News & Politics

A Salute to Jeff Bezos’s Swashbuckling Necktie

A Salute to Jeff Bezos’s Swashbuckling Necktie

At the dedication for the Washington Post‘s new building Thursday, owner Jeff Bezos talked about the how the publication is a “little more swashbuckling” these days.  “There’s a little more swagger,” Bezos said. “There’s a tiny bit of badassness here at the Post.”

As if to underscore the devil-may-care attitude he senses in the joint lately, Bezos commemorated the occasion with a large-checked tie so wide it threatened to poke out eyes on either side of the stage in the building’s grand events room.


Contrast his tie with Post Publisher Fred Ryan’s tasteful, narrower, fine-checked cravat.


Or Secretary of State John Kerry’s very nice sky-blue number of reasonable width.


Or even Executive Editor Marty Baron’s brownish, maybe-a-little-wider-than-you-or-I-might-choose but still very nice tie.


Some may look at Bezos’s tie and see classic disruption, the same spirit that has helped the Post not only become a little more swashbuckling but beat the New York Times online (this is, of course, my view). My more fashionable colleagues disagree. The tie “has the effect of sucking him to the ground,” Washingtonian fashion editor Sarah Zlotnick says. “The next time he wants to stand tall in a room, he should go with something slimmer.” The tie’s wide-check pattern doesn’t help, Zlotnick says: “A general rule that could be good to follow is the bigger the pattern, the skinnier the tie.” 

Bezos may be in Washington all weekend–he was spotted in the Post newsroom Friday and there’s a town hall meeting with him planned for Monday. If he’d like to check out some better ties, Zlotnick advises he visit the Shay, where both Read Wall and the Tie Bar offer good-looking neckwear. Or as a visitor to DC with a few coins to rub together, he may enjoy a visit to CityCenterDC.

That said, any Post employees who’d like to surprise Bezos with an approximation of his tie at the meeting Monday should hit Amazon, where a skinner version by SetSense goes for $8.99 and one by Scott Allan (alas, again not as wide) is $11.99 and Prime-eligible. If you wear such a tie to the town hall meeting, please do send me a photo.

Full disclosure 1: This is not the first time I have questioned one of Bezos’s fashion choices.

Full disclosure 2: I have no business criticizing anyone’s fashion choices.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.