I have a question. I'm a 26 year old working in financial services in New York City. I have a couple Hermes ties and while I love them, they seem too old for me. I also have a number of Vineyard Vines ties but they seem too young. Any ideas? Connor Fused
You're in a predicament. However, you've provided enough information to work with. A young man (under 35) in an Hermes tie comes off looking, at worse, pretentious -- over reaching at best. Also, older men (over 40) in your office don't like you simply because you're 26. They'll look for anything to disparage and what you wear is an easy target.
I was 21 and driving for a colonel just before I got out of the army. I had known him for about a year, respected him and was flattered he specifically requested me as his driver. Coming out of a G-3 briefing, he climbed into the jeep and said, "Sergeant, I'm so confused I don't know whether to wind my ass or scratch my watch." I'll never forget that or what he told me next.
He told me I was a smart ass. Not so much because of what I wore. Except for his rank and C.I.B., our uniforms and footwear matched perfectly. He told me it was how I walked and talked. He also told me that people would either like me or hate me with no in between. I remember sighing a plaintiff, "Jesus, sir?"
Which reminds me of the time a chaplain in the field was chewing me out for my helmet graffiti which read, "Kill a Commie for Christ." This same colonel came to my rescue and told the chaplain that, "...it's his fucking job to kill Commies and if he wants to kill 'em for Christ, that's his business."
I'm getting off track here so let me
I don't know if you're a fellow smart ass, Con. But I do have some advice. 'Humble' is not a word you associate with Hermes while 'insipid' is what a designer I know calls Vineyard Vines. If you want something with Hermes gravitas while following my colonel's advice for humility, try Ferragamo. Not the shoes. They're not humble. The ties. As elegant as Hermes but not nearly as in-your-face assertive, the Ferragamo tie walks a fine line of understated style and restraint. Grown up but not middle aged. They're not cheap ($170) but women love giving them as gifts while old farts like me will hate you just a little less.
Update: I have just been advised the colonel retired a major general. I'm guessing I should've taken his advice.