Archive for January, 2011


January 31, 2011

We bring you a special weekend edition of 100 Days, 100 Ties. As my union restricts me from writing over 100 words on weekends, today’s post will be mainly photos, only bow ties. Beep-beep. Zip. Bang.

Mine is a vintage bow tie from Cardinal Neckwear. The label, next to the adjustable sizes, says “The Center of the World, 5th Ave., At 46th St., N.Y.C.”

Some more GWBT:

Brad, brother of Jon

Brad Lippitz of the Brad Lippitz Group.

Ramie, friend of Jon

Ramie Egan.

Thanks for reading…Brooke, the conscientious union scribe (90 words)


Frequent tie-er miles

January 29, 2011

As I announce Paisley Tie Week, which had been officially slated to commence Monday, I realized that, by wearing a paisley today, it actually would start, um, today. Ergo, I hereby welcome thee to PTW.

This celebrates another TW, as Paul Fredrick Week was only a few weeks ago. As you may recall (I’m just happy that I do), Angela from Paul Fredrick wrote on the blog to ask me for my address. A week later, I received ten (TEN TIES) of their beautiful ties in the mail. I can only assume those events are related. I’m like a detective that way. Plus I have a magnifying glass.

Anyway, the Tie du Jour is a stunningly gorgeous blue & green paisley tie. I like the texture that it has, and my crapiPhone camera actually does a decent job showing it off. I chose this tie for a pretty important event that the Chamber hosts annually: the Legislative Breakfast. Ooh, I can just feel the bitterness and pain out there from those who missed it. It’s actually a pretty great event, on top of the fact that it does include the most important meal of the day.

And, of course, since it was an important meal, there were guys with ties everywhere. Here’s a shot from EvanstonNow, showing a few PWTs (Pols With Ties), an ATTEWT (AT&T Exec With Tie), and even a AeBWT (Almost ex-Boss With Tie). That’s State Rep Daniel Biss on the left, next to Chamber Executive Director Jonathan Perman. From the right are State Senator Jeff Schoenberg, AT&T exec Paul La Schiazza and Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin. The non-tie wearers in the middle are Steve Hagerty, the president of our board of directors, and State Rep Robin Gabel.

Other GWTs at the event included Dave Davis, Grant Coordinator/Constituent Advocate for Representative Jan Schakowsky’s office. I need to take some knot lessons from him, and I need to get some green ties. Lookin’ sharp Dave.

And, another Dave…Dave Skrodzki, who owns Pharm Execs, a medical/pharmaceutical recruiting firm. First time I’ve seen this Dave in a tie. He says he only wears J. Garcia ties.

And we have a political hopeful, Richard Rykhus, rounding out the photos I took. Richard is running for District 65 School Board. Good luck, Richard.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

You have the tie to remain silent

January 28, 2011

It’s been quite a while since I’ve struggled for a post’s beginning sentence, or even a main thought. But, that’s where I’m at right now, what with the previous night’s Tie-valanche still fresh in my mind. With the help of a friend’s sage advice, I’m questioning my decision to go with a seemingly stronger hanger over the safety of just having two hangers for the Already Worn. Danger doesn’t rhyme with hanger, but it’s close, and it’s my middle name.

You may recall my cousin Beaux’s tale of nearly choking on himself when shopping for a Lee Allison tie at Aidan Gill’s New Orleans store. The thought of spending a hundie on a tie was only slightly alleviated when Mr. Gill showed him the special “Remove After Sex” notation in the tie. Anyway, Beaux is about to be on the receiving end of an envelope full of ties. Wear them proudly, Cuz.

My Tie du Jour contains perhaps my favorite shade of blue. Would this be cornflower blue? I’m no paint color expert, but…I like it. It’s from Nautica, and the strip’s tan/blue/orange notes made for a nice airy complement to my mainly orange shirt.

We have a contribution from a reader (and friend and fellow Lincoln parent), Ginger Moore, who submitted this blog post from the non-tied Anderson Cooper (does he have a patent on those perfectly-wrinkled, you’re-damned-right-I-work-in-war-zones-and-disaster-areas shirts?). It’s a pic of VP Biden and SotH Boehner, both wearing ties, and a caption contest underneath. The winning staff entry is tie-based…and kinda funny.

Just a bit of a preview, since I didn’t capture any live GWTs…on Friday I’ll be wearing a blue paisley tie, which will herald (should I remember) PTW (Paisley Tie Week) from Monday through Friday of next week. Wear your favorite paisley ties (or paisley scarves or whatever, for the non-tie ladies out there) and send me a picture. We may even have a

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Desperate ties call for desperate measures…

January 28, 2011

The tipping point. The straw, the camel and his aching back. Well, Thursday night at 11:56pm, all those things came crashing together as disaster struck.

Hang in there...

Pope Pileup I

You have seen the HotAW (Hanger of the Already Worn), in its resplendent, albeit hokey, glory. As I placed another worn tie (for the record, it was the Rhonda-given Chinese character one from last week) on the hanger, the wall came a-tumbling down. So, prepare to marvel at the destruction wrought by a weak-ass suit-hanger.

