Harcum College’s Dress For Success Program Helps Students Enter The Work Force Confidently

“We give our students the tools they need to be successful academically and now we’re giving them the means to dress for success, while also feeling confident, as they head into the work force,” remarked Associate Vice President of Student Life Urick Lewis. Harcum College in Bryn Mawr, PA launched a Career Closet in 2012 when they realized that many of their students didn’t have the proper business attire to wear to a job interview.

Students at Harcum come from all walks of life. They have a mix of different economic backgrounds. Diversity is one of Harcum’s core values and they found the Career Closet as a way of being inclusive. Anyone can utilize the Closet and whatever a student takes becomes their own. They don’t need to return it or pay anything for it.

The Closet was dormant for a few years and in Fall 2017 there was a grand re-opening with increased emphasis on helping students achieve their goals by boosting their self-esteem with a career-focused wardrobe. Danyele Dove, Director of Career & Transfer Services, manages the Career Closet with the help of her staff and several work-study students. The students are majoring in Fashion Design & Merchandising, so helping to design and maintain the Closet is adding job skills to their resumes.
“When you see clothes going to students who have a genuine need, it makes a big impact,” commented Dove. This semester seven students utilized the Career Closet to find the appropriate attire for job interviews. Three of those students secured the job they wanted and are thankful they had the Career Closet to help them.

Hearing of the Dress for Success mission, Spiffster donated a box of ties to the Career Closet. The Student Life department hosted a “How to Tie a Tie” tutorial. For many of the young men who benefited from this generous donation, this was their first time owning a tie.

Ricardo Jean-Pierre, a Sports Management major and international student from Haiti, was learning to tie his new tie by watching a video. In his first year of college, he may not have an immediate need for business attire, but now he knows he has what he’ll need when the time comes.

All clothing and accessories in the Closet are from donations made by Harcum employees, graduates, and friends. Harcum hopes that the donation from Spiffster will encourage other businesses to support the Career Closet.

What’s next for the Career Closet? Coordinator Danyele Dove said, “I’ve discovered that male students don’t know their shirt size. Being female, I don’t understand the sizing of men’s clothing. It’s something that I need to learn along with our students. So we’re hoping to find a men’s clothing store who can give us a lesson.”

You can learn more about Harcum College at www.harcum.edu. If you would like to contribute to the Career Closet, please contact Amy Shumoski at ashumoski@harcum.edu.

Photo 1: Harcum College students George Jackson, Human Services major; Ricardo Jean-Pierre, Sports Management major; and Alilune Sy, Social Media Marketing major.
Photo 2: Thanks to Spiffster, student Ricardo Jean-Pierre now has a tie for future job interviews. Now to master the art of the knot!
Photo 3: Harcum College thanks Spiffster for the generous donation to their Career Closet.

5 Unusual Tie Knots to Learn and Master

So if you’re a member of Spiffster, you probably already know some basic tie knots. Whether you regularly sport the Windsor knot or Four-in-Hand knot, it’s good to learn a few interesting knots for more casual occasions. You’ll turn some heads for sure. So without further ado, here are some interesting ways to tie a neck tie knot:

1. The Onassis Tie Knot

This is one of the oldest ways to tie a Knot, the Onassis knot was introduced in 1989 by the Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis. You might also strike up an interesting conversion. There are two ways to tie this knot; one is the full Windsor base which is said to be the best way, as it keeps the knot firm and it comes loose on its own. Furthermore, it is easier and keeps the Onassis Horizontal and another way is the four in hand base. They both look the same, but the Windsor base is more symmetrical.

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2. The Cape-Knot Tie Knot

Feeling like a superhero? The cape-knot tie knot might be one of the most attractive ways to tie a Necktie Knot and might make you feel faster than a speeding bullet. It can arguably be worn on any occasion, such as as a wedding or work. It is best suited with a stripe pattern or mono-colored ties. It makes the pattern look unique. It works well with thicker ties, as compared to any standard tie length.

