All Photos by Jon + Moch Photography
According to the experienced mind of Nicholas Pack at 12 years old, ties were for Easter, in the kinds of colors you’d find on plastic eggs hidden in plain sight in the front yard. Or perhaps ties were worn if your parents made you suit up for a fancy event you didn’t want to attend. If you were lucky your tie had a hidden clip that snapped to your collar giving the impression you went all out.
With nothing more than a cavalier resolve, I made it my entire life avoiding them. Ties seemed antithetical to my ethos: freedom and function and comfortable.
But the older I get, the more I look up to the scholars and gentlemen of the past. The authors of the books I read and the speeches I listen to. Guess what they wore? They were clad in the full shebang of modern manhood, suits and ties. Men like G. K. Chesterton, Winston Churchill and Mark Twain. Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. Their manner of dress was perfectly aligned to the respectability of their words, ideas and accomplishments.
I want to go down in life for the way I am in the world, my mode of being. For as long as I avoided ties, the only way of being in the world that I thought mattered had to do with mind and ideas and intellect. But I’m learning there’s something powerful about a man who takes the way he presents himself to the world as seriously as his pursuit of character and ideals. A man of mind and style.
Think about it. A well-dressed bump on a log is as disappointing as a man well-read who looks like he got dressed in the dark. The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle. It’s this reason I dig Neck & Tie Company. They help me not look like I dressed myself in the pitch black of early morning.
Noticing Neck & Tie Co’s eye for beautiful things is not hard. A swift scroll through their collection and you’ll see ties, bow ties, neckerchiefs and squares in a range of shades and designs. Bright and bold. Cool and mellow. These are ties a man could be proud of, neckwear for a budding generation of scholars and gentlemen reviving the lost art of dressing for an occasion.
There’s something important about dressing up. In today’s America, it is more probable to see a preponderance of casual than even a handful of well-dressed and well-groomed guys. Everywhere you go, yoga pants and zip-ups. Athletic wear dominates as the go-to dress for running errands and a night out. But some, like Neck & Tie Co, are not keen on going with the casual flow. And oddly enough, I’m with them.
This train of thought leads me think of Dressember, a campaign to raise awareness of sexual slavery around the world. December gets reimagined as a month for wearing dresses. (It’s a movement of mostly women.) But guys are not down and out if they want to join, which I think they absolutely should! Though I won’t get into it now, human trafficking and modern-day slavery is not a women’s issue exclusively. Yes, they are the majority of victims, but men are the majority of perpetrators. This is a human issue, and thus men have every reason to dive in to help, support and start conversations with friends, family and co-workers regarding the prevalence and seriousness of this evil.
My point is Dressember utilizes our culture of casual to stick out and go against the grain with the intention of starting conversations. “Why are you so dressed up lately?” you’ll be asked. “Well, interestingly enough, it’s to raise awareness and money for human trafficking. Have you heard of this?”
Neck & Tie Co and Dressember, in our home, have become companions. One is dedicated to crafting beautiful menswear pieces and the other is a movement of awareness for freedom. But both cut against the grain of modern society. Both regard people as central to their mission. If you’d like to support Emily and I as we fight modern-day slavery during Dressember, you can support our campaign here!
Note: Thank you, Neck and Tie Co, for gifting us two ties from your collection. For the sake of transparency, we were not compensated for this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own! Thanks for reading!