I haven’t worn a tie in months, maybe even a year. It may have something to do with my partial unemployment and attempts to act heretical when I have to go to church, but even while still an executive, I all but stopped wearing them. A suit with a shirt became my uniform: my Conde Nast protective coloration, a friend said. I’m ready to throw them out and I’m wondering whether it’s possible that at long last, the tie is out.
I’m not alone. Jeremy Paxman, irascible BBC anchor on Newsnight, blogged against the tie:
It has always been an utterly useless part of the male wardrobe. But now, it seems to me, the only people who wear the things daily are male politicians, the male reporters who interview them – and dodgy estate agents. . . .
The main reason we remain trussed up is simply the dead hand of convention. House of Commons rules say that men must not appear open-necked. But then the rules also say there are no liars in the House.
Increasingly, ties are simply bits of cloth which we hang around our necks when getting married, attending a funeral, or when called for a job interview.
This made for a proper hubbub in the Telegraph:
However, the attack on ties has left its defenders distinctly hot under the collar.
Dylan Jones, the editor of GQ magazine, said: “The fact that fewer men wear ties makes the wearing of them even more important.
“When men do wear ties, it makes them more powerful.” . . .
Nicholas Worth, the manager of the Jermyn Street tailors Hawes and Curtis, said: “Ties are selling very well. In fact, we are selling more than we used to.
“People don’t like open necks or dress down days. I think men of a certain age, like Jeremy Paxman or Jeremy Clarkson, think not wearing ties or wearing jeans is cool. It’s not, it’s just sad.”
Off with the yoke. Damn the tie.
But then again, when my mother saw my appearance on Reliable Sources (above) her only comments was that I was the one guy who was not wearing a tie.