Archive for the ‘Tie du Jour’ Category

Samson & Detielah

September 29, 2011

Well, show me…the way…to the next…Whiskey Bar. Oh, don’t ask why, oh, don’t ask why. –the Doors, Alabama Song

Big night in Fewville (Fewtown? Fewsbury? Fewborough?), as we Few had a huge launch party at world-renowned Delilah’s, down in Lincoln Park. We had a fantastic crowd down there, as many folks from Evanston made it out, on a school night no less. Owner Mike Miller was the best host, and his wonderful wait staff put out a great offering of cocktails.

I thought it may be a stretch to wear a tie to a punk-rock whiskey bar, but I figured it’d be okay with my Few shirt. This vintage plaid strip from Monsieur Cravatieur feels woolen, but thank goodness it’s pure synthetics! Trevira Polyester rears its pretty head again into my 100D100T world!! I wonder if the ancient clans of Scotland ever imagined synthetic wool. Nae…

I wasn’t alone for long, as the newest GWT walked in soon after we set out our gin & whiskey. Alan sported a very cool bowtie, which would be visible if the flash on my not-as-crapiPhone camera had actually worked.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


The Tie Traveler’s Wife

September 27, 2011

I’m going to go out on a limb here: I’ll probably never have the chance to time-travel. There. I said it. So, I can guess I can finally use this post subject that’s been sitting in my drafts list for quite a while.

And though the chances are somewhat greater that I’ll have an encounter with author Audrey Niffenegger, an Evanstonian by day (and night), I figured I’d just go ahead and use it to signify that I’m going back to one of the 5-7 ties that remain un-posted.

Mildly interesting backstory on my Tie du Jour, and that’s putting it very mildly. This TdJ is solid in at least a couple of ways – color scheme and craftsmanship would be my choices. It’s from designer RVR Neckties, owned by Robert Valdes-Rodriguez, with whom I used to work at ABN Amro Bank. Or for whom, I guess you could say, at least for a few months. I nearly choked on my bowtie when I saw that his strips go for $185 a throw. [long, slow whistle] Give me 30 days and I could find 100 above-average ties for less than $185. And, no, I wasn’t really wearing a bowtie when doing my research. My good friend Lee Allison designs ties that have personality, AND are half that price.


In my last post, I can’t believe I left out a Guy With Tie. Mike Ryan is a mixologist-extraordinaire at Sable. Paul and I visited there a couple of times in the past week, thanking them for carrying Few. Here’s Mike in proper mixology-gear, i.e. waistcoat and tie. Go see him, and ask him to make you a Few-inspired cocktail.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Multiple personali-ties

September 23, 2011

Do not adjust your set. In this case, “set” obviously means your PC/Mac/Smartphone/random-futuristic-interweb-viewing-device.

My vintage Tie du Jour was sold a long time ago at Marshall Field’s, which, along with its celebrated holiday traditions, was swallowed up several years ago by Macy’s and their own celebrated holiday traditions. There was much hullabaloo when the deal was going through, as folks worried if they’d still be able to go to the tea room in the Field’s/Macy’s flagship store in downtown Chicago. That and the walk-around story-telling are still there, as far as I know. Go, capitalism!!

The designer is Pierre Cardin, who joins Yves Saint-Laurent and Louis Vuitton as the spiritual triumvirate of French designers that even the average Yankee non-fashionista has heard of. This TdJ looks like Monsieur Petey was trying a few different things out…on ONE tie. It’s got a nice solid dark brown as its base, then hits on some stripes in a cool cream, crimson and some more o’ that cornflower that I dig on. He must not have hit his paisley quota for that season, ‘cuz he fires up two small strips of them. To top it off, he throws in some kind of tapestry thing between the paisley rows, making this one a candidate for the legendary Ugly Tie Week.

