Neckwear Tip of the Day

I find it frustrating that dressing up for men innately involves wearing a tie. (I won't complain too loudly because I'd much rather wear a tie than a bra.) But, nonetheless, why can't we express ourselves, wear something more interesting for dressing up? I think that to answer this question, many men have made some egregious mistakes in their neckwear choices. Generally these men work in Information Services, for Helpdesks around the world, or in a computer field in general. Basically, you should know that it is almost NEVER appropriate to wear novelty ties. Novelty ties include, but are not limited to the following contents: harps, piano keyboards, computers, computers with rats that are supposed to be metaphors for a "mouse" on a computer, Veggie Tales, Disney characters, scantily-clad women, Star Wars/Star Trek, paisley patterns, polka dots and the like. These ties should be put through your shredder at work. (If you're afraid of breaking the shredder, don't worry.) If you've worn such a tie, and actually gotten a compliment, you're being lied to, unless the person is also wearing a novelty tie, in which case, you both have poor taste!


Stephanie said…
There's nothing like a piano-key necktie to make a girl (or anyone for that matter) wince. Amen to most everything you have said (however I would be careful--the IT unions might come after you for targeting them). An observation: I'm not entirely sure dots and paisley are considered "novelty" in Spring '05. According to Ralph Lauren, they're "in." I'm shielding my eyes from many of the paisleys, and please don't bother to get any tips on pairing shirts and ties from the top of the Polo page. However, that being said, I think some men are capable of masculinely wearing a tie with dots, just as they can wear an appropriate powder pink tie.

I don't always agree with fashion trends, that's for sure. Remember thigh-highs? Yeah. Low-slung cargos with two inches of your skivvies showing? Need I say more?
Rachel C. Clay said…
Okay, so I do agree that a nice tie is always a plus. I have to admit though, my siblings and I bought my Dad so many "novelty" ties as you so call them, growing up. And we always expected him to wear them. In fact Christmas is my Dad's favorite time of year because he now has a large selection of ties to pick through.
Another thing about ties, although there has probably been a time when a bad tie has made me run the other direction, I can't recall a time when a tie actually attracted me to someone either, so I don't know if so much time and energy should be put into choosing one (sorry Jay, I know how you love your ties.)
And finally, I find it very interesting that you pick on "those who work with computers." Don't you, and most of your friends (who wear ties) work with computers?
Rachel C. Clay said…
Oh yes, one more thing. I dare you to wear this season's "in" thing, the dots or paisley tie! :) After all it's about being in style right?
Stephanie said…
Ah, Rach, that reminds me! I once knew was a graphic designer with a penchant for spending time on his Mac. Sound familiar? ;-)

And about showering your dad with ties--yes, we've totally done the same! Except that poor man has about 25 ties with an equestrian theme (all understated, non-corny, and aristocratic-looking, in my opinion). He said they reminded him why he was at work (supporting our horse habit). And once, I gave my brother a Tommy Hilfiger tie with little penguins and igloos, and it's actually very cool. So there are exceptions to the rule, I believe! ;-)

I second the motion on daring to wear dots!
Kris said…
Rach -
Once you're a dad, I think you earn the right to look like a dork with piano key neck ties and such. After all, you have the best excuse in the world..."It was a gift from my kid"
Anonymous said…
You totally forgot to mention the gag gift ties- I once gave one that was a plastic/rubber like thing that looked like billy the bass. It was waterproof, wrinkle resistant, but you had to stay away from flames! Nothin says lovin like a tie that will melt on you.
Now, I am assuming that when you mention wearing a tie that you mean on the neck. Have you forgotten the trend setters of the 80's? c'mon it was the versitle tie-worn around your head as a sweatband, long hair out of your eyes rebellious look that had women swooning "now THATS how you flirt"...what WERE women thinking?
vander said…
Those of us in creative jobs have license to bend the dress-up etiquette, I think. My personal hard and fast rule about dressing up is that, even if I have to wear a suit on a given day, I consider it my personal responsibility to add a little anarchy to the office by wearing tennis shoes with it. Guys can do the same (no poofy basketball shoes, please) but you can also avoid the tie altogether by wearing a tuxedo shirt or an embroidered one. Pick a collared shirt ostentatious enough that, if you were to add a tie, you'd look like a circus clown. Pair it with a nice sport coat instead and you're set. Ta-da!

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