Archive for the ‘Bow Tie Fortnight’ Category


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)


Bye, bye Miss American Tie

June 18, 2010

OK, so this Bow Tie is not as patriotic as the subject field may suggest. But you have to admit that, with my red, white & blue shirt, it’s obvious I was going all-in at Bluestone for the US in their World Cup match against Slovenia (if I ever get around to wearing a Slovenian tie, then I know that 100D100T has gone on too long). After some nervy defending in the 1st half, they came out blazing after the break. But for a miserable referee’s decision, they could have stolen the match, but instead settled for a 2-2 draw (also known as a ‘tie’, isn’t it?).

2-2 tie tie

My Bow Tie du Jour is very simple. Red on red on red. Sorry, I am not doing a very good job of selling the Friday Freebie. If anyone wants this tie, please post why you deserve it, and I’ll mail it to you. Another downside…it was really tough to tie, as if the knot wouldn’t get tight enough.

It was, like the B.T. du Yesterday, part of a bow tie/cummerbund set. Cummerbunds have, save for proms, gone the way of the dodo, according to Glenn O’Brien, “The Style Guy” at GQ. His article is a must-read, by the way…little tips on things as varied as sideburns, weekender bags and, hey, even ties. Oh, and if I can find the cummerbund, I’ll make it a part of the Friday Freebie package.

So, that’s it for Bow Tie Fortnight (which went over by a day)…I enjoyed the attention (not a stretch for me) that bow ties seem to capture, but I’ll be glad to get back to regular ties. In two or three weeks I’ll get into Ugly Tie Week, and I’m sure I can come up with some previews. A friend gave me a tie that she thinks is ugly, but I love it, so maybe we’ll spark a debate or a vote on that as one of the previews for UTW. Future weeks I’ll have Blue Tie Week and perhaps Purple Tie Week (maybe tied in with something at NU).

Have a great weekend, everybody. Thanks for reading, and thanks for passing along the blog to your friends.


Can’t spell “Instant Replay” without T-I-E…

June 18, 2010

…but the letters D-U-H are not in need.

I am really out of it, since my return from Fla. Yesterday’s BTdJ didn’t get posted until today (okay, it’s after midnight–and thus Friday–but let’s pretend it’s not–ergo still Thursday). Tonight’s faux pas was coming home (from a FANTASTIC show put on by The English Beat at Evanston SPACE), and realizing I hadn’t taken a picture of the BTdJ. Doy! Pass the gingko biloba, please.

So, for the first time ever, I was forced to recreate the shirt/tie situation. Got the shirt out of the off-to-the-dry-cleaner bag, put it back on and then retied the bow tie. So embarrassing, honestly. Need to get back in the routine, but how hard can it really be?1. Pick tie. 2. Tie tie. 3. Photograph tie. The steps after that are unnecessary to inscribe here, because step #3 will ensure that this won’t happen again. How was that spelled? Duh.

So, we are down to the final two days of Bow Tie Fortnight, and I am afraid I have used up all of the good ones. The only ones I have left are regular bow ties and clip-ons from tie/cummerbund sets that my brother and I used in high school. Why on earth would high school kids need bow ties & cummerbunds, you ask? Besides prom(s), we had 5 or 6 formal dances per year, I answer. I have some of the pics around here somewhere. I’ll locate them and post them–they’re a stitch. If there are any 80s-hairdo-philes out there, these shots are most desirable to you.

A reenactment of actual events

This one seems the best of the lot. No tag, except a small one to say that it’s 100% silk. It’s a dark red/maroon tie with green paisleys flecked with blue. I put it with this red & gray striped shirt, and it went prettywell, I guess.

Any friend of seersucker...

As for Guys With Ties du Jour, I did have one. Sean O’Grady visited Chamber HQ this afternoon. He’s an executive at NorthShore University HealthSystem, as well as a member of the administration of Evanston Hospital. Sean is also a brand new member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Looking forward to working with him, especially since he knows how to wear a seersucker suit. Cool tie, too.

Well, thanks for reading. Keep in mind tomorrow is a Freebie Friday…best comment will win the bow tie du Friday.


No pain, bow gain…

June 17, 2010

Yikes. This is really late. It’s Thursday, but this is Wednesday’s post. I’ll post Thursday’s on Thursday, too, but it may happen on Friday, hopefully not in the afternoon. Need to catch up.