This strip, and all its glory, accompanied me on a few sales calls down in the city. I was spreading the Few Spirits-ual gospel to Andersonville – Simon’s and Big Jones – and downtown Chicago – Henri & the Gage. Look for a Few new additions at those fine establishments soon.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Heinz 57 and French-tied potatoes

September 21, 2011

Jimmy Bowfett? Yeah, terrible joke...

Rather ironic that my title channels a guy who likely despises ties: Jimmy Buffett. I originally wrote that first sentence to allege that he never wears ties, but that theorem was rather hastily dashed after a quick search of “Buffett photos.” And I’m pretty sure this isn’t Warren Buffett…

This is my first post in the “Back in Time” series, as I journey into my less-crapiPhone’s photo bank and find pictures of ties that I have worn, yet did not post. Out of order? The shame!

My Tie du Jour is from the French designer Claude Montana (no relation to 49ers hero Joe Montana), who is known for his outrageously colored style creations. This TdJ is no different. Thank goodness there’s a picture, because I could never describe this without sounding like a moron. “Um, it’s kinda green and kinda yellow with some blue and gray (British translation: grey) lines making a kinda floral pattern.” Yep, I went ahead and described it anyway. Moron.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


I saw it with my own two ties!

September 19, 2011

If it seems like I’ve begun my last two or three posts with some major whining about being behind on my tie posts, it’s probably true.

But, I’m done complaining, and will just get to it. I will post all of the ties, but not in the order in which they were worn. We’ll just post the last one I wore, and go backward in time from there. And, if I wear another tie, I’ll post that one as I wear it.

If it seems like I’ve made these kind of promises in the last two or three posts, it’s definitely true. No more promises, I’ll do what I can.

Hmmm…now what do I say?

Oh, yeah, I know…on this particular day in question, I wore two ties. Let’s get to them…

Diamonds are Forever...or at least until you wear another tie

I had some sales calls to make downtown with Few Spirits, so I got gussied up in Tie du Jour numéro un, this geometrically-unchallenged strip from Burberry. After meeting with the beverage director at Mastro’s Steakhouse, I went for a little walk, stopping in at several places, ending up at the grand opening of Cantina Laredo, version Chicago. Delicious mini-fish tacos…or were they fish mini-tacos? Fish taco minis? Either way…yum.

Then, I got home and wanted to be a bit fresher for the 2nd Annual Evanston Business Mash-Up, which is run by my former employer, the Evanston Chamber of Commerce. It was such a nice night (like last year’s event), right on the beach at Northwestern (like last year), and I was able to go home straight after (unlike last year). Paul and I sampled some Few for the masses.

Part of my fresher ensemble was cedntered around TdJ#2, my bow tie from Paul Fredrick, picked up on their website recently. This is that cornflower blue that I love, and the fabric is just top-quality. This and my diamond-patterned shirt went nicely with my new Astor & Black suit. I’ll have to make an ensemble photo with that soon.

Although there were many ties at the Mash Up, I only took one picture, as I was more in Few Spirits mode. But, since this FSFAWT (Former Senator, Former Ambassador With Tie) was wearing a scarf around her neck, I figured that was enough of a tie to make it into 100D100T. Say hello to Senator Carol Moseley Braun, holding her very own bottle of Few White Whiskey.

At the risk of being simply satisfied that I have actually completed a posting, I’ll rest my case here.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


Born on the 4th of Jutie

August 10, 2011

OK, I’m starting to feel better. After taking about six weeks off and getting incredibly behind, I’ve now waited a whole 33 minutes before starting my next 100 Days, 100 Ties post.

Ironically, I chose a national holiday for wearing Tie No. 306. I needed to set up a meeting with some folks (Psst…it was about my next tie thing, and you’ll love it), and our only available time was the morning of July 4th. Oh, well, I didn’t think I could show up to a meeting about a tie company idea without actually wearing a tie. So, I chose one with a little bit of patriotic oomph (emphasis on “little bit”).

