Ivy Memorandum Season 1 Episode 1

Sorry, I just can’t abide another “round up.”  In no particular order:

Mr. Graham Marsh has done a number of illustrations which are remarkable over at Kamakura Shirts in a piece he also wrote entitled: A to Z of the Ivy Look.  There is some revisionist history in here, but I think you will enjoy the artwork and his attention to Ivy details is special.    Here’s a sample: (many thanks, Old School).

Credit: Graham Marsh


Or some of that detail I was talking about:

Credit: Graham Marsh

In the midst of my post-booster fever, I was gifted 5 incredible ties by an Ivy friend, one of which I am wearing today.  Bounty is not without it’s own baggage, and as the collection expands it shines truth and light on my reptilian-brain challenge of not being able to remember what I have unless it is in front of me.   I am not one who lays his outfit out the night before.  There are a number of legit reasons:

  1. I have a dairy allergy, not lactose, dairy, the way dogs are allergic to chocolate.  There is compelling attraction, passionate consumption which may not result in death, but in no way can chocolate be considered a good idea for a dog and in now way can dairy be considered a good idea for me.   I quit lithium twice cold turkey, quite drinking cold turkey, and can’t stay away from dairy for more than a week.  There are, well, “dairy pants.”  And no one knows til the morning of whether the bell tolls for dairy pants or not.
  2. I’m busy, man.

So I conceive my outfit in the morning, in the shower.  I am not one of those guys who has a trillion of anything and I start my outfit with tie selection (I don’t have to worry about shirts, I only wear white OCBD’s).  Hold on, let me look.  Ok, I have in my winter rotation 41 regular ties and 4 bow ties (I do not include seasonal novelty in my tie count, because I barely include it in my tie collection).  Is that a lot or a little?  It is not a labyrinthian archive for sure.  Still, if you don’t remember it unless you are looking at it, every morning is this:

And before you say anything, coffee doesn’t help.

I refuse to get a motorized tie rack.  You know me, it isn’t that I am judging those who do.  But the whirring.  And the replacing the batteries.  You know that the battery compartment would be in the farthest northeast corner of the closet.  Who needs this in the morning:  “I had a great time last night but I need to stop home before work… John, are you there?”  “Oh, sorry, yes, great time, sorry, changing the batteries in my tie rack.”

Nobody needs that.

I’ve had them on hangers, and they slide.  So do yours.  No amount of rubber anything stops a good tie from sliding down a hanger.  If your ties aren’t sliding they aren’t good ties.  Test my theory.  Take a hanger next time you are tie shopping (except in the Danbury Connecticut Brooks Brothers, more on that in a minute) and just slide a tie down.  You’ll see what I mean.  What happens then, because my house and closet are not perfectly balance on the fulcrum of the earth is that the ties slide and all I see is the last tie I hung on the top of a one inch thick pile of other ties I am never going to wear because… correct, I can’t see them.

I rolled them in a dresser drawer.  Well, I do roll them in a dresser drawer.  I can see them, but I don’t have infinite dresser drawer real estate either, so apologies to my gym clothes.  Sorry.  Something had to give.

After the tie, the shirt is a gimme.  Well, not really.  I wear a tie every day to work even when sitting here in the home office with no zooms to speak of, still  a tie because

  1. I think better dressed
  2. I am not a barn animal
  3. It lessens the guilt on days I don’t go back to work after picking up my daughter
  4. I am besodden by twenty-somethings hitting on me and this is a great generational differentiator.

One of those is not true.

My morning decision tree.

Then the diary pants v no dairy pants call.  Not as easy as you would think.  Why?  Because the pants are the driver for the vest.  All winter long, I wear a vest.  A number of good reasons:

  1. I like full cut shirts because there are times during the day when I either eat or raise my hands above my waistline.   A vest cleans up the tuck in.
  2. I wear vintage ties sometimes, and they don’t always hang low enough.  Vest solves that problem too.
  3. It’s become a signature thing and gives the functionality of one of those fleece vests without the finance-bro stigma.
  4. I rarely wear suits but that is gonna change.  But it hasn’t yet, and if you wear a vest and a jacket, you don’t need a coat most days here.
  5. People think I run a Glee Club.

We were going to get together on the 29th in town but I had to cancel with the most recent outbreak.  It wasn’t even a judgement call really but it is sad that we are going into another break having to still consider these things.  The hand-wringing-world-has-changed commentary, yes we all know that, who is going to go first and figure out the glass half full aspect of all of this?  Ok, I will.

  1. I am sure that I am not the only one who has seasonal obligations about which there are mixed feelings.  I am not saying this is an excuse to ghost them, but I am saying that it is at least a cloak under which to start a conversation.  “You know I love your parents, so much that I don’t want to infect them.”

