How to tie a tie – AskAnt

Firstly WELCOME, to the new look, we asked, you spoke, we listened. When we asked for your opinion a couple of months ago, your responses were universal, Make it more visual, but don’t change it too much. So we took on board everything you asked and hopefully we’re answered your comments, to make Clothes-make-the-man the same but improved !!!! Hope you enjoy and on with what has become a favourite with you loyal readers, AskAnt.


Ahhhh, I hope you all managed to see the honest words and expertees of your truly have been appreciated and I was asked by the big wigs over at the Mail on Sunday’s LIVE magazine to answers some of their sartorial conundrums in their Style GP column a couple of weeks ago, (if not take a look at our “Read all about us” page).

The problems have been coming in thick and fast since so I am gonna try and get through as many as possible of them. Which brings me nicely to today’s problem du jour :

Well Ted, firstly thanks for take the time out and emailing us with your Tietastic query.  Firstly, many man across the globe, who every morning, day in day out, stand in front of their mirror, bleary eyed and don’t know that different knots suit different face shapes, and depending on what tie knot you’re wearing you can either accentuate certain face peculiarities or disguise some of the features God has given us. For instance,  a very small tie knot, doesn’t suit people with round faces. Why? It’s too small, and can easily get lost under a broad neck.

There is a golden rule regarding the correlation between the form of the tie knot and face oval. It says: if a man has a slightly round face or a wide neck, he should wear narrow, longish knots like, for example, the Four-in-Hand knot (see below). Men with slender faces or long necks should wear wider textured knots.

Additionally, if we talk of the world renown ,Windsor knot, it also has its “Do’s” and “Don’ts”.

The Windsor is not for you, if you have a round or plump face. It is a big knot and it will resemble your face oval in miniature. Windsor is not a good choice for you, too, if you have a very narrow face. Due to its size, it will make a contrast with your face and accentuate disproportion. But, people with oval faces, square faces or heart-shaped faces the Windsor is perfect for you.

Now, Ted if you click onto the Information Superhighway, there are countless advice cards like the ones below, the below ones being some of the better examples, of how to tie different tie knots, but the problem with these are they don’t always explain themselves particularly well, then add into the mix trying to read the card whilst trying to recreate the knot whilst also looking in a mirror !!!!!

Now with the birth of Vloggers and the internet there are, like the above examples countless people, companies and organisations that are offering invaluable advice, like how to tie a Windsor or Four in hand knots. But and this is a BIG but , there are very helpful and well meaning, but the accompanying narration which comes with these handy nuggets, seem to assume you have the intelligence of a being somewhere between a goldfish and maybe a golden retriever. (See below, this is far from being a bad example, honest)


So to combat this annoyance, find one that you can tolerant then, please believe me and trust your known how, stand in front of a mirror and mess about with a tie. It isn’t going to come instantly, but neither will it take you hours to master, the penny will don’t and you will be able to everything from a Half Windsor to a bow tie in no time at all.

So Ted, all that is left for me to do is to tell you, the choice is yours ??? Do let us know what your decision was and  join us again soon for another style clinic.

If you have any stylistic problems, events, that  you don’t know what to wear, after the right shows to go with that all important outfit. Whatever, you query no problem is too big nor small, please just email and I’ll happily give you informed, knowledgable common sense advice.



Something of the Noir about him – Noir by Tom Ford


If ever the term, “Everything he touches turns to gold”, was meant for someone, surely they had Tom Ford in mind. I mean jeez, the man is like a real life James Bond, OK his main job is as Creative director of his Stylish Empire and Bond is a British spy, but both are impeccably dressed (could that be because Mr Ford dresses Mr Bond) equally these alpha males are international men of mystery plus men want to be him and women want be with him, including Julianne Moore, Angelina Jolie and Beyonce, no less.

Now, Tom Ford is releasing his new signature fragrance for men, Tom Ford Noir. An oriental, sensual fragrance created to capture the dual facets of the Tom Ford man.

