Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Remaking the Ascot

One of the 5 things I'd really like to see make a comeback, the current embodiment of the ascot is the one most stereotyped: it's only for movie stars and/or snobs. While it's nice that Ashton Kutcher vowed to bring back the ascot, he first needs to learn how to wear one. The Return of the Ascot movement needs the likes of Cary Grant at its head.

In olden days the ascot, while still a bit of a higher social standard, perhaps did not have the anti-normal person stigma that it does today. Anyways, back then every man wore a tie and the ascot is just a more casual and dashing form of neckwear. Therefore, I'd like to see the ascot return as an 'everyman' item with no social commentary associated with it. The ascot is also a versatile garment that can tie together or perhaps even make a casual outfit:

click photos to enlarge

Tying an ascot is simple. There are many ways to tie one but the most common way is like tying a Four-In-Hand except you don't tuck the loose end through the knot at the end.
This method assures that the ascot is worn high and tight rather than the modern low and loose fashion attempted by Kutcher and other Hollywood characters today.
The other ways it can be tied are numerous. The summer scarf, a close relative of the ascot, should also be considered.
click photos to enlarge


And while the ascot is most often considered a summer item usually made of lightweight silk or rayon, there are also spring/autumn/winter counterparts made of heavier materials.

An ascot is great for a day of rest and relaxation, when a regular tie would be too stuffy.

Linen, silk and rayon summer scarves can take the place of the ascot if you want to experiment. Wear over a shirt or if you a bit on the lazy/daring side you can take notes from vintage summer scarf wearers and go sans shirt, using the scarf to hide that fact.
The return of the ascot will never be as it once was but if we work at it perhaps we can remove the social commentary that has been built into over the years.

7 comments:

Horatio said...

Great post! I found five (!) ascots at my favorite thrift store lately; three of them are in my colors and joined my wardrobe (the first two were 2 for $5, and the other one was the regular $3 each price for ties and other related neckwear).

I have been puzzled, however, by a number of items that have appeared recently with the ties in said store. Reading this post makes me realize that they are probably neckerchiefs like those pictured in the first illustration. While I am not yet ready to go down that path, I do wear my ascots, and wish I could find affordable summer scarves, too.

Very informative. Thanks for clearing up that mystery for me!

Antonio Centeno said...

Awesome post Will - some talk the talk, but you walk the walk when it comes to style!

Charles Henry said...

The ascot is my new favorite accessory!

Mark said...

The ascot is my "most favorite" article of clothing a man can wear! Thanks, Will, for this post...

Mark

Nicola Linza said...

I agree with Antonio Centeno, (himself a man of great style in my opinion,) you Will do have a great personal style. As always, this is a brilliant article. I also have to tell you, I always enjoy the classic images of men you utilize. The images you use are always icons of classic handsome masculinity to me, a great relief from what we are often subjected to elsewhere.

Will said...

Thanks gents.

FIXED BAYONET METAL SOLDIERS said...

I always wear cravattes, Ascots are different Kid.I wear a blue Polka dot one under a D.B.Blazer and white button down shirt

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