Why you don’t need neckties anymore, unless of course you’re a total wanker

Yeah, straighten that up real nice, Nerdlinger

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.

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http://bit.ly/9w7la7

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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.


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About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

25 responses to “Why you don’t need neckties anymore, unless of course you’re a total wanker

  • Mom

    Oh my God, I remember that phone call:) If I remember right, Mr. Regashus came through a time or two as well:)

    Like

  • rachel

    dangit. there goes my image of you as “man who could tie his own tie and look good afterwards” — way to kill all those fond memories….

    Like

  • Mom

    Rachel, is that you?

    Like

  • us military money 1942

    […] on the state of American polls, which are evidently more boring than ever. Really? Neckties? Dihttps://jeffvrabel.com/2008/06/09/the-sad-but-predictable-decline-of-neckties/From the Wire – AlterNetThere are also calls for the United States and Britain to suspend millions […]

    Like

  • wordofabe

    Aw…dang. What am I supposed to do with my massive necktie collection, now?

    Like

  • Robin

    Neckties are just a sign that someone is about to give an uncomfortable presentation or attend a funeral… at least in the world of academia

    Like

  • Dad

    So……I guess you don’t want any old ties from the 70’s?

    Like

  • Parenting tips from Alice Cooper « jeffvrabel.com I humorist and music writer

    […] Why you don’t need neckties anymore, unless of course you’re a total wanker […]

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  • Belle

    Many years ago, I had several boyfriends try to teach me how to tie a tie. FAIL. Never could figure out how something could be so hard to learn. When son came along, hubby taught him, but it must be a pain in the arse, because son just keeps them tied and slips them over his head so he doesn’t have to start all over again from scratch. (Am now wondering just why the heck is he wearing them? Oh yeah……job interviews!)

    Hubby wears a suit and tie to work occasionally – and I think he looks hot in a suit and tie, but dang …..Nerdlinger? Love it, that’s what I will say now as he walks out the door.

    Like

  • Online SEO Marketing

    neckties are need of today fashion world despite of its what so ever effects

    Like

  • rachelroust

    Love it. Ran across this post just as I’m looking online for a tie for my 11-year-old to wear for his 5th grade graduation. Not the easiest thing in the world to find, and when I did, most of them are so … uccch.

    While I think ties are definitely on the way out, what I always liked about a nice patterned silk tie on a man is that it stands out – they’re already in the “uniform” of a shirt and slacks (or suit, depending on the place), but a good tie is like a distinctive piece of jewelry or a handbag is for a woman, it was the one piece that stood out as being individual, but wasn’t so loud as wearing a shirt, say, in that same entire pattern. Guys can’t pull that off yet, so instead we’re left with a generic polo and Dockers look that is just a fashion snoresville until more trendy (and non-Ed Hardy-douchebaggery) looks move into the workplace.

    Like

    • Jeff Vrabel

      Hi Rachel, thanks for the nice words, and for a reasoned and thought-out response to what is basically late-night rum-fueled rage. Not to be daft, but I am off to Google this Ed Hardy thing; I’ve heard that name quite a bit this week and have no idea what/who/when he/she/it is. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  • Stavros

    An interesting opinion about something that has been around for centuries. Regardless of what seems to be a passionate expression of neckties in general, I think your facts are a little off. neckties will always be in fashion as long as we have people wearing shirts and suits. When this fashion trend dies our then there will be no need for the necktie. Until then we still have total revenue sales within the United states close to 1 Billion ( yes that’s a “B” ) worth of necktie sales every year. That is just the USA. All the major fashion houses are still designer fashions that include neckties, even though they prefer to show them off as loosened around the neck.
    Everybody like to wear t-shirts. They’re comfortable and very casual. I think I’m in a t-shirt most of the time. That having being said, i still like to dress up and wear an nice tie that goes with one of the many suits I own……. you do own a suit I presume?
    Or are you one of these guys who owns 300 t-shirts, one pair of boxes and a whole lot of attitude. There isn’t anything really wrong with that either, as long as your happy…… right?

    Like

    • Jeff Vrabel

      Hi Stavros, thanks for the comments. I do indeed own a suit, which has not been worn since whoever got married last got married, but sadly most of the attitude no longer first me very well. Really, with the one billion dollars in sales? That’s kind of crazy

      Like

  • Margret

    Found this post while searching for a Ghostbusters tie for my 16 year-old son who must wear a tie for school dress day each Monday…and hates it. No luck finding one, though.

    His little form of protest, I guess. Kinda like the skull hoodie he wears that somehow falls under the dress code radar.

    I’m sending him, a proud spewer of sarcasm, a link to your blog.

    Like

    • Jeff Vrabel

      A tie? Each day? What is this world coming to. Keep looking, there has to be some sort of Ghostbusters merchandise site out there someplace

      Like

      • Margret

        Only Monday…

        The Google gods have not revealed the location of a Ghostbuster tie…and he’s fickle. Upon reading my comment here he announced that his group of friends is on to “The A Team.” I’m pretty sure I’d have a bit of difficulty finding a Mr. T tie…as it should be.

        Like

  • Earnest

    Men don’t wear neck ties anymore because everyone wants to be super cool. Thats the main reason why this country is in shambles. There is no divide between authority and everyone else. Everyone looks the same. Everyone wants to be a rapper or singer or something in entertainment. Now and days you can’t tell the teachers apart from the students. Everyone has gotten to be absolutely lazy.

    Like

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