This TdJ’s brand is Albi, and it’s from the Paul Giddings collection. Paul is my friend who, along with his wife Cease, owns Folk Works Gallery here in Evanston. He’s a retired Army officer who spent a long tour in Germany. To me, this tie has the perfect air of, well, an Army-officer-stationed-in-Germany. Wonder if he ever met John Winger and Russell Zisky (the heroes from Stripes).

Thanks for being independent, America! And thanks for reading…Brooke

Tied to the Whipping Post

August 9, 2011

OK, I’ve done the crime, 20 lashes for me. I have officially set the record for procrastinating in posting about a worn tie. It’s been so long I won’t even admit it, but rest assured that it’s been over a week. Plus, I have two more that I need to write about. For shame.

Uh, yeah, that extremely long paragraph was penned about 10 days ago, so my break in procrastination was very short. Sheesh. I’m now up to about seven ties that I need to write about, or at least record. Let’s get to them. Or, perhaps I can save this as a draft and sit on it for another few weeks.

No, wait, what do we have here? Yes! I’m going on to another paragraph, it looks like the wait is over! We may get to an actual blog post here! We may have a tough couple of minutes while I retrieve my phone, to refresh my memory as to which tie I’m actually writing about.

Ah, yes, here we go…I was able to wear this Tie du Jour on my first public appearance with Few Spirits. Let me rephrase that…my first appearance with product from Few Spirits. By the way, at press time, Few is sooooo much further along. I’ll try to avoid spilling the beans (or spilling the gin, rather) until I catch up a little bit.

The TdJ is from Kolte. It’s a very dark blue with gray paisleys. It’s very rare to see paisleys marching in such an orderly and homogeneous fashion. Usually they are multi-sized, and swimming all over the dang place.

I wore this lovely strip to a gala charity event called Artopia, hosted by the Open Studio Project. OSP is an Evanston non-profit that helps underprivileged kids connect with their artistic side by providing them with art projects. One of the auction items was a bottle of Few White Whiskey, along with a barrel naming. I attended and gave taste samples of the FewWW. How nice, eh?

Show your Ties!

There were a couple of other ties at the event, but they all paled in comparison to this one. I failed to retain his name, but let’s just call our newest GWT Marty Graw, since he was in his French Quarter outfit.

Well, let’s hope that this gets me going in terms of catching up. Only six more posts to go until I am…

Thanks for waiting and reading…Brooke

Bermuda Tieangle

June 24, 2011

I reached the monumental pinnacle (is that redundant?) of wearing a tie two days in a row, a mere couple of weeks after basically wearing one for 300 days in a row, save for weekends and the occasional Sanity Day. It’s been pretty nice to see that I’m still getting a few dozen page views per day, so thank y’all.

My Tie du Jour was not worn for the full Jour, so it may need to be called the Tie des Deux Heures (2-hr Tie). I’m getting the feeling that it may become a regular feature here at 100 Days, 100 Ties.

Tie No. 304 was sported, as you can see, with my distiller’s shirt from Few. Paul and I were guests of the Kiwanis Club of Evanston, and we gave a short presentation to their members about the new business. This wool strip is from a store called Trimingham’s, a department store that was a fixture on the island of Bermuda. It’s strange in a couple of ways. It was the first tie I’ve worn that could have been tied with either end being in the front – both ends were the same width. And, the tips had fringes on them (you can see it a little bit in the photo). Not sure if that is a Bermudan thing, but I doubt that they bother with ties very much anyway.


I captured a shot of Master Distiller, and many time GWT appearer, Paul Hletko, describing the magic that happens at 918 Chicago.

We had a tie-wearing visitor to the distillery. Bayo, who works for Charter One Bank, braved the heat and put on a tie, not knowing he’d get on the internet for his troubles.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

Oh, to be a tie on the wall

June 21, 2011

I’m not an eavesdropper, but I will admit that I have something of a spidey-sense of the conversations going on around me. Every once in a while, I’ll own up to it by proffering some sage bit of advice to complement or correct: “Those scones are actually made right here in Evanston”, “You know, Vladimir Ilyitch Lenin carried his childhood blanket every day of his life, even through the revolution” and “Ma’am, Michael Jackson was NOT killed by the CIA” are all examples of things I have NEVER said. Thank goodness. But, you get the idea.

