Ah, those silk, cashmere and linen works of art that it seems like men dread wearing in 2018. If you're a menswear freak like me, then you see them as a beautiful thing. If not, you probably see them as a burden. And you know what? That’s ok, because I view chores like taking out the trash and annually changing my social media passwords as burdens. That doesn't excuse the fact that they're things that you kind of have to do.
I think it's about time that men view wearing ties the same way.
Ties add a ton of sophistication to an ensemble and are the necessary piece to complete one in most cases. Think about when a man wears a business suit to a meeting or a wedding suit to his special day, the impact that a missing tie would have on himself and others around him would be obvious.
It’s also important to mention that a lot of fashion is subjective. “Only slim men should wear horizontal stripes because it widens your upper body’s frame” “Only taller men should wear cropped pants”. Well, there are no exceptions to who looks good in a tie, no matter what your body shape or height is.
The Good Ol' Days
The origin of the necktie goes back to King Louis XIII who had a scarf created to tie the top of his uniform. This was the first form of neck tie created and was actually a requirement for royal gatherings since King Louis XIII fancied it so much.
Since then, we've seen several changes made to ties, which is why today's man has hundreds of options as to how he wants to express himself sartorially. The minor tweaks that have been made throughout history were very small decade-by-decade. Now, if you put a modern neck tie next to a tie from the 40's, there's a HUGE difference.
Every tweak that was made in between the two ties' histories are used as inspiration for what you see in retail stores and online today. This is what makes ties (and shoes) the best way for a man to distinguish himself when he gets dressed. There have been so many changes to ties throughout the decades that the choices are endless but the message still stays the same: “I go the extra mile to care about the way I look”.
An endangered species
As I reviewed the looks from men’s fashion weeks in Paris, London, Milan and New York, the neck tie was nearly a no-show from the world’s top brands. With the increased popularity of roll necks, Cuban collars and the fully-buttoned polo under a suit, have we seen the end of the neck tie? As with everything in fashion, you can guess that the neck tie will cycle it’s way back into popularity, but with workplace and runway tailoring becoming more and more casual, have we really seen the demise of the neck tie?
Written by: Derwin “DJ” Hargrave – Official Lead Blogger of Greensboro Fashion Week
Derwin "DJ" Hargrave is a menswear enthusiast whose career began in high school after discovering his passion for helping men dress better. Since then he has made men's style simple for thousands of men in person and over the internet. You can follow him on Instagram and Snapchat @djhargrave