Monday, December 14th, 2009

Something Horrible Happened to Tom Ford!

!!!Tom Ford, whose movie A Single Man made $216,328 this weekend in its very limited release, makes, as we have noted, excruciatingly expensive and gorgeous clothes for men. (Women's clothes coming soon-as soon as he raises $50 million to do the line, which, oh my God, it's going to be all made out of ostrich saliva and platinum leaf, I guess?) In particular, in his recent seasons of ties, not a single one of them was bad. But, while my back was turned, apparently Tom Ford just dumped a bunch of men's stuff for next season on the market? And it is REVOLTING.

This is what some of the ties for fall/winter looked like. They were good! They were beefy and heavy and manly and suave. Very sexy.

AND THIS IS WHAT CAME IN! Flowers, for one thing! Ugly flowers!

And? PAISLEY! Gagly paisley.

I understand that he is a chronic envelope-pusher. That this is a perversity. That he is teasing all of us, because that is what the naked guy's butt on the front page of his website is about, and that is what the velvet smoking jackets are about. But this envelope has been pushed into THE MUD and now it is all filthy and ruined.

This is how much they cost, by the way.


I'm actually upset about this because Tom Ford ties have been the ultimate in semi-post-ironic high taste. They were incredible.

These, on the other hand, are sad trash.

86 Comments / Post A Comment

bennimaddi (#314)

i like them!

Emily (#20)

Ha they are just like the floral tie you already own, you gay homosexual!

bennimaddi (#314)

actually i was talking more about the paisley!

slinkimalinki (#182)

paisley is evil. florid amoebas.

BoHan (#29)

Alexander McQueen makes nice ties. More to the point this Tom Ford thing has reached some epic Boys in the Band levels of cat scratching amongst all my friends. I intend to go counterintuitive on all this shit but I need first for everyone to buy me Tom Ford clothes for Xmas so I can sleep with them. Actually he's a Houston boy and I have a softspot for people like Todd Oldham and him who got the heck out and did good.

Looove Lee, like Oldham's personality (a true do-gooder)– both of whom are polar-bear opposite of one Tom Ford, who is all Texas oil-slick.

BoHan (#29)

I ain't saying one's sweeter than the other. That's no contest. Todd wins! But they're both gay and made tons of money – that counts for soul down here. Also, is it Texas day on the Awl, what with Molly, Tom, and Annise? I feel the cold of hell freezing over right now.

Bruna (#7,407)

And what Tom Ford removed in the movies?

jolie (#16)

Liberty print-esque ties? *drops dead*

hungrybee (#2,091)

Those ties look like the dreadful quilted bags I see on the Upper East Side/the ferry to Martha's Vineyard/insert other aspirational WASPy place here. Right? Is this the new tie look for that girl's horrid boyfriend?

jolie (#16)

Ahem. Those bags have a name and that name is Vera Bradley. Also KatieBakes will be by in a moment to cut you.

And no. "That girl's" boyfriend wears Vineyard Vines ties for play and Brooks Brothers for work (Hermes and/or Ferragamo if he's fancy). AND LOOK YOU LEARNED SOMETHING TODAY. You're welcome.

hungrybee (#2,091)

Ha. I knew they had a name, I'm just too lazy or uncaring to look it up. Let it be said that I still hate those bags with their floral and paisley!

Mary HK Choi (#1,469)

Can someone please explain Vera Bradley to me? They are so incomprehensibly fugg and popular.

jolie (#16)

They're no more fug and inexplicably popular than shredded shirts/jeans & orange tans are among guidettes or oversized glasses & greasy hair are among hipsters. It's just the style among a certain subculture of people that you don't belong to and so you don't get it. There's no real secret. (I don't mean that to be snotty either, just… you know, it's a style popular among a group of people you're not really familiar with. I think. Sorry! Mmm, my foot tastes good!)

Mary HK Choi (#1,469)

Oh, I didn't think you were being snotty at all. I just want more information. Can you please complete the look for me? I'm hugely interested in what the rest of the ensemble entails anthropologically speaking. I'd love to know.

jolie (#16)

Yes! I can do that *scampers over to her closet, starts rifling around*

OKAY BEING SERIOUS NOW: The preps do a lot that's unisex, so much of this goes for the male, as well as for the female, of the species.

Look 1: Golf shirt, collar turned up (NOT POPPED, PEOPLE. WE DO NOT SAY POPPED.) with flat-front khaki trousers or shorts (Vineyard Vines makes a nice cut, but also J. Crew and/or Murray's Toggery. More on Murray's in a moment.), and flops with critters (Eliza B or CK Bradley). Oh and the ribbon belt. We mustn't forget the ribbon belts. We share them with our boyfriends, btw.

