Archive for November, 2010

Friends, Romans, Countrymen…lend me your ties.

November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving is over, but given the new holy days of obligatory shopping–Black Friday and Cyber Monday–the giving season has just begun. How long before the rest of the post-turkey week are taken over? Will we have Pawnshop Tuesday and Government Giveaway Wednesday?

Let me interrupt this by calling out to the folks at Hallmark. Are you listening to me? Do not–I repeat: Do. Not.–start creating Black Friday and Cyber Monday cards, even as a joke. I will lead a gang of sarcastic comsumo-terrorists who will replace your record-a-cards with non-niceties, and we will pre-seal all of your cards in their envelopes, too.

As I mentioned last week, I’m going to start wearing ties that have been given to me, or loaned to me, for one reason or another. I’m not sure if I can make it all the way until Christmas, so if you have a tie laying around that you wouldn’t mind sending to me, well, then send it with a story and I’ll wear it and post it, a-course. My address: Brooke Saucier, 495 Sheridan Road #1W, Evanston, IL 60202. I appreciate it, and if you need it back, I’ll gladly send it back.

First, we have the gift of a tie co-wearer: My old friend from Memphis, Chip Crain, said that he has enough holiday ties to wear one a day from December 1 until Christmas Day. So, Chip, send me the pix and I’ll post ’em here! Many thanks!

Mr Bill...Ohnoooooo!

Next, I have the gift of a photo: Another friend from Memphis, Jennifer Lazar, resides in Austin now. She apparently was in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the last few days and snapped some shots of these GBMWT (well, duh, look at the picture: GingerBread Men With Tie). These were entrants in a gingerbread man/house contest at the Philbrook Museum. I’m sure our wide-eyed-tie-guy was the winner.

Next, I have the gift of co-promotion. Staying in Texas, a true gentleman from Dallas, Drew Jones, found 100D100T interesting enough that he mentioned it on his website’s blog. Looking at the rest of his site, for the D. Jones Tailored Collection, I am honored to be included. The collection is truly outstanding, so check it out.

Wow, all this giving, and I haven’t even presented my Tie du Jour. Well, as I said, it was a gift from Margaret Gergen, the Managing Director at the North Shore Retirement Hotel. A couple of weeks ago (I think I mentioned it), I gave a short talk to a group of retired folks about my addiction to ties, and about 100 Days, 100 Ties. As a thank you, Margaret gave me three ties from their lost & found collection (which I think is really the guys-who-passed-away collection).

Diamonds Are Forever

I am thus honored to wear this beautiful Christian Dior tie; red, whitish gray and blue, the diamonds-within-diamonds pattern went perfectly with my shirt. It was funny…when Margaret presented the ties, she had me guess which brand they were, from Oscar de la Renta, Christian Dior and Geoffrey Beene. I mixed up the Dior and the de la Renta, in all honesty, and got the Beene right. Oh, well, batting .333 would get me to the All-Star game. But, then again, I wouldn’t be able to wear a tie to work, now would I?

Thanks for reading, and thanks for sending stories, pictures and ties…Brooke


Can’t spell ‘Turkey Dinner’ without T-I-E…

November 26, 2010

This is a special Black Friday installment of 100D100T. Well, actually, it’s not really that special, since I’ll be posting about the Tie du Wednesday, but I guess I just felt like calling it special.

But first, let’s go to our medical correspondent for an update on my searing pain. Since I last wrote, I’ve had a couple of miserable mornings, where it felt like my skull was about to break up into three or four pieces. It felt like it took the vicoprofen forever to do its pain-relieving magic. However, the Flexeril was pretty quick to relax the neck muscles, but that just seemed to focus the pain on the nerves, as well as the aforementioned splitting skull. Flexeril is also a stupid-maker, by the way…I forgot to bring something to Diane’s for Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, and when I went to the Flat to pick it up, I forgot it again in the car. Duh.

