Archive for July, 2010

Thank you, Tieghmaster!

July 30, 2010

And, lo, the first week of Tie Week Month comes to a close. Mad Men Tie Week is in the books, and I’m planning for Blue Tie Week next week. I may have set Ugly Tie Week for next week, but I think I’d like to lead up to Tie No. 100 (scheduled for Aug. 9) with some nice ties. And, so, Blue Tie Week it shall be.

My Tie du Jour will have to go unnamed, as it no longer has a label. It has diamond-shapes floating on a dark blue field with smoky, gray lines all over. This tie, like several of these thinnies this week, looks much better in person, but my flashless camera doesn’t really bring out the best in dark blue ties (so, by all means, dumbass, have a Blue Tie Week). And, as it is Friday, that makes this baby the Friday Freebie, so comment away and win a thin, label-less tie. Impress your friends!

Did you just lick my neck?

So, as we celebrate the end of a celebration of 60s ties, we can revisit the sad, sad 70s, and the fashion of Britain! Once more, titters abound as the cheese is passed ’round. I am quite glad that there is a bright red tie tucked into that bright red button-up sweater vest, because it gave me reason to include this SAH-WEET cable-knit, button-up, BELTED (oh, yes, nothing says, “unbelt my sweater vest, baby” quite like, well, a belted sweater vest) sweater vest.

Ok, so I have a few things to do next week to get ready for my 100th Tie ChariTIES Celebration. I’d like to get some sort of coupon from a place that sells ties, so that I can give something out with a donation. That’s my Saturday task. I should also start tying some ties so that I can loan them out to folks who want to be GW(T)T—Guys With (Temporary) Ties or, of course, Girls With (Temporary) Ties.

Well, thanks for reading.

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Ties does matter…

July 30, 2010

Yes, the proper English would be ‘Ties DO matter’ but grammar don’t concern me none right now.

We’re gonna keep on keepin’ on here, with Tie No. 93 in the hizzouse, celebrating Day 3 of Mad Men Tie Week, which is celebrating Week 1 of Tie Week Month. And WHAT a celebration it is!

Out of the 4 or 5 ties that Don Draper sported the other day, one was a bit extra stripey (or maybe it was another of the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce wags), so I thought this Tie du Jour matched up with the era pretty well. It’s from Baskin, which is definitely not a main player in the world of high fashion. But, this one has a little retro life in it, with it’s big orange and smaller neon green-adorned stripes. This one was tougher to tie, as it was very short. Were people really much shorter? Or were tie-wearers Elves?

T.I.E. = take it easy

I believe I’ve mentioned my friends, Paul & Susan Frischer, who own MarketFresh Books, where you can buy used books (and CDs, videos, etc) by the pound. I was in there with Julia the other day, and Susan had set something aside that is pretty special. Catalog Man, a series of postcards (marketed by Chronicle Books) depicting British “fashion” from the 70s, is tear-inducingly funny. Several of them are hawking ties, and I’ll try to post a couple here and there. This first one kills me (sorry, they all do) because of the turd-sniffing face that the ‘model’ is modeling, while trying to pull off sporting a full shirt-and-tie ensemble under the cheesy silk robe/smoking jacket look. His partner is probably relieved he doesn’t have to look at the camera, at least.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for ripping on a decade’s worth of fashion crime…Brooke

That’s about the ties of it…

July 29, 2010

Just like the high temperature today, we are in the 90s. Home stretch time for getting to Tie No. 100. That was, what, March 16?

Well, I have decided on a couple of things, which will of course be subject to change. ‘100th Tie Week’ will kick off on Monday, August 9 and will coincide with Purple Tie Week. I will be raising money in a couple of ways. I’m going to try to get 100 pictures of PWT–I’ll say what that means in a minute–per week. Or per day. Or for the rest of August. Whatever, I just don’t know how many I can get. I can go to the train stations in the morning, and try to get some. I’ll walk around with a sampling of some of my (pre-tied, of course) worn ties, and will ask folks I know (and those I don’t) if I can snap their picture in one of the ties. I’ll ask for a small donation, like a buck.

TIES for ChariTIES.

