Thursday, November 15, 2012

"All blues go together. That's a rule." (I Get Paid For Doing This.)

This is what I am wearing today:

That serious expression is not because I'm working on anything particularly important (I never am) but because I was trying to focus the camera and avoid any kind of unflattering photo, which is very difficult to do when you look unflattering, as I do.

(I've given up on trying to look good in pictures.  To look good in pictures I would have to look good in real life, and I do not.  I look, in real life, about like you would expect a 43-year-old guy to look if that 43-year-old guy was someone who this morning ate leftover pizza for breakfast and whose biggest goal in life in October was to find "Candy Corn Oreos."  In a word, I look "unflattering.")

(I also never did get those Candy Corn Oreos, either.  I am now like that guy who roamed the earth, carrying a lantern, looking for an honest man.  Diostehenes? Was that his name? Is that a name? I think it was him.)

(It was Diogenes.  I just checked.  So I am like Diogenes, if instead of "honest man" you substitute "Candy Corn Oreos" and instead of "lantern" you substitute "cold pizza" and instead of "wandering the world" you substitute "mostly sitting motionless.")

Anyway, I am wearing that tie today because tonight the Buffalo Bills play on "national" TV in a game that doesn't matter much but technically speaking the Bills still could make the playoffs if every other team in the NFL suffered some sort of catastrophic loss of personnel, like they were all spirited away in a rapture that took only NFL players that are good, leaving just the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs, and Jacksonville Jaguars to play out the season.

(So I am not going to watch the game; I will likely be watching the rest of Brave on DVD with Mr Bunches and sometimes Mr F, who pops in and out of those things.)

And in wearing that tie, I have come to realize that (A) My staff does not think the tie goes with my blue shirt and darker-blue pants and (B) My staff is not shy about telling me that.

In discussing this matter because we honestly really don't have anything more important to do, I gave the Rule of Matching that I give to Sweetie whenever I get the boys dressed, too, which is:

"A given color matches all other shades of that given color."

Which is: Blue matches all other blues, red matches all other reds, and black and white match anything.

That's the rules.

I didn't make them up.  I don't know who did -- Diogenes, probably -- but those are the Rules I live by and much like the Rules for How Much Things Should Cost, my rules make sense and are easy to live by whereas the rules that everyone else thinks exist and should be followed are stupid.

To settle this debate, I googled "How To Match A Tie," and the number one result is a site called "The Art of Manliness," which has a ridiculously lengthy article on how to match a tie to things, and that article includes such ridiculously stupid things as these actual quotes:

"Match your tie to your clothing, not your clothing to your tie."

WHICH IS JUST STUPID. That is not advice.  Advice is not "take the question and rephrase it."  


Q: How can I eat healthier?
A: Match your food to your health, not your health to your food.

See what I mean?  Then Art Of Ridiculousness goes on to say:

Coordinating your tie, dress shirt, and suit isn’t rocket science.  All it requires is a basic understanding of proportion, pattern, and color which can be used to build an interchangeable wardrobe.  Start with easy to match shirts and suits–then add a range of flexible neckties that accent and enhance the outfits you put together.

About which: "a basic understanding of proportion, pattern and color?" That IS rocket science.  If I had a basic understanding of those things, I would not need to Google "How to match a tie."

The site then goes on to discuss "The Art of Matching," so while Matching is not a science (or at least not a rocket science) it is an art, and the first part of the Artistry is a discussion of "Necktie proportion" which I skipped over entirely because I don't care but I did see this gem:

If you find yourself shopping for ties and need a quick way to measure the width, pull out a dollar bill.  If the tie is close to Washington’s nose, you’re safe. 

There's a picture that goes with it:






In case you are not clear on what a dollar bill looks like.  That made me wonder: am I required to carry a tape measure with me when I shop for ties? And also it made me wonder: Who shops for ties?  Not me.  I can't remember the last time I shopped for a tie.  Most of my ties are hand-me-downs from my dad or ties people have bought me, so really I should forward this article to Sweetie and remind her to either carry a tape measure or a dollar bill with her when she shops for ties because Sweetie is probably woefully unprepared and might find herself needing to measure a tie... quickly... with no idea how to do that.

Then the site moves on to "Color" of the tie and starts with this helpful bit:


There is not a perfect answer to which color goes best with any given outfit.  

 I've been using that to tell my staff they're wrong and strongly hinting that they ought to go get some work done but then distracting them by telling them what people in England use as a mnemonic device to remember the colors of the spectrum.

