tie2.jpg  I don’t know why this was not my first moratorium.  If there is any soapbox I stand tall and proud on, it is this one.  I have been ranting and raving about this one since I was a teenager.   Ties.  What in the world made our society decide that wearing a piece of cloth tied tightly around your neck some how, in some way, makes you look “dressed up” or “professional“???  I just want to run out and scream that a tie does not a professional make!!!!

I mentioned I have hated ties since I was young.  I remember so well every Sunday morning I had to “put on my best for God” and wear a tie  (that, by the way, is another moratorium for another day…  “Putting on your best for God”).  I went to a private school for two years and every Friday we had chapel in the morning and had to wear a tie.  We could take it off at noon though so how stupid is that?  What…are you telling me that God left the school in the afternoon for a long weekend and that he wouldn’t see me without a tie after lunch??!?  Please.  That is limiting God to a time and place.  It’s localizing worship to something you go to or leave.  Wait!  Sorry.  I said that was for another moratorium for another time. 

Anyway, I just don’t understand it.  I have perhaps the best example of why tie wearing is so ludicrous.  11 years ago, at another company I worked for, men had to wear a tie every day (even though we had zero contact with outside customers or vendors).  Now, my immediate manager was a tall, skinny guy.  His suits were about 10 years old and didn’t fit.  He always looked ready for a flood.  His ties were worse.  They were about 20 years old BUT he was within dress code.  Now, who looked better:  Dan in an out of style suit and tie that didn’t fit or me in a pair of nice khakis and a denim button down shirt and no tie?  You put us side by side and I looked 10 times better (esp since I had discovered what an iron was and my poor boss was still using the old “dryer method” of getting wrinkles out of clothes).  The problem was, I was not “professional” looking without a tie.  So, I could keep what I had on, just had to throw a tie on.  What I would do often was to wear one but loosen it and never button the top button or I would wear one of my Rolling Stones ties with it.  You know, with the obnoxious tongue? 


I am so very glad that more and more businesses are loosening up and going with the business professional dress code.  I am not advocating an elimination of dress codes at work.  Studies do show that people get more done as well as being less distracted by some chick with a pair of Daisey dukes on however you can accomplish this without forcing men to cut off their air flow by wearing a piece of cloth tied around their neck.   

It has been over 3 years since I have put one on.  I have gone to a few weddings and some work related gala’s and just wore an open dress shirt and a sport coat.  It felt so liberating! I almost feel like Gloria Steinem burning her bra in protest!!!!  Almost.  It has probably been about 10 years or more since I wore one to church. 

Oh, by the way, I am not saying you can’t wear one if you think it looks nice…just don’t tell me I am more dressed up with one on.  If you want to be like Ren and wear one because you think you look “cool”, go right ahead.  Just don’t come crying to me when you run out of Wisk for your “ring around the collar”.

11 Responses to “Ties”

  1. Marty Says:

    I’m going to draw a parallel for the ‘chicks’ to the wearing of hosiery. Unless you’re over 45, you just don’t have to any longer. It’s awesome.

  2. Roland Says:

    At my last job, as guys had to wear ties, women had to always wear hose as well. Here is the great thing too….we were a call center. ALL we did was phone work. Yet, we had to wear ties and women had to wear hose. Even if they wore a pants suit. Crazy.

  3. newhoosier Says:

    First, great reference to a high schooler wearing a tie to look cool. lol 😀

    I couldn’t agree more. I came from a blue collar family whose idea of dressing up nice occured once a decade and included long pants and a shirt without holes. When I was a kid, for school or church related activities, I had a clip-on tie that I occassionally had to wear.

    To this day, I do not know how to tie a tie. I’ve had everyone try to explain it and I don’t get it. I’ve tried teaching myself. Nothing works.

    Brian: I’m a *$@%ing idiot because I can’t make a lamp?
    Bender: No. You’re a genius because you can’t make a lamp.

    I tell you that story to say, in the rare times I do wear a tie (like for a job interview), my wife has to tie it. The knot is right, but the tie is never even. Who knows how many jobs I missed out on because of not being able to wear a tie?

    Great Post!

  4. laluttefinale Says:

    Nice blog!

  5. VintageC Says:

    Sad but true…I knew who Ren was without having to click on the link! True 80’s child. great post. Check out http://davesplace.wordpress.com/ I think you may know this dude from school or something?

