Thursday, December 13, 2012

Okay, So, Is There A Schedule?

For a rendering of tonight's tie, please read the Report of exactly one month ago, 13 November 2012, when he wore the selfsame cravat.  What a rigid Fashion Rotation.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Why I Don't Have John Boehner On Top Of My Christmas Tree

BriWi's striped tie tonight is a jarring note in his conservative ensemble.  Its deep navy field colour is perfectly fine, but the zippy red stripes have an unbalancing effect.  They are like putting jelly beans on a tuna sandwich.  Like hearing a mariachi band when the priest bows his head and says, "Let us pray."  Like watching Grandpa pull up his fishing pole and seeing Grandma emerge from the lake in a tutu and toe shoes.  Yeah, like all of that. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


SPT.  I feel like we should start a petition and have this tie forcibly removed by a Fashion HazMat Team.

Monday, December 10, 2012

It's Delightfully Delicious

It's a purple lover's dream tie.  This cravat is a Fashion Confection of lavender and mulberry in slender stripes.  It's like tea parties and backyard wedding receptions, ice cream socials and cakewalks.  It is a bakeshop cupcake made in a Girls' Night Out flavour like boysenberry mojito with blackcurrant mousse frosting.  So yummy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Tonight's cravat is a faded and muted violet crossed by narrow charcoal diagonals, widely spaced.  He had decided to rent a car and drive the rest of the way to Cleveland, eschewing the crowded airports and noise-filled planes.  As he drove through the farmland, he was charmed by the horses and buggies, the tall silos, and the many local roadside stands along his route.  He stopped at one ostentatiously lettered sign offering pies, jams, jellies, pickles, eggs, and fresh produce.  The girl behind the bonnet barely spoke as she totaled up his purchases.  Her grey dress was somber, but she could not have been more than fifteen.  "Did you say this pie was, what now? Elderberry?" he asked.  She nodded, and she handed him his change with berry-stained fingers.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

What A Difference Routine Makes

Oh, Brian.  I remember when you first wore this tie.  We here at The Report--along with our readers--were thrilled.  It was the first cravat with even a hint of green.  True, it is still the deep suitcoat navy field that so many of your ties share.  Yes, it is only a moderately wide forest green stripe.  But after years of suspense and suffering through such cravats as the Peculiarly Creased Lunchbag Tie and the Kidney Bean/Bodyworks Tie, we rejoiced! 

Now, of course, having been sedated and bludgeoned by Stripery, we are less impressed.

Monday, December 3, 2012

It Begins

The Report is back from a brief hiatus.

A narrow stripe of goldenrod against nightsky is the cravat for this evening.  She opened the slim case, viewed its contents quizzically, and looked at him.  A small frown started to appear, and he spoke quickly.  "I know you don't wear jewelry.  That's why it's pretty plain.  I just thought it might be nice, you know, something different, something kind of pretty and...and feminine."  He lifted out the slim gold bracelet and began to fasten it onto her wrist.  The minute clasp, however, eluded his blunt fingers, and the chain fell back onto the table.  She pulled the sleeves of her turtleneck down over her hands in a reflexive, defensive gesture.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Huntsman's Secret

Someday the tie will be paisley or plaid, but that day is not today.  Today is yet another day of stripes, this time wide stripes of deep navy blue and tangerine.  It was still dark when the alarm roused her in the middle of the night.  She had the luxury of slipping back into the dark caverns of Sleep while he arose and tugged on woolen socks, sturdy warm coveralls, and grabbed his vest of hunter's orange.  This hobby of his was so at odds with the rest of his persona that, early on in their relationship, she had teased him and admonished him for chasing down Bambi.  His sudden and brusque reaction, his visible wounded feelings made it clear that this subject was a sore one.  From that incident forward, she simply kissed him goodbye and was grateful that he washed the bloody clothes himself.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Course Correction

For this evening's striped tie, BriWi has chosen one with a field colour of jewelled purple crossed by narrow bands of milk white.  He sat almost sullenly across the table from her this morning, watching as she assembled her breakfast.  She plopped grape jelly onto each half of her English muffin; then, using the tip of her butter knife, drew long curls of cream cheese from the slab and, with her fingers, placed them onto the jelly.  With a snort of disgust, he retreated behind his WSJ and wheat toast, dry.  Certainly the novelty of their May-December romance had already worn thin, and whatever light and sparkle she had brought into his life had served its purpose, whatever he had thought that to be when he had made such a terrible mistake.  The important thing now was to see Panghorn and set about making an end of it, and with as little trouble as possible.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Tonight's striped offering is one of ebony and palest lavender, the latter with whispery contrasting threads.  She sat back on her heels and tiredly pushed a strand of hair behind her ear.  The last truck of donations was almost unloaded, and she sat amid the remaining boxes of clothing to sort.  "Hey!  You'll want to look in this one for sure!" one of the volunteers yelled as he hefted a long glossy box from the truck.  He set it in front of her and she opened it to reveal yellowed tissue paper.  Pushing it carefully aside, she gasped.  It was gorgeous--all hand-beading and silk, and it looked to be from the 1920s.  The color was terribly faded, but she could tell that it had once been a vivid lilac.  Next to it was an aged rose, crumbling to dust, and under it, an envelope. 

Monday, November 12, 2012


SPT. Familiarity breeds contempt, They say.  So contemptible.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Stripes again, this time dress blues navy crossed with slim diagonals of bright flame.  Everyone marveled that the two of them were a couple.  They were the embodiment of the tired adage "Opposites attract." He was pragmatic and terse and favored restaurants with a clubby atmosphere and good beef.  She was chatty and tirelessly altruistic; she loved little out-of-the-way eateries with ethnic menus and impossible chefs.  Together they amassed a fortune in friends, purebred corgis, and big, chewy Napa reds.  Their love was seamless and fierce, and it was conventional wisdom that it was also forever.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

In Which We Posit The Fate Of Our Favourite Pink Tie And Reference Thrash Metal

Oh, Brian Williams, Brian Williams. How very dapper you look!  Your ensemble is flawless.  Your cravat is the very capstone of precision.  Would it were not, yet again, a striped tie of dark blue and gold!  We can only imagine l'intérieur de L'armoire des Cravates, thronged as it must be, by blue and gold striped cravats, the crush of which surely renders its mighty doors ajar.  This must be the reason we have not glimpsed the stylish and lovely Pink Tie Of Dreams in so very, very long.  It is, perhaps, flattened against the back, or crumpled and sad on the bottom, a tired or trampled dancer in the mosh pit of fashion.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Storm Search

This evening's striped cravat is of worsted grey and seascape.  Grabbing her father's old fisherman's sweater off the hook near the door, she walked down to the beach.  The clouds were gathering angrily at the horizon, and the wind was ready and brisk.  Further off, the pier was busy as boats were coming in and offloading their meagre catches; this storm had blown up suddenly.  Her eyes kept scanning the jetty even as a cold rain began pelting her face.  She pulled her hair back, twisting its length away from her face, and tried in vain to find his boat again in the distance. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Pot Of Tea, A Good Book, And Thou

For the long night ahead covering Election 2012, Brian Williams knots up a reliable and stylish stripe of midnight sky and pumpkin.  As she adjusted her uniform, she checked to make sure that everything was on the tray.  The old lady was so sweet, and she so looked forward to her nighttime tea and toast!  A chubby teapot brimmed with steaming Earl Grey, and the delicate china plate held two pieces of cinnamon toast, lightly buttered.  A small jar of house-made citrus marmalade and a copy of Jane Eyre completed the tray.  Tonight they were ready for the wedding chapter, and the Missus was sure to want parts read out again and again.  That was fine, just fine.  The night was not so lonely when it was shared.

