What Do You Wear to a Bicentennial?

The AAS’s bicentennial gala—a black-tie affair held in the Society’s reading room, complete with a dance floor where scholars usually sit and an Isaiah Thomas made out of marzipan—has come and gone. But well-dressed enthusiasts of America’s printed legacy still want to know: What is the appropriate sartorial observance of the Society’s bicentennial? While our founder Mr. Thomas might recommend a starched collar and black silk cravat, we have some other options for those who are antiquarians at heart, but don’t want to look like they’re going to a costume party.

Our limited-edition heavyweight cotton bicentennial baseball cap (available here, in black, navy, and tan) is a great choice. But even in these business-casual times, there are occasions when such a choice might come across as a bit too cavalier. For those occasions (or for those of our readers who consistently adhere to higher levels of decorum), we have newly available bicentennial scarves and neckties. Some of you may remember the previous iteration of the AAS necktie, an item that has long since been sold out. Manufactured of polyester of an extremely high tensile strength, the earlier AAS tie was nothing if not durable. (In an unfortunate error in market-timing, they were ordered in the late 1970s, when fickle fashion called for a more expansive statement in men’s neckwear. Alas, the 1980s and Giorgio Armani came along and—autre temps, autre moeurs—the ties had to be sent back to the manufacturer to be narrowed.)

But, finding ourselves tieless as the bicentennial approached, and also wanting to “remember the ladies,” as Abigail Adams instructed us, our crack staff of in-house designers crafted a brand new line of neckties and scarves. Both made of pure silk, each item recalls different elements of AAS’s heritage. The scarf features the elegant script logo designed at Stinehour Press that long graced the covers of many AAS publications, while the necktie’s interlocking “AAS” logo will be familiar to anyone who has had the pleasure of enjoying a cocktail at the Goddard-Daniels House (the logo is the same as that on the Society’s cocktail napkins.) The scarves are 36 inches square, while the neckties are a timeless 3.5 inches wide. At $30 each, they make wonderful gifts, and are an ideal way to celebrate the American Antiquarian Society on a daily basis. You can purchase them through the AAS website, or by contacting Jackie Penny, at jpenny@mwa.org.

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