It started with “The Muppets.” Next came the happy, dapper gentleman Bag Lady spotted on Main Street in Lewiston on Tuesday morning. Then, Shopping Siren said, “I’m loving the new “‘Doctor Who.'”

Suddenly it was clear. We had to write about bow ties this week.

Shopping. Sometimes it’s that spontaneous.

Follow the logic if you dare: “The Muppets” are hot once again with their new movie. (For the record, BL and SS never stopped being super fans.) Muppets, of course, represent all stages and manner of dress, including bow-tie-wearing Fozzie bear.

That gent seen on Main Street? He wore a pink bow tie that caused BL to murmur to herself, “Now that is a sharp-dressed man.” And ever since Thanksgiving, SS has been obsessively checking the BBC America TV lineup, waiting with bated breath for the promised “Doctor Who” holiday special, which is the only thing keeping her sane during the show’s winter hiatus.

Doctor Who sports a bow tie. (Granted, he also wore a fez in one episode, but that’s a column for another day.)

You can’t ignore threes. And, clearly, we’re not the only ones keen on bow ties. They’re nearly sold out in the Twin Cities, scarcer than Camilla teeth. (Er, Camilla is Gonzo’s chicken, but you knew that.)

But we persevered! We found the bow tie jackpot! It’s why they pay us week after week.

We also found a slew of regular neckties, holiday ties and odd clothing items/accessories that had us wondering when and how that trend started. Adult footie pajamas, we’re talking to you.

* Stafford Essentials bow ties, untied, JCPenney, $30 (current sale: buy one, get one half off)

This store wins the bow tie gold medal. This untied version comes in paisley, stripe or solid (black, purple, silver, lime, cotton-candy pink). You need a bow tie, you come here. We’re not sure why that’s not etched on the door.

* Stafford Essentials bow ties, pre-tied, JCPenney, $30 (also buy one, get one half off)

This pre-tied model comes in festive silver, solid red, traditional yellow-and-blue striped, or a subtle, same-color stripe in white, silver or red. For the man who’s cool enough for a bow tie but doesn’t want to be bothered with the tying part.

* Color and pattern pre-tied bow ties, Classic Tuxedo (formerly Strictly Formal), $16

Subtle prints in gray, gray-ish and something that might have been blue-silver. We have to mention that the sales associate was friendly. Extremely friendly. Puppies aren’t this friendly. She also mentioned something about the availability of matching vests, should you find yourself with a vest deficit.

* Holiday neckties, JCPenney, $9.99

Features Santa jamming on a guitar, a little subtle Silent Night or a doe-eyed reindeer. You have yuletide options.

* Van Heusen charcoal tie with pink and gray swirls, JCPenney, $7.17

Very pretty. Which led to this discussion:

BL: “Are men’s ties supposed to be pretty? Is that a good thing?”

SS: “I don’t know. I’m not sure what makes one tie better than another for guys.”

BL: “It’s probably like us and black shoes.”

SS: “So true.”

* Tie Necklace, Spencer’s Gifts, $8.99

Like the tie look but hate that choking feeling? This tie necklace has your back. Er, your neck. In zebra or paint-spatter print. Because if you’re going to wear a tie necklace, it should be in a paint-spatter print.

* Body Rage hair feathers, Spencer’s Gifts, $12.99

One of those odd accessory fads we’ve been seeing everywhere and have no idea why. (BL believes it started when Steven Tyler wore them while judging “American Idol.” SS believes it started with her sixth-grade class years ago and the trend has simply remained underground, patiently biding its time, until now.) Either way, these four feathers are classic black. So, you know, there’s that.

* “The Muppets” adult-sized footie pajamas, Spencer’s Gifts, $34.99 (with a $5 off sticker and a $10 off sign above that, unclear if sign supersedes sticker)

We’re not entirely sure what’s stoking demand here, or, outside of a slumber party crowd, who you’d wear this in front of, but choose between Kermit, Gonzo, Elmo or Animal. Or, choose your dignity. Maybe top it with a bow tie.

Best find: Pre-tied black bow tie, Classic Tuxedo, $22

No frills, but none needed. This basic black bow tie is going places. Like, to a ball or a very nice steak dinner.

Think twice: Marc Anthony black tie with embossed black animal print, Kohl’s, $24

It’s no bow tie, that’s a given. It’s also too thin and too animal print. Acceptable animal-print allowance for ties: Zero.

A notable exception is made for 15-year-old guitar players. They could rock this.

Of note

Hickory Farms and the Calendar & Game Club, temporary holiday shops, have opened in the Auburn Mall. (The toy store and calendar store have been separate in years past.) The Ivy Cottage and the Joyful Hope Gift Shop have closed. Very sorry to see that.

Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who are a little freaked out by Gonzo) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at [email protected] and [email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: