I was out for Sunday lunch with my parents-in-law the other week and while the location didn't have a particular dress code I had chosen to dress semi-formally with a jacket and collared shirt with a tie worn under a wool sweater. My father-in-law was also in a closed collar but most of the other diners were fairly casual in open-necked shirts and jeans.
The restaurant however was very warm and the food and wine extremely copious, and three-quarters of the way through the meal I started to feel hot and bloated and began to regret being in a snugly fitting collar and tie. I had already taken off my jacket, and to feel more comfortable I also unbuttoned the top button of my shirt and loosened the tie to get a bit of air.
After I did this, my mother-in-law suddenly commented if I was OK, and looked a little surprised. I said I was fine, just a little warm, and she said well you can take it off it you like!
It just got me thinking, what is the correct course of action in this circumstance:
- Do as I did, just casually unbutton the collar and loosen the tie a little without trying to draw attention to it,
- Remove the tie completely and put it away in your pocket, again without mentioning anything,
- Either of the above, but mentioning you are a little warm first and ask if it is OK to remove/loosen your tie,
- Leave it as it is and do not draw attention to the fact you're uncomfortable - if you've chosen to wear a tie in the first place, you should wear it properly despite what others are doing.
And before people comment, my shirt collar is usually exactly the right size, and usually I never feel the need to unbutton. It's just after a particularly big lunch and having drunk a bit in a hot restaurant I think my neck might have expanded slightly.
Interested to hear the consensus!