Thursday, October 31, 2013

Can I Order Off The Menu?

Straight from The Ward Cleaver Collection: Formal Wear, Brian knots up the suitcoat navy tie with creamy white stripes.  It's a perfectly fine, serviceable tie, absolutely appropriate in virtually every tie-wearing situation.  There is nothing wrong with it.  No one at the wedding will lean over to her seatmate in the pew and whisper, eyebrows raised, anything about it in mock outrage.  Great-Aunt Selma won't close her eyes and shake her head, frowning slightly, as she sits shiva next to it.  Even Tim Gunn wouldn't object to it with a grey shawl collar half-zip, dark wash jeans, and navy or charcoal pinstriped shirt for a casual look.  But I'd like to see something else, please.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

As Serious As A Fake Heart Attack

Yippee!  No stripes today!  Instead, BriWi has chosen to preview Halloween by donning his Circus Fun Tie, the tomato red one with white polka dots the size of a pencil eraser tip.  After The Nightly, he'll swing around on his swivel chair, revealing his enormous yellow shoes and go clomping off set to finish getting ready for the photo shoot.  Once he pulls on a curly orange wig, bright lime-green jacket (two sizes too short), and purple balloon-style pants, the only thing left is the requisite round, red nose.  Oh, that Brian!  And here we thought The News was nothing to joke about!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Il Est...

sans cravate ce soir.  Opting for the outdoorsy and rugged look, Brian instead wears the layered look, somewhat sacrificing fashion with an olive drab, shapeless flak jackety sort of thing as he reports live from New Jersey.  We are grateful, however, that it was not a clichĂ© North Face or peacoat.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Machine

BriWi's tie this evening is the sedate and snappy suitcoat navy and milk white stripe.  Monday mornings were the worst, he thought, as he stuffed brown bags and lunchboxes into backpacks.  Re-entry Day.  The day when The Machine revved back into life.  It always felt like they had fifty kids instead of just four.  He stood at the counter and slopped half-and-half into his coffee while he stood guard over breakfast, constantly checking his wristwatch.  His wife flitted like a bird from child to child, squirting syrup, doling napkins, pouring juice.  They both had a train to catch; they both had meetings; they both were "suits."  They both had wanted a career and a family, and now they both wondered why.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

But First, A Word From Our Sponsors

"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Tonight in Stripes.  We're pleased to have you join us.  This evening, Phil is taking you on safari to meet up with the rare and wonderful Bengal tigers at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida.  We'll be going on the road with Pilar, literally, as we join up with a highway crew whose job it is to paint those white and yellow lines on our streets and thoroughfares.  And, finally, we'll be sitting down with the one man who has probably done more for the stripe than anyone in the news business, NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams.  His striped ties, like the silk cabernet franc with white piping pinstripes that he wore tonight, have become legend in the fashion world.  Won't you stay tuned?  We'll be right back after these few messages."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

So Over Them

Stripes, stripes, stripes.  Let's call tonight's tie what it is and be done with it.  Lilac and deep, dark blue.  No waxing poetic about mystics and moonlight on wisteria.  No comparisons to funeral bouquets and veiled widows.  This endless string of stripes has me stupefied and stubborn.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Does Flava Flav Have This Tie?

STP.  Neck Bling.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Last Vacation

We are back from our vacance just in time to see tonight's broadcast, for which Brian Williams has decided to wear a pleasantly breezy cravat of lapis and cloud white.  It is nautical and almost summery, as if we are standing at the rail and waving goodbye in the sunshine as the waves churn beneath us.  We feel the warmth of the rays on our shoulders, and the cool sea air as it lifts not only our hair, but our spirits.  The only tension we feel is that small thrill of expectation, of adventure as we sail off on a trip to a place we've never been before, or perhaps one we love returning to year after year.  It's one last wave from the dock from our friends seeing us off, and then we leave our real lives behind.

Friday, October 11, 2013

See Brian.

A man went into a store.  "I need a tie," he said.  "The ties are over there," said a clerk.  The man went where the clerk said.  He looked at the ties.  He got a blue one.  He went to the cashier and paid for it.  He wore the blue tie on TV.  The end.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

There's No Place For It

Oh, bother.  I really do dislike this tie.  The fabric looks cheap; the field color is blue-violet, but not a nice blue-violet, more like the kind which was once blue or once violet, but now has faded into taking on the cast of the other due to age, exposure to sun, or just poor fabric quality (see beginning of sentence).  The stripes are very narrow and a garishly vivid (or vividly garish) fuchsia or electric raspberry.  They simply look odd next to such a somber color, like Prince Philip with a mohawk or Henry Kissinger wearing a tutu.  Not nice and just wrong altogether.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Brian Williams knots up a striper of ebony and lilac for this evening's newscast.  "Where is she?" her husband hissed, jaw clenched, as they introduced him.  He left the wings and walked out onstage, waving and smiling in the spotlight.  During his speech, she got on her cellphone again, trying to reach their daughter.  "Mailbox full," the recording told her unhelpfully.  Moments later, there she was, but...what on earth had she done?  "Like it?" her daughter said, running her hands through her short, choppy hair.  "I know it's a little...edgy.  But I was ready for something different.  So I told her, yeah, go ahead and go for it.  That's when she dyed it black and added the purple streak.  Awesome, right?"  As the candidate turned to welcome his family to the stage, they held hands and stepped out.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tieku 2

Midnight and white stripes:
Cool, classy, yet so played out.
Remember...Pink Tie?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Make It Stop

SPT.  This tie looks like it belongs in Vegas. On BeyoncĂ©. Or something. Yikes.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Have Mercy

SPT.  Purlap tie getting a helluva workout.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Art

Tonight, Brian falls back on a favourite cravat, a smoky denim blue with muted charcoal polka dots.  Each time she came by his easel, he felt a ridiculous thrill.  I'm old enough to be her father, he admonished himself.  Maybe her grandfather.  But she was lovely, even in her old blue smock and with smudges of charcoal on her fingers and, disarmingly, the bridge of her nose.  Her curls were in constant motion as she illustrated a technique on his practice pad; her wrists looked delicate and fine.  And she was cheery and upbeat.  He liked that.  She smiled at everyone and all the time.  No fool like an old fool, he reminded himself, but he was just taking an art class for his therapy.