The Tie That Binds

Neckties“Indeed, we are a vanishing breed.”

Brian Williams winked or smirked or just smiled knowingly toward the camera. He did something, I can’t remember exactly what, as he said those words during last night’s NBC Nightly News.

He had just finished a little news story about the rapidly vanishing necktie.

According to NBC—and I can’t find any statistics about this anywhere, not even on NBC’s website—nobody’s wearing neckties anymore. Williams reported that, according to the latest survey or poll or trade data, only six-percent of men wear a tie to work every day. Six-percent. The number hasn’t been that low in over 70-years (I’m not sure how they know that).

This new information comes on the heels of the necktie trade commission, or something like that, officially dissolving yesterday. Nobody’s wearing ties. So, nobody’s buying ties.

And the news only confirms what you and I were already noticing. We knew this already. Nobody wears ties anymore. And that’s fine. Who cares?

But here’s what’s weird: what was once, not that long ago, the absolute standard for professionals in every field from lawyers and doctors and bankers to TV salesmen and grocery store managers and teachers has now, not only become outdated, which I can live with, but an actual source of contempt for many. Lots and lots of people actually criticize those who wear ties simply because they’re wearing a tie. Goofy.

I still wear a tie. Sunday mornings. Weddings. Funerals. Graduations. Nice banquets. I still wear a tie. In fact, I can’t imagine not wearing a tie to those and many more occasions.

Indeed, we are a vanishing breed.




  1. Jimmy Mitchell

    Where’d I go?!? Where’s the love? And you can’t use the old argument anymore. Not the same.

  2. JWolfe

    Ties are tired. It’s a powdered wig world now baby. See you Sunday- I’ll be sporting majestic faux blanche locks.


  3. Jesse

    Go “6%-ers”!! Other than summer business casual, ties are the norm for some of us bankers. I have gotten “looks” (and compliments) when traveling in business attire. People either admire the dying practice of professional dress, or they think we’re the Feds!

  4. Jenn

    That is why I love holidays where we get dressed up and I can use the excuse to Aaron that he “has to dress up” because it is Easter so some other holiday. As my grandmother always says, “It makes a good first impression”…I to see a nice suit and tie, even at the bank!

  5. Mark

    Being the obvious keeper of historical minutia, are you aware of origin or any practical purpose for neckties?

  6. Allan

    No. I’ve heard rumblings about slaves and masters and symbols of oppression. But I’m skeptical. I think those rumblings come from people who never learned to tie a windsor.

  7. David

    We Pilots must still wear ties, not only do they look good but you can use them as a wind sock. Go ties…………

  8. Jimmy Mitchell

    OK! Since you have failed to reply and since you are so fond of neckties, I think that I’ll bring you one of the Colombian variety in the very near future!!

  9. Allan

    Dude, I would reply if I had even the foggiest idea of what you’re talking about. Your first comment makes no sense to me. Have I forgotten something? Who are you?

  10. JWolfe

    Congrats on your first blog death threat. And to think I was only going to offer up an atmoic wedgie.

  11. Jimmy Mitchell

    So maybe the Colombian Necktie joke was a bit too dark. Sorry! That’s just me being me-mischievous and playful. I just noticed that you had booted me from the link list. That’s why I asked where all the love had gone. I have been pricked to the very core.

  12. Jason

    Dude, ties are out! And as far as I am concerned always have been. I have never liked wearing a tie and don’t unless my mom, now my wife makes me (Jenn & Aaron that was for you). (But even now Cori is liking the no tie look, so Aaron stand up be a man and say no I won’t wear a tie!). The tie does just what it is called: ties tight around your neck. It’s chocking. And then when people wear them their neck fat hangs over their shirt collar. If you are going for fashion, which obviously isn’t a concern if your still wearing a tie, then wear a coat, dress shirt, and leave the tie off. It’s comfortable, looks good, and lets you breathe! I looked up some websites about the history of the tie…first off I am amazed at how many people have enough time to write about such a topic but one was pretty informative. It seems to date back several thousand years to a chinese emperor afraid of death, then it goes from there. Here is the link. The quote at the very bottom is great. I think we are in the “out of style phase”.

  13. dbyrnes

    C’mon and join the 94%. Losing the tie doesn’t mean you’re ‘of the world.’.

  14. Allan

    Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

  15. dbyrnes

    Ok, now I get it. If the gate happens to be just a little too narrow they can pull you through by your tie.

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