Don’t really have an excuse, as I was on vacation in a relaxing location–Sandestin, Florida, where my parents live. I guess having a 5-hour plane delay at the Nashville airport, due to crap weather, could be my excuse, but that’s not it either. Since I’m evidently itchin’ to blame something, I’ll go for the first-day-back-at-work-post-vacation blues, where it seems like you’ve got 87 things to do and 13 seconds to perform each task.

Free nametag with purchase of Chamber membership!

So, my Tie du Yesterday, or Bow Tie du Jour, has to be one of my favorite bow ties. It’s the 3rd of the three that I found at Hadassah Resale Shop in Skokie. From Beau Ties of Vermont, it’s a bright check pattern made from raw silk. Love it. This one will be missed, while I go through the rest of my ties.

I’m treating yesterday as a sort of milestone. My official start date at the Chamber was June 16, 2009. My one-year anniversary, yee haa! A traditional 1st anniversary gift would be paper; modern would be plastic. So, money or a loaded credit card, please, boss…

Well, we have a guest photographer on 100 Days, 100 Ties: my Mom! What a sport. She and my dad recently went to Barcelona on a 2-week vacation, and she took a couple of pix of Guys With Ties (Tipos Con Corbatas?).

This first one is a random Belgian dude…mom didn’t catch his name, but she did find out that he was in Barca on a business trip. Very cool blue on the white shirt (hope he didn’t get a stain!).

The next one has a name, Paul. He’s a Catalan from Barcelona, who was dining at La Crema when my folks were there (dining, too, presumably). Really like this modish plaid…seems more like a winter tie, but with his peach shirt he makes it summer-esque.

And, from our Business After Hours from last evening, I took a pic of a GWT, as well as a GWBT!

After learning why I was taking his picture, David Frank, of Somercor 504, demanded a future retake, as he is quite proud of his tie collection. Hey, I’ll take that one, if you don’t like it.

And, is this our first Guy With Bow Tie? Mayhaps so! Jonathan Shimberg, of the law firm Shimberg & Crohn, was looking positively dapper as he worked the room at the BAH. Jonathan, along with his wife Linda Crohn, makes up part of the leadership cabal of the Evanston LGM Network (Lawyers, Guns & Money), which next meets this Friday the 18th at WineStyles Evanston from 5-7pm.

Well, thanks for reading, again. I’ll catch you again soon with today’s BTdJ.


Can’t spell “Go Blackhawks” without B-O-W…

June 11, 2010

Haven’t fired up a “can’t spell” title in a few weeks, and I thought it was a little timely, given the latest Stanley Cup Final result from Wednesday night. Chicago Blackhawks 4, Philadelphia Flyers 3. Chicago wins series, 4 games to 2. Oh. Yeah.

Tie-Ty Whi-ties

This afternoon, Julia played her final soccer match of the season with Team Evanston Orange, a hard-fought 2-2 draw. And that word ‘soccer’ makes me realize that I can’t believe we are less than 12 hours away from kickoff of World Cup 2010! Host South Africa takes on Mexico, and I’m pretty geeked up, as you can see on my new Facebook profile picture.

We interrupt tonight’s sports programming to take you back to 100 Days, 100 Ties…

Bow Tie Fortnight continues, and it’s been pretty funny that three people have assumed that the tie blog is over, now that bow ties have been my norm. No, no, folks, bow ties are ties in my mind…just getting a few BTdJs out of the way. I can’t believe I’m up to about Tie No. 62 or so, and I’m glad it’s still fun…not only to write it but to tell more and more folks about it.

This striped bow tie from Jos. A. Bank comes from down Memphis-way, a gift from my friend, and former French teacher, Dan Murrell. Dan, who is Director of Planned Giving at University of Memphis, was nice enough (and is more than nice enough, to be honest) to mail this bow tie to me a few weeks ago, and I have been waiting for the perfect time to put it on. Dan has been featured on here a couple of times…and will be some more here today. Dan likes bow ties, a lot.

Here’s Dan, at age 6 (or age 50, in case he’s got Benjamin Button-itis) with a cute little, (what looks like a) clip-on tie…

…Here he is again at, well, slightly older age with an ugly-ass tie…do not adjust your monitor, folks. It IS that ugly. Here’s a closeup to prove it.

Okay, so we had a couple of Guys With Ties today, and one of them, besides being a repeat GWT, is actually a Guy With Bow Tie guy. Jonathan Perman, my boss and the executive director of the Evanston Chamber, was swept up in Bow Tie Fortnight Fever (BTFF, as it is commonly known), as evidenced by his ensemble today.

