Can I Skip the Tie? When Should You Wear a Tie with Your Suit?

Inspired by one of the recent photoshoots that we did on SuitUpp.com, we decided to give the concept of a tie some further thought and analysis. Ties and suits seem to go together and men don’t seem to ask questions anymore as to whether they should or should not wear a tie. The reality is that a tie is a symbol of formality and in many ways authority. The concept of the tie originates back to the time of the Thirty Year War (1618-1648) when the Croatians would where neckerchiefs which the French, in turn, thought was quite the phenomenon. Because of the difference between the Croatian word for the garment – Hrvati – and the French word – Croates – the garment became known as the Cravat.

Besides formality, though, the necktie has also been known to be a symbol of membership. Different groups and clubs used to have special colors and patterns associated with them that was to be represented on the ties worn by members of these groups (exemplified by colleges in Britain in the late 1800s). So for a long time, wearing a tie also meant that you were part of the club and that you belonged. In the 1990’s, though, a lot of that changed. Workplaces, led by technology companies, began to differentiate themselves by allowing casual wear at work – which meant no ties. With the success of a large number of these companies during the boom days of “the bubble”, it was becoming popular to rebel and be different and to leave the tie at home. The concept of individualism, which has become more popular in modern day, symbolically drives us away from the concept of membership that the tie represents in so many ways.

With that said, there are still workplaces where formality and membership are of great importance and where the tie is a symbol of unity – law firms, wall street banks, … Certain formal occasions such as weddings and funerals call for a tie and not wearing one could be seen as a sign of disrespect. If you are heading out for a night on the town, though, and are looking to be rebellious and yet formal at the same time, leaving the tie at home may work to your advantage.

As with all fashion, the clothes are meant to give the world a sense of how you feel – a sense of expression if you may. As long as you recognize that in some scenarios you have to maintain the attire of the group as a way of showing respect, how you dress after that point is really up to you. If you are looking to wear the tie, though, you should take a look at the Tie of the Month at SuitUpp.

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