Friday, November 2, 2012

It's A Don McLean Moment, So Drive Your Chevy To The Levee

Tonight there is no fashion.  Brian Williams wears a blue tie.  And that's it.  It is a tie, it is blue, and, to lapse into Millennial Jargon That We Despise, "It is what it is."  And that It is a Blue Tie.  How many more ways can I state it?  Blue Tie.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Quelle Dommage


Tuesday, October 30, 2012


And tonight we forgive Brian Williams for looking a little less than dapper, considering the horrors of Sandy.  His tie, slim stripes of deep turquoise and China blue, was slightly askew and looked as if he wrenched it on right before lunging onto the set of The Nightly. What is there to say when the news is so bad?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Through A (HiDef/LCD) Glass Darkly

The Report took a Reset Week, and sadly, it was All For Naught. This evening, Brian Williams thwarts our serenity by merely waiting us out and Starting Over, knotting up the selfsame cravat of last Monday, 22 October's Crayola blue and yellow gold stripe.  Just like smelling grape Dimetapp brings rushing back all the sleepless nights of my sons' childhood respiratory illnesses and ear infections, seeing this tie tonight flickers to life a Bergman-esque retrospective of last week's neckwear.  In a melancholy revue, I see glimpses of SPT, a black and white striped silk, the moody deep turquoise and worsted grey slim stripe, and the satisfyingly Lichtenstein-like intarsia pattern, but what does it all mean?

Monday, October 22, 2012

See Brian. See Brian Wear Stripes.

Tonight Brian Williams reverts to one of his many yellow and blue striped ties.  It's boring.  This is the Dick and Jane of cravats.  Is it offensive? No. Is it exciting? No. Look. Look. It is a tie.  And that is all that it is.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Feel As If We Were Headed Here All Along

SPT.  It just is.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Tonight Brian Williams wears the more sedate cousin of last night's garish and brash cravat.  The muted, smoked violet and sooty navy stripe is a vast improvement in style and palette.  She had not been on the property for more than twenty years, but little had changed.  In the halflight of the dawn, she edged her car closer to the towering iron gates ahead.  Under their shroud of silent mist, lavender fields slumbered fragrantly in neglect.  The house waited still and patient, its dignity in tarnish and disrepair, but very much alive. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

In Which We Inventory Our Provisions For The Cruel Season Ahead

Life is getting tougher here at The Report.  Brian Williams, ever steadfast in his resolve to wear striped ties, purple ties, and resolutely boring or stultifyingly unsatisfactory ties, sometimes reaches far, far back into his Armoire des Cravates to resurrect neckwear that should have been left to moulder away in obscurity.  Tonight's cravat is a perfect example of all of those things:  it is the familiar wide striper of lurid orchid and ultramarine blue that has been admonished regularly here.  Tonight it even dares to demonstrate an off-kilter dimple.  We can only sharpen our corkscrew and fortify our supply of vermouth.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Okay, So Now I Just Creeped Myself Out

Yawn.  It is a tie of rather wide red and blue stripes.  So pedestrian it was, that Mitch McConnell had one on almost exactly like it.  As a matter of fact, his entire ensemble matched Brian Williams', and when they were on a split-screen during the vice presidential debate analysis/recap, they looked kind of...icky, like Mitch was a sort of aging, creepy Bdub Fanboi.  Yuck.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Good Grief

Oh, hell. This is that tweedy, intarsia technicality tie that forces me to make a Judgement Call every time because I can't remember what I decided last time Brian Williams slung it on.  It's a claret purple, but that textured pattern underwoven (thanks, HD) tilts the balance a bit away from the dreaded SPT.  Or does it?  This is like arguing the merits of fancy desserts.  Is chocolate mousse really just chocolate pudding?  Is creme brulee just custard?  And is tarte tatin just half an apple pie? To quote an expert in such distress, "Aaugh."

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Not Retro In A Good Way, Baby, No.

...And it's a return to the Mango Madness series of 2007 (6/14 and 6/18), with a brief revisit in November of 2008 (the 12th, to be exact).  Either BriWi is having a good cleanout of L'Armoire de Cravates, or he had a brief pang of Dangerous Fashion Angst, and he found this new offering of Cheez-Whiz orange sprinkled with little magenta mums.  It's a sort of Peter Max meets Laugh In meets Austin Powers meets the Niagara Falls Botanical Clock at Blake Edwards' The Party.  Way to sock it to us, Bri. Ouch.

Monday, October 8, 2012


It is the stripe of midnight and lavender this evening, the latter diagonals shot through with contrasting threads.  When he couldn't sleep, he often went into the orchid houses, armed with only a lantern lighting a small space at a time.  It was silent there, the heavy, damp quiet of a night in a Sao Paolo shantytown, late, when everyone was either passed out or just dirt-tired.  He breathed in the delicate perfume of the frail flowers, tenderly patched the sphagnum moss of their pots as if tucking them in their beds for the night, now and then cooing as he found a new bud or blossom.  Ceaselessly pushing a shock of white hair away from his eyes, he worked on for hours, tending to his charges and singing lullabies in Portuguese.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Not Good...Not Good At All

Oh, brother.  Tonight's tie is almost painful for those of us who watch The Nightly, whether we are tuning in for Bri's ties or the national news, or both.  The field colour is a vivid royal blue--almost forgiveable--but the stripes!  The stripes are narrow pairs of salmon, bordered on all sides by burgundy.  The result? Thanks to the odd mix of colours and perhaps the lighting, it was like a Punky Brewster and Rainbow Brite reunion had gotten out of hand and someone found a stripper pole.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

In Which We Get A Bit Snarky

SPT.  Add to that our regret that we cannot add this tie to the Axis Of Evil twice for its shininess.  Or its cheap fabric.  Or that odd Thing Which Dwells Beneath The Knot.

Oh, here:

But any more would just be petulant.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Oh, Here's An Idea!

Oh, Mr. Brian Williams!  Just how many navy blue and yellowgold stripedy ties do you own? Answer:  ALL OF THEM.  ALL OF THEM IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD.  Brian Williams, I feel like you should just get in there, into your Armoire du Cravates, root around for awhile, and pull out each and every single one of them.  And then, in one glorious Fashion Rebellion, WEAR THEM ONE RIGHT AFTER ANOTHER UNTIL YOU HAVE EXHAUSTED THE SUPPLY. 

Then burn the whole lot.

And never, ever buy another one for the rest of your life.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Recipe

Mr. Williams rebounds nicely by wearing the stripe of rich mahogany and strands of burnished gold.  She was a joy to watch in their tiny kitchen, and even lying ill with 'flu, he smiled as he saw her bustling about to prepare their dinner.  Her black hair had been pulled up in a loose bun, but her earrings danced as she moved about the stove and counter.  Now and then, the spice grinder whirred, and he breathed in the healing aromas of cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, and turmeric as she toasted them in the pan.  Her myriad bracelets jingled and rang, something suddenly sizzled, and she sang and laughed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sad, Sad Tie

Oh, this sad, sad tie!  Why does Brian Williams continue to provoke us here at The Report by wearing it?  The fabric quality appears cheap, and the colors--flat, wan, dime-store purple and white in a stripe (always a stripe!)--seem as if they belong in a tube of Dollar Store toothpaste instead of around the neck of The Most Trusted Voice In America's News. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bon Appetit!

