Archive for the ‘Red Tie Week’ Category

He red, she said…

April 16, 2010

Happy TieDay, everyone. Weather-wise, it looked a little shady to start, but then a ray of sunshine appeared and made it a great day. Amazing how one little thing at the beginning of the day just sets the tone…

The final RTW tie

The Tie du Jour fits perfectly on a casual Friday: a skinny, red, vintage number from Arrow. The pattern on the stripe and the blackish-reddish mix (where it looks black in the pic) can only be accomplished via the magic of synthetic fabric. Anyway, I wasn’t sure that this was the same Arrow that puts out men’s dress shirts, but the label also says Cluett, Peabody & Co, Inc., which can trace its operations back over 150 years. This tie is NOT that old; it’s 50 years old, tops…

Cultural Reference Corner: Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A city very close to my heart, my mom grew up about 40 miles away; my father was raised in New Orleans, about two hour’s drive, unless you’re Cajun, in which it would take merely an hour. Baton Rouge is translated to “Red Stick.” French explorer d’Iberville named it after finding that the Native Americans had marked their hunting territory with a large, red cypress stick.

Peace, ties and sunglasses!

We have a couple of Guys With Ties to write about here. The first is Chuck Johnson, who found it necessary to honk at me, with his entire family in tow, and plow across a lane of traffic to say hi. Come to think of it, that’s my kind of friend. Chuck and I were fraternity brothers at U. of Illinois, and he recently moved to Evanston, which is nice. He brought his family, which is nicer.

Next is my boss, Jonathan Perman. That link goes to his bio on the Chamber website, where he is not sporting a tie, ironically. I do like the fact that he is celebrating Red Tie Week, though. And just for shitsengiggles, here’s my profile…I’M sporting a tie. Yes, it’s my same picture as this blog one.

Well, it’s always sad to see a good thing end…but end it must. Thus, I bid adieu to the 1st Fifth Annual Red Tie Week.


With this ring I thee red…

April 15, 2010

Ah, the penultimate day of Red Tie Week. Well, we’ve got a good one today, one of my favorite ties; definitely my favorite red. I had a couple of big sales calls to make, so I needed to look my best. I was at Autobarn Nissan, asking about sponsoring our biggest yearly event, the Fountain Square Art Festival, and I went to Target (great time to be in the middle of Red Tie Week) to talk up the Chamber.

Red, white & blue on Tax Day

Our Tie du Jour is a Daniel Milano; comes from TJMaxx, but this brand seems to be among the highest-priced labels over there. Yes, that is like saying someone is King of the Dipshits, but I can tell it’s good quality. Good feel, perfect knot, and the texture is great. The solid red field that you see in the photo is actually tiny red & white checks (the world’s smallest picnic tablecloth). The tie, she pops; the tie, she shines.

I actually have a preview of a tie that I’ll be wearing next week, most likely Tuesday (why Tuesday? I don’t know, it just came to me). I may have mentioned this, but when I wore the knit tie (FULL-FASHIONED CROCHETED RAYON), I showed it to my friend Sarah Burghardt (who so happens to be dating my stepson Steven). I wanted to ask how hard it would be to knit a tie, thinking I could learn and fire one up by the end of Project 100D100T. Ha! In reality, I was hoping that she would take pity on me, realizing that learning to knit at 41 was not a likely happenstance.

Lucky for me and all possible happenstances, Sarah is, besides being a quick knitter, a very generous individual. She did knit me a tie for my birthday. She blogged about it here, with a great picture. Looking forward to wearing it, Sarah!

CultRef¬† Corner: UB40’s “Red Red Wine” was a hit in 1983. While the song has always been quite popular, what may not be as well-known is the fact that Neil Diamond wrote it. I wonder how his other tunes would sound when performed by a reggae/ska band such as UB40. Hopefully we shall never have to find out. Enjoy the cheesy video.

Alas, tomorrow is the last day of Red Tie Week. Thanks for reading…Brooke

A redtime story…

April 15, 2010

Once upon a time, there was a young boy who went to a new school for junior high. The principal, a short man who never blinked, made all the boys wear blue pants, white shirts and blue ties. Until 8th grade, that is, when the boys could wear whatever tie they wanted. This was good because these boys had begun puberty, and were beginning to have sweaty armpits; the ties focused the attention of the girls from the sister school on their ties and not their sweaty armpits. Then the boys went off to the big high school, where they could wear any shirt-pants-tie combo that they wished. This hardly helped, as the aforementioned puberty did little for their fashion sense. The aforementioned sister school girls had a much more enlightened sense of fashion, and they pointed and laughed at the high school boys. The boys thought they were really cool, and spent 3.75 years trying to impress at least one of the girls. Then, when it came time, they put all of this experience in matching ties with shirts into good use by spending $100 on renting a black&white tuxedo. Can’t spell ‘good times’ without T-I-E. Or ‘teen drinking’…

Well, we’ve rounded the turn of Red Tie Week, and are heading for the homestretch. My fable there probably won’t make Aesop’s tome, but it does show that I’ve got a little giddy-up this evening. So, let’s get down to the Tie du Jour.

Paisley from the House of Flintstone

My featured strip of fabric may, in fact, have been part of my high school tie-learning process. Pretty sure we’ve had it for years. I say ‘we’ because my brother, Grant (it’s his birthday today!) was three years behind me at Christian Brothers in Memphis, and inherited my ties. Then, a bunch of ’em stayed in the house for years on my Dad’s tie rack. He wore ties to work, with less frequency as time marched on. The ties survived, making a retirement move to Florida, and basically gathering dust, as they are not a requisite part of the golf & pool ensemble (at least not in the past several decades).