I could donate half the proceeds to the Salvation Army, since I’ve gotten such great stuff there for over a decade. For the other half, the proceeds will go to help pay my tuition so that I can attend the Leadership Evanston program with the Evanston Community Foundation. Any other suggestions are more than welcome, even if said suggestion suggests that I should use it to pay the Leadership Evanston tuition.

Also, I thought that if anyone wanted, they could pledge a certain amount for how many PWT (Philanthopists With Ties!) photos I posted during a certain day or week or whatnot. Just say, “I’ll give a dime for every PWT pic you take this week” or something to that effect, and I’ll get out the handy-dandy calculator.

So, my Tie du Jour, on this, the 2nd day of Mad Men Tie Week, which is the 1st week of Tie Week Month is a good one. The tag says Bruno – Zurich. I’m afraid to google ‘Bruno tie’ because it may take me to some Sacha Baron Cohen porn site from his last movie. A very cool thing about this tie is that it’s a square-ended tie. Of course I didn’t put that in the picture, but if you pretend the bottom of the picture is the end of the tie, you get the drift.

The original picture doesn’t do it justice, so I slipped this one in so that you could see the detail of the blues. Pretty trippy, not that I’d know.

Hmm, I guess that’s it…no guys with ties today. I guess I’d better practice…

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Tie Tie Birdie

July 28, 2010

Thin’s in, baby. Thin is IN. Don Draper and his co-workers at Mad Men‘s upstart ad firm Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Rowan Martin Comet Cupid Starsky & Hutch all got a new chance to show off their newest vintage ties at this past Sunday’s season premier. I had a front-row seat (on my couch) for the TV event of the summer (not counting the World Cup, LeBron James’s bad decision, CNN’s coverage of Hurricane Petrol, Pillars of the Earth, and Sanford & Son reruns).

I was so touched, that I skipped a day of wearing ties to play golf. Oh, just kidding, I could have worn a tie, it would have been too hot. Sweat stains on a tie? Not. Pretty.

My impressions of the first episode of MMIV? It was a mulligan (golf term). They laid up (another one) and Sallied the putt up to the hole (I’ll stop). They had a lot of transitions to cover–divorced Don, divorced Betty, new office digs, new Peggy wardrobe, same Joan buxomitude–and I think they just wanted to gurge them all up in Epi #1. But, in the last minute, it’s obvious that the show will quickly get up to no good. In a good way.

And, so, to honor this slow start out of the gate that will undoubtedly (please, writers?) turn into another great season, I bring you MTTW, Mod Thin Tie Week. Or just TTW, in case I’m misusing the word “Mod.” Or should I go back to MMTW (Mad Men Tie Week), my original premise promise? Nonetheless, it will be a short week, but I will make it worth your while (please, writer?), and I will have settled on a name by then. Or afterwards. By Sunday, I swear.

Less tie, less chance of hitting it w/soup

My Tie du Jour is a muted, two-tone electric blue (I think I just invented another oxymoron) from Wembley, and not only does the label create a new synthetic fabric–WEMLON (Orlon, Dacron & Rayon were just not cheesy enough)–but they give you matching ideas. Right on the label, it says (for Blue, Black or Gray Suit).The print, alas, is too small to take a picture.

All blue, black and gray suits--any Wembley ties?

That just slays me for some reason. In the 60s, when this tie was likely created (pretty sure that WEMLON was outlawed in the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, signed by Nixon & Brezhnev in May ’72), blue, black and gray suits just HAD to have accounted for 99.1% of all suits worn by non-pimps and non-Frenchmen (French pimps wear blue suits, ironiquement).

I wonder how many times that closed the deal. “Well, honey, this tag says ‘Blue, Black or Gray Suits.’ I could wear this tie every day!” And he probably put it onto a short-sleeve shirt. Sigh. Gotta show cuffs, guys, unless you’re freakin’ Sipowicz from NYPD Blue.

Until tomorrow. Thanks for reading…Brooke

Watch me pull a rabbit from tie hat…Presto!

July 25, 2010

Wow, this is officially the latest I have written the blog…just haven’t been by the laptop much this weekend. And when I was, Julia had taken it over. Plus, I was procrastinating, since I wanted to watch the Mad Men season premier before writing it.