The top note of Noir offers a confident citrus effect of glowing Italian bergamot and verbena. Caraway, baie rose and violet flower accent the citrus notes with sparkling eccentricity. The core of the fragrance is a smooth spice accord of black pepper from Madagascar and nutmeg. Tuscan iris resin, Egyptian geranium, Bulgarian rose and enriched clary sage lend depth and richness. Leathery styrax trails into an amber-drenched woody element and amber and a dose of masculine Indonesian patchouli oil and vetiver oil. While, warm leather and hypnotic benzoin from Laos bring a creamy sensuality, while civet and vanilla lend animalic sophistication and edge.


















Shaken not stirred – The rise of the Navy Tuxedo

I guarantee the morning this poster was launched, Brand Directors of Menwear apparel companies globally rang their Buying Directors and say, “We have bought Navy Tuxedos, this season, haven’t we ?” 

“Err yes.” I’m sure was the response, now following this, one of two things happened, if the Buying Director is a good one and has an ounce of creativity and forethought about him, he breathed a sigh of relief. Or, lets just say, if he isn’t, he sure as hell called his formalwear buyer and tore a piece out of them.

Tom Ford, is a genius, this is nothing that hasn’t been said before, I’m not preaching some new gospel according to St Tom, no. He first dressed 007 for Quantum of Solace and he returns again for SKYFALL, with promises of an update for Bond’s wardrobe offering him a more contemporary look and if this poster is anything to go by Mr Ford is keeping to his word. Also, please see below a short profile on Bond’s wardrobe for upcoming film, SKYFALL by its costume designer Jany Temime.

Now as we were saying, Tom Ford proved himself a master salesman during his time as Creative Director at Gucci. Once again, he’s thought to himself, Dinner suit sales need a little help here, how can I do that, I know I’ll put the one man known across the globe who women want to be with and man want to be, in a different coloured tux to the classic black. So all those guys who have a black tuxedo now feel that they have to emulate Bond by also having a Navy one, as I said GENIUS !

We all can’t afford Tom Ford prices, nonetheless, Mr Ford is not the only one to have produced Navy dinner suits this season and if you fancy yourself as being on Her Majesty’s Secret Service and looking like you have a Licence to kill. Then take a look at the pieces below for inspiration.

Navy Single breasted Tuxedo, by French Connection exclusively for Moss Bros.

The perfect white shirt from the former supplier to 007 Ede & Ravenscroft.

In for a penny in for a pound, channel your inner Bond with this Navy Velvet Bow tie by Lanvin from

The Bert, a traditional Oxford shoe with a twist from Grenson

Bond is synonymous for his Omega Seamaster, but this absolute bargain from Marks & Spencer is literally a fraction of the cost.

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Mr Mode himself – Adrian Clark – Textual Conversations

Do you recognise this international man of mystery ? The likelihood is probably no, has he affected the way or what you purchase when it comes to Clothes and style, the answer in all honesty is probably yes ! This man to your left is Adrian Clark the Style Director of Shortlist and Editor of the increasing essential style biannual MODE. Every Thursday, in the UK commuters traveling from A to B, thats cities from Aberdeen to Brighton read the phenomena that is Shortlist, effecting and educating men in equal measure. What this man puts onto his style pages sells whether that be the latest fragrance, luggage, suit, t-shirt, jeans or watch. If he covers it the retailer has a spike in sales.

Now, MODE, about to publish its fourth issue, with the theme of “THE NEW MASCULINE”, which in Clark’s own words states, “Autumn/Winter 2012 has turned a very masculine corner in fashion, with rugged replacing, preppy and manly reigning over elegance.” The issue, is literally crammed, it includes a UK Exclusive interview with Tom Ford, penned by Clark himself, an insight into what goes into an IWC watch, a debate into sexual equality in mens’ vs women’s fashion, 50 trend led items you need this Autumn and a cover shoot with 80’s male supermodel, Werner Schreyer, don’t worry you’ll recognise his face, see below.

Now I can hear you from here, surely this man doesn’t have the time to answer the questions of ? You’d be surely wrong, Adrian Clark over to you ! –

If you could have invented anything what would it be?

Coca Cola

What would be the one piece of clothing you would rescue from your home in the event of a fire?