About the khakis – the male of the species will rarely be seen in jeans. This is, I believe, a vestige of boarding/day school dress codes. Super frayed khakis that are a touch too short from too many washings for weekend grubby play, slightly less frayed and an appropriate inseam for weekend dressy play and not frayed and pressed for work.

Look 2: LILLY. Lillys are worn with Jacks. Bonus points if your Lilly matches that of your beau and/or child, as in the example photo.

About the Lillys – they're not meant to be worn with undergarments. OH HO HO! Yes. We're not as dull as we look! (See also: my avatar.)

Look 3: REDS

Y'all, it pisses us off when you call them 'salmon' or 'pink' pants. They're REDS. And boys look delicious in them. They're paired with button downs from Brooks Brothers (gingham please!), a ribbon belt or monogrammed Tiffany number, and flops. Usually Rainbows.

About the Reds – they're a super popular choice for wedding attire. For weddings they take a white shirt and blue blazer. Groomsmen often get monogrammed belts to wear as part of their groomsmen's gift.

Oh gosh, there's so much more but I have to do some, um, work. Also I really wish Bakes was here to do this with me. Sniffle.

Mary HK Choi (#1,469)

WHOA. Thank you. I love this. I might want to have sex with this? AND this is exactly the sort of complementary information I need in order to envision how the Vera Bradley fits. Now I see. I've only ever seen really big ones on harried chicks on train platforms with floppy ponytails and they've only been paired with puzzling things like sleeveless fleeces. But this actually makes total sense. I need to request some catalogs. How does J. Press fit into all of this? Or is that something else entirely? Final question, and it's a weird one, how does everyone smell? Is there a particular set of toiletries that goes with this?

jolie (#16)

There's a subset of Vera Bradley fans, I should add, who have nothing whatsoever to do with The Preps. These ladies are slightly heavy-set, commute to work in hose with socks and sneakers, and purchase the handbags. The totes are what the preppie kids go in for. Totes are very important to the lifestyle, you see, as weekending is an integral part of the experience.

As to the rest of your response, you ask very good questions, and I will answer them! I think of J Press as an anachronism – don't know a soul who shops there, though I would love to hear otherwise (it may also be that I'm from a district where it's just not big, but no, I mean – I went to school in Cambridge for nigh on a thousand years). The smell thing is tough to peg. I think if you sniffed me you'd get a good sense: Shampoo + floral notes for the girls? Not a lot of product, really, and definitely not a lot of perfume or cologne.

Honestly, I could do this forever and spent the entirety of my wait in the Trader Joe's line dreaming of how I would describe the embroidered velvet slippers the menfolk wear with their tuxedos to you. Email me! I sent Choire a love note for you earlier, he can tell you how to reach me.

Oh God and? Fleece vests? Are an entire lesson unto themselves.

@jolie : Because of the tipoff on the … good God, -tartan dinnerware-, I trade you the magic searchphrase which you seek: "GTH pants." For when your Nantucket Reds are just too formal. (poss. coined by the guy at, who -does- shop at J. Press, though I suspect he feels they're a shadow of their former Great Trad Glory.)

myfanwy (#1,124)

Wow. I was vaguely aware of prep, having gone through the Gap chinos-and-ribbon belt phase several years ago but I was not aware of Reds and Vera Bradley etc. I did learn something! Thank you!

(P.S. I live in the least interesting prairie province, and can add many edifying/terrifying points to the fleece vest lesson.)

Maevemealone (#968)

Vera Bradley has an army that will be tapping you on the shoulder soon.

hungrybee (#2,091)

I'm with MHKC. I'm really not trying to be a hater, but Vera Bradley (see… learning!) bags are so far outside my personal sense of what is aesthetically pleasing that I can't figure it out. I am befuddled every time I see one; also somewhat blinded and dizzy! So, lovers please explain!

Maevemealone (#968)

Oh I'm no fan, but most of my family, and one sister in particular, collects them like crazy. Which is weird, bc my younger sister is the big collector and I've always thought of these bags as best for old ladies. She became obsessed with them in college and now has matching luggage sets, even curling iron covers! She is aware of when new patterns come out. Needless to say, my sister is an extreme prep and I am not.

Peteykins (#1,916)

Ugh, those are awful. Stick with vintage Pucci, people!


I'm not LOLing, Choire.

HiredGoons (#603)

'In an attempt to re-vamp the necktie, Tom Ford inadvertently makes a noose to hang himself with.'

I'm more of a Paul Smith man myself. These do look an awful lot like the tie I got at Macy's for my High School graduation.

Peteykins (#1,916)

Mmmm, Paul Smith ties are delicious.

