gabrielle U., and Scott E.

 

 

 

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