Today, however (and can everyone please perform a collective knock on wood?), is drug- and relatively pain-free, so I hope this is a trend that continues throughout the holiday weekend. I’ve run out of Flexeril, so hopefully my road back to general intelligence will continue as well.

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of tryptophane

And so, with my wits about me, I present the Tie du Jour! From the house of JT Beckett, it’s a tie that I chose to celebrate the arrival of the pilgrims on the Mayflower. There is a ship depicted on the TdJ, although I don’t think it’s the Mayflower. It looks more warship-py, but it’s my blog so I can call it whatever I want. My dad found this somewhere and gave it to me for the blog, so I’m glad I could wear it with a purpose.

Speaking of tie gifts, in honor of Black Friday, as well as the rest of the [insert correct number here] shopping days ’til Christmas, I am going to wear gift ties as long as I can. I have a bow tie, a bolo tie, and several other ties that people gave to me that I still haven’t sported. So, the art of gift-giving will go on as long as I can keep it up. If you’d like to give me (or loan me) a tie to be featured, please send them to me: Brooke Saucier, 495 Sheridan Road #1W, Evanston, IL 60202.

And, this is as much a gift as a tie: Girl With Tie alum Marsha Hagney pointed out to me that the movie Up features a pretty cool tie scene. At the beginning, there is a montage of Carl and Ellie Fredrickson’s life together. He wears ties all the time, but around the 2:30 mark there are some fabulous ties that she adjusts for him. Beyond the ties, though, this is pure storytelling magic. Watch this sequence…it’s probably a little better if you watch the entire movie, but it stands up on its own.

On this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for my readers. Thanks for reading…Brooke

The Spider and the Tie

November 24, 2010

Sittin’, thinkin’, sinkin’, drinkin’ / Wond’ring what I’ll do when I’m through tonite – Jagger, M.; Richards, K.

Once again, I go back to the Stones for some subject-title inspiration. No reason in particular, I just seem to use them every once in a while.

You know, I have realized that, beyond the fact that I’ve lamented my neck and head pain in the last few days, I’ve neglected asking about you. How are you? Are you feeling okay? Are you ready for the holidays? Any big shopping plans for Black Friday? Is there something, besides a tie, that you really, reallyreally want for Christmas (or Hanukkah)?

For the Tie du Jour, I basically stuck with the same autumnal theme, at least with similar colors. This baby is an old vintage tie from the old vintage Marshall Field’s, which has had its history swallowed up by Macy’s. Nice deep crimson red background, with khaki, olive and black stripes joining the festivities. This one tied up really nicely into a half-windsor, a nice, tiny, symmetrical knot.

This morning we were hosted by the folks at 415 Premier Apartments, down on Howard, for the Chamber’s monthly Networking Breakfast. They just put a couple million bucks into renovations, and the place looks fantastic. I was able to get Jeff, one of the concierges there, to pose with his awesome red tie. Welcome to the Guys With Ties family, Jeff!

Well, boys and girls, after breakfast there’s a meal called lunch. Can you say lunch? Very good.

Anyway, went to lunch in the new neighborhood, at a place called Siam Splendor, at the corner of Emerson and Ridge. Our waitress, or hostess, rather (it was a lunch buffet), was sporting this tie which was knotted in a pretty cool way. Since this picture was kinda the unauthorized version, I didn’t get her name. So, we have a new member of the other GWT, Girls With Ties.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Boys Don’t Tie…

November 23, 2010

…but last night I wanted to.

I hereby call upon the deity, wizard or higher power that invented the neck spasm to please uninvent it. A grown man should be able to go to bed knowing that he’ll be able to get out of it the next morning. And as long as we’re asking for bodily amendments, could we get to the bottom of this sudden onset of ear hair after one turns 39 or 40? There has to be a geneticist or anatomical anthropologist out there who can get to the bottom of this? I mean, the neck spasms will (hopefully) go away, but do I really have to spend the rest of my life tweezing the ol’ radars?