Back before the recession took all my clients away, I used to buy Paul Smith ties recreationally.

Mary HK Choi (#1,469)

Paul Smith furniture kills me dead. Love. Also, great umbrellas.

I have a Paul Smith umbrella too. From which I articulated a theory. Everyone knows that if you spend money on an umbrella (as opposed to buying the $3 "umbrella umbrella" from the guys on the street when it's already raining) you will lose that umbrella the next time you get in a cab. BUT! That only applies to umbrellas in the $10-$30 range. If you spend something silly on an umbrella, like say $200, you will hang in to that umbrella like it's grafted to your hand, no matter how drunk you are or what conveyance you are traveling in. You will hang on to that umbrella until it literally disintegrates.

Joe MacLeod (#22)

I like these REVOLTING ties better than those BEEFY ties. HOWEVER I would never pay $225.00 for a fucking tie. TWO-HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS AND NO CENTS FOR A FUCKING TIE!?! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? I would also enjoy shirts based on the direction of the ties.

Paul Smith does some very nice shirts that are pretty much exactly that kind of floral print. And they cost about the same. FLOWER PRINT TIE + FLOWER PRINT SHIRT = NEW HOTNESS.

Also, the Paul Smith ties are nice (see comment thread above this one).

Agree! The ties are great, in a "oh-that's-right-you-call-it-a-flat-over-here-and-is-that-original-Dacron-carpet?" sort of way. You have to go to the Paul Smith UK website for the good ones because apparently he feels us Yanks can't really appreciate things like irony (poss. due to the appalling exchange rate).

Dickdogfood (#650)

I am a manho for florals, especially with eeny-weeny flowers like these. (For example, I have–and revere–and twenty-year-old Gap with a latter-day psychedelic orange/blue floral print.) The colors here, though…and the texture. Hmm.

Dickdogfood (#650)

And fucking fuck, the paisleys!

Mary HK Choi (#1,469)

You know who randomly did great microflorals four years ago? John Varvatos. I am strangely attracted to him.

KarenUhOh (#19)

The Spring Collection is an excellent buy if you're looking to blend in the whorehouse wallpaper.

HiredGoons (#603)

Not enough dandy, too much fop.

iplaudius (#1,066)

I like the floral tie in blue. I don't think I've seen a floral pattern done so delicately with leaves and different sizes of little flowers, and I like how the flowers are sort of grouped by color to suggest wavy blue and white stripes.

TroutSavant (#1,990)
LondonLee (#922)

I think they're more Laura Ashley than Liberty (the most gorgeous dept. store in the world) which has more of a chic arts and crafts vibe to it, those look like they should be covering curtains.

Anyone willing to pay more than $80 for a tie (unless, of course, it's a Ferragamo) deserves a swift punch to the cock and a free trip to Syms.

Hobbesian (#255)

Ties are the one article of clothing I refuse to buy anywhere else besides TJ Maxxxxxxxxx.

Steve (#1,777)

I will be making millions one day (not really) and still be fighting hordes of Eastern European tourists for ties at the downtown Century 21.

Peteykins (#1,916)

"unless, of course, it’s a Ferragamo."

Substitute "Missoni" for "Ferragamo" and I'm with you.

TroutSavant (#1,990)

I like the flowers. The manly ties are boring and good god that paisleyesqueness is horrid.

cherrispryte (#444)

The floral ties look suspiciously like the Tommy Hilfiger bedspread I had in 1996.

Baboleen (#1,430)

The Amish are looking for their fabric.

Grandma's aprons + Tom Ford = yuck.

City_Dater (#2,500)

Very faux-Liberty-print-throw-pillow in Housewares at Marshalls…

And now that Shiny Shallow Man will go forth and tell Vogue he "invented florals" or some shit. Guess someone gave him a Dover large-format paperback of textile designs recently.

Maevemealone (#968)

So sort of related, I was watching Tom Ford on Charlie Rose the other night and I was struck by how his voice and speech were not at all what I'd imagined it to be. I guess I imagined him to be very butch and huskier but he was actually quite fey.

Also, I remembered that several years ago I was doing some gallery crawling in Chelsea and Tom with, I suppose, his partner, were on the same route as me. We kept ending up in the same galleries all afternoon. The gallery girls were absolutely atwitter with themselves and Tom could not have basked in it more obviously. I don't recall him noticing the art so much as he was noticing, and loving, people recognizing him.

HiredGoons (#603)

I went to the screening of 'A Single Man' at MoMA and afterward he and Julianne Moore did a Q&A and yes, his voice is wispy as a willow.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Maevemealone (#968)

Not saying there, but in hindsight to my day of not-stalking him, the way he walks and carries himself is rather gruff macho-ie. At the time I don't think I even knew if he was gay or not because he was as interested in women looking at him as anyone. I clearly got him many ways of wrong.

