When Luke Boggs took a leadership communications job at Coke in 2011, he thought he'd better dress the part.

“I’d been freelancing out of my basement office for five years,” Boggs explained. “So when I came here to the headquarters of The Coca-Cola Company, I felt like it would be a good idea to wear a tie most of the time.”

After a few months, the lifelong Coca-Cola fan began wondering what sort of branded ties he could add to his neckwear rotation. An eBay search was just a few keystrokes and a mouse click away. 

“Sure enough, there were some great designs that had been used many years ago and, fortunately for me, were the right width that has come back into style,” he said. “I thought, 'As a new employee, who better to wear these than me?’”

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Boggs slowly built his collection, which currently stands at 21 (and counting) vintage Coke ties. Most of them, he believes, were produced in the ‘80s. “If they were from the ‘70s, they’d be wider. And if they were made in the early '60s, they’d be really narrow,” he explained.

His current favorite is navy blue with diagonal stripes and tiny Coke bottles. It was made by Givenchy, a French fashion brand. He has never paid more than $30 per tie (a co-branded Coke/FIFA design is the priciest in his collection), and most were purchased in the $5-$10 range. 

"It hasn't turned into an expensive habit... yet," he said. 

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Many of the ties in Boggs' lineup seem to be official ties worn by Coca-Cola salesmen and managers, decades ago. “Their authenticity is part of what makes them cool to me,” he says, glancing down at that day's choice, a sharp red number. "They don’t seem to have been designed as consumer ties, which tend to have bigger graphics and more of a novelty look. On these, the branding is there, but it’s more subtle. And I wonder about the stories of the people who wore them 30 or 40 years ago." 

The ties are great conversation starters, too. “If I’m out in a store or a restaurant, people will often ask if I work for Coca-Cola. And routinely, that leads to them telling me about their love of Coca-Cola or another one of our brands.”

As for himself, Boggs grew up in Atlanta with an enthusiasm for Coke he inherited from his parents and grandparents. "My folks still love to close out the day with a little nightcap of Coca-Cola," he said.

The best Cokes he ever had might have been at his local grandmother's house. "Whenever I would mow her lawn, she would make these amazing pan-fried hamburgers -- and always serve them with what she called 'Co-Colas'," he recalled. "Talk about a perfect lunch!"

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During a recent visit to a local pizzeria, Boggs was approached by a friendly lady from Africa who noticed his tie featuring “Coca-Cola” written in multiple languages.

"'This is my language here,' she said, pointing to my tie," Boggs recalled. “That particular tie captures the universality of the brand. Everyone relates to Coca-Cola, no matter where you’re from.”

His neckwear has inspired a few funny exchanges with Coke colleagues, too. Boggs recalls bumping into a senior leader who said, “Hey, I had that same tie back in the ‘80s!”

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In an era where most workplaces – Coke included – are loosening their dress codes and allowing employees to go “business casual,” Boggs prefers an old-school look. “I’m comfortable wearing what are today considered ‘dressier’ clothes that might have been be more at home in an office 40 or 50 years ago.”

Boggs, who has spent all but two years of his life in Georgia, describes his style as American with a Southern influence. “I’m wouldn’t say I adhere to older styles, but I’m inspired by mid-20th Century American style and tailoring,” he explains. “I definitely don’t go for costume-y looks from a certain period.”

Proper attire has always mattered to Boggs, 46. “To me, it's an extension of how you feel about yourself,” he says.

Getting dressed up for work reminds him of his father, now retired from Lucent Technologies. “When I was growing up, my dad would come in my room each morning and wish me a good day. He’d always have a coat and tie on, usually a suit, and he was ready to go out and take on the day.”

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Neckties are not the only branded items in Boggs’ closet; Coke cufflinks are part of his ensemble, too. And fortunately for Boggs, a self-proclaimed fan of French-cuffed dress shirts, the accessories are inexpensive and relatively easy to find.

“Cufflinks are not in demand any more,” he says. “There’s a global surplus because so few men wear them.”

Others’ loss is his gain. In fact, Boggs took it upon himself to make a pair of Coca-Cola Ambassador cufflinks (see below) using heart-shaped lapel pins. And, while hunting for more online, he came across a unique pair made from pieces of a broken, ocean-weathered Coca-Cola bottle. 

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“The Coke bottle sea glass had been rubbed in the sand over time to where it was nice and smooth,” he explained.

Not long ago, a visiting student complimented Boggs on the distinctive cuff links. “Are those made out of some sort of gem, or a semi-precious stone?” she inquired.

“Sort of,” Boggs replied, smiling.

“They’re made from a Coke bottle.”