Tom Keene - His Favourite Bow Tie and the American Fear of Heavy Fabrics
A previous post on the style of Bloomberg's Tom Keene has proved to be very popular indeed. This can't be ignored. We listen to what you're saying here at Tweed Towers. How then to satisfy the obvious demand (and capitalise on Keene's popularity)? Feeling the need to dig a bit deeper, the answer became obvious. Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you the inaugural Tweed Pig Q & A With Mr Tom Keene.
Q & A
Tweed Pig:Has your style developed over the years? When were the bow ties adopted?
Tom Keene:Style was beaten into me as a child, growing up in upstate New York. Bow ties are in the genes - I just discovered a photo of my grandfather holding me at age 3 and he was wearing a bow tie.
TP:Will you dress differently depending on the guest? Is there a guest that makes you want to 'up your game' in the style stakes?
TK:I really don't dress for the guests. If they wear magenta, I won't match it.
TP:Is there anything you need to avoid wearing on TV, because it won't look well?
TK:Seersucker just doesn't work. With the new, bright television studio lights, I have to go to dark suits. The grays get washed out.
TP:Is there a particular attribute in a man which would make wearing bow ties more flattering than ties?
TK:I'm not sure on the whole short-tall, thin-wide debate. Much of it is just being comfortable.
TP:If you could pick a period in time, is there a favorite in terms of news reporting? And what about in terms of fashion?
TK:There are benefits to each era. I grew up in a Huntley-Brinkley house. My parents were major news junkies. The fashion back generations of the family was pretty predictable. There was no teal.
TP:Do you buy your own bow ties? Do viewers send you any? What's your favourite? And the most eccentric?
TK:Yes, I get this all the time and no I don't have a deal with Hermès. Viewers and listeners have been very generous. My favorite bow tie is a solid red one from my youngest daughter who hates that I wear them. By far my most emotional tie is a quiet red-white-and-blue tie from Brooks Brothers that I bought in the late morning of September 11th drifting in shock out of downtown Boston, up Newbury Street and across the Commons. I wear it once a year.
TP:Which item of clothing do you choose first when deciding what to wear?
TP:Three wardrobe staples for winter? Three for summer?
TK:Winter: A hat. Get a hat. Use it. Heavier suits: Americans are afraid to wear heavier fabrics. A scarf. I went to a lighter Saint James scarf this year. I liked the longer, lighter feel.
Summer: Seersucker; dark blue cotton; To Boot Johnson Shoes.
TP:What or who inspires your sense of style?
TK:My children and staff. They're brutal.
TP:Do you have a grooming routine or any medicine cabinet secrets?
TK:Crew Wax; get a good haircut (shout out! Ivan at Paul Labrecque)
TP:What statement, if any, do you think your personal style makes?
TK:My style says tuition payments.
TP:Three tips for dressing well?
TK:My tips are my mother's gospel. Buy a few quality things. Take care of them. Worship a good tailor. Always check the stitching first.
TP:Favourite colors? And what about sartorial no-nos?
TK:My colors are dictated by TV. I tend to pink shirts (Paul Stuart), dark suits (Oxxford) and brown shoes (Alden).
With sincere thanks to Tom for taking the time to answer these questions, and providing a few tips and useful insights for the well-dressed chap. Maybe I will try a bow tie after all.
Tom Keene serves as the host of "Surveillance Midday" a hub for the global Wall Street audience. Watch the program on Bloomberg Television or visit http://www.bloomberg.com/tv/shows/surveillance-midday/ for a selection of online videos and links to Tom's Facebook, Twitter and blog posts.