One other GWT was Adam Doty, whom I have known for years. His son went to kindergarten with Julia. He works at Rotary International, on their international student exchange programs.

It’s late. Again. Thanks for reading. Again.

Brooke. Again.

No Woman, Bow Tie

June 10, 2010

Yesterday’s post was my longest yet, and given how long I actually wore today’s bow tie selection on this fine Wednesday, this may be my shortest. But, my verbosity has a way of emerging when I least expect it, so…here goes.

Since I took most of the day off from work, I went very casual today. A short sleeve shirt (scandal!) went nicely with my bright, shiny Bow Tie du Jour. No label again…odd.

Today was Julia’s last day of school, and, in honor of the occasion, our district has school for only an hour. Traditionally, the parents use this hour to discuss how silly/inane/inconvenient it is for school to be open for merely an hour. For better or worse, we are left with enough time to get coffee at one of the local caffeination stations.

Lions and Tiegers and Bows, Oh My!

One, that I’ve mentioned before, is Brothers K; the other is less local, Starbucks (heard of it?). I wanted to mention BrosK because there was a SAWT (Stuffed Animal With Tie) there today…Given the mane (albeit weak and decidedly non-regal) and footpads, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s a lion, despite it’s tiger-esque coloring. No matter its species, it is wearing a funky green tie with musical notes on it. Not sure any feline would choose to make this fashion statement, to be honest with you.

School's Out For Summah!

When I got back for pickup, I ran into Sarah Burghardt, she of the handmade knitted tie from a few weeks ago. This t-shirt is so perfect, not only for 100 Days, 100 Ties, but for the last day of school. The tie part is a blackboard, and there is a small piece of cloth on the bottom of the shirt for holding chalk.

And, just to round out my “…With Ties” collection for the day, I have a GWT for you. One of my best friends and neighbors, Peter Reinhart, is a banker with Northern Trust. I have given him shit for years for wearing suits and ties to work, and now am reveling in doing just that. His tie today is rather conservative, so I’m sure I’ll give him another shot to wear something that jumps off of the computer screen soon.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

The bow must go on…

June 9, 2010

I want these 7 hours back. I just finished watching Stephen King’s “The Stand”, a mini-series that I recorded on SyFy. It runs 8 hours with commercials, but I’m so handy with my remote that I can save tons of time. Even on something where I know the story back and forth.

Read the book a couple of decades ago. Enjoyed it. Re-read the book, when it was re-released as an extended version. Re-enjoyed it, even though the new edition’s main addition to the old edition was a homo-erotic side story that had zero to do with the outcome. When the mini-series originally aired, I caught bits and bobs of it, but this was in the days before TiVo and DVRs, and I apparently did not have a blank VHS tape. Anyway, over the past few days, I learned a couple of things…three actually.

1) Gary Sinise got much better as an actor. These were not his finest 7 hours. Stu Redman was no Lt. Dan or Ken Mattingly. Oh, come on, do you need to go to Forrest Gump & Apollo 13.

2) How on earth did our generation stand for Molly Ringwald as a leading lady? Yeah, I still like Sixteen Candles, but it’s because of Anthony Michael Hall’s sublime rendition of The Geek/Farmer Ted, the finest acting job of all time. Yeah, Nicholson, Brando & Olivier, I said it…AMH kicks all of your asses. Tell me when DVRs have a Ringwald-filter. And a Whoopi-filter, Juliet-Lewis-filter and Rachel-McAdams-phony-smile-filter would be great, too, while they’re at it.

3) Do I remember the 3rd? That diatribe in #2 took a lot out of me. Oh, yes…when you’re 1 hour into a 4-part mini-series, and you’re not enjoying it…STOP WATCHING IT. I failed to follow this advice, because it was not written until an hour or so after finishing it. Now I’m mad and I’m picking on poor Molly Ringwald. She still phoned it in.

This is a tie blog, right? Sheesh, sorry.

Farfalle di Vincenzo

Dr. Vince Roberts, a great new friend of mine, and big fan of 100 Days, 100 Ties, was one of the first to suggest bow ties as part of my project. On Monday, he gave me today’s Bow Tie du Jour, and he mentioned that there was a story to it. Here’s what he had to say…

So, I have been wearing bow ties since high school, where ties were mandatory.  I always tied my own, paying homage to my grandfather, Vincenzo Grilli, who always wore bow ties (“farfalle”) in his small-town law practice and said they looked more professional and that it was certainly more difficult to get tomato sauce on a bow tie; so why even consider a long tie?