  6. Roland Says:

    Oh! THAT Dude! What is scary is that we are approaching 20 years since our Freshman year in college. Yikes!

    Good old Sport!

  7. Jeff Slater Says:

    I hate ties, but being a preacher I do have to wear one on occasion. I am ever…so…slowly trying to get away from that tradition.

    It’s funny….. some Sundays I don’t wear a suit and tie (but still dress nicely). The next Sunday, when I do wear a suit and tie, I will get a few back-handed compliments (“You look SO nice today….. That suit looks so good on you…..). It never fails.

  8. jim Says:

    I can’t say I like most of the ties you see today, but a nice neat design on a muted solid background still projects a certain amount of power and status, just look at the leaders of the nation’s biggest companies and law firms. I’m old school and wore a tie for twelve years in private school and through most of my professional career. Ties never bothered me, and I seldom noticed they were there. The secret is that if you don’t buy cheap K-Mart S-M-L shirts, it doesn’t really choke your airflow to button the collar and wear a tie. Another thing to keep in mind as you young guys get older and put on the beer guts is that a tie helps make you look thinner, and the ladies like that.

    I am always impressed by those old photos of working men who wore ties and suits to work, even when they were working in a factory building machines. I guess in those days everyone wanted to look as much like the big guy as they could. Now, it seems like most men want to look like they sleep in a refrigerator box under the interstate.

    Finally, say what you like, but if you’re ever in court and depending on the decision of a jury, I’m pretty sure you’d want your legal representative to be wearing a tie, and I’m pretty sure you’ll have one, too.

    Just my $.02

  9. Roland Says:

    Jim, I understand, such as in court, the need to wear a tie. I just hate how society has made the tie a “dress up” thing. Why not a certain kind of shirt or shoes or maybe a hat or something? How about an untied tie or a vest? I just hate how thru all the fashion statements and changes over the years the tie has remained constant.

  10. A Tie is Supposed to be Tied « newHoosier Says:

    […] of fulfilling the one and only desire of that silk or polyester noose. And even though they shouldn’t be necessary, they are. Which means I’m doomed to being half a man, who relies on his wife to get him […]

  11. Jason Says:

    I agree, ties are stupid, for several reasons.

    1) It’s an accessory. Try applying tie logic to other accessories: You look so much more professional with that scarf on. That purse just exudes professionalism. Now that, is a power necklace! You want to look your best for God, put on a garter belt. —-See, lame.

    2) It has no functional purpose. Shoes provide traction and protection for your feet. Since shoes can be rough, socks help cushion and insulate. Pants cover your lower half, shirts covers your upper half. A belt keeps your pants from falling down. A tie….does what exactly? Cover the buttons? Visible buttons are unprofessional?

    3) They are a health hazard. It is fabric tied around your neck, how much more of a design flaw is that? Clothes that can easily kill or injure you, what value is that? What’s next, gloves and shoes with nails partially embeded in them so you can give yourself stigmata if you make one false move? Perhaps we could walk around with a small pot of boiling water precariously perched above our heads? I’m exaggerating, but the point is the same. Tying fabric around one of the most sensitive areas of your body, that can kill or maim you if hurt is really just plain stupid.

    As a side note, Ties were not originally a men’s clothing item. They were originally part of a woman’s wardrobe. So why is something that was not invented for men a supposedly important part of a man’s wardrobe?

    As to Jim above: “but a nice neat design on a muted solid background still projects a certain amount of power and status, just look at the leaders of the nation’s biggest companies and law firms.” Sorry, Jim, can’t agree with you there. Perhaps it’s my generation, but I see a man in a tie and I don’t think power or status, I think “neutered”, “slave”, “tool”, “goofball” and or possibly “insecure”. To me, a tie, and a suit are an attempt to assume power or status.

    “Now, it seems like most men want to look like they sleep in a refrigerator box under the interstate.” Or it’s that we understand a few things 1) clothes do not make the man, actions do. You should judge people by their performance, not their appearance. If they are clean, the clothes are clean, cover the right areas, and don’t smell, what’s the problem? 2) Comfort and utility are more important to us. A tie is useless, so I don’t see the point in wearing it, just like I don’t see the point in high-heels. 3) We want to be ourselves, not some carbon copy of every other person at work or on the street.

    But then again, I do have a bias, my Dad’s “Professional” dress when I was growing up was camoflage and combat boots, so a man in a suit is never going to impress me.

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