necktie, one of the few men's fashions to survive 400 years of change, will be
presented to 4.5 million dads on Father's Day each year. Since there were four
kinds of ties used down through the ages, the words "neck," "waist," "head" and
"knee" must be used in conjunction with the word "tie" in order to properly identify
A necktie can be narrow, wide, short, long, subdued, loud,
flashy, pornographic, religious, plaid, plain, silk, cotton, knit, bow or just
merely stained with gravy. Tie knots can be neat, tight, loose, lop-sided, big,
little and just plain ugly.
Tie clasps can be expensive, cheap, flashy,
tiny, large, modern, out-of-date and just plain tacky. Thankfully, no one pays
any attention except your haberdasher if he frequents the same occasion.
Strangely, the industrial revolution, which brought the rural masses to work in
the factories in the cities, contributed greatly to the use of neckties as factory
overseers and company officers wore the item to emphasize their position and authority.
also began the establishment of "white-collar, and blue-collar" levels of employees.
modern look of the necktie was designed and patented in 1924 by Jesse Langsdorf.
The unique design of bias-cut and three-piece construction allowed the invention
to be patented.
Like women's fashions, the necktie changes designs regularly
so the public will be forced to purchase new ties to be "in fashion." The most
notable of the tie-wearing socialites are the Ivy-leaguers (striped ties), punks,
(narrow), and Wall Street moguls (power ties).
The dot-com boom, where
the computer screens in dim-lit rooms do not recognize the attire of its nerdish
operators, has diminished the fashion sales to the point that the fashion organization
that promoted ties for centuries has finally closed its doors permanently.
As a little boy, I can remember the little sailor suit my mother purchased for
me when I was about four years old.
I hated that suit passionately as
it required pure abuse to tie that little bow tie around my neck, and it became
pure torture to survive a long-winded sermon on Sunday morning.
bless her heart, finally gave up on me and passed the item to a neighbor who used
it to legitimately torture her son.
a joke, I once mounted 16 old, narrow, ugly and loud neckties in a picture frame
with a caption of, "Sixteen Annual Christmas Presents From My Mother-in-law."
It was a favorite among the men who viewed the display.
I have now reached
the time where being in fashion is not exactly a priority. I always try to look
nice and be clean, but this does not include wearing neckties. If a tie is required,
I stay home.
Although I have many good friends that I admire and respect,
not a single one cares whether I wear a tie even at their funerals.
Recently, when I passed the age of 75 years, I made a vow. It states, "I will
wear a necktie only if the pope gets married, sends me an engraved invitation
and pays my plane ticket."
© Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew" October 28, 2008 Column
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