Archive for February, 2008

Advice on Bow-ties


(from DFOF’s own collection)

Manolo, one of DFOF’s favourite fashion bloggers, has a fine piece on the dastardly evil that is the pre-tied bow tie.

Pre-Tied Bowties: Why Not Just Wear Sweatpants?

He picks up on the Oscars, and gives John Travolta a basting and grilling

It is indeed sad state of affairs, then, when the same knot used for your shoelaces cannot be successfully duplicated on the necks of dozens of grown men at an event known for its clothing and televised for millions of viewers.

Dear John Travolta, I ask you. I ask your stylists. I ask the designer who probably gave you that tuxedo. How did you decide on a pre-tied bowtie? And how did you decide on the most awful, symetrical, perfect, bowtie the world has ever seen?

Tying a bow-tie takes a little practice, but thanks to youtube, you too can learn how. This alone justifies youtube’s existence.

For those that would prefer words and diagrams, Barrybrake does a fine job here.

DFOF agrees wholeheartedly with Barry’s point.

Disheveled formal clothes tell an entire story, compacted into a single and powerful image. So the act of disheveling them becomes a ritual itself, and it produces a frisson that is irreplaceable.

With one key proviso.

Important notice.

The untied bow-tie only works late, very late of an evening, typically as the birds tweeting in the trees signals dawn. As another fine fashion blog, go fug yourself, notes.

I’m probably supposed to think it’s charming to show up with the bow tie undone, hanging languidly against your popped-open shirt which reveals just enough of what looks like a freshly waxed and/or lubed-up chest; I’m sure you expect me to think it’s all just effortlessly cool, suave, and macho. But here’s the thing: I don’t. I find it pretentious, John Legend.

That’s right. I said it. You’re trying very hard not to try, and it shows. Your paradox bores and annoys me. I feel like you’re standing there quietly urging me to think you delicious and sex-on-legs because you couldn’t be bothered to do up the tie, and yet, all I can think of is how smarmy you were in your red-carpet interview and how much thought I suspect you put into this, and how many man-hours you spent staring at yourself in the mirror cocking your finger guns at your own reflection before you decided that leaving your second-storey barn door halfway open (with the deadbolt undone to boot) was really tantalizing.

Arriving with the bow-tie undone may also leave you in the potentially embarrassing position of having someone ask you to do it up


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The Hoodie Sports Jacket

Here at dfof, while your present author may go on long sojourns and not post, we’re always looking for a way to signal that (a.) we’re dressing nicely, and deserve your attention and high pay, but, (b.) we’re not just another ‘burbs zombie in a pale blue dress shirt and kahkis.

I always feel like women have an unfair advantage here. Maybe it’s just because I’m an admirer of women, as it were, but they look good wearing just about anything. Men are left with pants and jackets. Boring.

So, it was with much excitement that I looked over at lunch today and saw friend of RedMonk James Ward rockin’ the below:

James rocks the hoodie blazer

“Golly, Johnson! Who invited this Slim Shady fella into tell us how to up our business productivity?! Send him out! Detroit doesn’t know anything about widget line optimization!”

So, our hood-popped friend leaves, and walks back in thus:

James rocks the hoodie blazer

“Sweet paradign re-alignment, Johnson! I had no idea. This guy looks like he knows ‘what up,’ and he has his ear to the – uh…uh…what’s it called?” “I believe you mean ‘the street,’ sir.” “That’s it Johnson. Tell the boy to put the PowerPoint up. Let’s synergize!”

I neglected to ask Mme Ward where he picked up this gem, but I shall enquire later tonight so’s I may acquire one of my own.

Synergize ho!

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Shoes maketh the man.

DFOF would not dare to discuss women’s shoes. He leaves that to either his co-editor or she who must be obeyed. But on topic of men’s shoes, he is intrepid.


It is not often that one reads a post from graphics geek at Adobe on shoe etiquette.  (Thanks James)

But, gosh, Chet’s post is a gem  

In Corporate War-drobe, it’s all about the shoes.

  • The shoes are what your minions see when, awestruck by your power, they look down at the floor as you walk forcefully by.
  • The shoes are the only article of clothing you wear that sounds with each step (apart from the chain mail girdle), announcing to everyone around that You Are Walking.
  • The shoes, when shined appropriately, can reflect your visage enough for you to be able to tell in an after-lunch meeting whether you have any of that chili verde burrito left on your face.

Profoundly sound advice for any person attempting to climb the greasy corporate pole. It is maternal in its wisdom, only funnier. Chet’s whole post is a must peruse, more than that, it is a clarion call.

It has inspired DFOF to do two things.

1. Commit to write more about the importance of the shoe, yes, we have discussed  Converse, the Doc,  and  New Balance, and we briefly touched on the Oxford, but it is high time, dear reader, that we introduce  you to some serious shoe theory. Crockett and Jones, John Lobb (one day, when DFOF is rich), Church’s, Paraboot, Loakes, Oliver Sweeney’s.  For the geek readers out there,a Lobb brogue is like an Apple MacBook Air, only more elegant, and without the design flaws. Oh, and  DFOF requires an Australian guest to write on Australia’s national treasure, R.M.Williams. You have been warned.

2. Pause while he polishes his favourite shoes; a pair of Jeffrey West brogues. They are about 10 years old, and have had 3 sets of new soles and heels. He guesses that they have been worn roughly 1500 times (3x52x10) and have probably walked at least 2000 kilometres.



DFOF has one point of dissent with Chet.

He suggests

Now that you have the shoes in your hands, take them. It’s not good enough to just copy what they wear – you need to wear their exact shoes. The Corporate Warrior’s version of the old saying goes, “You can never be the boss until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” It’s not a metaphor.

DFOF suggests that one’s shoes should be better than the  manager wears. This will ensure that one day, the manager will be reporting to you instead. Forget polishing the résumé, polish one’s shoes.

(photo from the CC of Christian et Cie. merci!)


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