Countess Mara -- maker of extraordinary neckwear for gentlemen -- creates bow ties, neck ties, wallets, gloves, bags and other accessories for the modern dandy. The brand was founded by Lucilla Mara de Vescovi in Rome, Italy; in 1930, she and her husband, American tennis singles champion Malcolm Whitman, got into an argument about his boring ties -- a fight she won when she made him a tie from silk dress material. After Whitman tragically committed suicide in 1932, his grief-stricken widow travelled throughout Europe, collecting fabric to bring to New York and turn them into a necktie empire. Countess Mara initially specialized in playful pictorial ties in unusual designs that helped to define the style of the modern American gentleman: torn love letters, the Lady Godiva, flora and fauna all featured, in patterns so distinctive that collectors and businessmen alike took notice. Frank Sinatra was a major fan, and often had his own custom-made Countess Mara ties. So roll like you’re in the Rat Pack: be a gentleman, and wear Countess Mara.
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Headed to a wedding this summer? Enjoy it — and remember: it's not about the guests, it's about the couple standing up front, so skip the statement-making getup and respect the occasion with a sharp look. We’ve pulled together the pieces you need to do just that, including smart summer suits, dress shirts, and more from big brands like Calvin Klein and Armani — plus a few cool accessories to add just enough life to your look. Speaking of livening things up, try to be on your best behavior during the ceremony. Once the reception gets going, well, that's another story.