I’m looking for work, a proper job, real 9-to-5 stuff. In this sagging economy, I feel more like a race track rat than an artist, always chasing the latest not-so-hot tip. So I’m polishing my resume, calling my contacts, and swapping my studio clothes for sharper duds.

The best thing about the job search is putting my necktie collection back into circulation. It’s an eclectic selection, spanning seven decades and every conceivable width. Regularly discarded and one-size-fits-all, ties are always crossing my path. It’s hard to resist a retiring relative getting rid of his “nooses”, or a bulging thrift store rack hiding some 1960s gems. Last spring, after I had promised my wife “no more ties”, we found a plastic bag of expensive silk ties hanging from a fence (She let me keep the best ones).

Here are a few of my favourites:

I should throw these away, but the patterns are so original. I wear them with a cardigan so no one sees the frayed edges. The Prince Consort has button holes sewn into the narrow end to act as de facto tie clip. It also advises stupid men how to use the tie properly with a helpful “Put small end thru here”.

For the longest time, I only wore skinny 1960s ties. These are a couple of my favourites, but I have dozens, all made from miracle Dupont materials.

I like the fat ties as well. These two are separated by 30 years, but they could be cousins.

I love rep ties, and own some great colour combinations. Almost all of my rep ties are American style, with the stripe running down from the right. It has been said that American tailors intentionally reversed the leftwards British striped tie to remove the private school and club connotations. The only leftward rep tie I own is also one of the cheapest in my collection, a Toronto-made product worn by some disgraced schoolboy.