The Noose is Tightening Around the Necktie

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I read a disturbing little tidbit of news this morning: the Men's Dress Furnishings Association, a trade group that represents American tie makers, is expected to cease operations tomorrow. It has been around for 60 years and at one time boasted 120 members in the 1980s. That number has declined to just 25.

So what, you may ask? Well, the demise of this group means that the men's necktie may very well be on its way out, facing the same fate as public telephone booths. Men, it seems, aren't wearing ties very much these days...or at least not as often as they used to. During the 90s many companies introduced "casual Fridays" and the dressing down trend has pushed its way into Monday through Thursday workday culture as well. In fact, I can't think of a single man in my own company who regularly sports a necktie, except for our CEO (who wears them for media appearances) and our salesmen, when one of them is meeting with an agency for an in-person pitch or to give a presentation at a conference.

Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, although it would make me sad if men stopped wearing them altogether, especially for special occasions. There's nothing sexier than a guy in a well-fitting suit and necktie. The necktie has gone through many changes to keep up with fashion trends through the years, from short and wide to long and skinny. And what will we get dads for Father's Day now?

To all you guys out there, keep it retro: please don't ditch your ties and let this fashion piece die! (I would suggest losing your goatees instead.)

P.S. The Wall Street Journal has included an interesting timeline of the necktie from its early conception to modern day and famous figures associated with ties. You can check that out here.

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