The ties have it

In the immortal words of ZZ Top, “every girl crazy ’bout a sharp dressed man.”

What those gentlemen lack in grammar, they more than make up for in wisdom. And beards. But mostly the wisdom thing.

Unlike the fine, well-whiskered fellows of ZZ Top, however, I am anything but a sharp-dressed man.

That’s not to say the concept of dressing up is entirely foreign to me. I used to wear a suit to church every Sunday, and I actually enjoyed getting all dolled up for high school dances and the like.

My adult life, though, has been a different story.


ZZ Top: Our logo looks like it was designed to cut sheet metal and it’s STILL not as sharp as our band members are dressed!

At the tender age of 25, I am the proud owner of eight dress shirts.

I’m not understating the amount for dramatic effect, either. I just went and counted.

(Actually, there were two in my closet that I had forgotten about.)

Now, given my abject hatred for shopping, I maintain that I’m doing PRET-ty well for myself in the dress clothes department.

Considering I have to wear a dress shirt every day for work, though, it’s clear I don’t have much of a margin for error.

For the better part of the last two years I’ve worn virtually the same five dress shirts on a loop. In fact, I have found myself even wearing the shirts in the same order week in and week out.

I don’t know if any of my coworkers have noticed, but certainly no one has lavished praise on my fashion savvy.

That’s changed recently, though. I’ve had five different coworkers compliment me on my shirts in the last two work weeks alone.

Now keep in mind: These same coworkers have seen me wear the exact same selection of outfits for months. I mean, dozens of times they’ve seen me in one of only a handful of dress shirts. What’s changed?

The difference, my friends, is the good ole Windsor Knot.

Everyone’s favorite neck irritant/spill hazard is apparently enough to make praiseworthy even the most well-worn of shirts.

It seems silly, I know. But here’s proof:

No tie

Look at this sorry sap — neck exposed like some kind of chump. No wonder no one will ever respect him. Or love him. Forget that promotion, and wave buh-bye to life as it passes you and your bare neck by. Never before have I seen …



Now THIS is a neck that commands deference. This is a neck that can walk into a fine restaurant and get a table sans réserve-ation as the French from France would say. That neck is going places, my friends.

Now, I’m about to blow your mind. They’re both my neck.

Pause for dramatic effect.

I know, right? How could the slovenly simpleton in the first picture be even marginally associated with the go-getter in the second?

But it’s true, I promise. And you can trust me, because I’m wearing a tie right now.

So, remember everyone: A tie can elevate any wardrobe, from a three-piece suit to a swimsuit. Give it a try, and bask in the universal love and respect that comes with it.

And now for something marginally different.

This isn’t the first time in my life that I’ve come face-to-face with the shortcomings of my wardrobe. It used to be a topic of great interest among my friends in college, a group I affectionately referred to as the “Wildcat Women.”

They were my co-workers at The Daily Wildcat at the University of Arizona, and at times seemed to police my wardrobe as closely as they did the paper’s copy.

It was their tireless efforts that finally broke my habit of wearing socks with sandals — a practice that, though comfortable, brought me nothing but grief.

At one point in my college life, I only had two pairs of shorts. Both were plaid and green. I wore them on alternating days.

A few years later, I fondly brought up this threadbare period of my life, much to the shock of my then-girlfriend who had worked with me at The Daily Wildcat.

“Wait, you only had two pairs of shorts?” she asked.

“Yeah. Didn’t you ever notice that I wore the same ones all the time?” I responded.

“Well, yeah, but I thought you owned like five pairs of the same shorts,” she responded.

Blink, blink, blink.

“Why would I own multiple pairs of the same shorts?” I responded.

And now for something completely different.

I started my job at The Signal more than three years ago.

Not coincidentally, it’s been just about as long since I published my last blog post. I guess when you sit at a computer and write all the day the last thing you want to do when you get home is … sit at a computer and write some more.

Well, I’ve finally decided it’s time to stop doing my best George R.R. Martin impression and get the creative juices flowing again. I know not where this road may lead, but one thing’s for certain: Bad puns are coming.

Until next time: Take care and be good, everyone.



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