Magazine / Fashion / Tips for Him

Are Ties Still Relevant Today?

Teodora Cozma
Editor-in-Chief
On Dec 2nd, 2020

In this age of work from home, digital agency and geek chic style – we wonder are ties still relevant? Everyman looks sharper wearing a tie, but there have been fewer opportunities to wear one this year. Check out our recommendations for wearing the right tie when working from home or the occasional day at the office.

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Being a gentleman and a man of society means to know how to dress for every occasion. The way you dress is the way people perceive you. It is a crucial aspect of human interaction as people will form an opinion and judge you based on the first impression. Let's decode together the mystery of when to wear a tie!

The Gentlemen's Ties mini-series has the essential information you need to know about ties, from how relevant they are today to what style to wear according to the seasons.

As workspaces more for a smart-casual attire and work from home has taken over in the past year, we question the role of the tie within the context of workwear for men.

The tie does not keep you warm or has no other functional role except to decorate. It is an accessory that brings colour and pattern in the men's formal attire. Will the tie be extinct from the working place? We think not. The tie is more just a symbol of formality and tradition.

Historical References

The tie's origins are military, and an example of neckwear called "focale" can be noticed on the Roman legionaries on Trajan's Column in Rome dating from the second century AD. Another example can be found on the terracotta army of Shih Huang Ti and the Qin dynasty (221-206 BC) with silk cords around their necks, which were more a status symbol than a fashion accessory.

However, the most similar items to the modern ties were worn by the Croatian mercenaries in the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). The purpose of the neckwear similar to a cravat was to signal comradeship. It was introduced in the civilian society by Louis XIV of France.

Skipping forward to the 1920s, the British armed forces personnel wore ties in regimental colours having the stripes running from the left shoulder to the right at functions that required civilian dress. In the US the influential men's outfitters Brook Brother's had their version of ties with the stripes running from the right to left. Ties have been used more than just an accessory, or decoration.

"The tie used to be a powerful signifier of social status - the regimental tie, the club tie and, above all, the old school tie were all used as symbols of authority and belonging, and as a subtle way of excluding those who did not belong."

Brian Wheeler, BBC News

Work from Home

The end of every day in the office doesn't mean the end of the tie. Now, more than ever, you have to remain positive and productive. To look the part, consider dressing to reflect your position. Although the world around us is turning on its head, you show that you are in control of your life and work.

Make your own rules about what to wear during your morning video meetings and conferences. As a suit might not be the right choice in terms of comfort from working for home, choose a shirt and a tie during the day. Wear some comfortable trousers in a dark colour, and you will be ready for a productive day.

Clothing is about what you communicate to the others, and in the context of working from home and reduced human contact, choose a tie. Depending on your day ahead, wear a colourful tie to lift the team spirit and start the conversation. It is all about the tiny details that will comfort your team as you look put together and in control.

For working from home and video meetings, we recommend choosing a tie in a dark green with beautiful Bordeaux coloured thread going through the fabric. Such a necktie will give you a polished and professional look. Wear it with a shirt and a jumper or a cardigan during the colder months.

Office Day

The days you have to travel to work are fewer given the restrictions and lockdowns, and it is an opportunity to make the most of your attire when you go to the office. Wearing a tie will make you stand out and will show that you are still in control of your life. As rules regarding the office attire are becoming laxer, wearing a necktie is still a symbol of the extra effort you are making for your work.

Choose a breathable material for your tie to keep your body temperature in check throughout the day without overheating in the office. Wearing a suit and a tie is a special moment and part of the treats of being a man. Getting dressed and showing / for whatever you want to be noticed: someone who cares about details both in the working life and in the manner he dresses.

Choosing the right tie is an art: besides selecting the appropriate material for the season and occasion, one must choose the pattern and colours as well. Depending on your schedule, choose a tie to send a message. Bright colours will lift the mood in a meeting. Choosing a more classical striped pattern in deeper colours would be perfect for meetings with superiors or clients.

Whether you are working from home or the office, accessorise your attire with a tie. At home, you can still relax in sweatpants or chinos while still looking professional wearing a shirt and a tie. At the office wearing a tie means capability, and in the times of athleisure, slouchy trousers and t-shirts, a tie makes you look smart. Follow the #DHGentsTies on Instagram for more ties and ideas how to wear them. For more information on what to look for when choosing a winter tie, check out our second episode Gentlemen's Ties: Autumn/Winter Ties.

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