Bri ties on a stripe of charred navy and pumpkin from the Standby Stable tonight.  He leans on this cravat like I lean on my jar of Nutella when I run out of desserts in the house.  Do I hate this tie? Only sometimes.  It's like peanut butter to me. I have to be desperate or in the mood for it or it has to really work well with the rest of the ingredients.  Tonight, this Peanut Butter/Nutella Tie made it on all three counts. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Why Is This Permitted On National Television?

SPT. So awful in its godawful shiny godawfulness. And awfully shiny.  Did I mention that? Urk.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

In Which I Waver, But I Am Overruled By Sam, Who Asserts His Professional Authority

SPT. I'll admit it:  I like this one the most.  It's textured almost to the point of having a pattern*, and the colour is a lovely plumwine.  So close.

*A quick consult with my son, the fine men's clothier and personal shopper, placed this cravat firmly into the SPT category. "Not enough to call it even a pin-dot," was his verdict.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

This One Will Send New(er) Readers To The Sidebar

TWSNLBRAINDTM.  I know. I almost cannot believe it either.  And no, I haven't missed it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Live from atop the noisy Democratic National Convention, Brian is wearing a cravat striped with solid smoky blue and pale gold, the latter an embossed rope pattern.  It is an instantly formal and aristocratic tie, one which evokes admirals with epaulets and drapes of bullion fringe, or French uniforms from 1757, or the plush interiors of royal palaces.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Looking dashing, Brian Williams wears a silk stripe of bootblack and porcelain white this evening.  When he finally found her, she was standing in a drift of books and papers, feeding documents into the scanner on the fourth floor of the university library.  Moving deftly and lightly, their white gloves gave her hands the appearance of doves flitting to and fro, as if she were a magician practicing her act.  He was afraid to startle her here in the reverent silence of the archives; his arrival was unexpected.  He felt for the box in his coat pocket and smiled.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


For this evening's Florida broadcast, Brian knots up an old standby, the suitcoat navy cravat with slim stripes of blush pink.  His flight was delayed, then delayed again. No amount of frantic consultations of his watch could make time advance any faster.  By the time his plane touched down, he had imagined a hundred different transports as fail-safe strategies.  Grabbing his bag, he hailed the first cab in line and tersely gave the destination.  Once there, he flung the doors open, gracelessly gained information from staff, and finally found the room.  Too late.  She was already here.  A small rosy bundle was held out to him, and wordlessly, he took her in his arms. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Glint Of Gold

Reporting from Tampa and the site of the RNC, Brian Williams knots up a conservative striper of darkest navy and gleaming gold. There was nothing cheerful about her, this governess, the children decided.  Was her nightdress even corseted and dark?  Even in the heat of the summer, she wore close-fitting sleeves and terribly scratchy skirts and always, always the darkest of blues, violets, greys, and browns.  Only the occasional wink of her gold spectacles relieved the unrelenting severity of her mien.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


For this evening Brian selects a cravat of darkest midnight striped with vivid lilac.  The melancholy, always deep, always so heavy, sometimes gave way to a terrifying paranoia.  She could see it like a synesthete; it was there, audacious and mocking, bright and glittering, and she knew it would slam into her, spread throughout her veins and twist into each cord of muscle like an electric eel.  She dared not reach for the telephone this time; she had promised.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Brian Williams knots up another tie from his Boy Scouts Commemorative Collection.  Prepare yourselves (get it?) for one more incarnation of navy blue with slim stripes of goldenrod.  Ho. Hum. Blah. This tie is the perennial "What I Did on My Summer Vacation" essay.  It's the "Have a nice day" said expressionlessly from the nameless clerk at the whatever store.  It's the kids' menu offerings at every restaurant in every town in the USA (say them with me, now:  macaroni and cheese, hamburger, pizza, chicken fingers).  So generic, so boring, so expected, and so...feh.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Carefully matching his ensemble this evening, Brian Williams selects the striped cravat of pumpkin and deep navy.  It was impossible now to tell how late it was, but the night was upon her and its chill intensified as the shadows lengthened.  She stirred the remaining fire into renewed vigor, added her last logs, and hoped it would endure through the long hours until daylight.  She pulled her bedroll close to its edge where she had carefully built a row of stones to bank some warmth and sat cross-legged for a while to think. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Give This One Its Gold Watch, Already, And A Nice Cake In The Breakroom

SPT. And what on Earth was going on with its dimple? At first, there was the Dreaded Double Dimple askew, which seemed at some point in the broadcast to be set to rights, but still, the whole thing is just suffering from Fabric Fatigue and the Stress Of Overtying.  Best to retire it, really.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Even A Bad Tie Would At Least Be Interesting

A very pedestrian and safe striped tie of deep navy and narrow Carolina blue diagonals.  It's smart and versatile in that Bri can wear it with a suit or dress it down with a jacket and denims, but there's no panache, no style, and it has that studied look of Garanimal Go-Togetherness that makes me feel bored and disengaged and longing for excitement.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Check Your Calendars

SPT.  Same as last Wednesday. That's a pretty rigid rotation sked there, Bri.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Anachronistic Beauty

This evening's cravat has become a Favourite of The Report's as it has been viewed in lighting both on and off the set of The Nightly.  On location in London, it takes on the hue of a dusky bittersweet, and its jacquard texture becomes more apparent.  The pattern of petite ash-coloured circlets lightly traced in black is tasteful and classy. True, it is more of an autumnal tie, evoking mulled cider, cinnamon sticks, the earthy and pungent smell of crisping leaves and fallow fields with pumpkins ready for harvest, but it is lovely nonetheless.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


My goodness!  Brian Williams works another weekend shift, this time sporting a tie of suitcoat navy with flame-coloured stripes.  The diplomatic motorcade purred down the avenue, windows deeply tinted, sedans polished and sleek.  These displays had ceased to impress him years ago, and now he simply waited, uniformed and wired behind his mirrored sunglasses.  One by one the cars pulled to the curb and stopped.  From the center car, a driver emerged; he pulled his cap on and self-consciously righted his cravat.  With a swift and military stride, he walked to the rear passenger door facing the Embassy, bent low, and with a modest flourish, opened it but part-way.  Slowly, almost serpentinely, a leg emerged wearing a red high-heeled shoe.  Behind the sunglasses, uncharacteristically, his eyebrows rose.

Friday, August 3, 2012

At The Manor

Brian closes out the work week in London with a sophisticated stripe of nightsky and silver.  From her seat in the hall, she watched as the servants set the table in the formal dining room.  It was like a sort of domestic ballet, with the men and women laying silver, placing water goblets, and adding the gilt-edged chargers all with deft, graceful movements and all in complete silence.  When it was done--in breathtaking speed--a white-haired man produced a small measuring stick and went about the task of making sure each item was impeccably placed while the rest waited anxiously, eyes never leaving the table.  In her own nervous state, she found that she, too, held her breath.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Perhaps Security Is Still An Issue At The Games

We here at The Report are disappointed that this cravat was permitted past Customs.  Its debut is permanently etched upon our memories.  We reprise it here for your edification:

November 10, 2008. Debut Tie. The Report is reeling from the Fashion Fiasco that is tonight's tie. Nothing--absolutely nothing--could have prepared The Nightly's viewers for the almost phosphorescent glow of garish orchid. And worse! Those Crayola blue stripes that seemed to run and blur at the right edge of this unholy cravat gave the whole broadcast a weird, Dali-esque vibe, and I kept watching and waiting for the rest of his tie to start melting and running off his shirt and onto the news desk into a puddle of purple and blue.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Is There No Shopping In London?

