I have been told many times over that I am a sharp dresser and that my style does not conform to the conventional southern California style which as you might see for yourself or read about is pretty relaxed. A couple of years ago I would just accept the compliment and not think much about it. But in the recent past, as my sense of fashion has become more engrained in who I am, I started to pay more attention to those around me and I realized that often times I am one of the few wearing dress shoes while everyone else is sporting chucks or flip flops, bow ties among Affliction t-shirts and combed hair in a sea of baseball caps. And I’m not talking about a beach bar – I’m talking about the theater, the symphony or at a nice restaurant.
When this happens I realize that I am not uncomfortable about being different; on the contrary, I realize that I am glad to not be a member of the sea of the same. Some guys have said to me that it takes balls to wear red pants to a bar, but isn’t that what style is supposed to be? Isn’t my style supposed to be personal and separate me from everyone else? I consider my style to be my brand as it seems to stand alone in southern California (aside, of course, from Los Angeles where fashion and style have always survived). My style is what defines me and what I am known for. I never thought I would care to identify myself with an accessory but I have discovered that bow ties can be very personal and identifiable to each person. To me bow ties are like personalities: they are all different and quirky in their own way, just like the men that wear them. A woman in my office said to me today “What?! No bow tie today?! Hell must be freezing over!” (I am wearing a long tie today for a change). And then I realized that this woman identifies me with a bow tie, when she sees a bow tie she thinks of me. Then my mind really starts to take off. How can I use my “identity” to help others? How can I have people connect bow ties with charities? Bow ties with community service? Bow ties and smiling? This is a new mountain to climb, a new adventure that we can all be a part of.
To men’s credit out there, I have recently noticed more bow ties, more guys taking five seconds to comb their hair and more dress shoes. Keep the momentum going, guys, and the future already looks as bright as the bow ties I create!