We interviewed Benton Nilson back in April. Now he takes on our regular series My Kinda Clothes, which is named for a delightful little phrase used by Charlie of The Andover Shop.
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In my eyes, motif ties are like a secret handshake but better. They not only let you hide your Ivy obsession in plain sight, but they represent some of the elements I love most about this style: subtle humor whose tongue is firmly in cheek, but executed with the same quality and seriousness as any other piece of clothing.
Some have simply repeating patterns, such as whales or golf clubs, but some tell a story that unfolds on the narrow silk canvas draped over your chest. Some even contain cryptic jokes — (IITYWTMWYBMAD – If I Tell You What This Means, Will You Buy Me A Drink?) — that range from playful to the scandalous. However, the ties usually provoke no more of a reaction for most beyond “Oh, that’s cute.”
And this is what I really love about them. I love that some motif ties can only be decrypted by those in the know. These can be a way to show the devilish mischief in your heart, to those who are willing to listen. Not only that, they’re a great way to share a laugh with someone and spark a conversation. Sure, you’ll get plenty of people rolling their eyes, but some will share a hearty laugh with you and then you’ll see who your friends really are. Either way, they’re a great way to show your personality and infuse your sense of humor to your wardrobe, and maybe a little to the world. — BENTON NILSON