Originally Posted by Caustic Man
Can you explain this? What class connotations does it hold? I'm curious because I have a few British friends here in Dubai who have accused me of dressing like an upper class Englishman whereas in America it would not at all be remarkable.
It's not something I've thought about closely before, but I suppose there's just a certain type who wears those ties. Obviously if you're not one and you wear them anyway you're pretending to be something or not, making your social aspiration too clear. Nothing is looked down upon more than trying to better yourself, or get above your station. It is also a type that many people (left-leaning) find a bit obnoxious - I don't hold that view but it's still a consideration. But even if you are that type, you probably don't want to wear them all the time, as that's too much like showing off, which is in itself infra dig
. The upper classes should act at all times like they don't give much of a fig about anything, let alone what they're wearing or what others think of what they're wearing. It should all just come naturally. See the Duke of Windsor's protestations that he wasn't actually interested in clothes.
I guess what it comes down to is that the people who wear them tend to be socially aspirant upper-middle class. They are openly hated by the left; secretly hated by those lower down in the middle class (basically out of envy, but ostensibly because of their too-obvious pandering to the upper classes); and they are probably held in some amusement/ridicule by the actual upper classes (if they are thought of at all), who much prefer their own, or the honest working classes (such as brickies - see Churchill). I don't think most englishmen really mind if an american wears these ties (except GBR obviously), because englishmen hate each other more than they hate americans - you're exempt from the rules basically. I'm sure your British friends are just joshing you. Putting it all in writing like this probably makes it sound much more of a thing than it really is though. I worry I sound like FNB.
Suggested further reading, not on striped ties specifically, but on English class neuroses -
Snobs, Julian Fellows
Hunting the English, AA GillAnd actually, some of FNB's stuff is spot on.