GateHouse — A Gallup poll has found that professional men today are wearing fewer neckties than ever, which is, more than anything, a shocking commentary on the state of American polls, which are evidently more boring than ever. Really? Neckties? Did you guys already ask everything there was to ask about sex?
Anyway, along with Air Supply and centrist Republicans, necktie popularity these days is at an all-time low (oh don’t get all fussy, that’s just a joke, of course there are still people who like Air Supply). Just 6 percent of men wear ties to work daily, said an old Gallup poll, down from the accessory’s peak in the 1980s.
But in even more damning news, after 60 years, the trade group of American necktie makers Men’s Dress Furnishing Association shut down, having seen its membership dwindle from 120 to 25 in recent years, which is both a response to the industry downturn and the main reason their pot-luck dinners have gotten so awful.
While this is terrible news for people who are god-awful at buying Father’s Day gifts, it is also a welcome, overdue development, because neckties are stupid and complicated and something that, hypothetically, some people do not learn to correctly operate until they are 23 years old and find themselves receiving instructions on the phone from their mother who is several states away and desperately saying things like “Just put the thing through the other thing!” while trying to stifle volcanic bursts of disgusted snickering. I’m told. By others.
Besides, and especially in this age of reusability and conservation, neckties are little more than outmoded relics. They might have made sense in the stuffed-shirt, military-industrial complex fashion world of the 1950s but hardly do now. Think about it: How many jobs actually require the use of neckties? Practically speaking? One: necktie salesman. OK, and clown, if you’re a clown that’s into the big-necktie-that-flops-up-like-a-set-of-drapes-and-squirts-water sort of thing. And if you’re in the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
But practicality is hardly the only issue. Research has proven time and again that neckties are the article of clothing most likely to get caught in an automatic meat grinder. Also, in some tragic instances, they look like a fish that is pointing south. Each of these things can be disastrous.
I say this because I work in The Media, where most employees aren’t paid enough to afford clothes, especially those Charlie Mingus hats that have the “PRESS” card on top of them and never look as cool as they do in movies from 1942. Many people in The Media have a relaxed approach to fashion, because their minds are occupied with other matters, such as looking for jobs.
And yet my current place of employment is the first — literally, the first — to enact a dress code, albeit one that basically boils down to: “Please respect the rules of the basest human decency, and try to wear pants if you can afford them.” Though a conservative policy and one that makes perfect sense in business theory, it nonetheless caused me to begin drafting an inspirational monologue on how my inability to wear jeans to work was possibly the single gravest social injustice I’d ever personally encountered or had been told about by Coldplay. But it didn’t go very far, because it turns out that jeans-banning, despite my rage, isn’t exactly an issue that garners a lot of grass-roots support. At least that’s what I heard. In a poll.