SPT. The deep plummy one with the burlap texture, but still woefully solid and purple. I'd be willing to award a gold medal to a good London haberdasher who takes BW round to his/her shop and shows this man some new, preferably paisley, ties straightaway.

(Thanks to guest poster StarB., originally from the UK!)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bright Darkness

Looking dapper and sophisticated in the UK, Brian knots up a smoked ebony and blue striped cravat tonight.  She tossed her purse off into some shrubbery at the side of the road once she was across the state line.  She knew her wallet--along with all of her identification and credit cards--was in it, but she didn't plan on needing any of it.  Ever again.  The summer sky blazed above, but all she saw was the asphalt road ahead.  In another hundred miles, she'd ditch the car, too.  After that, it was...whatever.  It didn't matter because nothing was clear.  She couldn't see a tomorrow.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cheerio And Happy Christmas, What!

On location in London for the Olympics (and working weekends as well!), Brian has unfortunately chosen a red and white striped tie for this evening's newscast.  What else is there to say besides Popcorn Box, Candy Cane, and Christmas-In-General?  True, the red is somewhat understated and the white is rather platinum-looking, but just as a baby searches for a human face in any symmetrical arrangement of dots, most of us will see this cravat as a Holiday Tie.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

In Which Our Own Unstinting Inflexibility Gives Us A Rare Bit Of Pause, But We Remain Resolute

SPT.  We do like this one, for its rich, baco noir colour, but you know the rules.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Boardroom Strategy

We here at The Report have never seen this tie before, a very classic medallion print on a rich plum background.  The shapes are large and vary between squares and lozenges of white with darkened centres. Portraying a confidence that she did not entirely feel, she swept into the boardroom.  It was, of course, full of men.  To their credit, they stood upon her entrance.  She impatiently motioned for them to sit, but she remained standing.  A few lounged insolently in their chairs as they waited for her to begin.  Remembering Uncle's advice, she focused on the one who looked most self-assured, most impudent.  Levelling her gaze, she met his eyes and coolly appraised him.  It was only when he looked away that she finally began to speak.  

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lovers' Quarrel

It is the slim and textured stripes of smoky and stony blue, impeccably knotted.  He gave up trying to go after her and instead watched as she strode angrily away, out into the fields.  The tall grasses whipped at her bluejeans, but she never missed a step.  At the rockpile, she started to climb, pushing the long sleeves of his fisherman's knit sweater high above her elbows, stopping only to twist her hair into a knot away from her face.  Taming the untameable was a constant struggle for her, for him, for them, and he wondered how long it would be before it all broke apart completely like so much rubble.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rich Relation

Tonight's tie is a rich mahogany textured silk accented by closely-gathered gold pinstripes, each sheaf of six appearing as a stripe on its own.  The last room Burke escorted him into was the library.  "Many of these volumes are First Editions and very rare, sir," he intoned.  "Your grandfather was a great lover of books, and he insisted upon the finest quality and workmanship.  If you would like, I myself can--" but the younger gentleman waved him impatiently into silence as he took a volume from the shelf.  Its cover was embossed, fine-grained leather, and the gilt-edged pages gleamed.  Part of Grandfather's personal library, the book's binding had been custom-made, and the grandson could not help but note the irony in the title he had randomly selected:  Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and the Damned.  And even before he opened it to its frontispiece, he knew it would be signed and dedicated to Grandfather by the Jazz Age raconteur himself.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pleasant Contrast

Brian, still feeling the last remnants, perhaps, of his Independence Day festivities, knots up a cravat of zippy red and blue stripes.  It's decorous but still jazzy, like the Cleveland Orchestra playing outdoors at Blossom Music Center.  Patrons can indulge their love of sophisticated music and dining al fresco, but still picnic and hear tunes less stuffy than Wagner and Bach.  They can sip chilled champagne and eat cool insalatas and fruit and cheese, but wear their shorts and sandals, lying back on a lawn blanket. And, once in a while, the crescendo of locusts punctuates a symphony.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'd Like To Quote Newland Archer From The Age of Innocence When I Mutter, "Sameness, Sameness..."

...and it's deja vu!  Perhaps Monsieur Williams, in his innate courtesy to make my entree back to the Daily Grind Of Real Life less jarring, purposely wore les même cravates as he did following my previous vacance.  For this evening, he again wore his necktie of smoky violet blue with wide bands of black patterned mesh alternated with slim pearl stripes, the latter embracing a line of lilac blush.  (Sound familiar?  It should--I wrote it on 25 June! And that next day he wore the SPT we saw yesterday.)  Oh, mon cherie!  C'est le temps pour quelque chose différent !

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

This Cravat Makes Me Long For The Days Of The On-Location Oversized Shirts

SPTThe Report is back from its own vacation--again, I know!--and is greeted by this luminous horror.  It's like eating broccoli ice cream.  It's like taking your homework on Spring Break.  It's like going camping for your honeymoon.  Ugh.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Une Surprise de Paris

For this evening's cravat, Brian Williams selects narrow, textured stripes of cranberry and dusky rose.  She wandered the busy Paris streets, her tiny camera at her waist so that she could snap away unnoticed in the various patisseries and confectioner's shops. The macarons and nougats and meringues and financiers were gorgeous works of art here, and she could not wait to set out her watercolours and brushes back at her tiny flat. Upon arriving home, a deliveryman buzzed for entry.  Answering the door, she saw only roses, nothing but sweet red roses blooming in the hall.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

So Purple And Luminous And Still With The Thingy Near The Bottom...

SPT. This darn tie makes me uncomfortable.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fashion Story

This evening's tie is a complex and detailed cravat of smoky violet blue with wide bands of black patterned mesh alternated with slim pearl stripes, the latter embracing a line of lilac blush.  He often saw her at the small vintage clothing shop, arranging tableaux of beaded handbags, fine scarves, and other feminine accoutrements on the skirted tables within. Her style was Forties one day, Seventies the next, and Fifties still another.  One thing never changed, however, and that was her graceful, fluid movement throughout the store.  Languid and lingering one moment, she could be quick and butterfly-like the next, but her admiration for the fashions of Yesterday was ever constant. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Adieu Pour Le Moment, Dearies

The Report is on le petit vacance for a well deserved rest.  If anyone would care to submit critiques while I am away, please use the email address provided in the sidebar.  Who knows?  You may see your Sartorial Submission right here!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ring For Service To Clear, Will You?

Heeding our cries for Relief, Brian knots up another, yes, striped tie, but this one is of bright flame bands crossing the usual navy field.  And although the stripes were pleasantly alluring, I could not enjoy them.  Instead, my vision kept tracking--dreadfully--to the travesty that was the horrifying Side Dimple placed so far to the right so as to render it a...sort of Salt Cellar or Butter Dish to the Dinner Plate that was the Main Dish Cravat.  It was enough to make me lose my Fashion Appetite.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Report Versus BriWi In Verses

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
If Bri's giving up,
Then I am, too.

The purple with white dots
Again worn so soon
Has put The Report
Right into a swoon.