3. The Linwood Taurus Tie Knot

One of the most difficult knots to tie, the Linwood Taurus knot looks like the horns of a bull and sometimes looks like the hands of the trophy. It is mostly worn at parties and informal events. It’s a wise decision to combine it with a vest. And because the knot is so wide, try to use this knot with shirts that have wide collars. Looks amazing with a plain color design.

4. The True Love Tie Knot

Want to show off your romantic side? The True Love knot is another tough way to tie a knot. It needs a lot of practice to get it right. It is divided into four portions, which gives it a heart shape. All the extra cloth tucks into the collar. This knot accents the style statement of a person and hence, is very popular an unusual knot. Save it for a Valentine’s day date.

5. Ediety Tie Knot

Also known as the Merovingian Knot as it was worn by Merovingian in The Matrix. A very unique looking tie knot; it looks best when worn with a two tone tie. It can either be of two different designs or two different colors. The Ediety knot looks decent and fancy with a sweater or a vest. This knot came in to prominence during the early 1920s. Many famous personalities in the past have worn it and made it famous.

The History and All We Know About the Paisley Pattern

The history of the paisley pattern dates back to centuries ago in ancient Babylon, or present Iraq, in 1700 BCE. Scholars have also argued the pattern originated from the city of Yazd in Iran, where a traditional fabric called a “Termeh” included patterns of what was then known as “Boteh.” The pattern resembles a host of things among them, a lotus, a mango, a leech, the yin yang symbol, even a dragon! In ancient Babylon, the paisley pattern was said to resemble an uncurled date palm, a flowering plant species in the palm family, Arecaceae, which was highly cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. The plant was a source of life’s basic necessities and produced food, wine, paper, and even shelter! Ancient Babylonians viewed the date palm as a symbol of prosperity, and thus the paisley pattern sprung into life as a result.

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Role of Kashmiri in paisley design

The Kashmiri, natives of the Kashmiri region in the Indian-Pakistani border also played a huge role in the popularization of paisley patterns. The Kashmiri practice of khil’at, “robes of honor” embraced the use of shawls which were decorated in all sorts of patterns predominantly of paisley design. The shawls were exchanged in political and religious ceremonies. A person in power would give the shawl to his or her inferiors as a show of luxurious compensation.

Current trend in paisley design

The use of paisley in fashion and design is still widely embraced to date. Current trends reveal an increased popularity and preference for the design in men’s fashion. Neckties, bow ties, shirts, t-shirts, pants, and coats are just but some of men’s clothing that are being designed with paisley patterns. The rich history of the patterns and their association with prosperity and plenty is said to be one of the reasons why men prefer to be in outfits with a touch of paisley. It’s classy and traditional. Perfect for any office environment.
Paisley is no doubt a major factor in fashion and design, and it could be argued that it is one of the greatest things that ever happened to the fashion industry.

Chris Pine Is Leading the Way in Fashion and Hollywood

In Hollywood where competition is cutthroat, American actor Chris Pine’s stock has been steadily rising and his star has been shining more and more brightly. As Pine has undeniably become one of Hollywood’s premiere leading men, it’s not only his many silver-screen portrayals that have been turning heads and receiving positive feedback.

Last October, GQ identified Pine as a true fashion icon naming him the International Man of The Year. As he is the brand ambassador of Armani, Pine has consistently put forward wardrobe ensembles that many men can take their style cues from.

One of the many trademark elegant looks of his includes rocking bowties. While you may be thinking that this kind of traditional necktie may only fit a certain individual, Spiffster offers a retort, emphasizing that wearing a bowtie can set you apart and instantly inject confidence into any formal look. For Pine’s appearance at the recent Golden Globe Awards, USA Today highlights and applauded his choice of a classic black bowtie for the esteemed event.

Pine certainly seems to have also significantly spearheaded the bowtie resurgence. Esquire explains that men should follow Pine’s lead as it seems wearing wide neckties are making a comeback. Not sure about the difference between a thick and thin necktie? Here’s a quick fashion tip: sticking to a width that’s between 2.75 and 3.15 inches is the wide-necktie standard you should go for.

