WE’VE ALL BEEN there before: Your buddy’s getting married, and he asks you to be one of his groomsmen. You’re thrilled. Honored, even. But then he asks you to drop a couple hundred bucks on an ill-fitting rayon suit that you’re never going to wear again. Not so thrilled now, are you?
That’s where The Grunion Run Groomsmen Shop comes in. Launched earlier this year, the L.A.-based label makes affordable, great-looking shirts, ties, vests and accessories that are ideal for your friend’s Big Day, while also making for solid additions to your everyday wardrobe.
In the interest of full disclosure, we have to mention that The Grunion Run was founded and designed by our co-founder Yang’s sister Yun and brother-in-law Kevin. But believe us when we say that there’s hardly any nepotism at play here—as two style-minded twentysomethings with limited disposable income, The Grunion Run’s well-designed basics are right in our wheelhouse. After all, where else are you going to find a $40 dress shirt with such a perfect trim fit and collar? Or a #menswear-approved slim red chambray tie for a mere $22 bucks a pop?
We’re beyond excited to have been involved with the styling and creative direction for The Grunion Run’s 2012 Lookbook. It’s one of our favorite projects we’ve worked on thus far, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Take a gander below.
BACK IN MIDCENTURY AMERICA, neckties were part of a man’s uniform. You wore one with your suit and hat and freshly shined shoes, and you went to work alongside hundreds upon thousands of men dressed exactly the same way. For an entire generation of young people, ties became earmarks of the establishment—a suffocating sign that you’d signed over your individuality to Corporate America—and thus they slowly started to disappear. Our culture began to lose its sense of formality, of dressing with purpose, until eventually drab polo shirts and ill-fitting khakis became the choice de rigueur for appropriate office attire. (There’s a special place in sartorial hell reserved for Mark Zuckerburg and his zip-up hoodies.)
But a rebellion has begun—a renaissance, if you will—and more and more young, well-dressed men are donning ties as a sign not of conformity, but independence. They use their neckwear to stick it to their sloppy forefathers and express themselves in the process. Because really, if you think about it, what else is a tie good for? They serve no real functional purpose beyond making you look good, refined, sophisticated. A man in a tie is instantly more respectable, and guys everywhere are using them to add a dash of personality to their ensembles.
“Expressing yourself with a tie,” however, does not mean wearing that viscose number with Tweety Bird and Taz on it that your mom bought you in the sixth grade. Below, you’ll find our comprehensive guide to doing it the right way. We’ll introduce you to a few of the standout labels from a new, innovative generation of tie makers; give you a rundown on the tie every man should own, the ideal fabrics and widths, and the best technique for tying one on; and, finally, four tastemakers we trust will reflect on their favorite neckwear.