(They say "Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain." They don't know who "Roy G. Biv." is.  Fair enough. I don't know who Richard of York is.)

After telling me not to worry about the color of the tie, which is how I interpreted that sentence, Art Of Men or whatever goes on to immediately say:


Two factors that determine the right color for a man include the message he is trying to signal and the color combination that works best with the natural colors of his complexion.


The message I am trying to signal today is "The Bills are playing a football game tonight." MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.  I am also trying to send, as a secondary message "I do not want to have to worry about what colors work best with my complexion."

This is another actual quote:


Men with light colored hair and fair skin have low contrast and should stick with pastel and monochromatic color combinations.  Men with dark hair and light skin are high contrast and will look best selecting color combinations which have clearly defined lines between them.  If you have dark hair and medium to dark colored skin, you can pull off both low and high contrast tie and shirt/suit combinations.  Your difficulty in this case will be separating acceptable suit/shirt/tie combinations from great looking suit/shirt/tie combinations.  It’s a small distinction, and one best made by taking the clothing in your wardrobe and experimenting with various shades.


WHAT?  I tried three times to read that whole paragraph and each time my mind just slid away from it like butter off a knife; I am completely unable to read that paragraph.  If you handed me that paragraph and said "read it or everybody in the world dies in 1 minute," I would feel really really bad for humanity and try to read it but end up losing focus and thinking about Oreos again.  That's why I can't worry about my "complexion," whatever that is: I can't even focus long enough to read about what a complexion is.

Apparently you also have to worry about how colors within the necktie work with each other, so now I have that to lose sleep about, too: Are my neckties combative within their own boundaries? Look, I already cannot match a tie to a shirt.  Now I have to match a tie to a tie? Isn't that the manufacturer's job? DO I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING MYSELF? We can put a man on the moon but I need a three page article to decide if my tie's colors complement each other?

Here is a sample of something the site says "Matches okay."

Specifically, from top to bottom those are "okay" to "best."

I would not have matched any of them.  But I would have worn a blue tie with any of them.  Maybe I'd have done the middle. I don't know.

Here is where I gave up on the site:  When it used the word "foulard."

I don't know what that word means.  I looked it up.  Wikipedia says it is:

a lightweight fabric, either twill or plain-woven, made of silk or a mix of silk and cotton. Foulards usually have a small printed design of various colors. Foulard can also refer by metonymy to articles of clothing, such as scarves and neckties, made from this fabric.

 So now, to match a tie to clothing, you need to have a background in literary criticism, because how many people know what a metonymy is?

(I do, but just barely and I get it confused with synechdoche, but the fact that I remember them at all, let alone that one or the other of them is used in "The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock" is amazing to me and should be amazing to you.)

In closing: I am going to eat my lunch.  My lunch that, sadly, has no Candy Cane Oreos in it.


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6 comments:

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

I wouldn't have matched any of those ties and shirts either. I also adhere to that rule that anything of one color matches any shade of that color.

Anyway, I'm glad I don't have NFL Network. Whatever MAC or Division II college game on ESPN has to be better.

Michael Offutt, Speculative Fiction Author said...

Briane, I think you look VERY handsome in your picture. Do not sell yourself short. Your wife is quite lucky to have such an attractive man as her partner.

Andrew Leon said...

Wait, are you looking for candy corn or candy cane oreos? Or both? At the top, you said candy corn, which I find totally weird, but that may be because I don't like candy corns. At the bottom, you say candy cane, which I think is awesome. Even if I don't eat oreos anymore (except on very special occasions, the last of which was something like 2 years ago).

As for ties, just don't start wearing ties with, like, wolves howling at the moon on them. I have one of those somewhere, because, why?, someone gave it to me to where with, what?, one of my many t-shirts? I have no idea. However, I also have a tie with Spider-Man swinging on it, and that tie is awesome even if I've never had opportunity to wear it.

Liz said...

I have a pair of purple pants that I like to wear with an orange shirt. Because. So, you'll get no fashion criticism from me. (I think the tie looks fine.)

And you do look good in that picture.

Briane P said...

Andrew: it's candy CORN. That other one was just a delicious typo. Everyone else: I knew I could count on the Internet to back me up. Plus, I am apparently good-looking. I'm going to tell Sweetie. She deserves to know she married a hottie.

Briane P said...

Liz, do you want into the blogathon? If you don't have a book of your own yet you could give away someone else's.