A score of lbs.

Those pictures on the right are the immediate aftermath; this one on the left is what happened after I tried to rescue the ones that were still attached to the hanger. Nearly 200 ties in a heap is a sad thing to stare at when one wants to go to bed. And, as the caption hints, that is twenty pounds of ties up there. TWENTY.

Do Not Adjust Your Set

The Tie du Jour is a wavy number from Bachrach. Little blue, little brown, lotta squiggly lines. I’d like to have hoped that, somehow, the lines would have mesmerized me into realizing that my suit hanger was going to explode that night, but I just don’t have those kinds of ties.

State of Tie Union

Many thanks to roving tie-news gatherer (and GWT alum), Greg Clarke, who discovered this essay from Esquire’s Style Blog, about, Barack Obama’s SOTU tie.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


There is no TIE in ‘team’…

January 25, 2011

…but you can wear your tie for your team. Like John Stone did. And got fired.

Bear down. Packer up.

I’m sure you’ve heard about this already, but an area car salesman got canned after refusing to remove his Green Bay Packers tie. His boss said he was agitating customers, so he let him walk. Stone has options, and his former employer is asking him to come back, saying Packers fans want to come buy a car from him (not sure if he sells snowmobiles). Both of them are getting an immense amount of free press, so it’s hard to feel sorry for any of them.

Today was Networking Breakfast day (it’s the most important networking meal of the day), so I had to come up with a colorful tie. My last trip to Unique Thrift Store was quite fruitful, as I found some pretty unique strips. This is either the 1st or 2nd from that particular trip. But, overall, today was tie No. 211. Still 60+ to go.

The Tie du Jour is from the house of Bellagio; taking a peek at their website, I think this TdJ may actually be on the tame side. Let your tiger roar, that’s what I say.

I really appreciated the feedback from the flat tire story. I am utterly convinced that I did a truly good thing, and I’m going to keep reminding people of that story. My fellow blogger dimpledfourinhand gave me a shout out (is that what the kids are calling it these days0, and had some things to say about having faith in the goodness of others..

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Can’t spell ‘Great White North’ without T-I-E

January 25, 2011

Yes, as expected, I forgot about Paisley Tie Week. Much too much to expect me to remember something as (un) important as that.

But, I did pull out a good tie this morning…the tie of a good man.

A few years ago, my parents fired up a long-distance introduction to my (now) great friend, Paula Kostuik. They knew from their friends Paul & Donna Kostuik (yes, relation) that Paula was moving to Chicago, so, weeks in advance, they said she would call. Well, she did, and I’m ever so glad; not many people out there as sweet and fun as PK.

Sadly, a couple of months ago, Paula’s dad passed away. My parents, I could tell, were very affected by the loss of their buddy, and I know Donna and Paula are still hurting. A couple of weeks later, they sent me a couple of his ties to wear for 100 Days, 100 Ties. Here is the first of the two, from the Italian designer Stefano Conti. Of course, it looks like I was falling down at the moment of photo-capture. Nice blurry.

Thanks to roving photographer (and another GWT alumna) Rebecca Berneck, we have a new member of the Girl With Tie clan. Her daughter Zoe is sporting a former TdB (Tie du Brooke), looking very stylish for junior high.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Tielence is golden

January 23, 2011

Golden brown, that is…

Several years ago, at two different resale shops, I found my brown and white Tie du Jour exactly one day after I found my white and brown Shirt du Jour. I remember thinking how similar their patterns were, and how perfectly they’d go together. Well, one really shouldn’t be so matchy-matchy, after all. It took me those several years, in addition to two-hundred and something blog posts, but I finally did put them together.

How now brown tie

So I present the TdJ, from Kenneth Cole. And, since I’m in a giving mood, why don’t we revert to the old Friday Freebie follies, in which the best comment (on here or on Facebook) gets the tie. Free shipping.

I captured, photographically speaking, a couple of Guys With Ties on Friday. First we have one of the most prominent Evanston businessmen, Robert Reece. His insurance business is in the same office building as the Chamber. Very sharp dresser.

Squinting is bad for you

And this next picture is pretty dark, but take a look at the length of the tie worn by Jonathan, a waiter at Carnivale down in the city. It looks like he’s wearing a vest, but in reality, all the staffers wear their ties really short, and tuck the tail into their shirts. I probably wouldn’t wear it to work, but it looked pretty classy. It’s definitely a way to keep soup off of one’s tie.

I can’t remember if I said I would do Paisley Tie Week this coming week, or the week thereafter. I guess it’ll depend on my m&m (mood & memory) tomorrow when I’m getting dressed.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


The Good Samaritie

January 22, 2011

I hereby give the proper advanced notice that this post will be forever pigeon-holed in the STMOH (Schlocky Tooting Mine Own Horn) section of the interwebs. However, the story ends so sweetly and serendipitously that I can’t help but relate it.

