Clothes Working life


I have a love-hate relationship with ties.

When I started my working life in 1993, almost all white-collar male workers wore ties. Over the years this has dropped somewhat, and I’d hazard a guess that perhaps around 30% now do so.

I still wear a tie. I switched a few years ago to a Windsor Knot, and this is what I’ve taught my kids to use now they wear ties in high school. Apparently some of the other boys don’t know how to tie them at all, and just leave them tied up all the time. (The girls wear them only in winter.)

Ties can add some colour to an otherwise dull shirt and suit. And when chosen and presented well, can look really good. I think they can give one an air of authority. Such as on TV!

On the other hand they are fiddly, and I don’t find them particularly comfortable to wear.

Ties apparently originated in the 1600s. I wonder if they’ll eventually disappear from common use.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

16 replies on “Ties”

According to a nationally accredited OH&S trainer I once had, ties are an OH&S issue.

Personally, I hate them, as they make me feel like I am being choked, no matter how loose or tight they are.

I will wear one on formal occasions (weddings, etc) or at a Job Interview.

At a recent wedding I was at, though, a lot of the people were not wearing ties, s even at formal occasions they seem to be losing ground.

Dress codes are funny things. We don’t have one at work – most people wear a t-shirt and jeans or shorts. But I just can’t do it – I have to wear a button-up shirt and chinos at the very least. I actually kind of enjoy the occasions when I have to dress up with a tie and all. I find that if I’ve done up my top button, it actually becomes more comfortable with the tie. I use a half-Windsor knot – I think the Windsor looks a bit bulky, but I still like the triangle shape. At uni I had to show dozens of guys how to do the half-Windsor – tying a tie is a dying art.

As much as I hate wearing them, it’s always been expected/required plus professional to wear ties – so no matter the circumstance, type of work, temperature, mood, etc I have always worn them religiously.

Until last year. Adelaide began moving toward the Sydney trend of not wearing ties and we’ve already got to a point where more people are not wearing them than those wearing them, so I finally caved. I now wear a tie perhaps once or twice a week, some times not at all.

I’ve since come to love the look of a shirt and suit but no tie – BUT find it extremely sloppy looking for there to be no tie when there’s no suit, it’s almost like the look of someone who ran so late they didn’t have time/remember to shave. Weird how no tie can look darned nice in one circumstance, yet outright shocking in another – perhaps still adjusting? Thus as a result, on days I don’t wear a tie I tend to leave my jacket on a lot longer than I otherwise used to.

That being said, as much as I’ve gone along with it I overall still find it to be yet another instance of life overall becoming more and more casual. I do admire the days when people would dress up simple to go into the city or go to a performance or anything at all really – now days you can’t even go into a business and know who are the employees and who are the customers, half the time the customers look more professional!

Bring back business shorts with long socks, I say. In my workplace, shorts of any kind are banned!

I haven’t worn a tie to work since 2000. I am a massive fan of the Windsor knot and it makes my blood boil when I see public figures (politicians, newsreaders, etc) with some crappy half-arsed knot that looks uneven and just plain awful. The Windosr knot rocks!

My Dad taught me to tie a Double Knot for school which I’ve passed on to my son.
Interesting to note public servants no longer have to wear a tie to work to combat Climate Change and the need for air-con!

Very rarely do I dress up for work, and even rarer to wear a tie. But if you saw how some other people on my floor dress, I’m comparitively neat :)

But going by Back to the Future II, in 2015 we’ll actually be wearing 2 Ties. ;)

I was lucky enough to get away with wearing a tie to work only once in 32 years – and that was on the first day. I detest the things. Unfortunately I occasionally have to wear a bow tie when I sing in public, but those are the only times now.

Chris, you’re right, the suit without tie looks heaps better than the shirt alone without tie.

mikeys, the senate inquiry ended up issuing a report with recommendations last year.

I wore a tie when attending Kincorth Academy in Aberdeen, Scotland, in year 8. Dad taught me how to do the Windsor knot and it must be like riding a bike because around twelve years later I remember helping my boyfriend (now husband) put one on for a wedding.

Said husband is a nerd at the weather bureau, so ties are very rare. Instead it’s a motley array of wildly-hirsute facial hair, pocket pen protectors, ancient cardigans, golf-like trousers and Ronnie Barker glasses. And they’re just the women!

Try explaining this to your average immigrant.

“see, we have these strands of material… and we tie them around our neck. There’s different ways to tie it, and that matters to some people, but as long as you have a flap of long material roped around your neck and hanging down the front of your chest, the western world considers you a Mature Working Adult. Why? Why do we do this? What purpose does it server, practical, traditional or otherwise? Uhhhh….”

What’s wrong with wearing a tie? Sure, it can be inconvenient, so get a shirt with a larger neck than normal, that’s what I do!!

Either way, just be thankful you only have to wear them at work or on social occasions. One of my heroes is the famous WWII general George Patton- indeed ‘Patton’ is my all-time favourite movie:
I bring this up because during WWII, Patton had a reputation for being a martinet (someone obsessed with his soldiers looks)! :
It was his belief that soldiers wouldn’t be real soldiers unless they LOOKED like soldiers! Thus he issued $20 fines for anyone not clean shaven, wearing leggings, helmets, etc. Among those was having to wear neck ties- IN COMBAT!! As could be imagined, this wasn’t all that popular, but his men had such a high regard for him, that most of them were willing to endure it! Imagine having to slay the Hun and look neat in the process! Makes our complaints trivial!!

When I was in high school our girls school was just phasing out ties. So it was really hard to get your hands on a tie and I so badly wanted one. I managed to get one and also used a windsor knot. I’m not sure why I liked them so much! When you think about it they could be quite hazardous.

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