The 37-year-old actor has definitely forged his own indelible imprint in the fashion scene—the same way he did for one of pop culture’s most iconic characters: Captain James Kirk. While the role will always be closely associated William Shatner’s original portrayal, Pine took the role and made it his own in the Star Trek reboot film series between 2009 to 2016. Many new fans of the show have grown up with his version of the character. Star Trek is one of the most enduring franchises and it took someone with the star power of Pine to lead the rebooted series. This year the sci-fi classic has once again been revisited on the small screen through Star Trek: Discovery.

Beyond the television and film landscape, the Star Trek influence has also boldly gone to the gaming industry. Star Trek Bridge Crew was released this year, which allowed players to sit in the captain’s chair and command their own ship using VR technology. It is the closest experience fans of Star Trek can get to being Captain Kirk. The Star Trek franchise has expanded to many digital avenues to cater to its global audience. Slots title Star Trek: Red Alert from games platform Slingo, uses iconic imagery from the original series that allows fans to interact with the Space-Western universe in a different form. Like the Chris Pine Star Trek films, the game takes elements from the original series and updates it for a modern audience.

Needless to say, Pine is the face of the modern Star Trek multimedia and his embodiment is something that fans will follow for many years to come. Moreover, Pine is redefining how a modern man should carry himself, even when it means going for a classic look. While many may claim the bowtie to be out-dated, remember that they said the same thing about Star Trek, and with Pine leading the way, the franchise came back bigger and more popular than ever.

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Bow ties for Men: Our arguments for why men should wear bow ties

“Whenever I wear one, women smile,” as stated by Cooper Ray, founder of Social Primer.

The bow tie has been a fashion statement for years, despite being unpopular among some people. They think it is a difficult cravat to pull off that is yet to be well accepted in the fashion industry. However, bow ties have descended from a neckwear style worn by Croatian mercenaries for various reasons: it was meant to keep the collars of men’s shirts fastened and closed together – it played a bigger role as a short scarf than an accessory. The bow tie commonly seen today was innovated by French fashionistas seeking a new, unique way to tie a short neck scarf. The invention was much embraced in the fashion industry and has trended since. Why then should men wear bow ties?

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The bow tie is trending

Bow ties are quickly creeping back to the top of men’s fashion segment. It is becoming a necessity in every man’s tie collection. If you do not believe it, check out the sudden uptick in sales of bow ties that came about after the release of the series “Doctor Who” and each James Bond film. Keep up with the trend that has led actors like Ryan Gosling to wear the bow tie to red carpet events.

Elegance and Confidence

The bow tie reflects back to a time when men were considered well-dressed. In the era when bow ties were popular, men were attentive towards the accepted norms for appropriate clothing and their importance to occasions. Today, these rules rarely apply or are adhered to. Stand out and pair your suit with a bow tie and bring back elegance. By the way, how often do you see men wearing a bow tie? Not too often. Therefore, it does take a lot of confidence for a man to wear a bow tie. You’ll be bolder than that Taco Bell Fire sauce.

Diversity

It is about time that you juggled up your wardrobe. Alternate between regular neck ties and bow ties from time to time. If you put on your bow tie with the right outfit, you will be outstanding and memorable from this sign of confidence and elegance.

Pull off patterns

Bow ties come in a variety of patterns that can barely be pulled off on neck ties. Therefore, if you are attending a cocktail party, you have different patterns to try out without looking tacky. As long as it’s not a shiny glitter tie, your design will probably be acceptable at a social event. Yellow dogs, dolphins, and smiley faces sometimes will work depending on how casual the event is. The bow tie is extremely flexible. So go get some, man.

Get your subscriptions for bow ties and add them to your wardrobe collection.

Enjoy the outdoors before it’s too late!

We know summer’s almost over, but we don’t want it to end! So we’re coming up with a few inexpensive ways to enjoy the outdoors with a date. Because when the weather is nice out, it’s not about spending lots of money or taking your date out shopping on Rodeo Drive or dining out at Chez de [insert something French here]. It’s about spending quality time in the beauty that is the outdoors. The window of opportunity is still open for you (depending on where you live) so plan a date outdoors today!