Speaking of necks, I write a necktie blog, so I’ll get off Santa’s lap here and get down to bizness.

Have a nice trip, see you next fall

Since it is Thanksgiving, I decided to get autumnal with my tie selection, and I knew just the strip I needed. The Tie du Jour is a gorgeous paisley from Brooks Brothers, given to me by Diane for my birthday a couple years back. It’s a little orange and green, and a lot of deep maroon red; it’s set off quite nicely by the blue square-check shirt. This pattern would make a great, big comfy couch, which would likely be in the top 3 or 4 best sofas in the world (Question: is there a technical difference between a couch and a sofa?).

So, we have a very short week…while I’ll wear a tie on Tuesday, I’m not yet sure about Wednesday, and there definitely won’t be a Tie du Thursday, nor a (Freebie) Friday this week. I am, however, feeling a need for a weekly tie theme here, so let’s come up with one. I could probably reprise Red Tie Week, or perhaps Blue Tie Week, but where’s the fun in that?

We all know by now  that the day after Thanksgiving is the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season. As mentioned all the way back in the previous paragraph, I won’t be sporting a tie on that day, but next week, and perhaps for the next fortnight, I will honor the art of gift-giving by choosing TdJs that were given to me by friends and family. Decision = Made.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Too fast for the naked tie…

November 23, 2010

Ha! Made you look! I’m fully dressed, na-na-nabooboo.

I did play poker tonight, but it was the non-strip kind, thank goodness. My last wager will be that all of you are glad that I am beclad.

Ok, now it’s time to pretend that it’s Friday, or at least Saturday, and get down to some biz on this Friday Tie du Jour. My TdJ is a knit special, from the house of Mark Shale, one of Chicago’s finest purveyors of clothing. It’s a dark green heather that’s pretty plain, save for the texture that really shows the quality. Casual Friday meant that I could bust out the plaid; Friday also means Freebie Friday, so if anyone wants to comment with something nice, then it’s yours (if, on the off chance that there are more than one, I’ll choose by committee (of one) who gets it.

Saturday, I went to the Northwestern-Illinois tackle football contest at Wrigley. I say tackle in a brief moment of sarcasm (not my first today, I promise), as Illini RB Mikel Leshoure nailed 330 yards runnin up on the board. Actually it was tons of fun…

Later that night I went to the improvOlympic for a musical comedy revue, called, tastefully, “Cupid Has A Heart On.” I did snap a picture of the ticket guy, and darnit if I didn’t forget his name.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Fast Ties at Ridgemont High

November 22, 2010

Before I get into the subject, which is obviously based on the anthemic 1982 film of the (almost) same name, I think I’ll just bust out the Tie du Thursday. Editor’s note: It’s Sunday, and I have two to (how did I just say it?) bust out.

Trust Ted, the baker

The TdJ is a stunner from Ted Baker, found at the ORT resale shop on Chicago Avenue in Evanston. It’s purple, with purple and light blue dots all over the place. It tied really well, and it’s easy to see how Ted Baker emphasizes quality in the strips they offer.

So, back to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. I originally went looking for a shot of Mr. Hand, the cynical professor/nemesis of stoner hero Jeff Spicoli, wearing a tie. That was not a problem, but in poring over the other pics, made me realize how many ties were fired up in that flick.

Jeff "Spicoli" Spicoli and Mr. Hand

Of course, I’ll start with Mr. Hand, portrayed by the late, great Ray Walston. While he cut his teeth on TV (“My Favorite Martian”) and in several substantial roles in major films (The Apartment & The Sting), he became one of an entire generation’s favorite authority figures, matched only by Principals Richard Vernon (Breakfast Club)  & Ed Rooney (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off).