Don Draper, the main character in Mad Men, is the inspiration for this week’s MTTW (Mod Thin Tie Week), which will likely begin on Tuesday. Monday is the Chamber’s golf outing, and if I wear a tie, it won’t be a thin, Draper-esque 60’s model. Poor planning, I guess, but that’s okay.

Back to Friday…my Tie du Other Jour is a quite interesting number from Pineda Covalin, a Mexican designer. Very interesting ménagerie of designs, so the website is worth a look. Many of the designs have a name, and this one is “Stone of the Sun”, for some reason. As you can see from the closeup here, the name should perhaps be Cigar of the Bunny, or Some Sort of Lizard. Think there was some peyote going around the designer’s atelier. And I like it!

We have a new member of Guys With Ties…Zach Selch is a fellow Lincoln School parent. I mentioned him a few days ago, when I was talking about the 7-fold tie. After I guessed wrong on where he got his ties made, he corrected me via comment the other day, “Thailand, Brooke. I get my ties made in Thailand. highly recommended – http://www.samhober.com.”

Thanks for reading, have a nice Mod thin Tie Week…Brooke

Tie it, you’ll like it!

July 23, 2010

We interrupt this tie blog to bring you an evening of gin-and-tonics on the porch of Paul [last name withheld to protect the drinkmaker] last night, along with the requisite recovery period. Perfect summer activity, really. No regrets.

My Tie du Yesterday was an interesting pick-up, from (methinks) the Hadassah House Resale Shop on Dempster in Skokie. This particular hue of red caught my eye, and I kinda liked the rope pattern, too. The brand is Envoy, which has not survived long enough to be on Google. The TdY seems like it could have been in the red-power-tie collection of someone who follows the power tie color of the day. It complemented my red-wavy-pinstriped Gene Meyer shirt, which is unfortunately seeing its last days. Seems to have lost its shape, oddly enough, as if the buttons don’t jive up with the button holes (and, no, I did NOT mis-button or miss a button).

We had some follow-up from Eric Schneider, who borrowed a couple of ties a couple of weeks ago. He had not worn a tie in over ten years, and went to a wedding. His son Levi (who looks SHARP as heck in his summer suit) and he are now the inaugural members of DSWT (Dads & Sons With Ties), a subset of GWT.

I received a very cool New York Times pictorial from my folks, entitled Unwilted. This link will take you to a sort of video montage put together by NYT’s Bill Cunningham. Some more great summer looks in here, replete with ties, of course.

Here’s another link to a former 100 Days, 100 Ties pictorial alum, Brandon Bowers of Astor & Black. He was on WGNtv recently, and here’s the piece. Brandon and good friend Billie Kershasky were the inaugural (and still only) members of GWGWT (Girls With Guys With Ties).

Very excited about the 4th Season premier of Mad Men. I’ll be choosing my mod, thin ties for the week, which may be just a 4-tie week, due to the Chamber golf outing. Unless, of course, I figure out a way to wear a tie to the course. But, on what will likely be a 90-degree day, I ‘spect I’ll be in an open-necked polo shirt of some variety.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Variety is the ties of life…

July 21, 2010

I realize that I have repeated myself, um, repeatedly throughout 100 Days, 100 Ties, but I think I have done a decent job presenting a bit of variety into the proceedings. I cringe at the thought of subjecting you to the same stories, and I’d simply disappear if I repeated one of the punny subjects.

My Tie du Jour has to be pretty far from a repeat, though. I’ve worn other polka-dotted ties, but this one is still pretty unique. From the Attitude line of BCBG, I got it at Marshall’s or TJ Maxx, with this shirt in mind. The shirt is also BCBG-Attitude, so I’m probably not the first soul to put these together. But, I have to say that my cufflinks make it truly singular.

These are the Turkish eye beads that were taken from the bracelet that got me into Ayla’s Originals International Bead Bazaar to make some cufflinks. I thought this merited an ensemble photo.

Well, I got one new Guy With Tie this morning. I had a chance at a bunch more at our Business After Hours at Autobarn Nissan this evening, but my battery was dead. So, my GWT for the day is John Zrnich, an attorney with the firm Khuri & Zrnich in Wilmette (they used to office in Evanston).