It's like he's been camping
For weeks at The Nightly.
And the few ties he packed
Are becoming unsightly.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We Sense A Trend

Another navy blue striped tie for BW this evening; this one with slim diagonals of creamy white.  Viewers of The Nightly recognise this Old Standby, for we just saw it on 5 June, one week ago.  How tedious!  How tiresome! How like the schedule of the June Cleaver-esque housewife, whose domestic chores were regimented by days of the week:  Monday is Marketing; Tuesday, Floors and Carpets; Wednesday, Bed Linens; Thursday, Laundry; Friday, Baking.  Perhaps Mr. Williams needs to throw a little New Millennium into his Cravat Selection Process.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Go See What Dad Has In His Closet

Le sigh.  This evening, Mr. Williams starts a new week with a tiredly staid and outdated cravat of dark blue with slender goldenrod stripes.  It was very wide and very flat and the fabric looked very...erm...serviceable.  It had the sort of appearance of a teenaged boy on his first Serious Job Interview, who needed a tie and, in this exigent, pawed through his dad's closet, way in the back, behind the drycleaning bag shrouds and Good Suit before coming up with this one because it matched his light blue Oxford shirt and khakis the best.

Friday, June 8, 2012


This week was pretty much a reprise of the week previous to BriWi's vacation, cravatically speaking.  Tonight's tie, the capuccino textured silk with pink Swiss dots, made it a fait accompli. It was a Sartorial "Groundhog Day" without the sardonic Bill Murray.  Instead, it was more like leftover spaghetti in which the sauce was saved with the pasta, rendering the noodles soft and mushy and unpalatable rather than al dente and toothsome and tasty.  Sigh.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

In Which We Lament And Summarise And Query On Behalf Of You, Dear Readers

*The Report--in a departure from Normal Business--takes un moment to discuss several of this week's cravats en masse.

Brian Williams took a week off, and it was the Fervent Hope of The Report that, perhaps, it would renew his commitment to Fashion In General, and to Cravats In Particular.  Alas, this would prove not to be the case.  In rapid succession, BriWi mired us in the Slough Of Sartorial Despair with a quick return to: on Tuesday 5 June, the oft-worn (and most recently seen 24 April) navy and white striped tie; on Wednesday 6 June the blaring blue and screaming yellow wide striper seen on 25 May; finally, tonight, yet another airing of the purple tie with teensy white dots, seen...oh, pretty much all Spring (5/22, 5/7...) sigh.  All of which leads me to one question, and I must ask it:  Where is that glorious pink tie?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Coolly Charming

Mr. Williams charms us this evening with a cravat of whispersoft lilac upon which trios of pencil-tracing stripes subtly wind.  He walked into her gelateria-pasticceria looking for respite.  It was cool there, and the frosty air had an immediate tonic effect.  Slouching off his suitcoat, he stood in front of the glass case, his mouth a little agape at the array before him:  peach, pink, lavender, tangerine, and minty green--the colours alone were enough to make him forget a long day of numbers and bar graphs and SBE's. And when Giacinta appeared to wait on him, her smile commanding yet comforting, his workday disappeared.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer Harbinger

Brian dazzles all viewers of The Nightly with this cravat.  Its wide stripes of bright cornflower blue and yellow-gold make a Fashion Statement.  But...what exactly is that statement?  Is it "Summer is here, and this tie heralds its arrival with boldness reminiscent of the sun's brilliant rays as it warms our nation's many lakes, rivers, and magnificent oceans"?  Or is it "Summer is here, and this tie makes me look like a member of a Barbershop Quartet at one of our nation's many amusement parks and smalltown carnivals or musical productions put on by summer theatre programs"?  It's a judgment call made by the Fashionistas amongst us.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

And As May Limps Along To Its Inevitable Fashion Finale...

SPT. Richly plummy and superbly dimpled, but we simply cannot make an exception.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Balance

Brian continues his dotty theme tonight with the textured silk of rich mahogany besprinkled by minute peachblossom polkadots. She was impossibly flighty, this new assistant.  She cluttered her desk with silliness like a pink Magic 8 Ball, a small garden gnome, and an Etch-A-Sketch on a stand.  She hollered in to his office instead of using the intercom button, and she insisted on drinking obnoxiously scented herbal teas with names like Peach Passion and Raspberry Zinger.  But the clients loved her, and somehow, she kept him happy and balanced.  And he knew that, should he let her go, he would miss her shining auburn hair and the way she always brought a chocolate iced cupcake to work for her lunch, placing it carefully in the center of her happily floral napkin smoothed ceremoniously upon her desk.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Monday Night

Wow. Brian is certainly getting his money's worth from this tie. He has knotted up this purple tie with its array of small white polka dots about, oh, eleventy thousand times in the past month and a half. It reminds me of Monday Dinners at my house growing up. All during the school year, my mom made liver and onions, mashed potatoes and pan gravy, and big Fordhook lima beans every single Monday night.  We three kids would troop home from Catechism class, plunk down our books, grab two aspirin (the nuns were brutal), and wash our hands to set the table, all the while smelling liver and onions. There's something to be said for consistency, unless you just don't care for liver and onions.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Thank Heavens The Interwebs Were Still Here Waiting For Me!

No doubt while we at The Report were out...rusticating and off the grid, BriWi wore devastatingly stylish and modern ties of any number of patterns and colours that would have made us proud and laudatory.  Now that we are back to Civilisation, he has knotted up his--yawn!--navy blue necktie with narrow gold stripesZZZZzzzzzzzzz er, sorry.  But, honestly, you and I both know that this tie is the Snoozer Of Sartorial Staples.  It's a Neckwear Nap.  It's a Tryptophan Tie.  Ah, well. It's good to be back.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's Not Getting Better

SPT. And double-dimpled. And not in a good way.  If only this Dimple Defect were an aberration.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

In Which All The Inside Jokes Are Clicky--Yikes, And Two Puns (One Spelling-Dependent) In The Title Alone!

Brian is loving this tie--the striper of suitcoat navy and tangerine--as of late.  Well, you know what the Fashion Mavens are saying about orange. No, not that. Well, they might be saying that, but not meaning that.  You know?  Oh, hell.  Click the links or none of this makes any sense at all.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Faded Prestige

This evening it is the broadly striped cravat of pale lemon and ink blue.  This tie has an aged, frail look to its colours, as if it were owned long ago and laid away.  Perhaps the yellow was once bold, a dandelion erupting in the centre of a wide estate's lawn.  Perhaps the blue, now almost violet-tinged, was dark and sharp like the firm handwriting of a stern patriarch whose orders given even by letter were cause for consternation and immediate response.  No matter now.  The father is dead, and the once-grand estate is empty and ruinous.

Monday, May 7, 2012

It Is Well That Purple Is So Terrible; Otherwise, We Should Grow Too Fond Of It

BriWi sneaks in a purple tie tonight that is a clone to Friday 4 May's, except for the regiment of little white polka dots, precisely arranged like white lights on a Broadway sign. This cravat is stylishly peppy, elegantly sprightly, and gravely jaunty, like Shelby Foote talking about Ulysses S. Grant.

