April 9 2008


I don’t get ties. I know I have whined about other formalities, such as the use of my first name when making an initial business contact with me, but ties are just lost on me.

How, or why, is there any sort of correlation between my ability to place a piece of cloth around my neck, tie it in a certain way, that makes you realize I am some how worthy of doing business with you? I have not worn a tie since 1996, and I am quite happy about this; I hope never to wear one again. There are numerous ways you can still dress in a business fashion without putting that silly piece of cloth around your neck, which just makes me curious why people still do.

There is no denying that there are gorgeous ties out there, but why they are still considered proper business attire is just completely beyond me. Perhaps maybe I can prove this point by tying some other completely random piece of clothing around my neck. Do you think I can make a tube sock around the neck into a fashion statement?

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General Rants

  • Contrary Jack

    Costuming customs are weird. I think there is something to be said for dressing up when up-dressing is appropriate–it shows you acknowledge a shared (hopefully) sense of the importance of an occasion, etc. But I think a semiotic reading of American male formalwear leads one to conclude that formality = discomfort in most situations. Only a sublimated S&M/ Puritan instinct can explain the requirement that men wear suits, even if it's 90 degrees out.

    So, yeah, ties are weird, but costuming is weird. Remember that formalwear for men in the New Guinea highlands includes a penis sheath made from a gourd:

    So maybe it could be worse.


  • I like ties. I just bought my first three. They are lovely and I wish I had more occasion to wear them. But, probably that’s because I’m a girl… Are they really that uncomfortable for you? Because I like wearing them. They’re like jewelry. And so pretty… Tell you what, I’ll trade you. Men’s business and formal wear is so much more attractive than women’s. I’d much rather wear it than the stuff that’s more socially acceptable for my gender.

  • Jack – I hope you realize the next time we get together for dinner… yep… I’m wearin’ a gourd.