So, on August 9, get a sitter, get a tie, and get yourself to my Flat. I’m going to have a 100th Day, 100th Tie celebration of some sort. I’ll serve, naturally, Thai food. You’ll wear, naturally, ties, or I can provide one for you.

In the meantime, I’m going to see if I can request some donations of ties from local celebs, to raise some money for charity, via an auction or somesuch. CelebriTIES for ChariTIES (I think Dr. Vince may have come up with that one a while back). My thought for the charity is the Evanston Community Foundation, a wonderful organization. Pending my interview, I will hopefully be attending their Leadership Evanston course, starting in the fall. Tuition is $1,000, and I plan to use some of the funds raised her to go to my tuition. I’m also having a bake sale, and I’m not above doing a car wash to earn my keep in LE.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Super-ties Me!

July 20, 2010

I am pretty sure I missed the 6-month anniversary, but I’m close enough to it that I can mention it. And I’m sorry if I’ve already held forth on this topic; I hate when I repeat myself. Also, I hate when I repeat myself.

So, all possible brain-farting aside, there’s a somewhat new Evanston burger place (8-10 months old, mebbe) called Edzo’s. They make really good burgers, and really GREAT fries. Like Tony the freakin’ Tiger GRReat. All kinds: truffle fries, old fries (double fried), garlic fries, angry fries, buffalo fries…you name it. Anyweigh, in January I was eating there, thoroughly enjoying a burger/fries combo, and I must say I left satiated. That night, we went to dinner at The Bagel, at Old Orchard, and I ordered a sandwich with chips on the side (that’s crisps for you Brits). They brought fries. Instead of sending them back, I ate them anyway, and they were quite yummy as well.

So, next day, I felt a little, well, sluggish. Not heart-attacky sluggish, but some sort of well-shit-man-guess-what?-that’s-what-happens-when-you-eat-potatoes-and-oil-in-relatively-great-quantities-over-a-24-hour-period sluggish. So, I said to myself (probably silently, but the Afterschool Special version will have me say it out loud, in the rain, or something), “Self, no more fries…FOR THE YEAR!”

Here we are, just over 6 months past that self-quote, and I have not eaten, tasted, licked, ingested, inhaled, smoked nor snorted a french fry…Why did I not say 3 months, I ask that same self?

I know, first I go all soccer on you during the World Cup, and now I slip in the 100 Days, 100 Fries crap. Sorry, but I actually stared down some Edzo’s fries today. It was tough. That is definitely where I’ll go next January.

Back to ties, and my Tie du Jour. The picture today is crap, as this beautiful tie is a dark, dark green (kinda like Tie No. 2 or 3, the cotton-boll one…you’d think I’d learn) and yet it looks black. It’s from Daniel di Milano, and I’m a big fan of their quality. Yeah, Brooke, they’re so quality-rich that you found them all at TJ Maxx. Either way, Cynical Conscience, they tie well and they look good. Except in an iPhone photo.

So, I’ve gotten some feedback on what to do on Day 100, and I’ll be ready to share that by the end of the week. It will be charity-related, and the beneficiary will be the Evanston CommuniTIE Foundation. I also had a great suggestion for the last Tie Week of Tie Week Month. It’s definitely the leader in the clubhouse, and I’ll reveal it also by the end of the week. Keep the suggestions coming.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Token white tie…

July 19, 2010

I’ll get to the Tie du Jour, and then I have a few things, logistically, to get out about 100 Days, 100 Ties.

My TdJ is from Thomas J. Pink, or just Pink as the label is commonly known. They are best known for their shirts–high-quality, pure colors with great patterns usually–but their ties and other accessories are fantastic, too. Pricy, too. Diane bought me this tie a while back, at one of their shops in London (perhaps at Heathrow), before I was wearing them with regularity.

The photo makes it look more silver than it is, but it’s not much of a stretch. It’s definitely one of the “shinier” whites you’ll see. The great thing is that it goes with a bunch of shirts that I like to wear; shirts with a little oomph and texture to them. And the quality is top notch–there’s a lot of fabric folded in there to make this tie. Makes for a great knot…no slippage and the crease keeps its shape perfectly.

