The Gentleman’s Black Tie

Good day friends,

I was at a soiree held by the 12 princes of Patagonia yesterday securing a trade deal for luxurious textiles the likes of which the western world has never seen before, when the idea for this entry came to me. You see, I own a small arsenal of ties which I always take with me on goodwill missions abroad (it should be noted that my visit to Patagonia also included opening two schools, The Griffith Institute of Argentinian and Patagonian Gentleman and The Brixley and Griffith House of Whiskey – which also doubles as a distillery). But there is no more important tie to a gentleman’s arsenal than his black tie.

Paul Newman accompanied me to Patagonia to try and open up a new aioli and salad-dressing trade route. Marlon Brando also came because he's the only one who knows how to speak Patagonian.

You see, a black tie serves you perfectly in any situation you may find yourself in. Invited to a soiree? Need to greet foreign diplomats? Enter a black tie-wearing competition at short notice? You know what to do.

Need to check the time? Do what Sean Connery does and put a black tie on, put your timepiece in your hand and gaze into the distance.

Let’s not dance around the turkey here, ties are an essential part of a gentleman’s wardrobe. If you do not own any, you should start building a collection immediately. Start with a black tie and then build around that.

Or else.

Of course, there are many different ways to wear your black tie. If you’re just wandering down to the studio to record a ballad or two, you can loosen it a touch and tie a half windsor.

Frank Sinatra reads The Gentleman Newspaper - a short lived publication that Brixley and I published in the '60s.

If you’re going to a more formal function, soiree or funeral, you will want to tie a full windsor.

Like Bogart did at this sombre affair.

For other events, you may need to employ other knots.

Like the triple windsor.

Black ties are especially popular with musicians. If you have ever played an instrument, been to a show or even listened to music you should have a full-blown appreciation for the majesty of this sable garment.

You got a problem with that?

I remember seeing Duke Ellington play once. It was the night I learned that the black tie should not be reserved for only the most formal of occasions.

Duke Ellington adopting the Sean Connery style of checking the time.

So next time you go to your tie rack for a tie, remember that almost all occasions are improved by a gentleman such as yourself donning a black necktie. A gentleman in a black tie brings joy to all who lay eyes on him and his neck region.

Cary Grant, shortly before an impromptu soiree assembled around him.

Until next time,

H.L. Griffith

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