This post is not about my eavesdropping in on a conversation, but about being the eavesdroppee. Twice! And basically in the same spot. Maybe I just talk loud. Anyway, I was talking about Few Spirits at the YMCA on Saturday and Sunday, and two women approached me to enquire about the status of the first distillery in the heart of Prohibition. I just thought it was funny that it happened two days in a row.

Sunday, for Father’s Day, my Dad and I went to Prairie Joe’s, and I was amused by several tie-wearing paper heads, with quirky comments bubbling from their bodiless visages. Here are three of them…

Monday I was able to get my tie on, for only the 3rd time since No. 300. I definitely miss the daily wearing and the daily writing, but will soon be back on a normal tie schedule.

I had a meeting downtown with my friend John Betterman, about my tie project, and I wore a good one. Somehow that opinion wasn’t shared by its creators at Express Design Studio, as I found it in the clearance section at TJ Maxx. It was specifically picked to match up with the blue threading in my new Astor & Black suit, and look electric at the same time. Not bad for $6.99.

Like an out-of-practice idiot, I forgot to add John to the GWT menagerie. However, I did bring him a tie, in thanks for meeting with me, so I’ll get him to get a shot of it when he wears it.

Thanks for reading…Brooke

And here’s tie you, Mrs. Robinson…

June 16, 2011

GWTAS (Graduate With Tie And Seductress)

I’m surprised to find out that it’s been six years since Anne Bancroft (The Graduate‘s minxy Mrs. Robinson) passed away. But, my title is not in homage to her, or to Dustin Hoffman, who played Benjamin, the actual graduate/seductee. I actually had a graduation on Tuesday evening. It was a dinner and small ceremony marking the end of my year participating in Leadership Evanston. Although, you know…commencement is not an ending. It is a beginning.

Sorry, I’ve heard that speech at every graduation except for this one, since it actually was an ending. Oh, I guess I’ll take part of the Evanston Community Foundation‘s alumni activities with LE, so maybe this is just a beginning. Either way, it was a great experience; plus, it’s good that it’s over.

Of course, I can’t go to any kind of ceremony without sporting a tie, and I was actually excited to put one around my neck. I am having major withdrawal pains from the lack of blogging about the ties.

So, here we go. Tie No. 302 was another from my friends at Paul Fredrick. This one, I actually bought. Although I’ll talk about the ‘why’ very soon, I have to say that Angela and Scott from PF gave me some more ties to support a new venture. 30, to be exact. THIRTY! They are all truly lovely strips.

Anyway, this number is the epitome of multi-colored, as it just exploded my plain-ish blue shirt. Had I gone garish with the shirt, I may have set off car alarms.

I have captured, photographically, a couple of new GWTs in the past week or so, and I’ll gladly share them with you here. First is Graeme Murphy, a freshman in Northwestern’s engineering department. Graeme, sporting a cool Escher-printed tie, and his project team worked with Few Spirits to come up with a plan to reuse our spent grains, and presented it before me and their class. It was one of those ironic days where I chose not to wear a tie, while every other guy in the room had one on. So embarrassing. But, I did have one of my new Few shirts on, so at least I played the part of ‘client’ rather well.

Sunday evening, my dad and I went to dinner with, Pat Green, one of my best friends from my high school days (the first time I had to wear a tie every day…well, actually, that would be the 2nd time. Junior high was tie time, too). We went to Tavern on Rush, and sat next to a GWT. Or, should I say, a RPCLWT (Rainbow PUSH Coalition Leader With Tie)? Yes, Rev. Jesse Jackson was kind enough to show off his tie with two goofballs from Memphis.

Well, that felt good. I’ll be wearing another tie on Thursday, methinks (which is actually today)…

Thanks for reading…Brooke