Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ties to Monaco

Pinstripe blouse (Jones New York, Macy's); Leather skirt (Maginn, Nordstrom); Belt (9 West); Bag (Michael Kors, TJ Maxx); Shoes (Sak's 5th Avenue); Watch (Michael Kors, Nordstrom); Glasses (DKNY)
I've always loved the unexpected twist of combining traditionally masculine patterns or pieces with a flippy skirt or dress. This tie has been part of my wardrobe for 22 years. Yep, 22 years. Wow. (I really do get rid of stuff, I promise...) 
It came from Webster Menswear (now long defunct). I worked there throughout my undergrad years, the lone female amidst a sea of colorful and diverse co-workers. I have a lot of fond memories of that little store across from the A&W rootbeer stand in the College Mall. Every time I hear Mary J. Blige's "Sweet Thing," which was in regular rotation on the Muzak, I can't help but recall with a smile the dance routine my manager and I choreographed to it on a slow Sunday afternoon. I don't remember all of the steps, but it did involve the use of brightly patterned silk shirts (quite stylish at the time...sort of) as makeshift flags. 
I had actually forgotten all about the tie, but I was unexpectedly and viscerally reminded of it while putting together a photo album from this summer's European vacation, which included a quick stop in Monaco.  It was these photos, in particular, that brought the tie to mind. The resemblance is uncanny...
Of course, when I bought the tie in 1992, I'd never been to Monaco. In fact, the southern United States was, at the time, the only place I'd been that even had palm trees, let alone cruise ships in the harbor and a Ritz Carlton on the corner. I don't know if the artwork on the tie is actually a depiction of Monaco (and a quick google search reveals that the closest Ritz is in the neighboring French Riviera city of Cannes). It doesn't really matter. To me, this old tie will now remind me of Monaco every time I wear it. I'll probably also be singing "Sweet Thing" in my head.

Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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