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Time out in the Park

The ideal thing to do is to look for parks that are a bit of a stretch from your home (perhaps up to a 45-minute drive). The drive time doubles the fun as long as you have light music playing in the car. With the parks, the possibilities of date ideas are immense. Enjoy the hiking trailers and scenic adventures, then take out your smartphone and boot up Yelp! to find a local hot restaurant nearby. It shouldn’t disappoint!

Drive-in Cinemas

Watching a movie with your partner can prove to be an entertaining experience but if you talk about romance, drive-in theaters provide a more, how do we say, seductive environment. You can sit in your car holding the hand of your partner and enjoy the movie along with the company of someone very special to you. Caution: if you are conscious of the public, this option may not be suitable for you. If you’re the type of couple that loathes PDA, then bring a grill and just chill out. That way you’ll get a delicious dinner as well.

Check out the county or state fair

Local fairs tend to sprout up during this time of the year. For example, the Minnesota State Fair is one of the biggest in the United States. Open till labor day, they have the most interesting foods on a stick ever. Well, they are known to concoct tens of new food dishes every year. But you can still enjoy a fun night even if it isn’t a humongous event. Enjoy the calories, walk around, take a few thrilling rides and win your date that stuff animal bear.

Adventure Spots

What can be more exciting than going on an adventure with your partner? You can go at some adventure spot like a national park where you can hike to a picturesque spot or historical point of interest. Or hit up the state’s biggest waterpark. Before making a plan, consult about the difficulty and get their consent so that the plan does not get spoiled. Use apps such as Yelp! and Trip Advisor so you’ll know where to go.

Visit Some Charitable Institution

Plan a visit to some charitable institution. You might think it as unproductive, but it will bring your partner closer to you. You will share happiness with others along with winning the love of them as well as your partner’s.

6 Latest Fashion Trends for Men during the Hot Summer

Every season comes with its own trends for how to dress. For example, during the winter season, you wear thicker fabrics and dark colors while during the summer and spring season, lighter fabrics and brighter colors are preferred. Since summer is in full swing, it is important to look hot rather feel the hotness of the sun. Here we will discuss 7 latest fashion trends for men during the summer days.

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1. Wear a Hat

Hats are still very much trendy when it comes to men’s accessories. Whether you are hanging out at the beach or going for a jog in the park, you should wear a hat. Not only will the hat look great on you but will save you from the wrath of the sun as well. Get either the Fedora, the Trilby, the Porkpie, the Panama, or the Newsboy and you’ll shine like a true gentleman.

2. Shades are the Way to Go

Sun can affect the eyes and you have to protect them somehow. You can wear a pair of sunglasses that will not only protect your eyes but make you look 75 percent cooler than before. Amazing isn’t it? While choosing shades, make sure that the design is in trend, after all, you will not want to flaunt the style of the bygone era. Look for pairs that block at least 99% of UVB rays and at least 95% of UVA rays.

To pick a style, understand your face shape.

Oval face: The oval type is the most preferred face shape, as the owner can wear any style of glasses. Avoid frames that are either too thick or too thin. Don’t choose frames wider than your face width.

Square face: Any face shape has very straight, pronounced jawline and edges. It’s better to pick round glasses to balance out these features. Choose wider sunglasses and avoid rectangular glasses with sharp corners.

Round face: A person with a rounder face tends to have fatter cheeks. Choose polygonal or square sunglasses that have an angle design to balance this out. Thicker frames will help.

Long face: Choose larger lenses and the polygonal frame in order to balance out a longer face. Popular retro glasses and sports glasses can be considered.

Flat face: Choose darker lenses and frames to highlight the contours of the face. Pick a brighter color frame.

3. Make a Windbreaker Your Pal

Are you living in a desert, where it still gets chilly at night? Choose a nice windbreaker. Jackets are not made for spring and summer seasons. They are only ideal for winter season. In summer season when the weather gets chilly occasionally, a windbreaker can be your move. It will make you enjoy the chilly weather while making you look fashionable.

