20 October 2010

Why We Wear Ties: An Essay

Why do we wear neck ties? The more I think about it, the further I am from an answer. I get the suit and dress shirt, sure, but the tie?

Society: "Hey, you're a guy, so you should fasten a colorful, yet tight, noose around your neck."
Guy: "Okay."

When you think about it that way, maybe Lady Gaga's meat dress wasn't so crazy after all.

And I haven't even mentioned how dangerous they are. Who hasn't gotten their tie stuck in a blender, shredder, or escalator at some point?

(Don't worry buddy, we've all been there!)

And don't even think about telling your mom you don't want to wear one to church. She might make you wear two:
(My little brother, circa 1991)

Missionaries don't have a choice either--they have to wear one every day: (some wear the same one for their entire mission, except for transfer days)

(Rome, 1999. Also required: sweet braided leather belts.)

But really, why does society insist on this social norm? We already know we won't wear them in the future:
(Stardate 5943.7, Stardate 47622.1)

And we know from history how lame previous iterations looked:
(1795, 1815)

Plus styles change drastically every decade so you have to keep buying new ones. At the time they may look fine but when you look back it's pretty obvious they were ridiculous:
(San Diego, 1970s)

Surprisingly, though, if you wait long enough, your old ties will become stylish again:
(1966, 2010)

But sometimes they don't look good even now and you just know they never will:
(2010)

But we still wear them. And I have no idea why.

6 comments:

Lildonbro said...

Hilarious! Especially the evidence from the future...so true

ashleymay2456 said...

Hahaha, this is Hillarious!! Good job!

Jay said...

I once had an Ecuadorian Indian ask me about the history of ties and why we wear them (the Indians didn't obviously...).

To answer the question, I showed him a flip chart showing all the Presidents of the Church from Joseph Smith to then Spencer Kimball. I went from era to era and explained the societal norms and dress modes. He was interested, but totally confused by the end!

Raul said...

haha, great post!

Tim Freeman said...

Good piece and nice visuals, but I beg to differ with your main point. It is necessary to separate work from pleasure, and the tie is a perfect clashing blend of these two opposites. It is sophisticated and stylish, yet not too casual or comfortable. As we age, the Tie takes on more significance and comes to embody a certain aspect of our personalities (men wear ties to church and are often un-ironically layed to rest wearing ties). I don't think the Tie can be brushed aside as easily as in this essay, although I love what you write about ties becoming obsolete in the distant future.

Just to get you to consider the alternative you are proposing: I think life would be pretty unimaginative and boring if everybody wore burmuda shorts and flip flops to every occasion.

Tim Freeman said...

Good piece and nice visuals, but I beg to differ with your main point. It is necessary to separate work from pleasure, and the tie is a perfect clashing blend of these two opposites. It is sophisticated and stylish, yet not too casual or comfortable. As we age, the Tie takes on more significance and comes to embody a certain aspect of our personalities (men wear ties to church and are often un-ironically layed to rest wearing ties). I don't think the Tie can be brushed aside as easily as in this essay, although I love what you write about ties becoming obsolete in the distant future.

Just to get you to consider the alternative you are proposing: I think life would be pretty unimaginative and boring if everybody wore burmuda shorts and flip flops to every occasion.