Tag: hoarder

Origins and Inspiration of the Manly Shirt



My creative process involves starting with a problem and then looking for a solution. Sometimes the answers come while I am driving or working on something else—the idea just needs to be planted.


And so it goes with neckties. They languished in a bin for years. The silk ones were separated and given to a quilter who turned them into a quilt titled “Wall Street”. The polyester, dacron, rayon and other ties just went into a plastic storage tub as I had no idea how they could be used in my art. I really thought about donating them as I felt that my house was reaching Hoarders status, but my friends assured me my décor was just Organized Chaos.


The problem that presented itself was I needed to develop a man’s shirt. I thought about it for months. At first, my thinking was to just use “manly” material for the gusset at the back and my stash of neckties would be used to embellish the cuffs and the collar.


In a meeting with a very good friend , a master creator, accomplished artists and inventor, I ran my idea of the Manly Shirt at a brainstorming session over coffee. She suggested that I use a tie for the gusset in the back.


I first I dismissed this crazy idea, but the more I thought about it, I realized this was the perfect solution. Instead of a man or woman wearing a tie in the front, the tie was adorning the shirt at the back. It was sort of a reversal and, therefore, a surprise. The old saying about the mullet hairstyle came to mind, “Business in front, party in back.”


Now I started dismantling ties for the gusset, ironing them and pairing them up with shirts that would work for those particular prints, stripes and colors. I also discovered I needed more ties—so it was off to Senior Day at the ARC Thrift Store. Imagine my surprise when I found a peek-a-boo tie, and naturally I kept that for myself.


Peek-a-boo ties were the rage in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Inside the lining of a tie was a secret silk screened image of a sexy pinup girl, which echoes my philosophy about my new style of man’s shirt, “Business in the front, party in the back.”


(For the images for this blog entry, I would use four shirts, but four different ones so you could show two fronts and two backs and that way you could show four designs. Also, I would have all of the ironed. Of course include the peek-a-boo tie.)