Our State Epidemiologist’s Bow Ties Are Unsung Heroes of Oregon’s Pandemic Response
Move over, Congressman Blumenauer: There’s a new bow-tie guy in town.
Oregon’s state epidemiologist, Dr. Dean Sidelinger, has been repping the style all spring, fielding questions from the media whilst sporting his now-trademark bold combos of plaid shirts and whimsical print neckwear.
Was he just countering the drear of the pandemic with color? That’s the effect, but Sidelinger’s style choice dates to his college years.
“I think it was a little bit of the rebel in me,” he says.
There was a practical side, too: “After medical school I did a pediatric residency,” says the doc. “Kids like to pull on things, little kids will stick their hands in their mouth and then try and pull on your tie. It’s harder for kids to pull on a bow tie than a regular tie. You probably see more pediatricians wear bow ties than not.”
Today, Sidelinger estimates he owns around 375 ties, hung three to a hook on tie racks mounted on the wall in his closet in Northwest Portland. Many were gifts or picked up on trips (he keeps a lookout for ties made with Liberty London floral fabrics, especially). His local favorites include Japanese-inspired Kiriko (available at MadeHere PDX) and the vintage looks from former tiemakers Harding & Wilson, who often used fabric from Pendleton Woolen Mills.
“I definitely like a bright tie,” Sidelinger says. “I think if you can have something that brings a smile to your face, that helps.”