Sunday, March 24, 2013

"With an evening coat and a white tie,

 anybody, even a stock broker can gain a reputation for being civilized."  

 ~Oscar Wilde  

In my mission to revamp the shop, I am finding some amazing treasures that I tucked away.  One of the bags uncovered contained a stash of tie clips.

 Now, we all have heard the expression "tie one on", and we all relate that to the drink, but research calls me.  The OED compares "tie one on" to the British slang phrase "tie a bun on," also meaning "to get drunk." 

A fascinating tidbit came from someone who studied Native Americans.  It seems there was a custom of lashing a hand-woven basket to a tree.  The basket was filled with a mash of grains...think beer brewing...and the grains would ferment over time as they mixed with rain to create a wine.  After a couple months, the men would return to the tree, take the tub of liquor down, and return to the village having "tied one on".  The men would lie to the women (you know, time marches on, humanity crawls along), but they would say they were hunting and bring back small game.  The "bun" refers to the alibi of stringing a hare or wild rabbit to a tree to drain its blood.
Anyway, I found tie tacks/bars/clips!  And so...more research!  The tie dates to the 19th century in Europe where is was worn with detachable collars and was merely a long strip of cloth.  Ties tended to be unruly, and so a tie pin or tie tack was designed to help the tie lay flat.  Over time, it evolved into a tie bar, tie chain, tie clip.  All forms kept the tie under control...or prevented it from "draping in the food" as one site proclaimed.
GQ even had an instructional video posted last year on using the tie bar!
 "We see guys wearing their tie bar too high or too low all the time. The rule is simple: It goes between the third and fourth buttons of your dress shirt."
"It may sound obvious, but a tie bar doesn't just clip the front end of your tie to the back end. It fastens both ends to the placket of your shirt."
 "Finally, never wear a tie bar that's wider than your tie. That's the worst! Keep things narrow."
Now, the key point...who does wear these man-baubles?  Based on a quick look at some pictures in some magazines and online, I am not seeing any, so what to do?  Well, we women can "lean in" with a new accent...clip on a hat...on a lapel...or go all Annie Hall and wear a tie!  There is one that is actually a pencil...

a screw...

then the little tie tacs are  varied...and the rings are intriguing...and there is a gun for the 2nd Amendment follower...

But perhaps Chinese writer Lin Yutang has it right (and maybe we should ban neckties especially among certain professions!):
"I have a hankering to go back to the Orient and discard my necktie.  Neckties strangle clear thinking."

1 comment:

Guernsey Girl said...

Just discovered your blog -really love it...