Who is Charlie Tinker?

When it comes to accessorising, many men could use a helping hand.

Whether it’s the simple addition of a pocket square, or something around their neck, men’s style is a learned skill for those who care enough to rock it like it’s hot.

Charlie Tinker is one Melbourne-based menswear accessory brand who is kicking goals in the accessories department and making looking good only too accessible.

We were fortunate enough to get together and have a chat about men’s style.

Charlie Tinker 1They say shoes complete the outfit. Can the same be said for something around your neck?

I have heard “shoes maketh the man” but I am not sure about shoes completing an outfit. I believe something which completes an outfit is a special, individual touch. Of course, it depends on the occasion. It may be a pocket square or a bow tie, even a cravat. I am also partial to a cheeky feature sock.  Attention to detail is often what grabs me.

Why the name Charlie Tinker?

Charlie believes in getting to know people before revealing such personal details.

Charlie Tinker is a lover, a thinker, a joker, an introverted extrovert, a maker, a creator.

As a female designer and stylist, why the tendency toward making and selling men’s accessories?

It’s never been a choice of designing for one sex or the other. It’s been an attraction to the structure and shapes of menswear and accessories. It’s nice to create something fun for the boys without making it a gimmick.

What’s the best accessory on a man? Why?

A good set of manners. And they should always be worn.

The lines between old world propriety and the common day sense of it have well and truly been blurred. Does it still matter when and where a man wears a bow tie or a neck tie?

No. Charlie believes in wearing what you want, when you want to and wearing it with confidence. In saying that however, I do believe in the 19th century black tie dress code. A bowtie (preferably self tied) should ALWAYS be worn at a ‘Black Tie’ event. A black neck tie is not ‘Black Tie’.

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What does it say about someone if they can tie their own bow tie?

Today? Purely, that they can tie their own bow tie.  It’s best not to make other assumptions about people.

Tell me some of your favourite fabrics to work with in making men’s accessories.

I’m very much a tactile person. I also love colour and pattern. I’m one of those people who walk around a clothing or fabric store touching everything (a shop assistants worst nightmare perhaps?). I can’t go past a high quality cotton or wool. Silks often come in gorgeous colours and patterns but can have a mind of their own during construction, though they are worth the extra effort in the end. I’m attracted to anything vintage with an amazing retro pattern. I love that my accessories often have stories behind where the fabric came from. I’ve had men purchase ties from Charlie Tinker which were made from a vintage dress or scarf. I really enjoy the aspect of Charlie pieces provoking conversation.

What are some of the most important things a man should know when dressing for an occasion?

Well, every day is an occasion. It doesn’t have to be a wedding, event or party for you to dress well. Charlie isn’t one to tell someone what to wear. Though, there are certain things that we like to pay attention to and often notice on others.

Attention to detail –This is where a man’s personality and individuality shines through their outfit. Polish your shoes. Wear a feature sock, or no sock if appropriate. Add a coloured pocket square. A boutonnière. Carry a handkerchief* (you never know when you may need to use it, wiping up a spill, polishing and most of all in case the opportunity arises where you need to lend it to someone.) It may not be appropriate to add these to your outfit all at once, but here and there adds a special something.

*Handkerchiefs are different to pocket squares. Pocket squares are for show, handkerchiefs are for function.

Pressing – It might be a great shirt, but if it’s creased or has just come from the store pack folded, it will not look good. Take the time to iron, or have it laundered so clothes are ready to go when you need them.

Layering – Can look great especially when dressing casually and it’s also perfect for cooler or fluctuating weather.  Don’t be afraid to add colour to your outfit. Layering with shirts, knits/jumpers, jackets, and accessories can create a polished and individual look. Layering works well when the inner layers are thinner.

Scent – It’s a very personal thing but I love when a man smells good*. When using an aftershave or cologne, don’t over apply.  1-2 sprays is usually enough. If you can smell it on yourself, you’ve used too much, or it’s the wrong scent for you.

*And yes, a man can smell good just by showering, using soap and shampoo/conditioner.

Tailoring/Fit – Clothes that fit well, look better. I often notice men wearing their clothes too big or the wrong fit. Don’t be afraid to get assistance in store in regard to choosing the right size. Also, finding a great local tailor is a surefire way to get the right fit, every time.

Have fun – Wear colour. Wear a pattern. Dress up. Be inspired by the season, films, music, people. Take a few risks, there’s always tomorrow to wear something different… 

Charlie xx

See more at thecharlietinkercollective.com

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James Banham
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James Banham

Editor at THE F
James Banham is an Australian lifestyle, fashion and entertainment journalist. His writing can be found on these many topics and more in print and online publications around the country.
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