Probably my Tom Ford ‘Ranger’ coat in a blue and grey lumberjack check. It’s an amazing piece, and I love the fact that it is a luxe spin on a rugged outdoor functional basic. It has a 1950’s feel about it (the kind of coat you could imagine Don Draper wearing on vacation while driving a wood paneled station wagon in the Colorado) – it was actually promised to Aaron Johnson, but I saw it on the rails in their office and convinced them I would give it a better home.

What inspires you?

It’s a process that has no beginning or end and no boundaries so that is a difficult question to answer. It’s everything and nothing in reality. I pick up ideas subliminally without looking and somehow my brain processes them and they turn into ideas. Creativity, confidence and integrity inspire me greatly, such as in the work of a great designer who refuses to compromise such as Azzedine Alaia or a fashion maverick like Diana Vreeland.

If you could only wear one brand/Designer for the rest of your life who would it be? Why?

Another tricky one, as there is so many different facets to my life! In fact when I pack to go away I usually pack for 3 different Adrian Clark’s who all have very different tastes and personalities. There is the Adrian Clark who would dress head-to-toe in Prada, which taps into my more classic side, The Adrian Clark who would happily wear Dries Van Noten from here to eternity as it is on-trend but never stupid and then there is the Dsquared2 Adrian Clark who is usually looking for trouble

Who is your style icon? Why?

Burt Reynolds. An obvious one for me as I am obsessed with the 1970’s and obsessed with the ideal of men as sex symbols and beacons of masculinity. Also NOBODY could or still can work a double denim look like he could.

What piece of style advice do you live by?

Know your body shape and wear clothes that work with that and not against it! My ever changing body shape (I yo-yo between going to the gym 5-days a week to slob, and find what I dress like changes with the ever evolving body image.

What piece of clothing should everyman have in his wardrobe?

A pair of motorcycle boots, they are the most empowering item of clothing, having the same effect women achieve in a pair of Laboutin heels. They give you confidence.

Have you ever bought a piece of clothing and regretted it? If so what & why?

I only ever regret buying stuff from the high street. I have a vast collection of clothes and essentially whatever I buy from the high street (thinking I may want it) I will probably already have another much better designer example of it in my wardrobe that does the same job… but much better!

What piece of clothing would you relegate to Room 101?

This is the easiest question for me to answer… ANY accessory for men (other than sneakers which is my one exception to this rule) that are WHITE! Particularly white belts, they are so Peter Andre.

Who would be your ideal dinner guests and why?

Living or dead? If I can pull from history it would be Diana Vreeland, Halston and Diana Ross…. I’m sure you can see a pattern emerging there! Someone once asked me if you could teleport back to any place at any time in history, when and where would it be? I of course chose Studio 54, New Years Eve 1977.

How did you get into the industry, what was your big break?

After leaving Central Saint Martins I was introduced to the fashion director of The Independent newspaper who liked my work and two days out of college immediately sent me on an assignment to cover the Paris Haute Couture – giving me a double page in the broadsheet as a blank canvas. I did a kind of sketchbook from the shows, reviews, comments, illustrations etc – and the week after it was out on the streets my phone never stopped ringing with offers from the likes of The Times, The Observer, The Face etc. I was very lucky to be the right person in the right place at the right time, without much of an uphill struggle that so many talented people unfairly have to face today.

MODE is available on this Tuesday Morning Nationwide and Monday evening in London

Its Farrell not Feral – Textual Conversation with Ben Dickens, Farrell

Ben Dickens and someone called Robbie Williams, I think, at the recent launch of Farrell at Selfridges. The range is available at Selfridges London, Manchester & Birmingham.

Ben Dickens was the Design Director at Burberry for four years, working across all of the men’s product categories. Due to his career successes he was most recently charged with heading up Burberry Prorsum and the London collection working closely with the incredibly talented, Christopher Bailey. Before this, Ben cut his design teeth working along another iconic Brit Designer John Richmond in Milan.

