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Are Neckties Going To Go The Way Of Bowties?

Connemara

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IMO, you need to link the decline of the tie to the decline of the suit. The number of professions that require suits on a regular basis has shrunk drastically. The professions that require it on a periodic basis has also declined, although that seems harder to pin down. I can see where a lot of people may still wear a suit to a big quarterly meeting or something like that.

There must be millions of American men who don’t even own a suit that fits them, if they own one at all. Several decades ago, men of all social strata needed to dress up fairly often. Now, I feel like men are wearing suits to funerals or weddings and that’s about it.

airports are a good barometer. 10-15 years ago, I still saw a lot of men in jackets and/or suits at the airport. These days, even business travelers are wearing athleisure.
 

Octobab

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Coming back to this thread to eat my own words a little bit. I had a (zoom) interview this morning and so dusted off my one worsted suit and a tie, only to find that since I had occasion to do up the top button on any of my shirts my neck has gotten larger. Since I had to go tieless I ended up opting for a one-piece collar shirt worn open, which was fine, but to be honest, without the tie it really, genuinely did feel like something was missing. It just wasn't a good look, the giant block of overly-smooth blandness and then no point of color or interest anywhere. I felt like a hack.

I still think a suit without a tie is the preferred way (or at least a viable option) with more fun/casual suts and seperates, but the guys arguing that you need a tie for conservative worsteds/supers/sharksins may well have a point, at least from a pure aesthetics standpoint.
 

Phileas Fogg

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Coming back to this thread to eat my own words a little bit. I had a (zoom) interview this morning and so dusted off my one worsted suit and a tie, only to find that since I had occasion to do up the top button on any of my shirts my neck has gotten larger. Since I had to go tieless I ended up opting for a one-piece collar shirt worn open, which was fine, but to be honest, without the tie it really, genuinely did feel like something was missing. It just wasn't a good look, the giant block of overly-smooth blandness and then no point of color or interest anywhere. I felt like a hack.

I still think a suit without a tie is the preferred way (or at least a viable option) with more fun/casual suts and seperates, but the guys arguing that you need a tie for conservative worsteds/supers/sharksins may well have a point, at least from a pure aesthetics standpoint.
a traditional business formal suit is a pretty austere rig. Monochromatic with a solid colored shirt. The visual interest is provided by the tie.
 

dieworkwear

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Love all those. And love the just-right pitch of all the colors.
 

Octobab

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I had forgotten the Obama went tie-less for his official portrait. I wonder if that was a choice he made, or the artist. In either case, I think it makes a very interesting note in what's been said about the cultural context of the tie.
 

DapperPhilly

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I had forgotten the Obama went tie-less for his official portrait. I wonder if that was a choice he made, or the artist. In either case, I think it makes a very interesting note in what's been said about the cultural context of the tie.
I recall he wore a brown suit in the Oval Office and almost caused a constitutional crisis.
 

Jmr928

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I also don't think Tom Ford looks good at all there. To me, the formality of the suit completely clashes not only with the absence of tie, but also with showing so much skin. The collar also collapses since he left like 3 buttons unbuttoned, which some people intentionally do to make the outfit casual but again clashes with the suit. The glasses certainly don't help.
To me, he looks like a pretentious rich jerk who is flaunting that he can do whatever he wants (and he can, but so can I judge him for it). It probably also doesn't help that he also sounds like one, in the few occasions I've heard him speak, but oh well, feel free to accuse me of bias if you want.
I can’t believe this website is free. Only on SF are the people who wear a suit sans tie perceived as the pretentious ones rather than those judging the look. Bravo.
 

VegasRebel

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That doesn't explain why so many people have taken to wearing business suits without ties though (which is what many of us mourn).
Is it too simplistic to think that it's the work environment itself that helped lead to that? I work in a pretty formal field (government lawyer) and most of us appear in court in conservative attire, including ties, everyday.* But I'd also guess that about 75% of ties come off once we're back in our offices, leaving us with a formal suit and no tie. I've never heard anyone say someone looked bad just because they weren't wearing a tie, and most people want them off as quickly as possible. It seems like the "if it's good enough for work" feeling probably extends to out of work as well.

Even within the office, though, there seems to be something of a generational divide. Very few people wear a suit with a tie everyday unless they're in court, though there's always a tie nearby. On any day but Friday, dark chinos and a button up are pretty popular with younger lawyers, and older lawyers will usually add a blazer. The older lawyers often stick to that on casual Fridays too, whereas younger lawyers might go down to jeans, leather sneakers, and a polo. That said, a lot of younger lawyers are more formal out of work because, well, we have the suit and nice shoes anyway and if we want to dress up a bit we might wear it, but the tie can stay because we're not going to court (so to speak.)

*Conservative pretty much meaning a suit and a tie. Many of us stick to dark colors and grey suits, if only to avoid buying "trial suits" and "everyday suits." But a lot of suits I think would be considered casual here can be court appropriate, too, depending on which court one's going to and why. Jury trials and appellate court arguments are very formal, status check in lower courts are more flexible. Also, the pandemic and remote appearances have tweaked the norms a bit. ETA: Also, Vegas is largely "west coast," and west coast conservative and east coast conservative can be very different.
 
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Mirage-

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Is it too simplistic to think that it's the work environment itself that helped lead to that? I work in a pretty formal field (government lawyer) and most of us appear in court in conservative attire, including ties, everyday.* But I'd also guess that about 75% of ties come off once we're back in our offices, leaving us with a formal suit and no tie. I've never heard anyone say someone looked bad just because they weren't wearing a tie, and most people want them off as quickly as possible. It seems like the "if it's good enough for work" feeling probably extends to out of work as well.

Even within the office, though, there seems to be something of a generational divide. Very few people wear a suit with a tie everyday unless they're in court, though there's always a tie nearby. On any day but Friday, dark chinos and a button up are pretty popular with younger lawyers, and older lawyers will usually add a blazer. The older lawyers often stick to that on casual Fridays too, whereas younger lawyers might go down to jeans, leather sneakers, and a polo. That said, a lot of younger lawyers are more formal out of work because, well, we have the suit and nice shoes anyway and if we want to dress up a bit we might wear it, but the tie can stay because we're not going to court (so to speak.)
So basically the argument is that business suits (as opposed to separates, or more interesting patterns/colours) allow you the option to put on a tie in a minute in case there's a need for that formality? I can see that.
I still think it's an unfortunate style sacrifice in the name of convenience though, as it makes everyone look absolutely the same.
 

Mirage-

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I can’t believe this website is free. Only on SF are the people who wear a suit sans tie perceived as the pretentious ones rather than those judging the look. Bravo.
Oh please don't start with the outrage card. Let's not pretend clothes cannot give negative impressions. And if we cannot talk about them, then might as well pack our things, close the forum and replace it with a banner that says in caps "wear whatever nobody is allowed to judge"...
 

Jmr928

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Oh please don't start with the outrage card. Let's not pretend clothes cannot give negative impressions. And if we cannot talk about them, then might as well pack our things, close the forum and replace it with a banner that says in caps "wear whatever nobody is allowed to judge"...
There was no outrage. I just thought it was funny because this website is quite possibly the only place in the world where anyone would look at two pictures of people in suits and say the one without the tie is the pretentious one.
 

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