Here’s a curtain call for our pre-Christmas posts on rep ties and their affiliations in the UK. Paul Winston, whose family operated the Chipp brand, originally posted this on his blog back in 2010. — CS
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A Yale graduate would not put a Harvard blazer badge on his/her jacket. But we here in the USA we think nothing of wearing English regimental, school or tartan ties to which we have no claim.
In the ’60s, when the Ivy League Look was at its height in both the States and Japan, it was not unusual to have a visiting Japanese customer buy blazer crests for every one of the Ivy league schools. In our retail store and mailer back then, we offered many English regimental and school ties. We selected them based solely on liking the colors.
The more famous patterns, “The Guards Regiment,” for example, would be listed by their proper names. But for many of the more obscure public schools (what the English call prep schools), we would make up names and embellish them with stories about their origins and history. One of the ties offered we called “The Queens Own Confectioners.” My brother made up what we thought was an amusing story to complete the presentation.
We received a letter from a gentleman in London, who asked if we knew that the tie was for the school he had attended in his youth. He related that during the second World War at the weekly Friday Chapel Assembly, the headmaster would read the names of graduates who had died in battle that week. One sad Friday one of the names read by the headmaster was that of his son. My brother and I discussed whether we thought the letter was real or if someone was pulling our legs. We decided to play it straight. We sent a letter and assured him we meant no offense.
So to those who may be traveling to Great Britain we suggest you not wear a Guards Regiment tie if you or a family member has not served in the regiment. — PAUL WINSTON
Top image via Oxford Cloth Button Down.