Ask Danny Agnew

Your style queries, answered

By The Editors
December 16, 2014 9:00 am

Because every man must dress himself, and sometimes even leave the house wearing pants, we present “Ask Danny Agnew” — a series that answers your questions regarding all matters vestiary, and recurs whenever he gets around to it. Have a query? Email it to

To turtleneck or not to turtleneck? Can’t decide if they’re cool or nerdy.

– Clark Laramie, Seattle, WA

Turtlenecks are a delicate dance: do them right and they’re a killer cold-weather look. Do them wrong and the Steve Jobs jokes last till spring. Couple general rules: first, the lighter weight the turtleneck, the more it should be layered with other pieces. For example, this heavier Woolrich cable knit1 can stand alone, while cotton versions like this one from Uniqlo2 work best under, say, a flannel popover3 and shawl collar pullover4. Second, turtleneck under a blazer is totally acceptable if you wear it with confidence and the turtleneck has some texture. Think Steve McQueen in Bullitt. Third, no mock turtlenecks. Ever.

What’s your policy on scarves? Do you have a go-to or do you mix it up?

– Lee Donnell, Cleveland, OH

I try to keep a solid rotation of scarves going, both to mix it up and because I frequently leave them in bars. As such, I try not to spend too much on them, though solid cashmere5 is tough to beat for comfort and versatility. Though they’re not quite as au courant as they were a while back, I also still favor keffiyeh-style scarves6 because they’re cheap, colorful and easy to wrap – you just kind of throw them every which way. Add a big chunky number7 and a classic plaid8 and you’ve got yourself a nice stable. Leave silk for the dandies.

I’m seeing more seasonal ties out there, is there such a thing as a seasonal pocket square?

– Brian Kemp, New York, NY

Indeed there is. In fact I think that’s half the fun of the changing season — it gives you the chance to put slight tweaks on the little details. Off hand, I know both Alexander Olch9 and The Tie Bar10 make a variety of scratchier wool hankies that add a nice element of texture. But hell, don’t stop with your pocket square: hook + ALBERT makes great autumnal lapel flowers11, and if you’re not rocking a glimpse of cool woolly sock12, you’re just not living. Go for broke.

Trouble getting dressed? Have a style query? Email it to

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.