It’s the season of cooling temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes, and tweed – that is, it’s time for another OcTieBer, “a month long sartorial celebration of quality neckwear worn in a traditional style.”
It’s hard to believe we are on our sixth OcTieBer – what once started as a challenge for a small group of sartorially inclined swing dancers to dig deep into their closets and put together ensembles with classic neckwear has grown to include persons outside of the dance community, perhaps some people who thought they might not be up to the challenge of neckwear every day for a month or people who don’t really wear ties/scarves regularly. This is includes me – last year I made it a priority to do every day, having maxed out at 16 or 17 days out of the month in the past, but I pushed myself to find new and creative ways to pull wardrobe items together and by the end I couldn’t believe I had actually done it (except for the large pile of laundry, of course). It was refreshing to think inside this box (which is outside of my normal box) and I don’t think I will look at my closet the same way again.
If you don’t believe in sartorial challenges or don’t feel like you have enough ties, no matter – you don’t have to complete the 31 day challenge to celebrate OcTieBer, all excellent ensembles featuring neckwear are welcome at any time during the month (and, really, anytime thereafter if you are feeling particularly natty). If and when you do participate, be sure to share it with the Facebook group – this is a supportive group of people who love dressing well and celebrating it with others.
For more information, to stop in and take a gander, or post your neckwear-inspired ensemble, visit the OcTieBer Facebook group.
Now in its fifth year, OcTieBer is “a month long sartorial celebration of quality neckwear worn in a traditional style” – in reality, it is much more than the sum of this description: it is the encouragement of people of all walks, creeds, and genders to embrace classic style (or modern twists on classic style); it highlights accessories that we don’t often consider in our modern lives, unless you happen to be a lawyer or just really like wearing neck scarves or ascots; it encourages you to dig deep into your closet and pull out those neglected ties or challenges regular tie wearers to create new ensembles and be inspired by others; it may cause people to notice you in positive ways; it creates a sense of camaraderie within the OcTieBer Facebook group where novice and even professional dressers can share their creativity and efforts for the day or every day of October.
OcTieBer IS inspiring. The challenge is to wear neckwear every day for the month of October, but even if you only join us for a couple of days, I invite you to join us for the fun of dressing, learning from and being inspired by others, and being supported in your endeavors by a wonderful group of people.
1. Wear a collared shirt and tie each day (be it a long tie, bow tie, ascot, cravat, bolo, western double string tie or any other traditional neckwear that expresses your personal style). Preferably your outfit will be paired with a jacket, sweater, vest or other accessories that suggest why you’ve chosen that day’s tie.
2. Upload an image of your fine outfit with an optional description of the designer, type of knot, fabric, etc.
3. Share the love by encouraging your friends to admire your statement of personal style.”
Based out of Denver, Colorado, A.J. Machete & Sons offers bespoke, tailored menswear items of bygone eras through its Etsy store. While the suits are in the bespoke price range, their Etsy site does offer some more affordable garments and accessories that you may want to add to your existing swing dance wardrobe, such as custom vests, spats, cravats, and a 1930’s sports jacket.
They get a custom fit by using a muslin mock-up – if you’ve ever watched Project Runway or had something custom made before, you may be familiar with this process. Here’s their process for getting the right fit:
“First we get a rough idea of your measurements. You can measure yourself or a suit that you have. We would be glad to help you through this process and to mail you a cloth measuring tape, or, if you are in the Denver area, to measure you in person.
But even the most perfect measurements do not guarantee a good fit. All of our bodies are different shapes and sizes, moreover, we have different postures. A suit made from measurements is no better than a ready-to-wear suit…. it is unlikely to fit every aspect of your body smoothly. To remedy this, we first make the suit from a rough cotton muslin fabric and send it to you for feedback and (digital) pics.
Through examining the way that the muslin wrinkles and pulls, we can get an excellent idea of your figure and posture. At this point, we adjust the pattern based on your feedback and our knowledge and begin to create a suit that fits perfectly.”
Check out A.J. Machete & Sons’ blog, Denver Bespoke, for more examples of their handiwork.