Friday, May 4, 2012

In Which We Remain Relentless

SPT.  Nicely textured, but, as we all know, The Report simply cannot relent.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sumatriptan Tie

Wow.  This tie.  Brian starts off the month of May sporting an electric blue cravat sprinkled with hot pink polka dots.  Were there actual stories on the Nightly this evening?  Who remembers? I was transfixed and mesmerized by this tie.  It reminded me of the first time I took my migraine medication.  Colors brightened and objects, newly intensified by the drug, seemed to slightly pulsate, expanding and contracting as they fell under my gaze. It wasn't entirely unpleasant--certainly better than the migraine--but definitely not great.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Under The Table At Corporate

Brian Williams knots up the oft-seen cravat of deep navy with narrow blush pink stripes.  It had been an interminably long meeting this time, and she couldn't stand these people to begin with.  Look at all of them, like sad, dark Puritans in their somber suits.  She wasn't much better, she knew, in her own jacket and skirt.  Sighing, she eased out of her pumps under the conference table, flexing her toes.  Her feet hurt, and she knew taking her shoes off was a mistake. Just then, she heard it--the clatter of his reading glasses next to her.  As he bent low to retrieve them, she froze.  Was that a...touch?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Rich mahogany and woven gold stripes harmonize in this evening's cravat. Lingering over brunch today, their last day at the hotel, they savoured the thick Egyptian coffee and devoured the syrupy cakes, redolent with cinnamon.  Holding hands across the table, they watched the sunlight reflect off their wedding bands and throw glimmers of light onto the wall beside them. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Elegant Precision

Brian is the picture of elegant precision in tonight's cravat of generous stripes alternating suitcoat navy and creamy white.  This tie is the table at the manor house, laid for dinner with the family silver by white-gloved hands.  It is the snapped salute performed in perfect unison by the regiment, and the impeccable lines of an architect's blueprint.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Tonight's offering is one of deep azure tiled with soft raspberry squares.  He walked on through the galleries blindly, Cezannes blending into Degas into Picassos until everything was a muted palette wavering before him.  She had told him goodbye so clearly, so dispassionately, so cleanly.  Unable to think, to understand, he struggled to even find the exit.  In the silence of the museum, his heart seemed very loud.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Let's Not Get Carried Away

SPT. I was originally going to write a fanciful vignette about a little backwoods gal helping Pappy Sam strain his elderberry wine through some burlap, but in the final analysis, this is, despite its textured fabric, a Solid Purple Tie. Certainly it's a cut above some of BW's other horrors in that category, but let's not encourage him, shall we?

Monday, April 16, 2012


This evening's cravat is a somber striper of lush aubergine and ebony.  It is the mournful, low note of the oboe, the ponderous slide of the stone into place on a new grave, and the chill of Dusk as she settles her purple cloak upon the horizon left abandoned by Day.

Friday, April 13, 2012

I Mean, It's Been More Than Five Years Now

Oh, Brian.  This jet navy and tangerine striped tie.  I am so conflicted about it.  I laud it, then I loathe it, then it barely blips my radar.  Brian, this tie is the socks on the floor of our marriage.  Early on, when the blush of Marriage is new, the wife smiles and shakes her head, picks up the husband's socks, and thinks, "Oh! Here I am, doing A Wife Thing already! Picking up after my Husband!" She's a little excited, maybe even calls a married friend or her mom to commiserate.  But after a few years of marriage and picking up smelly sweatsocks, it's not so novel, not so cute.  She thinks, "I'm not his mother or his maid!  How many times is he going to leave these damned socks on the floor?  I've had it!"  Finally, when she sees he isn't going to change, that he's going to leave his socks on the floor no matter what, that picking them up has become part of her normal routine anymore and simply not worth it, she barely notices them in the docket of Things She Does Every Day.  Which reminds me, Brian.  You missed Our Anniversary.  Again.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Have The Blues, Too

We are under the weather at present, so The Report begs your indulgence as we burrow into our Archives and present this slightly edited Classic Cravat Critique from 1 December 2009, when he also wore this lovely tie:

Brian [continues] the month with the blues--stripes, that is--of creamy sky and deep turquoise. This tie is decidedly pretty. Its fabric should be the awning of a tony Manhattan baby store called Baby Boy-tique which caters exclusively to the mumsies and popsies (or nannies, as the case may be) of male infants.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What Does It Make You Think Of?

"And, for our final tribute tonight, me and Pack 1031 would like to call up Julius Hensmacker.  Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Hensmacker, at the age of 97, is Pepperidge Corners' oldest Cubmaster.  Tonight marks his retirement, we are sad to say.  I know I learned a lot from Mr. Hensmacker when I was a Webelo, and before his four surgeries and winters in Florida with his daughter, I know the boys here did, too.  So, me and the Scouts here, we built him this custom-made cart for his oxygen tanks, and also got him this tie which, as you all can see, is regulation Cubscouts colors--navy blue with the stripes in yellow.  That way, whether he's in church, at a funer--um, or, um, out to dinner at a fancy place like Olive Garden, he can always be in uniform!"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

And Here I Was Hoping Bri's Hiatus Was All About Purging L'Armoire De Cravates

SPT. And, is it just me, or is That Thing below the knot getting bigger?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pretty In Pink

Tonight's lovely striper is of cranberry and creamy rose, and the narrow diagonals are tactile and textured in this sweetly springlike tie.  It is strawberry pie and pink lemonade.  It is Grandmother holding the hand of her little granddaughter on their way out of church.  Both in their Easter finery, the little one skips along, her frilly dress frothing about like bubbles on a drugstore soda while the elder, sedate but smiling, bends like a peony in the breeze.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Better In This Iteration

This tie, suitcoat navy and pumpkin stripes, is the darker, more sedate version of last night's screamer.  It is the sight of the first few grey hairs in the mirror, the sigh past the junior department in Macy's, the wince at bubblegum ice cream and neon peeptoe pumps.  It is the modulated tone with the saleswoman, the patient smile with the young waiter, but the flirtatious wink at dinner.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Brian! Williams! dons! his! arresting! striper! of! tangerine! and! cerulean! tonight! This tie clamors and blabs like an attention-starved toddler while Mom is on the phone with her boss.  It's Rainbow Afro Man holding up his John 3:16 sign in the crowd.  It's the Poindexter in the droning list of Jasons, Jennifers, Ambers, and Aarons.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Children's Hour

It is the striped jet navy and orchid cravat this evening.  Caleb dumped off his backpack in the foyer and wrenched off his school tie.  The thump of his bookbag echoed in the cavernous house.  Sighing deeply, he wandered into the kitchen.  Where was Cook? he wondered.  Shrugging, he made his own jelly sandwich, leaving the purple smears for her to clean away later.  It was almost always quiet when he came home.  Quiet and dark.  Not so much dark like no lights on inside, but dark like no happy on inside.  Caleb opened his sandwich, flattened one side against the wall, and drew it along with him as he walked.  Caleb and His Purple Jam.  He smiled, happy inside.

Friday, March 23, 2012

In Which BriWi Is Upstaged By A Sudden Appearance Of LSD

Okay, so, who even noticed BriWi's pedestrian tie of blah blue with twin racing stripes of lipstick red snugged up together once military man Jack Jacobs appeared at The Nightly desk in that...that...Peter Max Pipedream of a cravat!?  Holy Pop Art! Those swirling clouds of saffron made me picture myself on a train in a station with plasticine porters with looking glass ties!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

So Evil

SPT. The dimple, however, was ducky.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

We Beg Your Indulgence

Things have been hectic here at The Report.  Allow me to offer this Classic Cravat Critique for this evening's tie, which was also worn on 11 May 2011:

This evening Brian Williams dons a cravat of slim black stripes alternating with burnished gold, the latter bisected by a thread of the contrasting onyx. Quietly, solicitously, the jeweller proffers another velvet case. He carefully slides open the sable top and reveals row upon row of gold herringbone necklaces. It is as if the pharoahs and queens of Egypt, one by one, had unburdened their necks before stepping into their sarcophagi for the ages.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Someone In The Nightly Wardrobe Department Needs To Raise The Baton

Tonight, Brian has presented us with a tie of riotous stripes.  Muted, almost sueded violet, then suddenly textured metallic gold, like a basketweave blinging chain--but wait!--is that...yes! Yes, it is! A teensy little vein of sanguinary red runs alongside the gold!  Good heavens, this cravat is a sensory overload.  It's like walking into a middle school band room before the director raises his baton.  All the kids are blowing into or banging onto their instruments:  horns blat, flutes whistle, clarinets screech, drums ratatat and boom, and tubas honk all in a cacophanous melee of battling sound so much that you just shut down and wait for rescue.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

After realizing we cannot hide evermore from the display of alternately lackluster and shocking parade of Brian Williams' neckties of late, we have girded our Fashion Loins and tasked ourselves with the Considerable Challenge of reporting on this evening's cravat.  So, onward...

