In many cultures gift giving is a big deal.
The Chinese have whole rituals about giving and receiving gifts.
Money must always be given in a specific envelope.
You should never give an amount with a 4 in it.
Even numbers are better than odd and 8 is considered auspicious.
Gifts received are often returned with gifts of similar value.
You should never open a gift when you receive it.
It's all fascinating and makes you appreciate how simple gift-giving is in most Western cultures.
But that does not mean receiving gifts or giving them is not full of potential for disaster.
Today I'm answering a reader's question.
A gentleman wrote to me and asked:
“I got a nice gift set from my family and it has a matching pair of cuff-links, a tie and a pocket square. All of them made form the same fabric. How do i pull this off?”
He reminded me that I had talked about not wearing a tie and pocket square made from the same material together.
His concern was also how the cuff links factored into the whole look and felt they were a wild card and he didn't know if he could (or should) pull off a good look with the matching pieces.
At the same time he didn't want to send a negative message to his family or do something that may upset them.
This is one of those situations where there are no hard and fast rules on dealing with the situation. I would really appreciate it if you gentlemen would contact me or let me know if you have something to add about the same or a similar situation and how you dealt with it.
If you personally have a question you want me to turn into a video or article I'd also love to hear from me. This type of interaction is what adds value to RMRS and I love reading your questions and hearing about your problems and concerns.
I love the sense of community this creates as it not only let's me help you gentlemen, but I often learn things from you and find out about the issues we wrestle with daily.
Using Those Family Gifts (Or Not)
This is a really good question because it illustrates how style can't be reduced to a simple set of rules because it's just as much about what effect you have on people as about what you wear.
So here's my advice:
1. Swallow Your Pride – Wear The Tie Cuff-link Pocket Square Set
Sometimes we simply cannot stick to the “rules” of style and you just have to do something or wear something that you wouldn't do otherwise.
Neither myself nor the vast majority of the gentlemen reading this will judge you for not wanting to hurt the feelings of the people you care about.
I'll even confess and say there are things I wear that I would never wear in these videos because they were gifts from my family.
That is how to approach it when your family buys you a matching gift set since it is a gift.
So wear that goofy tie or drink out of that cup you don't really like and that leaks. (Just maybe not to that important business meeting)
It was a gift so make sure to thank them and whether you like it or not, take care of it to show your appreciation.
With family and friends you know that a lot of time and effort went into picking that exact gift because they thought it's something you'd like.
Bill Cosby said something spot-on about gifts from your children, but it applies to other family members and friends as well:
Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope. – Bill Cosby
2. Bringing Matching Cufflink Tie Pocket Squre Gift Sets Into Your Wardrobe
We'll assume that your matching gift set is made from good quality materials and that you individually like the tie, cuff links and pocket square.
If that is the case there is no reason not to bring those items into your wardrobe.
Always remember that you want items to complement each other.
The only time matching cufflinks, ties and pocket squares are acceptable is at a black tie event. With black tie you wear a black tie, black cuff-links and a white or red pocket square.
So the first thing to do is simply to see if you can match those items up with items you already have in a way that complements each other.
Look if it has a pattern in it that you can complement – so if the square has a bit of red in the patterning of the pocket square for instance, you can complement it with a solid red item or one with red in.
You have to match the individual items up in a way that they work together so that you can incorporate them into your wardrobe.
Of all the items mentioned the cuff links are something you can pull off with either the tie or the pocket square and doing that should be fine.
3. Showing Respect To The Person That Gave You The Matching Gift Set
The most important thing about this question are the other people.
You simply have to show some respect to them and realize that sometimes it's all about more than yourself.
And if you end up wearing that matching set to holiday Christmas parties or a family event what difference is it really going to your personal style.
It's all about taking care of the people around you that are going to take care of you and love you as well.
If this article's got you thinking about gifts in general or reminded you about an upcoming birthday or anniversary (or one you missed) please read some of our other articles about gifts:
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