Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy Holidays

Here's to you and yours having a beautiful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, Solstice, Voodoo Man Day, or whatever you celebrate this time of year.

I'll be spending this Christmas Eve at home with the Anthony Cumia Christmas Show and the Bryan & Vinny Christmas Show.

But here is my outfit for Christmas with my family tomorrow:
  • Gray flannel Southwick chalk-striped suit   
  • New navy Chaps tie with Christmas dogs motif (I'm hoping to pick up the green one too on after-Christmas clearance)
  • Light blue Stafford shirt with white collar and white French cuffs, linked with red and green silk knots 
  • Red cotton ribbed over-the-calf socks from Viccel 
  • Brown suede Allen-Edmonds brogues
  • Dark green Brooks Brothers Tyrolean hat
  • Tan Glen Eagles trench coat 
  • Red plaid faux cashmere scarf

Friday, December 4, 2015

Knowledge: Christmas Ties

I love a festive Christmas tie this time of the year. 

However, to be tasteful, the motif should be discreet, in the vein of "club" ties with small, repeating patterns of things like dogs or tennis rackets that can be worn all year. 

This Tommy Hilfiger tie from my own wardrobe is a good example:


Here's another good example from Brooks Brothers, although a little smaller would be better:

Of course, you can always go with a more generic plaid; these can always be silk, but for Christmas they work better in a winter fabric like wool or cashmere:

Avoid ties that are too gaudy. Sometimes this is a gray area, like this tie from Alynn (which also makes some good Christmas ties):

I probably wouldn't wear this one; the motif is just this side of too large for my taste. 

Whatever you do, don't wear something like this (except as a joke to an Ugly Christmas Clothing party or something); there's no gray area here:

This kind of tie is what John T. Molloy warned against in his 1975 book (and revised 1988 edition), Dress for Success:

"Never wear ties with large symbols. Never wear 'storybook' or 'big picture' ties, I don't care what the prevailing fashion is."

It's also the type Paul Fussell addressed in his 1983 book, Class:

"The principle that clothing moves lower in status the more legible it becomes applies to neckties with a vengeance . . .  At the bottom of the middle class, just before it turns to high prole, we encounter ties depicting large flowers in brilliant colors, or simply bright 'artistic' splotches." 

 Probably around five is a good collection.

If you're one of the dwindling few who still wears a tie to work, I wouldn't wear a Christmas tie every work day between Thanksgiving and Christmas; it's overkill. People will probably get tired of seeing the same five (or fewer) ties over and over -- but, if you have 20 or 30 and can wear a different one every day, that's probably worse because it's just weird. 

I would wear a Christmas tie in that situation once or twice a week, just for a change of pace. 

Or, if you don't wear a tie to work but are a church person, you could wear a different one every week for a month. 

You could also wear a different one to each Christmas party, etc. that you attend. 

In any of these cases, about five Christmas ties should be sufficient to get you through the holidays in fine style.