State of the Union: The Real Lesson Learned.

Finally we have a president who knows how to tie his tie!

Note the handsomely made pleat under the half-windsor knot. That is how it should be done, people! A tie is not meant to be smooth-fronted. The pleat, like the lapel button-hole that is there to allow the jacket to be closed up to the neck, is a holdover from when a tie was more like a cravat. Mind you, it helps to have a tie of this quality that will accept the knot correctly. Kudos on the pattern, too.

The trick is, as you tighten the knot, to pull the long end to one side, which will form the pleat correctly. Also to be noted is the perfect fit of the shirt collar and the exact amount of cuff showing. Plus the exquisitely tailored suit in a handsome dark blue.

Now imagine this next to Michelle’s royal blue silk-satin number and you have a couple who could have been dressed by Worth, a house which specialized in state gowns that needed a man in evening dress to be standing beside the woman to balance her gown. Except here we have our brilliant president and his accomplished wife drenched in the kind of glamor that only Americans can really pull off. This is the kind of sumptuous simplicity that knocks Carla Bruni off her Louboutins and makes her lock her bedroom door against Nicky while she consoles herself with a pint of sorbet d’abricot as she replays the tape of Sex Kittens of Ibiza. I’m going out on a limb here to suggest that not even during Camelot did we see this kind of sophistication. And that grin! Of course, we didn’t get to see the trousers much. But let’s face it, he’s got the perfect body to wear this kind of suit, long of leg, waist set high, shoulders just broad enough to accept the weight of the world. I’m thinking, Brooks’ Brothers boxers, trim cut, in a pale blue cotton, freshly laundered, still crisp from the iron, smelling faintly of starch…

Plus there was stuff and such as. And the jumping up and down. The orange-faced drunken lout sweating behind him. Hugely touching scenes with Gabby Giffords. The rage of Cantor. Biden picking at his face while the president hosed the house with a dazzling display of sang-froid with a delivery so accomplished it seemed effortless. I’m guessing Mitt R did not get a good night’s sleep.

But all the time I’m thinking, that knot is a masterpiece!


Dear Benedick,

Thanks for this splendid appreciation. I did not tune in to the speech; I knew that the Republicans would misbehave as usual, possibly plumbing new depths (which, with them, is an astonishing achievement, but they seldom fail to plunge ever deeper), and since I was experiencing some hardwon equanimity last evening, I did crossword puzzles instead.

@Benedick: Sully, on the other hand, was livid that Obama didn’t immediately implement Simpson-Bowles. Reading him was more fun than Monday’s debate.

Apple™ TJ of another sort/ When my notes synch (phone and puter), where are they located on my puter? I have no idea.

@JNOV is like, Peace?: In Apple Mail, of course.

Yes, that’s profoundly unintuitive. Even Apple nods on occasion.

I hate ties personally, since I have a thick neck and can only stand the constraint for so long. However, when I do wear a tie, I am always happy when I get the dimple just right. It’s the Holy Grail of male dress-up.

I’m still working on the other aspects of Benedick’s wardrobe tips, but working with off-the-rack items is problematic.

@matador1015: I’ve worn a tie about 3 times in the last 5 years.

Guess where I’ll be on Monday? Paris, bitchez!

@matador1015: I have trouble getting the cuff-showing amount right, also a product of buying off-the-rack shirts and suits. I shop in the “Tall, Big Butt” section.

@Benedick: Before heading out to watch SCP’s show Saturday night, I put on my dress sweatshirt.

@nojo: Yes, the hubby’s idea of dressing up is a sweatshirt without stains down the front.

A brilliant appreciation. Thank goodness someone is focusing on what’s really important.

@Mistress Cynica and Benedick: But can we now talk about Hillary last night? WTF?

@SanFranLefty: I felt so bad, I couldn’t go there. Yes, male-female double standards, but still.

@SanFranLefty: I’m bracing for a bitch slap, but I actually liked her hair. The headband was very youthful, almost playful, and she’s seemed so dour lately (since 1998).

@nojo: And I was checking shit like iTunes and the calendar. Silly me. Thanks, God of Geeks.

@SanFranLefty: For a woman of a certain age on that kind of schedule I thought she looked just fine.

@Mistress Cynica: I do my best. When a man wears a tie that good, attention must be paid.

Looking at highlights I feel compelled to point out the perfect cut of the shoulders and the way the collar has been set. Flawless. Tip for Stinque men: when you next get a jacket get S/O to stand behind to make sure there is no pucker below the collar where it meets the back. There almost always is. Have the shop tailor lift the collar and reset it. The jacket will look much better and it’s a simple fix.

@¡Andrew!: I thought that the sparkly headband/earrings combo looked great in profile but juvenile from straight on.

@SanFranLefty: She looked soooo tired. I’m a bit worried about her. I tried to convince my self that her busy schedule doesn’t allow for a decent haircut, but no. There’s no excuse for that. And @¡Andrew! baby, I’m sorry, but that style is too youthful for a woman in her sixties. It approaches mutton dressed as lamb.
Of course, I got my first haircut since last April today, and now feel free to judge since I no longer look like a hag/old hippie.

@Mistress Cynica: Hand to hand combat with Somali pirates and a hypersonic flight to make it to the SOTU will do that to you.

@redmanlaw: @Mistress Cynica: I think Hillbot has way too much jet lag. Reason enough for her and Plugz to swap places.

@SanFranLefty: That’s most definitely it. Sure she travels in the next-most-comfiest of rigs, but to wrassle with the Euros then on to Burma then back off to the Horn of Africa really takes it out of a girl/guy. New meaning to Foggy Bottom when she gets home.

Shoot, the paltry amount of travel I’ve done compared with Hilz in the same three years and my crow’s feet have grown into full fledged birds.

Add a Comment
Please log in to post a comment