Ever been bulldogging? Me neither. I think you can be a manly man and still care about animals. For me, bulldogging is one of the more cruel rodeo events in that antiquated American sport. You tackle animals and slam them to the ground. Not something I’m likely to do. Unsightly. Inspires sensitive people to cringe. And then cringe again.
And why would anyone want that? Gut-wrenching puking is a lowly fashion statement. Not to mention unmanly.
But hell, when you think about it, plenty of things from bygone eras elicit winces in the 21st-century mind. Think execution by hanging. Squirrel meat. The Donner Party.
Even so, what’s great about looking back is that we can cherry pick for the keepers and reject what’s clearly barbaric at the same time.
This is the real benefit of hindsight as we roll back dependency on fossil fuels and start downsizing in a way makes things look more and more like they did way back when, before humans had the more sensitive sensibilities they do today.
I admit that as a vegan I’m sensitive to the bigger ecosystem picture. But I still want to look cool.
Probably the biggest upshot of cherry picking the past is the fashion of the era we’ll revisit once oil hits $200 a barrel.
In this column, I’ll suggest fashion from bygone eras for your approval—whether for warmth, staying cool, or just looking good. But I won’t give you any Mad Max leather chaps as favored by Lord Humongous; that you can bank on.
You might even be inspired by ages past to experiment with your own takes on then, now, and times to come. If so, please add your thoughts in the comments below. You just might find you go from investment banker to haberdasher, weaver or tailor without even knowing it. Fashion forward, dude.
Why the hell not? All any day is, is…a day! Especially if you’re unemployed. That’s what they say about the past, anyway. More leisure. (And by that I mean less tobacco but more cigars. In other words, time. Who the hell couldn’t use that?)
Back to the future
So let’s look at a unique fashion trend from the past; the bulldogger tie.
You don’t have to be a rootin’ tootin’ cowboy or call your peeps “pardner” to pull off this awesome look. Forget about the hat and the big belt buckle if you want to. (I actually collect belt buckles and like them as much on jeans as on a tux. But to each his own.) The main thing here is just trying something different hanging from your neck.
When did men get so conservative about what they wrap around their neck, anyway? The past gave us many more necktie styles than just the Ascot, bolo or bow tie. Men used the tie as an accessory that showed the world who we were and what it might be like to do business with us. A little flair. The unexpected. Left field.
That’s how the bulldogger works. For years, the bulldog’s natural habitat has been the cowboy wedding, where groomsmen sport polyester faux-satin versions like cummerbunds for the neck.
But now the bulldogger seems poised to break out from the Branson, Missouri Country Club and onto the necks of hipsters in Brooklyn, Berkeley and beyond.
Even if it’s on Long Island, why not try a bulldog at the next wedding you attend?
Of course, our many celebrity readers can skulk into the Academy Awards with this triangular thing under their chin. A regular Clint Eastwood. “Go ahead, make my day!”
Not just for tuxedo rental
When the ladies ask you what-up with the bandana, break out a whoop-ass of sensitive on their silky souls. Tell them how bulldogging is a horrible way to treat God’s creatures. Then say that you love the tie that shares the same name because it gives you the opening to condemn the hideousness of animal cruelty. Yeah, you’re a sensitive, experimental, interesting, worldly gentleman. Not that you would ever say “duh.”
If you’ve got the bull’s equipment to try it, the bulldogger’s a throat-grabbing conversation-starter. And, if you think a bow tie like Tucker Carlson’s makes you feel cocky, you’ll find yourself strutting like the Duke with a fistful of dollars with a bulldogger on.
Take advantage of this really-retro style and never be a wallflower again. It could even be your chance to discuss fashions from the last two centuries and wax poetic on how men back in the day wrote their own rules. That’s always sexy.
Did I mention they’re cheaper than most ties, even other synthetic ones? At $8.99, you’d be hard-pressed to find a piece of apparel as provocative as a bulldogger. Get them mass-produced online at Shepler’s. Before long they’re likely to be on Etsy, hopefully in better fabrics. Even if you only wore your bulldogger when gasoline hits five bucks a gallon and you’re looking to swap your Ford pickup for a horse, it’d be worth it.
No one’s saying you have to wear your bulldogger to work or anything. But if you’re in an office with a bunch of creative types, the bulldogger could make just the right statement.
— Jack Morgan