Ok, maybe that’s the only good part.


15 Comments on "Ivy Memorandum Season 1 Episode 1"

  1. When a local menswear store was going out of business during the crash of 08-09, I aquired a dozen or so cardboard tie boxes in which to keep a some off-season neckties. I keep them in a small suitcase in my closet. This prevents the ties from getting dusty. The nice ladies at the Garland store gave me enough of those plastic individual tie hangers with which to hang my in season ties on a wire hanger. Every once in a while they come crashing down, but not as often as before.
    I quit drinking cold turkey and switched to Old Grand-Dad. It’s trad.

  2. Acquired.

  3. I keep many of my neckties rolled in spare shoeboxes on the top shelf of my wardrobe. For 2022, I resolve to wear a different one each day and see how for into the year, Monday through Friday) that will take. I have well over 100 at this point.

    On a different note, looking very forward to sampling a few different single malts in the dining room on the bar table, and which have been gathering dust, during Christmas Week.

    Kind Regards,


  4. Clearly, from the typographical errors above, it looks to the world as though I am already hitting the sauce.


  5. That is kind of funny Heinz-Ulrich. 🙂 ‘Tis the season to be jolly!

  6. I try to keep my tie collection at under 50 (bow ties included). I bought a bag of those plastic individual things and put them on a quality hanger. I arrange them by color.
    So far as picking out clothes, every two weeks I create a chart of outfits for the subsequent 10 work days. I recently ran an experiment where I went 45 days without repeating a jacket/pant combo. I might have a problem.

    I don’t know if that is a problem or brilliance but either way I wouldn’t solve it – JB

  7. It'sForYourOwnGood | December 21, 2021 at 6:06 pm |

    Grammar Police issues citation for “Sorry, I just can’t abide by another…” It’s just “abide” in that context.

    Spot on. Corrected with thanks. – JB

  8. Minimalist Trad | December 21, 2021 at 10:33 pm |

    Thanks, JB (and Old School) for the link to the great illustrations:


    I solved the tie problem, by reducing my collection.
    The only ties I now have and wear:
    a navy knit tie
    a navy grenadine tie
    a navy and white Churchill dot tie
    a navy and white bar stripe tie
    I have duplicates of all.
    If I had to choose only one, it would be the grenadine.

    I’ve reduced my shirt collection by divesting myself of anything that wasn’t white. Now, I only have to choose between plain collars and button down collars.

    When I had a wardrobe full of neckties in various colors and patterns, and shirts in various colors and patterns: solids, stripes, checks, etc., I found myself constantly returning to the basics mentioned above.
    I now feel as if a great burden has been lifted from my shoulders.

  9. Just a thought, when does all this attire organization (uberorganization?) become an OCB issue?

    Clearly sir, you are referring to my piece: “My OCBD OCD.” To spare you the clicks, I think it is safe to say in my particular position that ship has already sailed. – JB

  10. John,
    I’m pretty sure that others would be as interested as I am in why you only wear white OCBD’s.

  11. To the contrary, nonstick pants hangers, repurposed for ties, can keep even quality ties from sliding, and become more effective the fuller they get with ties, so long as you do not put tie on top of tie. One example, if you would please excuse the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086J3WT37/

  12. Charlottesville | December 23, 2021 at 4:18 pm |

    I am afraid that even after a fairly concerted effort to divest my self of excess neck-wear, I have 5 tie racks in my closet (including one just for bow ties but not including two for summer ties in a storage closet) as well as a tie drawer and a shoe box, all at full capacity. I am not certain that it is altogether normal, but I do enjoy putting them together with shirts, suits, sport coats, pocket squares, etc. every day. Fortunately, my wife is a very tolerant woman and always tells me I look nice.

    I think I also share Mr. Ward’s problem in the area of suits, jackets, trousers, shirts, shoes, etc., etc., ad infinitum. One of these days, someone my size may get a windfall on eBay.

  13. Robert Thorn | December 26, 2021 at 6:56 pm |

    My ties are collecting in a large Tupperware clear container; after giving away half of my collection, I’m back to my original number of ties or maybe more. The funny thing is that I been out of the clothing business for more than 40 years but still have an infinity for well made and unique ties. My ties date back from the late 60s;mostly Briar or BB in an assortment of materials and textures.

  14. Charlottesville | December 27, 2021 at 2:46 pm |

    Robert Thorn — I loved the typo (“infinity” vs. “affinity”). In my case, “infinity” is the apt word when it comes to ties. And like you, I somehow manage to continue acquiring new ones.

  15. Robert Thorn | March 5, 2022 at 1:43 pm |

    Charlottesville, thanks for correction, I need to be more careful and little more proofreading before publishing. I guess, this would be more of my wife’s point of view concerning the numbers than mine.

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