Thursday evening I walked to my car in the parking garage. It wasn’t as miserably cold as it has been since Friday, but it was getting there. I noticed a very flat tire on a little Mazda a few cars away. Not just low flat–rims hitting the concrete flat.

Anyway, what to do? I tore out a piece of paper to write a note: “Your left rear tire is very flat.” This would likely have been obvious, as the owner would have probably seen it (it was that flat). As I had to deal with a nail-in-the-tire this week on the family truckster, I bought a mini air compressor from Target, which pumped my tire enough so that I could drive it to Doc Able’s on Chicago Avenue. So, I pondered leaving the compressor next to the car with a more detailed note on my business card.

It took a couple minutes of pondering. The YES DO IT factor was very strong, as I put a story into my head that this person (for no reason I pegged the owner as female) had a family to get back to, and, with the weather as it was, could really use a 10-minute solution rather than one that would take over an hour (not to mention cost money). Somehow, I thought that the happiest person in the world would be this girl’s father, who would HATE not being there for his daughter; I hoped that someone, someday, somewhere would do a similar nice thing for Julia. I figured there would be about a 15% chance that the person would keep it…maybe even less than that.

The next morning, I saw the car again. The tire was fat, happy and full of good ol’ air. At the office, lying against my office door, in a plastic bag? The air compressor. No note, but it made me happy. After lunch, Elaine told me someone from one of the offices in our building had dropped by, saying something about a flat tire. I went up to introduce myself to Coleen (two l’s?), who was very gracious in thanking me, marveling at the amount of faith I must have had that I would have gotten it back. Faith schmaith, I just wanted to help. But then she said it had been a tough month; her father had passed away just two weeks prior. I felt a wave of paternal brotherhood (does that make sense) pass through me, quite rapidly, and then I felt myself getting emotional, never ever wanting Julia to reach the moment in her life that her Daddy is gone. I hope that Coleen knows that her Daddy told me to leave the compressor, and that he and I and all the other Daddies out there (in this world and the next) remain vigilant, and will make sure that daughters are taken care of when life’s mini-crises come up.

My Tie du Jour is quite simple, a solid blue from the Tongue Tied collection from Tom McClellon. The colorful plaid shirt is really the star in this ensemble.

I’m spent from that story. Take the time to do nice things. Thanks for doing a nice thing for me and reading my blog…Brooke


January 21, 2011

Ain’t we lucky we got ’em? Good times.

Dy-No-Mite, sheriff!

Yes, we are lucky we have got them. JJ Evans sure was lucky to find good times in the Chicago projects of the 70s, as were his loving family: James, Sr., Michael, Thelma and Florida. No, no, not the whole state of Florida, that was JJ’s mom in ‘Good Times.’ But JJ was lucky because he had a catch word: Dy-No-Mite! And now, he (Jimmy Walker) is dating Ann Coulter, or at least he is according to multiple pictures on google. Go figure. Chicks dig Guys With Ties, I guess.

And so, on to the Tie du Jour. It’s another gift tie, from my very good friend Janet (yes, she of the secret Valentine’s Day series of presents), and it’s another beauty. From Shore & Singer, it’s the perfect mix of purple and green, and it–with my shirt and pocket square (okay, it’s a scarf!)–got a lot of compliments at our Business After Hours (held at the new Asha Salon Spa in Evanston).

We have a new GWT…it’s Jim Konrad, who heads the procurement division for Northwestern. Perhaps he could tell me where he procured his very cool, thin (is in!) tie.

Wanted to give a shout-out to Kim Castiglia, who let me know about, who also operate out of Illinois. Their site has some fun stuff on it, including Kentucky Colonel ties.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Ancient Tienese Secret

January 20, 2011

It’s a short week here at 100D100T Regional HQ, but we’ll try to make these 4 ties equal the strength of a full-fledged (can something be half-fledged?) 5-tie week.

Speaking of tie weeks, Paul Fredrick Week has rekindled my tie-week jones. As I still have some more gifted ties (more gifted than your ties, and I have the test results to prove it) I’d like to get out there, I’ll probably wait until after next week. So, if I remember my self-pledge (how fledged is your pledge?), I’ll fire up Paisley Tie Week starting January 31 or February 7. Please add it to your calendar (and have your calendar remind me).

So, back to the wok-at-hand. My Tie du Jour was a gift from my friend Rhonda Antonucci, whose family just moved to Evanston this past summer. Her kids are at Lincoln with Julia, and she runs an interior design firm, Antonucci Design. This ENYU tie, with its Chinese characters, caught her eye at a resale shop, and she decided that it deserved immortality here on 100 Days, 100 Ties (ha!).

But, please, if anyone can read this tie, please don’t tell me if it’s cuss words. TEACH me how to say ’em! With my luck, it’ll be the how-to manual for taking over the US&A by bailing out its major industries.

Thanks for reading…Brooke