Monday, October 31, 2011
For years I avoided red neckties, thinking them too banal. But, that said, today I am wearing a red tie with my gray flannel, like the late Duke in the photo. Red, white and gray work pleasingly together in a way that seems fresh to my eye, perhaps because I am so used to wearing blue or black around my neck instead.
Also like the Duke, my tie is knotted so that the rear blade is longer than the front, though not so disproportionately as his. Still, I remember taking great care as a young man to always keep the front blade longer than the rear. That is how the thing is supposed to be done of course, before one comes to realize that one's dress is not supposed to be perfect in every respect and, after approaching as closely to that perfection as possible, intentionally knotting one's tie imperfectly takes some of the edge off the look. That long rear blade is after all considerably less silly looking than intentionally buttoning one's jacket incorrectly a la Montezemolo.
It has been said that most men who pay attention to their dress go through the same cycle. Early on, as their wardrobe and skill grow, they take delight in complexity, in demonstrating their command of dress. And then they go through a phase of conservatism, rejecting complexity in favor of perfectly executed simplicity, before finally coming to rest somewhere in between.
At that latter point, they can wear red ties knotted imperfectly.