In November 2011, he left the Burberry check behind him and join a fledging brand called Farrell, devised by someone called Robert Peter Williams, or as you my know him the sometime member of a band called Take that and has a couple of awards including Brits, MTV awards and Ivor Novellos to his name, Robbie Williams.

At the time of Dickens joining Farrell, William said, ‘A breath of fresh air is floating down the corridors of Farrell. The beautiful Ben Dickens has arrived, bringing his optimism, passion and vision to my Granddad’s clothing line. It’s beautiful to be at the start and see an open road in front of us. The more we talk, the more ideas we throw around – it’s exciting. It’s very similar to making an album, after all that’s what an album? It’s an idea. What is art? It’s an idea, as are clothes. We are at the tip of an iceberg, and it is an iceberg. Come join us, we are many.’

How the AW12 collection appears on the shop floor in Selfridges

Farrell, is inspired by Robbie Williams grandfather, Jack Farrell or Jack the Giant Killer, as Williams refers to him, “My grandfather, Jack Farrell – Jack the Giant Killer – was a huge man, built like an Irish navvy, fought in the Second World War, lived on a council estate… He was the first real male figure in my life – he was an honest man, he taught me to box, I was surrounded by women and he worried that I was going to be a sissy. The integrity of his influence runs throughout this collection.”

He claims that Jack was a notable dresser and a strong man who had great integrity, honesty, good manners and a sense of humour. It is these qualities that form the foundation of Farrell and are now ingrained into the brand ethos, from the design process to the shop floor. Farrell promises to deliver classic wardrobe staples suitable for a night in, an afternoon at the footie or a night out. ‘Wear it in, Wear it out’is Farrell’s motto. Every piece within the Farrell collection is designed to become a longstanding part of a man’s wardrobe, growing and evolving with the wearer over time. Pieces such as the iconic Pea coat and Harrington signify Farrell’s dedication to British style and the principles of men being men.

Ben defines the Farrell man: “This is a brand for every guy – whether you’re going to the pub, taking your missis to the shops, going out with the lads. They’re pieces which will last you for years.”

Now, learn a little more about this man, the range and the man behind it and Ben Dickens answers a couple of questions for

In your words describe the collection:

We wanted to create a wardrobe of perfected gent’s classic pieces and at a price that most guys could afford. Clothes with honesty, integrity and built to last; future hand-me-downs.

What was the inspiration for it?

The collection is a tribute to Jack Farrell, Robbie’s grandfather, and all the men of his generation; a time when men where men, acted as gentlemen and took pride in themselves and their appearance. For this season the collection took a more military slant. We worked with a beautiful old image from WW1 of the Christmas amnesty football match. It has a sentimental as well as a stylistic value to us.

What are the key pieces in it?

The collection is lead by the coats and outerwear. Within that particular pieces of note are the Great coat, the Military Control Trench and Peacoat. They are the kind of piece that when a fella puts them on they become his suit of armor to face the world.

What piece of clothing would you relegate to Room 101?

Diamante encrusted t-shirts, in fact any ‘bling’ encrusted clothes for men.

If you could give your teenage self advice, what would it be?

Under no circumstance attempt to wear – a zebra print shirt, cornflour blue twin set, white fur coat, red/blu/yellow ski salopettes, nail varnish, bleach-blonde hair and black patent buffalo boots in the same outfit.

What piece of clothing should everyman have in his wardrobe?

A great classic raincoat.

What piece of style advise do you live by?

‘Socks before, or after trousers but never socks before pants. Make’s a man look scary, like a chicken…’ – Mark from Peepshow 2003

If you could wear one brand/designer for the rest of your life, who would it be and why?

Farrell… So far – it’s the epitome of everything I want to wear.

What would be the one piece of clothing you would rescue from your home in the event of a fire?

My lucky undies (and perhaps my vintage 1941 Belstaff dispatch coat).

If you could have invented anything what would it be?

The Aston Martin, in particular the DB5.

Who is your style icon and why?

It’s a toss up between Steve McQueen and Harold Steptoe. Steve Mcqueen because he is cool as hell. Harold Steptoe because he’s literally thrown together, but always looks the epitome of disheveled elegance.