Men's Ties

I figure the search engine won’t help with a word as short as “tie”, so I post.

I am going on an interview today, so I’m a Tie Wearing Guy™.

What is the origin of this odd piece of menswear? What did it evolve from?

My own view (often argued for in the pub) is that it’s a classic Freudian transfer - basically a big ol’ arrow pointing directly to your meat ‘n’ two veg.

Much has also been made of the length of the necktie reflecting the prosperity the times it is being warn. Very short in the '30s, longer in the '40s and shrinking in the '50s during a recession at that time and then longer in the '60s and '70s. It is totally invalid, but it is fun to play with, much like the length of hemlines as reflective of the econmy (although there seems to more to this than necktie length).

um…That is not to say I would play with hemlines.

Some neckties are quite valuable. Racy ties can draw big bucks. Handpainted ties from the '20s through the ‘50s can also be very valuable. Club, business and school ties (especially from defunct clubs or schools [a early McDonalds’ manager tie is quite valuable now]) are in demand by collectors. A very valuable tie for collectors is the “peekaboo” tie from the 1950s. Its lining featured a scantily clad (or nude) young woman. Traveling salesmen and salesmen in general were known to wear these. When they would get a fellow cornered they would show the nudie tie to the guy in a sort of male bonding act.

Many of these were destroyed when wives or children were cleaning out dead salesmen’s clothes, and they were too embarrassed to give them away. That distruction has created a big demand from collectors.

Some unique designers exist to create oneof-a-kind ties for individuals if they want. Some notables have designed ties that have had a limited run. Frank Loyd Wright did this for about six ties, and musician Jerry Garcia designed a number of ties (I think eight).

I Imagine the tie evolved from the cravat


More to the point, the English being English preferred the term Necktie to a french word. a lot like freedom fries compared to French Fries. The French still call the necktie a Cravat, I believe

Actually, I think it’s a direct descendant of the Hangman’s Noose…

…as if you couldn’t tell, I hate the bloody things

Minor tangent - when Jerry Garcia died, all of his ties became very popular and expensive for a while when people were snapping up everything related to him that they could find, but they are now reaily available and not at all expensive.

I think I’ve got one of those Jerry Garcia ties in my closet somewhere. It was a nice design, and I was amused by the idea of wearing a tie designed by the last guy you’d expect to see wearing one.

I once paid $225 for a tie made from this scarf.

The Master speaketh:
What is, or was, the purpose of men’s neckties?

Yeah, I have one of his designs, and I rather like it, actually. I don’t particularly mind wearing ties, but I almost never wear one. I observe that in modern society, they are distinctly not practical or comfortable, the same being true for suits, wool clothing, hats, and so forth.

The computer industry is probably still dangerous for the tie-wearer. I go back to the days when the big mainframe printers had large warnings for operators not to get their ties caught in the machinery, the same being true for tape drives and cartridge disk drives.

My first Silicon Valley job was at HP. The engineering culture there recognized the requirement for a jacket and tie when meeting the “public”, but again a tie and jacket are not necessarily what you want on when you’re soldering, probing, or otherwise putting together electronic equipment. The legend is that each engineering project had one tie and jacket at hand in case of “customer-oriented emergency”.

Of course, nowadays the Silicon Valley high-tech look has banished the tie, the suit, and just about everything else. No big deal, but I wonder if it’s time to draw the line somewhere; some people might look much better if they did not wear t-shirts or shorts.