Wednesday, 15 October 2008

To tie or not to tie?

An article on the Times website had me both irritated and curious. The gist of the article is that, contrary to a earlier article, ties are actually 'out' and apprently not advisable in this climate of economic crisis. The main basis of this argument? That several authors at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival were seen sporting open collared shirts.

Robert Kennedy - wondering whether to do up that tie?

I can't really put my finger on why this article riled me so much. I think part of it is that is seems supremely fickle. Yes, fashion IS fickle, but for me, the way men dress- wearing ties or not, wearing jeans or trousers, this colour or that- is not so much about fashion or about fads, it is more about personal style. One of the main reasons that I was drawn enough to men's style to want to write about it was because it seemed that bit less fickle than women's. That is not to say that men are not interested in fads or trends obviously (I'm not blind to the number of stylish men I've noticed turning up their trousers a bit shorter of late... I'm looking at you, Steve) but I've always hoped that men who wore ties (or who didn't wear ties) really wouldn't be bothered by whether or not someone else was or wasn't wearing them (or whether the economic climate demanded it!)

So here's my question to you, dear readers. How much DO you feel you're influenced by such things? Do catwalks, celebrities or magazine articles have much of an affect when you're planning your outfits for the day/month/season? Or is it something else, and if so, what?

This has nothing really to do with any of the above, but doesn't this chap over on Brandish look like he's channelling Ian Curtis of Joy Division to a ridiculous degree in this picture?


Style Salvage Steve said...

I despise this type of lazy journalistic writing on men's style or anyones style for that matter. I've read about three articles within the past week or which say the complete opposite, namely that men are smartening up, as a counter to or escape from the economic climate! There are a myriad of factors which effect an individuals style. Some are certainly swayed more by trends but I'm quite sure that the number of men whose style is influenced by the state of the economy is extremely small (aside from not shopping as much).

PS - That chap is certainly channelling Ian Curtis.

Matthew Spade said...

it's a weird one this, ive also glanced a few articles of late on this subject and i agree with you guys. it sounds like they're are just writing an article for the sake of it or for a reaction ( mostly a confused one). as a big tie fan i can't say i follow the actually wearing/not wearing tie trends ( do they really exist), theres a touch or trend as in colour, fabric and shape but thats all.

i actually don't wear enough ties as i have about 25 as i inherited alot of my grandads. the programme last night on tailoring also made me want to wear more ties, so il be donning a tie at work this weekend.

TheSundayBest said...

I'll continue to wear ties until I die. Of this I am sure. I can barely leave the house without one now.

j said...

Well yes, what influences fashion and style would make a great doctoral dissertation, I'm sure many have already been written and if anyone comes up with the formula it would be great for the retailers. People (men and women)dress to fit in with their in-group. If your in-group is the Wall Street crowd then maybe the Dow Jones averages will affect your tie selection. But for me, like I think most of the readers of this blog, it's just my personal economy that affects what I wear (or not).

Imelda Matt - The Despotic Queen of Shoes said...

What a crock! I've always worn a tie and if isn't a tie then it was a bow tie and like Thom I'll be wearing a one until the day I die.

To be honest, I've been drowning in Mad Men style for the last two weeks. Such is my obsession I've designed a whole new summer wardrobe (a designer friend is having it mad in bags I am not!) around the lead characters.

I could argue that it's more a period influence but if it wasn't for the show the I doubt my OCD need for early 60's style would be so fierce!

Style Salvage Steve said...

mat - There has been a recent, welcome rise in the number of youthful men wearing ties and that's no bad thing. My issue with ties is that since donning skinny ties I just can't put on anything else.
Thesundaybest - I've enjoiyed wearing ties ever since I've moved to the city and become a working man. For me a tie has an empowerment quality.
J - I would love to dedicate my life to such a research task.
imelda - We would love to see some of the designs for your summer wardrobe! Mad Men is certainly a show which has captured the imagination of so many style conscious men. I think it's important to play with clothes whilst staying true to you own style. Dressing in the morning shouldn't be a dull exercise.

Anonymous said...

I honestly think articles like that are based on the principle of "how can we shoehorn key Google search terms into an story?" and they don't really have that much to do with fashion or trends.

Thanks for the link btw, that Ed sure is a ringer for Ian Curtis... I didn't even notice!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that this is in any way a serious article, it's more like erroneous propaganda for an economic war of blame slinging. Hideous in its pointlessness.

I look to designers, working on a large or small scale in men's or womenswear, for inspiration, because they are the creative force behind the art form that is fashion. Similarly to individuals whose style/creative output represents something unique and integral to themselves. Then it all slips through the 'me' filter and I leave the house looking like I do.

Then again, I've been in a tie-wearing mood lately; perhaps the economic downturn has seeped into my unconscious after all.

Ian Brown said...

I've learned to ignore this kind of style journalism. Some fashion soothsayers will predict the immanent end of anything for attention.

If the tie does fade away it will take more than a recession. Economic crisis does impact style trends, certainly there is ample cases of this from history, but the tie? Seriously? Might as well predict the fate of the sock.


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