The label says Hawkes & Keynes, London, but my guess is that my folks picked it up from a London street vendor. While the pattern is kinda cool–the paisleys seem to have been created in blue Sharpie and yellow Hi-Liter–there isn’t much liner going on. When you don a really quality tie, you can tell by the knotting, and just kind of how it flows between your hands. Hard to explain.

Anyway, I put this with a new (to me) suit that I found at the Hadassah House Resale Shop, at 5020 W. Dempster in Skokie. It’s from Yves Saint Laurent, a beautiful brown Glen plaid (aka Prince of Wales check) with a red (what else? It’s RED! TIE! WEEK!) stripe cutting through it. Throw in a blue scarf-cum-pocketsquare, and I was in bidness.

Honestly, Abe, is that a clip-on?

A couple mornings per week I volunteer to help with a reading discussion group in my daughter’s 3rd-grade class at Lincoln School. This morning I was greeted by a statue of a man in a tall suit, which was topped off by a large tie. Yes, Abe Lincoln makes the Guys With Ties section today. Not sure if this was the bow tie fashion of the day, but Mr. Penny/Mr. Five-Dollar Bill was the leader of the free world…well, save for the other half of his own counry.

Since we had a sort of cultural reference bit in this posting already (the Glen plaid), let’s keep it short…

Red Dawn (1984), a movie made during the years for fears brought to you by Ronald Reagan, is an action film based on a fictional occupation of parts of the US, brought on by the Soviet Union (I linked you to the Soviet’s Wiki page, because we now have college-age students who have no clue what the USSR is), Cuba and their allies. Patrick Swayze & Charlie Sheen, among others, portray high schoolers who escape the initial assault, only to become engaged in guerrilla warfare against the baddies. Ladies & Gents…Red Dawn.

Wow, this was a long one…thanks for reading.


Another hole in the red…

April 13, 2010

Despite my advancing age, I was able to remember Red Tie Week this morning when picking out my tie to wear. Kinda starts the day off well to pass such a test. You laugh, but in my first work day here at the flat (‘apartment’ has too many syllables), I forgot to shave; on the 2nd day, I went out the door deodorantless. I keep an extra at the office, thanks be to Mennen. Hmm, let’s file this paragraph under Too-Much-Information…

Doctor, I see spots...

All hygienic procedures aside, it’s Day 2 of Red Tie Week. The excitement is palpable, and today’s Tie du Jour from Bullock & Jones (whoa…the Geneva Stripe Shirt on the B&J home page is KILLER. whoa again…it’s $150) is a worthy addition to the week’s offerings. I found it at the Salvation Army store at Kedzie & Chicago Avenue, right here in Evanston, and probably paid $2-3, a steal. The shirt is a vintage Marshall Field’s with French cuffs…pretty fun to pair up with this tie and a red pocket scarf that I have…

I have another addition to Guys With Ties…Mark Daniels, a fellow Dad at Lincoln School, is lookin’ straight into the sun. Thank goodness he’s borrowed my sunglasses…his striped tie and shirt combo look pretty good with his unnecessary raincoat. Perhaps he’s celebrating Charcoal Tie Week at his house.

Mark ponders joining Red Tie Week festivities

Day 2’s Cultural Reference Corner centers on Red Buttons, a Borscht-Belt comedian who seems to have been a regular on the Friar’s Club Roasts during their heyday. This video of his roast of Frank Sinatra is worth a few laughs…plus the cavalcade of 60s/70s comedy stars is pretty fun to see.

I’d like to mention again how amusing it has been to keep this going. A lot of you have told me that you’re enjoying it, in person and in comments. Y’all are a main reason that I know I’ll keep going. Pretty sure this one is Tie No. 21. Pretty sure that No. 22 will be red, too…if I remember Red Tie Week, that is.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Better off Red…

April 12, 2010

Discovery Channel has Shark Week. Due to budget constraints, and a not-so-surprising lack of Killer White footage, 100 Days, 100 Ties merely has Red Tie Week to offer. So there.

I have an inordinate number of red ties…I am perfectly capable of counting this high, but I would guess that I have 10-12 ties that are red-majority, and most of those are relatively simple. If I don’t do some sort of conglomeration offering them as the Ties du Jour, then there will be a backup near the end of the project. And who wants that?

Red. Tie. Repeat.

Today’s offering is a rather simple silk tie from Brooks Brothers. A patterned duo of red tones with small flowers in twoshades of blue. Pair it up with my blue shirt for one of my most conservative looks; of course I have added a red/white pocket square (okay, okay, it’s a small scarf) as well as a pair of Murano glass cuff links to lessen the right-leaning undertone.

And, looking over the Guys With Ties file, I see that this past Friday, I snapped a shot of

Next time I'll say 'Smile' BEFORE I take the pic.

Taji Jacob, who works for a firm, Pension Specialists, that subleases office space here at Chamber Inter-Galactic HQ (thx AC). As luck would have it, he was sporting a red tie, apparently giddy with anticipation for RTW.

All this talk about Red has me thinking about one of my favorite comedies, “Midnight Run.” One of the many fantastic scenes finds our heroes at Red’s Corner Bar. Consider this the first of many cultural reference lessons of (altogether now, with your best ‘Wheel of Fortune’ shouting voice) RED! TIE! WEEK!

Thanks for sharing my enthusiasm, or at least enduring it, for la semaine des cravattes rouges!

And, as always, thanks for reading…Brooke