It is the striper of rich Ceylon cinnamon and burnished gold tonight.  Somewhat timidly, the beleaguered traveller approached the portals.  Their polished mahogany gleamed warmly in the late afternoon sun, and the opulent brass fittings glinted and caused his eyes to water.  He lifted the massive metal ring, almost afraid to let it fall; he knew its echo would announce his arrival, yes, but not just that.  It would carry with it the news of his failure, not just to his patron, but to her, and he could not bear to see the sympathy in her kind eyes yet again.

Friday, March 9, 2012

In Which I Posit The One Scenario Making This Cravat An Acceptable Purchase

Oh, my, viewers.  Looks like we're getting a visit from those Fashion Don'ts, Gaudy & Garish.  It's difficult to know what is more jarring, that ultramarine blue throbbing in the background, or the flaming fuchsia stripes pulsating upon it.  Sigh.  Certainly this tie is something a three-year-old girl might grab from her shopping cart seat, drawn to its Dora the Explorer-esque colour scheme and vivid saturation of hues.  "Pretty, Mommy, pretty!" we can hear her exclaim in her as-yet-unsophisticated fashion excitement.  She, at least, has an excuse.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Weather Report

Brian knots up a striper with narrow bands of the blues, one a moody azure, the other an icy glacier.  It is a metaphor for the weather of March, whose skies can be brilliant and summery, winking of June's flowery promise and July's warm embrace.  But when the wind gusts, January echoes, and December's frosty grasp reaches out to hold us just a while longer.

Monday, March 5, 2012

In Which We Provide A Lovely Surprise Or Two For Our Readers

This fashionable cravat is complex and detailed.  Tiny black squares containing petite blue and white bullseyes stare out from behind a white grid.  All of this is laid upon a pale periwinkle field. In a bit of a Departure from les affaires comme d'habitude here at The Report, rather than wax descriptive, here is a photo of Himself and his Better Half, out with The Quality, and wearing tonight's neckwear.  While you cannot see the lovely detail, you can see a Surprise Guest.

Updated:  Link to photo fixed! So sorry about that.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Comes In Like A Lion--Uncivilized And Roaring With No Sense Of Fashion

SPT. Plummy, not brassy, but we don't discriminate, as you know.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cleveland At Night

Another stripe, this one of nightsky with heavy diagonals of ultramarine blue, widely-spaced. The background colour is so dark and matte, and the stripes are so vivid and brilliant, that I think of riding home from Cleveland at night after the Cavs games or the BB King concert or duck breast at Lola Bistro.  I always look out the window to see the Veterans Memorial Bridge illuminated against the darkness.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A Kingly Cravat

I thought this tie--one from the storied Vintage Series--was gone forever.  Thank heavens it's not, for these lovely stripes of royal purple and burnished gold are a favourite of The Report.  What regal accoutrement doesn't come to mind when viewing this gorgeous cravat?  Think noble coats-of-arms; imagine luxurious hanging tapestries adorning the walls of the great halls in English castles; picture the billowing flags of knights and their armies as they thunder over contested ground, urging fleet-footed steeds ever onward.  And look deep into the golden goblets of wine held by the jewelled hands of royalty.

Monday, February 27, 2012

To A Nice Guy I Went To High School With--Stay As You Are And You Will Go Far

Brian's cravat this evening is suitcoat navy with slim stripes of Carolina blue.  It is a pleasant, inoffensive tie without statement or style.  This tie is the boy that your mother wanted you to date when you were in high school:  nice, good-looking, not one of those flashy types, and one who fit in everywhere so you didn't have to worry about him getting along with who else was showing up.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Here's Your Baloney On White With Mayo And American Cheese. Oh, And An Apple.

This evening's tie is, in a word, boring.  Simple purple striped with pairs of narrow white diagonals at widely spaced intervals.  It's...uninspired and generic-looking.  This is the school lunch of ties.  It is the fruit cocktail for dessert of neckwear.  Yes, it's something, but it's not great, not what it should be, and certainly not what you want.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

This Tie Is A Chicken Hand

Oh, this tie. What to say? It's so heavily textured, so...ponderous looking, with its dark blue field and flamingo-coloured squares, each component with its own intarsia/jacquard/interwoven pattern so busy and thick that it appears more like upholstery textile than fabric for fashion.  I could see it made into a tote bag for some bottle redheaded mah jongg lady named Stell--the "a" is elided--who carries in it her set of tiles, a packet of travel Kleenex, an acrylic nail file, some Splenda, and a box of Special K Vanilla Crisp Cereal Bars.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Isn't It Lovely?

This is a welcome sight, the Simply Pretty narrowly striped cravat of creamy sky and deep turquoise blues.  It's gently springlike, and looking at it makes one think of billowy bridesmaids' dresses, soft baby blankets smelling like powder and snuggly warmth, and carefully arranged nooks of cushions and pillows inviting the indulgent reader to nestle in with a Good Book while a careless breeze wafts in, bringing the promise of blossoms.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Toon Town Tie FX

Tonight's tie just looked...wrong, somehow.  By itself, its background of violet crossed with jet navy stripes banded by white has never seemed particularly off-putting.  But tonight, it was jarring against BriWi's favourite Oxford blue shirt.  It looked almost cartoonish, like a faux-3D, Roger Rabbity effect, and I waited for it to sprout little cravatsy arms and legs and scamper up to me, waving and taunting, "Hey, Nance! Howya like me now?"

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's Anticlimactic, Really

SPT.  After an uninspiring week, this is a disappointing--albeit fitting--end.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Clouds In Her Coffee

Tonight Brian treats us to the rich cocoa cravat overlaid with rosy mini-dots in a grid pattern.  She had begun frequenting the coffee shops on those sleepless dawns when the hopelessness kept her awake all night and her bed felt like a punishment.  She would sit small in a corner booth, busily writing in her journal, sampling whatever rich, fragrant brew the barista recommended that day.  Between the bitter sips and biting sentences, she watched the sky turn pink as another day mocked her anew.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Basic Blue

I see Brian Williams.
Look, look. Look at Brian Williams.
Brian Williams is wearing a tie.
It is blue.  It is very, very blue.
Look, look at the blue, blue tie.
That is a very blue tie, Brian Williams!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What Was The Wattage On That Tie, D'Ya Think?