A few years ago, I made the decision to start wearing them more regularly again.  I informed my wife that bow ties were on the holiday gift list for me that year. As these things go, holiday gifts had always been fraught with let’s say “near misses,” but we did enjoy some perfect gifts from time to time.  While shopping, I showed her a few gorgeous striped silk bows that she said reminded her of the one she helped me tie for my high school graduation. Well, Christmas morning arrives, the kids are wildly shredding paper to get to their gifts, and then it’s my turn to open.  The look on my face told the
story of the near miss:  a solid blue clip-on tuxedo tie.  Another gift revealed the second – a green clip on tuxedo tie.  The third? A maroon clip-on, and the fourth is the tie you are wearing today.  This yellow silk patterned bow is the best of that bunch and the only one I kept these past few years.  So, I have chosen to set this “farfalle” free and give it to you, to be worn and enjoyed.  As this silly bow tie signifies a watershed in my relationship, one fraught with near misses, may it grace your neck, avoid tomato sauce and charm your onlookers. Enjoy it!

Couldn’t have written it better myself. Grazie, Vincenzo. Vince is going through a split, as I am, and I am looking forward to drinking some Chianti (which will also spill less–in theory–on a bow tie) with him as we go through the change.

As clip-on bow ties go, this one was tough to tell that it wasn’t tied. It has real character, which you don’t see in the tuxedo-type clippers. And I have to say that the French and Italian terms for bow ties–noeud papillon & farfalle–are much more fun.

Anyway, I have to get some sleep. Thanks for reading, and thanks for the tie, Vince.


Un gentilhomme français…

June 7, 2010

La mode. Style. Like many things, style can come in many forms. Some people buy their style. I certainly fall into this, to some extent, as my style revolves around the treasures that I may find at a good (or bad) resale shop. Others buy their style from more haute couture establishments, and that is perfectly fine, as well. I certainly would, if given the opportunity (but I’ll always remember my love for the treasure hunt).

Buying one’s way to a sense of style can have a negative effect, and sometimes it it quite evident when someone is simply attempting to charge their way to a higher plane of fashion.

Then, there are those who just…”have it.” The key word there is “it.” It is the sense of putting a day’s entire outfit together, or it can be just one aspect of one’s attire. There is a woman who works in the Rotary Building, for Pivot Point, I believe, whose shoes absolutely rock. I have no idea what brand they are, or what type they are, but all I know is that she peacocks the hell out of them, in a good way.

A couple of weeks ago, as I heralded the imminent Bow Tie Week (that has obviously grown into Bow Tie Fortnight), I mentioned Patrice Robin, the brother of Michèle Crump, one of my mom’s dearest friends. I even added this photo…

An expert architect, Patrice passed away a few years ago. When I met him I was still in my early 20s, still in college really, but I could tell that he had it. French men can look so…comfortable, I guess…while dressing like this. Now, I don’t know if he had 3 different bow ties, or 300, but I’m sure he looked dashing every day.

Butterfly that phrase

My Bow Tie du Jour, or Noeud Papillon du Jour, is a tie that Patrice’s widow, Annie, sent to my mom. The card reads “souvenir très affectueux”–very affectionate souvenir.

My picture is not very good, but the bow tie is a forest green with some very cool paisleys. It’s smaller than most, if not all, of my bow ties (my good friend Dan Murrell would appreciate its being 2″ wide…very classic). No brand label, so I imagine that some perfectionist tailor in Paris made it.

C’était vraiment une honneur de le porter aujourd’hui. Mes pensées affectueuses a sa famille–Annie, Antoine, Virginie, et bien sur, sa soeur Michèle et sa mère, Yveline (Mamidoux). Je vous aime! Grosses bisoux!

I have a Guy With Tie, from my weekend. Terry Donohue, an attorney with Inman & Fitzgibbons. I met Terry a few months back through some Evanston Chamber functions, and I spotted him at Dominick’s, as he was headed to his daughter’s bat mitzvah (at least I think it was his daughter’s…or maybe a friend of hers?). Anyway, thanks for being a good sport, Terry. It can be odd, I’m sure, when someone takes out their iPhone, and says, “I have this tie blog…can I take your picture?”

