If I were a man, I would definitely wear an ascot. When it comes to men's formal wear, men's choices are so limited--why not set yourself apart by wearing an ascot?
Here are a few tips to wearing one well:
- When to wear an ascot. Ascots are primarily worn with formal wear. They are originally from England, where they were worn in the late nineteenth century. (The tie is named after England's Royal Ascot racetrack.) It is a derivative of the more formal cravat, worn by men in the earlier part of the nineteenth century. The cravat was both heavily starched and elaborately tied, unlike the ascot of today.
- Fabric. Ascots come in just about any fabric you can think of, from men's silk ties to velvet ascot ties. Try to match the weight and drape of the fabric to the fabric of your suit. If you're wearing a wool suit, then a wool or cashmere blend is appropriate. With a lightweight fabric for your suit, go with a silk or silk blend.
- Color. Ascots provide a terrific opportunity to introduce a dash of color to your wardrobe. Think pink.
- How to tie. For those who are challenged when it comes to tying an ascot, there are some that come with Velcro closures and some that even come pre-tied. Otherwise, here is how to tie an ascot. (There are two ways.) Tie it exactly as you would tie a necktie for a "Ruche" tie or tie it in an Edwardian form for a traditional "Jabot" tie. Depending upon how you choose to tie it, you can wear the ends out of your shirt or tucked in under your collar.
- To pin or not to pin. How many opportunities does a man have to wear subtle but tasteful jewelry while still coming across as masculine? Not many! Take this opportunity to wear a pin with your ascot. An ascot pin is basically a stickpin with an adornment at the top and something to keep the pin secure on the bottom. The stick secures the tie so that the two flaps of fabric don't separate. The Jabot tie looks especially good with a pin.
- Attitude. Some articles of clothing require a certain amount of attitude to pull off, and an ascot is definitely one of them. If you want to see a cravat worn well, check out Jeremy Piven at the 2006 Emmy awards ceremony. Of course it doesn't hurt if you are already handsome and confident. To wear an ascot successfully, just pretend to yourself that you're wearing an ordinary tie so that you don't project self-consciousness.
You heard it here first. Ascots will become a must-have fashion accessory for formal wear for men. In fact, I'm not sure why they haven't caught on already except perhaps for Hugh Hefner's influence. (Whatever you do, don't pair your ascot with a red smoking jacket and elasticized pants.......)