SPT. Holy crap.  Was that thing...illuminated? 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dark Nobility

This evening's tie is a dusky plum with nightsky stripes.  She approached his battlefield tent with trepidation, but dutifully, bearing a late-supper tray.  His valet nodded and waved her in to its smoky den.  "My lord," she began, but he was nowhere to be seen.  She faltered, confused.  "Here!" he commanded, his voice tired and petulant like a sulking child.  She stepped timidly to the absurdly curtained bedchamber, so opulent for wartime accommodation, even for a noble.  His pale hand drew aside the fabric and took the wine.  In a moment, the goblet reappeared.  "Your father dares to send me such swill?  Even in war, I won't drink vinegar."  The goblet is tipped and the purpled stream is wasted on the ground, drunk by the contested soil beneath.  "At least he has sent it in a lovely vessel.  Come here, closer to me.  Draw open the bedcurtains and let me look more closely at her." 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Spell

Another old favourite for Brian Williams this evening, the violet cravat with midnight stripes bordered by shimmering pearl.  From behind the folds of his cloak, the spellcaster drew a small ebony casket.  His pale fingers lifted the lid, slowly, allowing a soft glow to emit from its depths.  As she beheld the contents, her eyes widened.  There, nestled amid the velvet was the amulet.  Its mysterious amethyst seemed to darken and lighten with the quickening throb of her heart.  The pearls surrounding it appeared animate, almost breathing with warmth and life. A voice not her own rose around her, whispering, then clamoring with need.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

For Want Of An Iron, The Review Was Lost

It looks as if Brian has burrowed deep into his Armoire de Cravates and emerged with this long-forgotten tie of coppery orange crossed by slender true blue diagonals.  This poor, rumpled thing!  Had it been in better condition, looking crisp and snappy, I might have compared it to an autumnal harvest under an October sky, but in its present wrinkly state, it reminds me simply of a losing football team's dejected banners after The Big Game.  They hang limp and forgotten, now seen only by the janitor, who yanks them free, crumples them up, and stuffs them in the bin.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Aw, Gee, Dad

Brian closes out the month with a staid offering of bipartisan blue and red as he reports the news on Florida Primary Night.  This striped tie is from the Ward Cleaver Collection, representing the Jazzy But Calmly Authoritative line, sort of what The Beav's dad would knot up to take Wally and Theodore out for a meet-and-greet with the lead singer of a local combo.  You know, just in case the guy tries to discover Wally and lure him away from the Boy Scouts or something.

Friday, January 27, 2012

How About No, Brian, Okay?

For a moment, I thought perhaps I was watching Brian Williams in a SNL skit where he was reporting the news from Austin Powers' groovy new pad, baby, yeah.  Because this tie was some sort of Mod, Sixties Era cravat one might see in a go-go cage.  Electric raspberry circles, metallic silvery framing--all it needed was faux fur, a bar, and a little switch to make it revolve to throbby beat music. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What Is The Statement We Are Making With This Tie? (I Have An Idea)

"...And we're back, gang!  A big Thanks to our sponsor, Sal's Vegas Village--the state's finest Pawn Emporium and American Cuisine Buffet!  Don't forget to hit up his website for that coupon! Okay!  Here's our next item up, and it's almost sold out!  A real eye-grabber of a silk tie in neon purple, looks like a sort of...lavender on P90X, guys, and it's got nice slim stripes of in-your-face bright blue!  This tie is lit up like The Strip!  And it can be yours for just a phone call--you know our number!"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thank Goodness

Mr. Williams comes back to us this evening with a less painful offering of narrow stripes alternating sky and blueberry.  Because I fear my review might be tinged with relief and gratitude rather than objectivity--like extolling the complexity of flavours in a Hostess Twinkie after choking down Aunt Greta's "hospital meatloaf"--I will merely nod in polite approval.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

In Which I Imagine Disasters Profound, Having Seen Two In A Row Now Broadcast Before Me

As if trapped in some sort of Dante-esque maelstrom of stygian style oblivion, where we all must be punished for past fashion sins, we had to watch Brian knot up a cousin of last night's cravatical catastrophe.  This evening's disaster, only marginally better than 16 January, was again a breakfasty theme of waffly little Cheeto-colored patches against a Crayola blue field.  At least they were aligned, not askew like last night, but the whole thing had a sort of intarsia, textury thing happening like bad Seventies textiles.  What is happening?  Did a JoAnn Fabric warehouse blow up somewhere and a school is making and selling ties for a fundraiser to benefit a Firefighter/Veterans Rescue Dog Shelter?  Because you and I both know BW could never resist that.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lil' Abner Might Like It

This tie is automatically and immediately enshrined forever in the Axis Of Evil. What was he thinking?  That faux denim polyester background, those bloody Chex cereal patches going this way and that...the whole thing was like a Dogpatch Designer Challenge on Hillbilly Project Runway.  Grab me my shootin' iron, Granny Gunn.  I'm goin' huntin' fer Real Fashion.

Friday, January 13, 2012


SPT. So disappointing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What Would You Do?

Another luscious-looking cravat with brown as its dominant colour tonight.  This time, it's the richly textured chocolate with a pattern of tiny peachy-pink dots, all in a neat, orderly grid.  Imagine if you were Newly Resolved, striving to Be Good, and, pushing your shopping trolley past the bakery department, caught sight of that one glistening chocolate frosted doughnut in the case, tempting you with its careless shower of pink sprinkles--so pretty! so...alluring!  And the Only One!  Why, it is practically a sign that you should have it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Image Is Everything

This tie has been a real Go-To Tie for BriWi lately, and while I like it, I have seen so much of it, I'd like to tell it to Go To.  Anyway, it is a tasteful conservative cravat striped with very narrow bands of worsted grey and a smoky, deep turquoise. It looks capable, yet stylish, like the reason upscale Soccer Moms drive SUV's instead of minivans.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Manifest Destiny

Brian is sophisticated and rich in his cravat of mahogany and metallic gold stripes this evening, the latter diagonals resembling strands of tightly wound tinsel.  This is a tie of weskits and pocket watches, of barred teller windows and smiling bank Presidents with mutton-chop whiskers who offer railroad tycoons a fine cigar from the humidor on the desk.  Leather chairs complain loudly as these titans of new industry settle in, and the dollar signs drift and multiply above their heads.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Western Wisdom

Tonight's tie is a stripe of rich cinnamon and textured chambray blue. She peered around the corner of the stable and found him coiling rope in the corner of a stall.  The docile horse stood silent, patiently awaiting the curry. With deft movements, he brought the animal's coat to a luxuriant sheen.  Upon discovering her he grew angry, but tried not to show it.  Anger would only unbalance him, and a steady rider meant a steady ride--he learned that the day he got his first saddle.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Yeah, It Used To Be Snazzy

This evening Brian knots up another Striped Tie, this one jet navy with pumpkin diagonals banded by cream pinstripes.  Oh, it's not a Bad Tie, and it's not a Boring Tie. It's just that we've seen this tie so very often that it's lost its Power To Impress.  It's the tie that your Uncle Carl would wear to Thanksgiving dinner and, leaning over to your Goth cousin (who changed her name to Azzryeall), flips it at her and says, "Hey! Ya like this tie?  Snazzy, huh?"

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Looks No More Fashionable Than 2011. (Or '10, or '09, or '08, or...le sigh)

SPT. Apparently, someone failed to make the New Year's Resolution for which I had hoped.

Monday, January 2, 2012

He's Back And So Are The Stripes; My Ennui Is Imminent As A Result

Brian Williams reclaims his desk at the Nightly with a staid, stodgy cravat of navy blue striped with slim cream diagonals bordered with burgundy.  It's not an edgy tie, by any means. It's not bold, and it makes no Statement. It's like your dad at family dinners, who sits at the head of the table because he always does, but if your friend sat there cluelessly one night for your birthday, no one would make a Big Deal out of it, especially Dad. He'd just shift over one seat, grab the platter of whatever, and start passing.