I wear a tie five days a week, and many weeks six days, and sometimes that sixth day, I’m not even working. At one point I had close to 200 ties, I’ve thinned my collection a bit, and when I counted the other day I came up with 153, made up by:
- 118 “regular” ties in my closet
- 6 Bow ties (self tying of course, I don’t own anything clip-on!)
- 18 Christmas ties (of which I wore zero this Christmas past)
- 2 Hallowe’en ties (from the dollar store)
- 1 Canada Day tie (also from the dollar store)
- 1 St. Patrick’s Day tie (from my Grandfather’s collection years ago)
- 2 ascots
- 5 “emergency” ties in my desk at work (including another bow tie)
- And 1 spare tie in the Granada’s glove compartment.
The first day I wore a tie to work; which was twenty years ago now; I got it caught in the cash register. The very next day I went out and bought my first tie clip. I’ve lost a few over the years, but I’ve recently expanded my collection of those as well. In addition to my “novelty” ties, I have several themed tie clips, one with an X-Wing fighter on it, and because you know I love Doctor Who, I have one with the Seal of Rassilon, and my favourite is a tie clip with the TARDIS on it.
Of course, if you lose your tie clip, you can always wear a bow tie. When I was younger part of my work uniform was to wear a bow tie, and at that age I did wear a clip-on. Last year I decided that I should learn how to tie a “real” bow tie. Step one was to acquire a self-tie bow tie. Checking local stores, they were ridiculously expensive! North America’s oldest retailer wanted more than $80 for one. eBay wanted $3.99 including shipping. Soon my eBay bow ties arrived, and so did step two: tying the bow tie. I had an old instruction sheet that detailed how to tie the most common knots and it also included how to tie a bow tie, so I decided to give it a try. At that point I wished I still had a grandfather, because after much frustration, I decided a grandfather would probably be able to give me some real “hands on” instruction. Since I have no grandfathers left, I used YouTube, which is certainly not a replacement, but can still be rather instructional. Wearing a bow tie certainly takes a bit of getting used to. It does garner many looks and comments; which I have always found to be complimentary. Also, I still have an instinct to smooth the tie down across my chest, but naturally it isn’t there…
I work in a video store, so a lot of my ties are movie or entertainment themed. I have many with cartoon characters on them, several with spaceships or super heroes, a few Beatles ties, and various other movie related pieces. These ties seemed to become my trademark if you will. A friend once asked if I had to wear ties like that for work, or if it was my choice. It has always been my choice. I used to say that if I was going to wear a tie everyday, I’d at least have fun with it.
Pictured is a small sample of my tie collection.
From 12:00 and rotating clockwise we have:
- a hand painted tie from my son on Father’s Day 2003.
- a tie with the Switzer coat of arms I had made up on Zazzle.com a site I’ll discuss below.
- a hand painted tie with my second son’s hand and foot prints also from Father’s Day 2003 (made when he was just three months old).
- a tie from my grandfather with a duck and blind stitched onto it, because Pop loved his duck hunting.
- another tie from my grandfather with just a basic checkered/diamond design.
- my Albert Einstein tie that my father got me as a souvenir from his vacation to Austria.
- Ralph Marlin Popeye tie.
- Ralph Marlin Star Wars Death Star trench run tie.
- a tie custom made by Magnoli Clothiers, to match a tie worn several times by David Tennant on Doctor Who.
- the TARDIS tie.
- my Doctor Hoo tie. I saw these Doctor Who owls on a t-shirt. I don’t wear t-shirts that often because you can’t really wear a tie with them, but I liked this. A bit of photo editing and an upload to Zazzle.com and I had my custom tie printed.
- Dogs Playing Poker.
- The “black sheep” tie.
- Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band tie. This is one of my top two favourite ties, and is in fact my second tie of this design, the first having become frayed and worn out from too much wear.
- Green Lantern tie.
- Doctor Strange tie. I tried to get both this and the Green Lantern tie printed by Zazzle, but due to copyrights I couldn’t so I did the next best thing, printed the designs onto iron on inkjet paper, cut them out and ironed them onto plain ties. Voila! Fortunately they didn’t catch on to my Doctor Who Owl tie which probably shouldn’t have been made either…
- Blues Brothers tie.
- A tie from the Susan G Komen breast cancer foundation. You can’t see it very well, but there are little pink ribbons making up the stripes.
- A nice red/silver geometric design I picked up back when Moores had a “buy one tie get two free” special last year. Hopefully they have it again this year.
- A yellow/black patterned tie.
- And finally in the middle a (self tie) bow tie, blue with silver and gold stars and galaxies on it.
I have not worn a single one of my “novelty” ties in months. In a way I’ve not worn any of “my” ties for months I guess. I still love my other ties, but lately I’ve just been wearing regular old ties; stripes, paisleys, patterns, and solids. I’ll admit it seems quite plain sometimes, but for some reason I just haven’t been in the mood. One day, hopefully I’ll feel the desire again, because as Dr. Seuss once said: “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” Hopefully there will be a spark soon, or even a special occasion to pull me out of this funk. Maybe all I need is to find the right tie to snap me back out of it.