A good buddy, Zach Selch, who travels the world extensively, informed me that there is something called a seven-fold tie, where the tie is created by folding a piece of fabric (duh) into 7 folds. He tried to get me to use his tailor (was it in Hong Kong, Z?) but I couldn’t come up with the hundo for a bespoke tie. One day…

Now, I’m getting quite antsy on my repeated pledges and heralds and announcements of upcoming such-and-such tie weeks. Well, starting next Monday, it’s going to be a month’s worth of tie weeks. I’ll call it Tie Week Month (so creative, don’t you agree?), and it’ll go until the end of August.

Here’s the schedule…mark your calendars.

July 26-30…Mad Men Tie Week – thin is IN, baby! I’ll wear thin ties, and simple pocket squares, à la Don Draper. I will not, however, smoke, drink (at work, at least), change my identity or have an affair with a plenitude of 60s NYC hotties. Time travel is not in the 100D100T budget.

Aug 2-6…Blue Tie Week. A week not only of blue ties, but puns centered around the word ‘blue’! Can blue dig it? Everybody was Kung-Blu Fighting!

Aug 9-13…Purple Tie Week. Sticking with the color scheme theme. This will likely be a special week, as Tie No. 100 is slated for this Monday. May need to have a party that night. Ties NOT optional. I have some good purple ties to bust out, one in particular that is truly worthy of the century mark (can’t spell “centuries”, right?).

Aug 16-20…Ugly Tie Week. I have more than a week’s worth of ugly ties, so I could either have a UTF (Ugly Tie Fortnight, which would drive me batshit) or my latest thought was to bring along a spare tie. That way, when someone says, “Wow, that really is a freakin’ ugly tie”, I can remove it and replace it with one even uglier.

Aug 23-27…TBD Tie Week. You didn’t really think I could come up with another one, did you? I need to hedge my bets that I’ll come up with something even funnier for the end of Tie Week Month. Your suggestions are most welcome.

So, that’s that. I thought I had something else, but I think it may have been a preliminary discussion of the 100th Tie Fiesta (can’t spell ‘fiesta’…). Hmm, I wonder if I can get 100 Guys With Tie pix that day? If I have a tie party, I could, right? Thinking caps, please, help me out.

Thanks so much for reading. It means a lot. Brooke

Stop me when I’m passing tie…

July 16, 2010

It has been mentioned that, when wearing my seersucker suit or jacket, “Ice Cream Man” collects the spoils in the contest “Name What Profession Brooke Resembles Now.” It’s not a very popular contest, but that right there is the hands down winner, although the horse race thing is making strides.

Today I was actually mistaken for an ice cream man! Sort of. I was attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Andy’s Frozen Custard here in downtown Evanston, and I was introduced to some folks from the Evanston YWCA, and one said, “You must be Andy?” The seersucker worked!

I am quite striped today, in my pink and royal blue Tie du Jour from Tommy Hilfiger. I actually put the tie with the striped Burberry shirt BEFORE deciding on the seersucker blazer. This outfit definitely falls into the “Do Not Adjust Your Set” category.

Speaking of Burberry, that reminds me of a resale shopping tip. I have a really nice raincoat (of the trenchcoat variety) from Brooks Brothers, that I found (of course) at a resale shop. It fits well and repels the rain, as long as I’m not out there for hours and hours. A couple of weeks, I saw a Burberry one at a (what else?) resale shop. It just oozed class and style and value. But, since I had just gotten the Brooks one, and since the cuffs were ever so slightly frayed, i didn’t get it. Frayed or not, that would have been a great purchase. Stupid, stupid, stupid. So, for some things, labels don’t mean much, but sometimes, an upgrade may be worth paying extra attention to the higher labels. Not that I would pay for the higher-cost labels (at retail, at least), but part of their value is that they usually last longer, and look better as they age. Shoes are a prime example of this…if you find a good label, keep looking for that label.

Okay, down off the box.

I have a Guy With Tie today, from very close to home. Or to work, at least. Kevin Babb, who works for Pension Specialists, the company who shares office space with the Chamber. He had this tie on for about an hour, to go see a prospect. The joys of a casually dressed office.

Thanks for reading…Brooke