Of course, we have Mark “Rat” Ratner and Mike “Little Prick” Damone, who shared a mentor/mentee relationship as Rat wished to learn how to pick up girls. That relationship turned sour when Damone shagged Stacy, the object of Ratman’s affection, during an awkward poolhouse encounter. Rat makes the LGWT (Lovable Geek With Tie) list, while Damone becomes the DBWT (Douche Bag With Tie)

Speaking of Stacy, she co-found the TGWT (Teen Girls With Ties) list, as she and Linda (Two Words: red bikini) worked at a cookie store (or was it an ice cream store?) across from Ratman’s movie theater gig. Phoebe Cates’s Linda, of course, is the siren who inspired Judge Reinhold’s Brad to risk blindness to the tune of “Moving in Stereo” (The Cars).

One final DAGWT (Dead Actor Guy With Tie) from the film is Mr. Vargas, portrayed by the late Vincent Schiavelli. When he passed, Schiavelli proved himself to be one of the ultimate “Ohhhh, THAT guy” guys.

I forgot to mention, in Wednesday’s post, that I had given another tiny speech to a retirement community. I was the guest of the North Shore Retirement Hotel‘s new open forum. I regaled a fun, lively bunch of “young’uns” with tales of my ties, and was gifted three ties, which I shall soon wear proudly.

Now, don’t everyone go running off to Netflix to rent FTaRH. Take turns, ok? This slice of 80s magic will be there for a long time.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


Tie Think I Can, Tie Think I Can…

November 19, 2010

A quick one, while he’s away… The Who

Once again, I’ve let myself get about a day behind on the posting bit. But now…haha!…now I have an excuse. Drugs!

Sing it to the rooftops, shout it from the heavens. Wait, shouldn’t those cliches be switched around? Shout from rooftops, sing to heavens? Yes, that’s it–I’m smacked up/whacked out on narcotics. Actually, I am on a pretty tame myscle relaxer; so tame that it didn’t even have its own mysterious drug ad campaign.

I love those commercials (not really…it’s hate. two exclamation points signify sarcasm)!! There are two types: the first is mostly print, where it shows a field and the name of the drug, with no mention of what the drug does, what it treats or when it’s available. Then there are the ones that list every non-symptom known to man, to create a market. Do you wake up in the morning? Are you sleepy at 11pm? Do you urinate? Drive me nuts.

Anyway, my Tie du Jour is a beauty from Ermenegildo Zegna (remember, it’s pronounced Air-Men-A-HEEEEEEEL-Do). Somehow I paired it with this vintage Marshall Fields shirt, and even my pocket square (scarf) was a relative match. Too bad I didn’t have the foresight to take an ensemble photo. This is another that I found at the Wings Resale Shop. Is very nice.

Wednesday was the Chamber’s Business After Hours, or BAH as it’s affectionately called. I managed to get one fella on camera. Savio Dias is in sales for the Kingfisher Airlines, a newish airline in India. They don’t fly in/out of the US yet, but they’re working on it.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Sic semper tierannis…

November 17, 2010

After John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln in the back of the head (and, given the fashion of the day, they were probably BOTH wearing a tie), he shouted “Sic Semper Tyrannis,” which loosely translates to “Suck it, Dictator-breath!”

So, I spent part of Tuesday thinking that a couple of Booth shots to the skull may actually improve my outlook on a pain-free week. No, no, relax, it wasn’t so bad that I had suicidal tendencies, but maybe Mr. Booth could just rub those muscles. All that pent up rage could have been better served getting at my prolonged headache.

What's up

A visit to the family doc, Dr. Ettner, started me on the road to that pain-free nirvana. I hope. I knew I’d be in good hands when his MSdM (Medical Student du Month) entered the exam room wearing a bow tie. First things first, I had to get a pic. A 3rd year med student, Dr. Brian Holoyda refused all pleas to provide me with powerful narcotics (legally prescribed. of course.). His and Dr. Fred’s assessment did, however, get me onto a muscle relaxer, which will hopefully give those damn neck muscles some chill time so they can get fixed.