4. Go Formal with Light Suits

Business and formal meetings see no season and you have to look as formal and professional as possible. In such scenarios when you have to look extra formal, wear suits that are made with lighter fabrics like cotton, summer-weight wool or linen. Such fabrics will make you feel more comfortable without causing any discomfort.

5. Beach Shorts

In the summer days, people especially men love going to the beach. You cannot wear formal dresses at the beach (although there are no such rules). However, you are there to enjoy your time and flaunt your style as well. Beach shorts can make you feel relaxed at the beach and the designs imprinted on them will make your trip more joyful. Don’t be afraid to add some festivity to your swimwear. It is something where you can be as bold as you can.

6. Ripped Jeans

Jeans is one of the most popular men’s clothing items. Those who want to carry a cool look with jeans should look for ripped or destroyed jeans. Ripped jeans although are an old trend, but they are still very much popular. Besides flaunting a cool look, you can make your legs breathe. Pair them with a simple t-shirt and sneakers. The jeans will be the focal point, so everything else should not be too over styled.

Simple Tips to Dress up the Best in Your Interview

As they say, “the first impression is the last impression”, this phrase holds absolutely true if you are heading out for a job interview. You should dress your best if you want to leave the best impression during your interview. The impression that you have created with your personality or dressing is further cemented with your communication skills.

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In this blog, we will cover some useful dressing tips that you can follow before an interview to leave the best impression and enhance your chances of landing that job you want.

Dress Code

The first thing you need to do is find out the dress code of the company. By following the dress code, the interviewer will get the impression that you are well-equipped about their company’s culture and values of the company. Do not rely on last moment preparations as it can be chaotic. Prepare your wardrobe for your interview well in advance to save yourself from last minute hassles.
In case, if the company does not follow a proper dress code, you should stick to the safest option i.e. appear for the interview in a suit and tie. Opt for a white color shirt if you are confused about what to wear. It should be neatly pressed with not a single wrinkle. Pair it up with the traditional black suit and tie to leave the best impression.

Shoes & Accessories

Neckties are one of the most importance and noticeable accessory that a man wears. In fact, it would not be wrong to state that it is the first thing that people notice about you in your outfit. So make sure you are getting it right with the necktie. Opt for a simple and decent necktie rather than going all out with bright colors and large patterns. Simple dots or classic stripes pattern is the most recommended option. Avoid bow ties, even if you want to make a different impression. The other accessory that you must wear is a wrist watch. However, opt for a sophisticated one rather than flaunting your Rolex or sports watch. Give your jewelry some rest for a day as it might not go with the professional look you are vying for.

Pay utmost attention to the shoes you are wearing. Avoid loafers at any cost and opt for properly polished black lace-up shoes for the best impression. They shouldn’t be too pointy.

Hair

Trim your hair a few days before your scheduled interview to get a neat look. Opt for a rather simpler look and save your trendy hairdos for some other event. If you have facial hair, make sure they are trimmed on the day of the interview or a day prior to it.

Apart from following the tips mention above, there are some other things you need to consider as well.

  • Properly cut your nail, if possible get a manicure.
  • Use neutral deodorant after taking a shower rather than cologne.
  • Don’t forget to keep a handkerchief (preferably plain in light color) in your pocket along with a pen.

After creating an impressive first impression by following the tips mentioned above, impress the interviewer with your communication skills and knowledge of the subject matter to get that job.

Tips and Tricks for a Great Shave

Beard trends are going mainstream with the focus of fashion industry being on beard styling for the past couple of seasons. However, the life of an office professional may not afford him the luxury of following this widely followed trend. So, if you believe in supporting a neat look for the office, you’ve got to shave mate!

A perfect shave is an art which most men are unaware of. You should not have to get an appointment with a barber, each time you need to get a good shave. We’re here to help you with tips and tricks to get the perfect shave by yourself, at your home! Hooked yet? Keep on reading to learn more.

