The perpetual “definition” of male professional dress is a wool suit, generally black, gray, or blue, a button down shirt, a belt, a pair of shoes, and a tie. The infamous tie. Many Wikipedia pages about ties exist with many reasons for how they came about. Some describe warmth, while others describe a way of keeping the shirt in one place close to the neck. Yet more pages describe as a homage to the flyers of the early 20th century (image: the Red Baron flying a bi-plane in World War I).
The thing is this: ties serve no functional purpose, it’s purely aesthetic. Even high-heeled shoes provide a benefit. In the words of comedian Jeff Foxworthy, “You can take the biggest, burliest truck driver in America and put him in a pair of high-heeled shoes, and he’s gonna walk like this.” (As he proceeds to stand on his calves describing how good his legs and butt look).
But the tie serves no purpose. It’s not needed for warmth, we have scarves, hats, and other paraphernalia that we used in cold weather. It’s not for keeping our shirts tight at the top, that’s why we have buttons.
The tie is merely aesthetic. It looks nice, sometimes, as long as its wearer displays it at the correct height. That’s why I’m wearing one in the picture above. It was a photo shoot for an aspiring photographer. He wanted me to wear a tie, so I did.
But I had my tie at the correct height. Remember: Too high and you’re in a 1970s disco movie, too low and you look like a dolt who still lives with mom and dad. The correct distance, as I learned in the military, is within one inch of the belt buckle.
Back to the point, all we do is spill food and drink on our ties, get them caught in shredders, and occasionally turn them upside down to mockingly hang ourselves.
To me, the argument is simple: Functionality = 0; Potential for problems = 100.
Let’s live in the modern world and ditch the ties. Besides, maybe if some of those old men making strategic decisions took off their ties, they might be a little bit more relaxed, and we might all be better off.