HiredGoons (#603)

Vanity transcends sexuality.

BoHan (#29)

I would not disagree. The hottest and/or most muscular guys always can hit the high notes.

Tuce (#427)

Those ties are okay, but a complete rip-off. For ultraluxurious ties I prefer the Kiton 7-folds, or even the Bulgari 7-fold prints (the silk is amazing). Charvets have nice knits, but they snag way too easily and are quite expensive, too. For a more reasonable price point, Holliday & Brown and Draks are nice.

You are my friend.

I love Charvet BUT so often they go flaccid due to their softness and also sometimes ew colors. But when good? THE BEST. Also the Kiton have been EXQUISITE all year.


garge (#736)

Here's a question. I bought one of those striped woolen ties from Fall Season Jcrew (on sale, 30). I was going to give it to my brother for xmas, but I just can't bear to see it go. For whatever reason I find so much object value in it! I have never felt this way about a tie before, nor have I ever thought about wearing a tie (ironically, or otherwise) personally.

Until now. Is it ever not lame for a normal woman to wear a tie? In any circumstance? Whatsoever?

hungrybee (#2,091)

Tread lightly!

Wait! No! It's awesome for a woman to wear a tie! Especially a preppy schoolboy one.

HiredGoons (#603)

this statement is true.

LondonLee (#922)

As long as you wear it with the preppy schoolgirl skirt and the white socks and the…. I'll stop now.

BoHan (#29)

You can do it but you have to avoid the whole Annie Hall thing. Best to go with the school girl look, as suggested.

tanene (#501)

"Normal" as in not-dyke, or not-Diane Keaton? (same dif?) As a fan of both: work it out!

BoHan (#29)

There is a direct line of awful leading straight from Annie Hall to Madonna circa 1984 to the Olsen Twins to Lauren Conrad and the subtitle is "f*cking trying too hard cute probably combined with bad hygeine." Don't ride that rail. What I am thinking in my best Rachel Zoe mimic is a dress that is kind've floral and spring, paired with a light silky soft wispy tie that is almost a Pucci or Hermes scarf except iASIs more tieable and has some dark scary stuff in it like Jackson Pollock dots. I will call this the "Boxing Helena" look and make a fortune. I am going to Barney's tomorrow to buy it for my niece.

garge (#736)

I meant "normal" as in not an Erin-Wasson-figure to enable model-tomboy-chic, but also as in not of the other subgenre, mentioned in your helpful comments.

As someone who is more plain-Jane minimalism than call-attention accessories, the "trying to hard for cute" is my main concern. But! You guidance, combined with seeing the method of Carey Mulligan (I am this, more of less) in An Education (of course it was a uniform, but I think this is transferable), has provided the impetus to test the waters, with a simple slim button down and v-neck. Servicey, thanks!

SemperBufo (#1,849)

Done correctly, it can be very hot.

Bruna (#7,407)

Found a site Bruna, it is there possible to purchase Parfyum on normal prices.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Yeah, The Cheesecake Factory does just sell overprices crap to the tastefully bankrupt.

You are not at all incorrect to bring this up here!

Abe Sauer (#148)

But my typing is woefully incorrect…. damnitall.

Hez (#147)

This might be an appropriate time to bring up the rules of matching your pattern size to your personal size. Tiny florals work best on tiny individuals, so these ties would be PERFECT on a metrosexual Herve Villechaise.


Mary HK Choi (#1,469)

I just pictured these ties as china patterns and now it all totally works for me.

I just pictured the fall-winter ties as china patterns and now I want me some sweet plaid-and-argyle dishware. Internets, make me some!

jolie (#16)

Enjoy! (Argyle is hard because there's a Wedgewood pattern by that name and it gets in the way of search results.)

Oh internets, is there anything you can't do. Also: I like 'em. I bet the number one top reason for buying them is "to replace the ones that were broken demonstrating Papa's golf swing with an umbrella and a shot glass. On the boat deck."

jolie (#16)

Oh God, YES TO THAT. "On the boat." *squeaks, dies*

nautilusjv (#2,458)

Well, the only thing I ever learned from Tom Ford is to use Visine to make your eyes nice and sparkly whether they need the Visine or not…it works. Plus, I don't think I could spend $225 on just a tie, but that's just me.

nautilusjv (#2,458)

PS Anyone know how to upload a profile pic? Thanks.

Bruna (#7,407)

I wonder how many are such ties?
Seen such as buy perfume TOM FORD on

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