A Touch of Whimsey


60ºF…. 62ºF yesterday. Snow predicted after midnight and rainy and in the 30’s tomorrow and Wednesday.

Bet that 60º mark is stuck in your head though. It is in mine. All I want to do is ignore work and work on my tan. Alas, that cannot be. So I’ll console myself with a deviation from my standard dress code. Tan gabardines and a blue blazer on a Monday!

And if I’m really feeling daring, I will reach for a printed tie. A touch of whimsey. Tortoises and Hares, perhaps. Or colourful horsebits. Or I may work on my tan vicariously through my tie… and choose a palm tree and beach chair motif.

The king of all whimsical ties is made by Hermès. Each twill tie with an inspired animal print is produced in a new colourway — colours are never repeated and designs are retired (although five designs a season may reappear in new colours.) The colourful little characters are a new line for a very old business. While Hermès began selling ties in the Monte Carlo boutique in the 1950’s (in order for a tieless gambler to meet the strict dress code at the tables… what a nice thought….), the whimsical animals didn’t make their appearance until the 1980’s. Before that it was geometrics, tackle and horsebits, and of course grouse and other game birds. The foulards were an instant hit and fast became a classic. From a distance they read as geometric prints. Up close they read Chairman of the Board, although the greenest hire would be quite correct in wearing his the first day on the job. That qualifies them as very easy and elegant additions to the wardrobe.

Let the buyer beware.. there are many imitators (like the marvelous Peter-Blair number at the head of this post) and storied companies who produce the ties, but there are even more fakes. Fortunately, Hermès has a fun and easy to use online presence (click the photo to go…) and there are reputable dealers out there for those of you who are feeling a little spring in your step even in these perilous economic times.

Hermès Tie

This entry was posted in Elegantology and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Touch of Whimsey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.