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Getting your Skin Ready

Our face has its own natural oils. To remove the excessive oil and dirt from your face, you need to wash your face thoroughly. This will provide a clean canvas for your shave. You can soften your beard hair by washing your face with warm water or dabbing it with a hot towel.

Using Shaving Creams or Oils

To get a seamless and perfect shave you need to moisturize your face well. If your face is not properly moisturized, it may lead way for cuts and burns. To moisturize your face properly, you can use a shaving oil or a shaving cream. This will make the shaving process easier for you.

Choosing the Right Blade

There are many quality blades available in the market which can help you get the perfect shave at home. You need to find the perfect razor according to your facial needs or skin type. You may also use an electric shaving machine, a cartridge razor or a straight blade for shaving.

Knowing the Right Angle and Technique

You need to use extreme caution while shaving your face because you are dealing with sharp objects. The perfect angle for you to shave would be between 30 and 45 degrees. By using this angle, you will be safer while shaving. Do your shave with your dominant hand, this will allow you to have more control over your razor strokes. You need to shave in the direction of the hair growth. If you go in the opposite direction you can be left with ingrown hairs which can be painful.

After Shave Process

After you are done with shaving your face, you should wash your face with cold water. This will close your pores and will prevent clogging. When you are done with washing your face, you can apply any after shave gel or oil to keep your skin safe from bacteria.

Knowing the right way to shave your face is important or it can result in serious injurious. You can be good at shaving by following the tricks and tips I have mentioned above. When you get good at shaving yourself, you will not feel the need to go to a barber and waste money and time. I hope this article was helpful for you. Let us know, if you would like us to share some more cool tricks and tips!

How To Keep Your Neck Ties In Great Shape

Getting ready for a social function, you realize your blue-green plaid neck tie would be the perfect complement with your light green dress shirt. You hunt for it in your closet, only to see that it has fallen victim to the carpet floor and has developed some creases! Oh the horror. You realize the unfortunate situation has taught you one important lesson: Keep your ties well-maintained and organized! Although, most of us don’t own a tie rack to keep our neck ties in tip-top condition, we’re here to offer you tips so you won’t be stuck in that horrid situation ever again.

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Untying the tie

As soon as you get off work, the first thing that you would love to do is take off your tie and throw it on a chair so you can relax. However, if you could take an extra minute to accomplish this procedure it will make all the difference. A few things to remember:

  • Never pull the thin part out of the knot when removing the tie
  • Never leave the knot in the tie when not in use because it will create a permanent crease
  • Always remove the tie by following tie-tying steps in reverse

Storing the tie

Once you are done with removing your tie, make sure that you hang it up. It will make the creases fall out and you will notice a reduction in the wrinkles of the tie. You should never leave your tie at the back of the chair or rolled up in a drawer. You can invest in a tie rack like Aidan here to ensure you ties last for a long time!

Packing the tie

When you are away from home on business, sometimes it’s better to take multiple ties along for your business trip. When packing up your tie, you should carefully roll it. Yes, it’s acceptable to roll a tie when traveling because you will be utilizing the tie very soon. Start rolling the tie from the small end and then you can secure the tie in a zip lock bag. In order to keep them safe and sound during the entire journey you can even place them carefully in your shoes.

Cleaning the tie

Even a small stain on the tie will reduce its elegance. However, you should only clean your tie when it is dirty and not after every time you wear it. Just stay attentive of the fabric from which your time has been made and you’ll keep looking spiffy.

During the cleaning process, be sure to be extremely careful. Your tie’s ability to last depends on how carefully you handle it while washing. Your tie should be hand washed or dry cleaned, despite the material from which it has been made. For more advice on cleaning, visit our blog here.

Remove wrinkles from the tie

Ironing the tie can damage its looks. So for the easy wrinkles, you can hang your tie in the bathroom while you are taking a hot shower. On the other hand, when the wrinkles get stubborn you can buy the steamer and make your tie look as good as new.

In order to keep your tie from unwanted food stains, you can use the tie tacks. However, they might leave a hole in your tie. To avoid these holes, apply the tie tacks through the shirt. Use these tips to elongate the life of your tie, and continue to look spiffy!

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