And, ding-ding-ding! We have our first Girl With Tie, officially. There was a Girl With Guy With Tie, Billie Kershasky, but now it’s a real Girl With Tie, with her own category and everything. Elena, one of my daughter’s classmates, sported this great strip to school, which has little faces making up a map of the world. Her mom shared something with me that I took as a great compliment…Elena said, “Mom, when I grow up, I want to be just like Brooke.” High praise, indeed! Psst, Elena, the best part about being like me is that you don’t really HAVE to grow up.

Well, thanks for reading…Brooke

Eeny Meeny Tieny Mo…

June 4, 2010

Well, I remembered to wear a bow tie again. Sound the trumpets! Let fly the confetti! Bow Tie Fortnight is officially an event! Maybe next year Hallmark will mark the occasion with a series of cards. Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Bow Ties are tough-to-figure-out, and so are you. Or: Misspellers of the World! UNTIE!

Well then, that wasn’t so difficult. Onward we march with BTF (the younger brother of WTF)…

Let's hear those comments...

Today’s BTdJ is from Carrot & ___. Dangit, I need to remember to write down the maker before I put these on. The label is not quite as accessible as a regular necktie. Thanks to the magic of Google (magigoogle?), I can find out that it is Carrot & Gibbs. Their website URL is, and from the looks of their offerings, they back up that slight bit of pretentiousness. They are sold at several locations in Illinois, with Huntley’s in Wilmette being the closest to me.

Ready, Set, Swim

I have one addition to Guys With Ties for today, to get us into the weekend right. Todd Paul here speaks my language; born in New Orleans and raised in Mississippi, Todd makes me feel at home when he talks. Very nice guy with a cool story. He learned to swim in October of 2008, and then he…get ready for this…swam the English Channel in September of ’09. SWAM THE ENGLISH CHANNEL. A mere year after LEARNING TO SWIM. Sorry for the yelling, but that’s pretty cool. I’ve known about the English Channel since I met him, but just learned about the learning to swim bit.

So, let’s see…to continue Bow Tie Fortnight, I’ll be sporting bow ties next Monday, Tuesday and hopefully Thursday; then again the following Wednesday thru Friday.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend. Brooke

Thar she bows!

June 3, 2010

After all my blahblah about Bow Tie Week, I have come to the realization that there were going to be three weeks without a full slate of tie-wearing days. This week is a four-day week with MemoDay, of course. Next week is the final week of Julia’s school, and I am taking a couple of days off before flying Julia down to my parents’ house in Florida. Of course, it would be silly of me to fly down there and turn right around, especially since they have a pool. Ergo, I’ll have merely a three-day workweek then.

And, thus, to get in a full Bow Tie Week, I’d have to wait for June 21. And, so, after much soul-searching, I have decided to scrap Bow Tie Week…dramatic pause for effect while bow tie-wearers gnash their teeth in much anguish…and will instead implement BTF. No, not Butt The F***! Bow Tie Fortnight! Yes, it’s perfect, from now until June 18th is 15 days, and a fortnight, as I understand it, is 14 nights, 15 days. And anyway, it’s close enough. Two ties this week, three next, and three the week after. I can handle eight. Bow! Tie! Fortnight!!!

Silk in the Raw

The (bow) Tie du Jour is awesome. It’s from Maus & Hoffman, and it’s one of the three bow ties that I found at the Hadassah Resale Shop on Dempster, for all of $1.50. Beautiful raw silk fabric makes me know that I got a pretty good deal.

Somehow, and this is hard to explain, it tied very nicely, too. Perhaps it’s because I’ve tied three or four in the past few weeks, but it seemed to knot up easier than usual, and it looks great with my Yves-Saint Laurent suit, in my cocky opinion.

So, tomorrow, if I remember, I’ll have another noeud papillon (butterfly knot, literally) that will be up for grabs to the best commenter. I need to make sure that I don’t put up Patrice Robin’s tie, or the one that my good friend Dan Murrell gave me.

I have one Guy With Tie for today. James Bates, Assistant Property Manager for the newly-renamed 415 building at Howard & Chicago in Evanston, was kind enough to pose. I was there for a property tour and for lunch with Barbara Moffitt and Dana Carroll (Dana called me a ‘dandy’ which I took as a compliment). They are putting in some great new upgrades, which, with the stunning views of Chicago, Evanston and the lake, will get them closer to full in no time.

Thanks for reading…Brooke