Fashion tips from Danielle Smith – plus, it still takes a real man to wear a bow tie

Yikes! Danielle Smith in a little black frock by David Meister. Below: A confident young man in a nice polka-dot bow-tie and a moustache, trying to think of a way to steal a hot stove. Below your once and future blogger: The Calgary Herald’s notion of a sophisticated bow-tie wearer, circa 2011. Bottom: Some other guy in a bow-tie.

The things you come across when you troll the Calgary Herald for fashion tips from Danielle Smith.

Here’s a headline from the March 25 edition of the Herald’s Swerve Magazine: “Real Men Wear Bow Ties.”

Looks like the boys at the Bunker – or not the boys, actually, seeing as the author of this piece is someone named Meghan Jessiman, assistant editor of the publication – have been doing a little trolling themselves through the Herald’s digitized morgue.

Here’s a lead from an excellent story in the Aug. 28, 1990, edition of the same Calgary Herald – the “D” Section, I’m sorry to report. “It takes a real man to wear a bow-tie.”

The author of this obviously deathless observation, you ask? One David Climenhaga.

His account went on: “…C’mon, any sissy can strap on a long tie or wear no tie at all. Try walking into a room full of grease monkeys in stained coveralls and asking directions to the foreman’s office, or trying to get a recalcitrant big city taxi driver to extinguish his cigar – if you’re wearing a nice polka-dot bow-tie, they’ll know right off who’s boss.”

I just need to make the point here that the original piece got several things right that the pale imitation did not tie up neatly with a pretty paisley bow. For example:

NOW:What’s the secret to tying a bow tie? I wish I could tell you, but I’m a terrible teacher. It took me about three months to learn from YouTube videos…”

THEN: “Nonsense. If you can tie your shoes, you can tie a bow-tie. … Plus, you never, never have to worry about whether the end should be above or below your belt.”

NOW:Are clip-ons a do or a don’t? A definite don’t.”

THEN: “This one is spread by people who recognize that it is axiomatic that men in bow-ties are Real Men, but can’t tie one. … You can honorably wear a clip-on bow-tie if you’re a policeman on duty, are under seven years of age or are missing three or more fingers.”

NOW: “Anyone can rock the bow tie.”

THEN: “Isn’t a man in a bow-tie saying, ‘I can get my soup to my mouth without spilling’? Ask yourself, what could be more confident? (Answer: a man in a bow-tie with a moustache.)”

I’m sincerely sorry that I can’t provide you with a link to this whole brilliant piece, but, like, it was written so long ago that nothing was digitized, not even the fingers you need to tie a bow-tie, if you can believe it! But, look, if this comparison doesn’t chart the decline of the media over the past two decades, I don’t know what the heck does!”

Oh well, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – that and linking to your blog posts, for which you also don’t get paid by the Calgary Herald.

OK, enough fashion tips from Yours Truly. Now, where was I? Oh yeah, fashion tips from the Wildrose Alliance leader.

“At 39, Danielle Smith is the leader of a provincial political party,” chirped the Herald, just this week. “Before long she intends to be the Premier of Alberta. Everyone who knows her takes this ambition seriously. After all, her party polls equally to the Conservatives who have been in power since 1971. She remains the only serious threat to the status quo in Alberta and she has arrived at centre stage seemingly out of nowhere.

“Marlaina Danielle Smith, named eponymously after a Frankie Valli song, was born on April 1, 1971, in the Grace Hospital, Calgary Alberta.” (Author’s note: I am not making this up!) “Forgo the simple observation on date of birth and take note. Ms. Smith was born in the same year the Conservatives came to power in Alberta. The temptation is to claim she has been running against them literally all her life.”

Words actually fail me! On April Fools Day, and in a now privatized hospital!

Words did not fail the Herald’s many anonymous commenters, which only goes to show that there are just some things one oughtn’t to share with readers, like your blogger’s bow-ties and the putative future Alberta premier’s little black frock by David Meister.

For those of you still stuck in the un-chic and un-directional reality-based community, please note that recent polls continue to show the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta leading the Wildrose Alliance by a comfortable margin.

7 Comments on "Fashion tips from Danielle Smith – plus, it still takes a real man to wear a bow tie"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Is Smith a politician or some vogue model? Clearly this is someone who is not fit for elected office. Make up your mind.

    The average person can't afford designer labels or the Wildrose.

  2. Filostrato says:

    Thoreau had a few things to say about clothes and their (un)importance.

    "Do not trouble yourself much to get new things, whether clothes or friends. Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts."

    "It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes."

    "Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes and not rather a new wearer of clothes."

    I like the bow tie on the once and future blogger, though. The latest Doctor Who has made the bow tie very trendy (again).

    I know very little about Danielle Smith except for one brief appearance on 22 Minutes(?). As always, I wonder how someone so young could be so right-wing. It seems to fly in the face of nature. Starting from that position, where can you possibly go?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Just out of curiousity – did the Wild Rose issue a tax receipt for the value of this free advertising for a political leader? Sure seems like a political contribution to me. And did Danielle get to keep the clothes?

  4. Anonymous says:

    And Blu's has pulled the ad…

  5. Lars says:

    Bow ties are irremediably marred, these days, identified as the gular adornment of choice for right-wing cranks.

    Think "Tucker Carlson". Do you really want to remind anyone of him?

    So let the right have their bowties. They make you look as though you fuss too much about exposing your throat anyway, as if you are trying to hide some frightful goiter or the like. They don't look like an adornment. I hate ties anyway – had to wear one all through high school – but rather a necktie than a bow tie, even a big floppy one.

    And, Anon, it's quite possible to make the slide from early right-wingedness to leftiness later in life. The cognitive dissonance generated by a right-wing viewpoint eventually becomes insupportable if you are reasonably intelligent and don't nurture within your breast a deep intrinsic loathing of, and contempt for, humanity. Remember that reading Ayn Rand is something that most of us do early in life, when we haven't developed very effective bullshit filters, and it frequently sticks. So a lot of young people get off to a bad start in life, but experience forces them to seize themselves by the scruff of the neck and start thinking.

  6. David J. Climenhaga says:

    Nuts to Lars! We've already given away far too much to the right, including agreeing to the wrong-headed notions that markets should rule everything and that "red tape" is always bad. There's no way I'm giving them my bow-ties too. Anyway, if I do that, they'll be after my cowboy boots next and then my rodeo-champ-sized pewter belt buckle with the CBC icon on it. To hell with that!

  7. Anonymous says:

    David, time to update your blogger picture with the 2011 version of that great image you pulled out from the vault. It's not just the bowtie, it's da smile!

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