Tuesday, February 23, 2016

True American style calls for button-down collars

Seven flyaway collars and one huge tie knot
      One of the things I’ve noticed about the presidential debates is that none of the candidates wear button-down shirts.
    I know that technically a stiff collar shirt with no buttons is considered more “formal” and “dressy.” As far as I’m concerned, I actually feel physically uncomfortable when I wear a dress shirt without button-down collars. And according to the experts, button-downs are perfectly acceptable for dress and business wear, and are even considered more “American” than flyaway collars.
    An argument could be made that wearing flyaway collars is unpatriotic. From a website which describes the difference between American and European shirts, I quote the following: "While button down collars are a mainstay of American business dress, they’re a rare sight in the European workplace." In other words, flyaway collars are for cheese-eating surrender monkeys, not true Americans.
    I would guess that since 1980 I have worn a dress shirt with flyaway collars perhaps a dozen times – two dozen at the most. I just don’t like them. I think they look bad. I hate them. As I've said, I actually feel physically uncomfortable wearing them. Can I say more?
    So I hate to see all of the presidential candidates showing up with unbuttoned collars. It kind of makes the whole lot of them look untrustworthy. I always expect one of them to just fly off like the Flying Nun if a good breeze should come along.
    Now that I've had my say on collars, take a look at the knot on Jeb Bush’s tie in the above photo. I noticed this during the televised debate. Look at the knot – it’s yuge! What’s the deal with that? Did he get a five-year-old to tie that thing for him?
    I’m perfectly aware that I’ll never win any fashion awards. Given my druthers my dress wardrobe would be limited to a bunch of white button-downs, some blue-striped button-downs, a bunch of khaki pants, a couple of blue blazers, a few suits and two dozen ties. Now that I think about it, I believe I almost have my druthers, because that’s pretty much what my dress wardrobe is limited to.
    And however limited my style sense may be, I know better than to wear a tie knot the size of New Jersey. Now that Jeb Bush has some time on his hands, maybe somebody can teach him how to make a decent tie knot.

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