I grimace while I describe my Tie du Jour, since putting it on was pure misery. Buttoning that top button felt like tying a balloon, only if the balloon were my head and had a brain and blood and bone in it. So, I went a little casual all day, popping the top right away.

The TdJ itself is a red and blue plaid from Chaps. They’re still affiliated with Ralph Lauren, right? I have been out of the loop for so long, and I don’t know if I ever would have known something along those lines. Not sure where or when I got this one, but the keeper (thanks to Lee Allison and his tie construction page, I know the keeper is the thing that keeps the apron and the tail together) had partially detached, so it’s probably for all the better that I will only wear it once.

My Shirt du Jour, from Thomas Pink, gives me a good reason to talk about safe resale shopping. Maybe not safe, but smart. I realized that the collar and sleeves were slightly fraying, but that’s not necessarily a problem (according to GQ’s Glenn O’Brien). The problem was that I didn’t look all over the shirt, and therefore thusly didn’t find the two holes in the right elbow. Oops. I would have still bought the shirt, but certainly wouldn’t have worn it to the office (or certainly would have kept my jacket on). Moral of the story: Know that there’s a reason that an item of clothing is in a thrift store; try to find that reason.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Not tonight, Dear…tie have a headache

November 16, 2010

Ah, yes, the oldest excuse in the book, offered since the Dawn of Man. Funny that Cavewoman didn’t seem to get aroused after being clubbed by Caveman, and dragged to a bed of bloodied hides. “What do we do on our second date, honey?!”

So, for anywhere from 10 to the past 14 days (my concentration is for shit nowadays), I have had a recurring headache brought upon by some sort of muscle inflammation/soreness/boo-boo on the base of my skull. So much fun! I went to see Dr. Tony Breitbach (he of the spine tie that I wore on Halloween eve) at Wellness Revolution, and he gave me a couple hours of relief. I’m also going to see my family doctor on Tuesday, to see what kind of evil spirits are lurking in the nape of my neck. Nothing that a good bleeding can’t help. Nurse!? Release the leeches!

My Tie du Jour was from my gratuitous thrift store stopover from a couple of weeks ago, the Wings Resale Shop in Niles. I can’t recall the Crayola Crayon that this color most resembles (Raw Umber?), but it’s from Italy’s Romeo Gigli. You simply must go to that website. OutSTANding shot of a MWPMLOAF (Man With Porn Mustache Lying On A Fur). If you squint a little bit, that MWPM and fur look to combine to create what would be, hands down, the World’s Best Mullet.

In fact, you owe it to yourself to check out their entire lineup for Fall/Winter. Some of the pictures are pretty good, especially if you rate photos of models who take themselves WAY too seriously as pretty good.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Infield tie rule…

November 14, 2010

The baseball season is over, yes, but I’m not sure if 100 Days, 100 Ties will last until next spring, when hope will spring eternal. I I may be out of ties by then, and perhaps out of tie-related puns. So, I guess I needed to use that one.

My Tie du Jour is, if my counting is correct, Tie No. 165. A cursory glance at the calendar tells me that I should get to the Tie No. 200 (The Deuce, as it will be called) during the first half of January. By the time the one year anniversary rolls around, on March 17, I may be around Two-Fitty. Not bad. If I don’t stop at 200 (I may have 10 more ties at that point), I’ll definitely work it out to stop on the year. I love this blog, even though I hate the word ‘blog’.

The TdJ is another Tommy Hilfiger, and I love how they use a different apron (the big part of the tie, also called the front blade) fabric than the tail (small part, aka under blade). By the way, thanks to Lee Allison for his online primer of the details of tie construction.

I’ve mentioned that I’ve had some cuff links made in the past few months, and I’m pretty sure I’ve photographed the Turkish eyes ones. They went so well with this TdJ, that I thought they merited an ensemble shot. I hope you agree; if not, tough shit.

Thanks for reading…Brooke