Wear It Again Sam
3922 Park Boulevard, Hillcrest
Kristine Anderson first started noticing the trend 20 years ago. Men, mostly, business types, as well as those who plunged into the swing-dance craze started coming in and asking for ties. Not just any ties: They wanted the loud, wide, brash ties from the '40s. Straight out of The Maltese Falcon. They wanted to be Sam Spade or Mike Hammer or Bulldog Drummond or Damon Runyan. Walter Mitties, all. "It has never stopped," she says. "Except now there are so many collectors, the real classics are getting harder to come by." The ones she gets most requests for are, number one, Salvador Dalí ties, limp watches and all; number two, the "girlie ties," the big broad ties with dames slinking down the front, winking out at you between the lapels. "The other popular ones are the hand-painted '40s silk ties," Anderson says. The hand-painteds go from $10 to $50. The girlie and Salvador Dalís from $150 to $500. Earlier ties, say from the '30s, are a little less popular, because even though they were the broadest, they were short. "Suits then had a higher lapels," says Anderson. Still they're way more popular than '60s ties. "By then the tie was this little one-inch-wide nothing." You can hear the disgust in her voice. "Made of polyester."