NECKTIE: the Elegance Etiquette Enhancer

October is the month to remember & celebrate for two great occasions, the Beer feast in Germany & the international Necktie day in Croatia on October the 18th & in various other cities in the European continent.

Tie a long piece of cloth worn for decorative purpose around the neck resting under the shirt collar & knotted at the throat level. It has become an integral part of formalwear & uniforms. Neck tie started as a status symbol for male guests at formal dinners & male chauvinists at races, though the history of tie can be traced as a uniform attire in the army in the early sixteenth century but the gradual popularity, style reached its present shape around 1920. Still the width of the tie keeps changing from five & half inches to one inch since circa 1950 to 2000, every decade.

Every style, accessory has an impact on wearer’s personality, but the most misused accessory today is the tie. It starts with the 4 year old child as a school dress accessory; the security man opening the school gate is also seen wearing around the neck standing under the summer sun; the durbar at any Hotel, the receptionist, the bell boy & even the captain taking orders are seen supporting the tie as an integral part of their uniform. A deviation, for the original concept worn for poise & protection of the neck from the cool winter breeze, a master piece of sophistication, but now also misused for the location.

The importance of tie as a physical appearance ancillary to distinguish the seller from the class of visitors to the decision makers to put forward your idea, product and concept was the foundation of the theme to introduce the tie as an auxiliary- to compliment the dress, a British attitude to personality.

The positive side of tie is adding grace, confidence, flamboyance, personality value enhancer & alertness of the wearer to impress & convince the audience with powerful statement of elegance in social circles, offices, parties, ceremonies, conferences etc.

The seasonality factor of fabric used for tie is also in compliance to the season. The winter ties are of woolen, velvet, knitted & other warmer materials whereas the summer ties are of linen or cotton. The sun heat also decides the color for the tie fabric. Pastel, pale shades are preferred in summers & dark tones in winters, including the hip hop neon, fluorescent colors.

After the color the next important aspect in selection is type of prints on the ties like small dots, stripes for regular look & cartoon designs, big polka dots, animal prints, checks, floral, woods, trees, cars etc. In woven ties the warp & weft weave adds sophistication to the texture & are used for bigger knots & worn best with three piece suits. Party ties are in hue of eye catching bold colors & prints.

History of necktie can be traced back. Commonwealth country’s neck tie stripes are seen running downwards from left shoulder to right side shoulder. This is the choice made by Britishers because the stripes run from the heart to the right sword hand side. In America, Brooks Brothers introduced similar stripes but had their stripes run from right shoulder to the left side to distinguish from the British regimental. The simple but significant difference to stripes on tie worn by Americans & Britishers aka left hand drive in England & right hand drive in America.

Tie tying is an art & the best demonstration is by the mother dressing the child & tying the knot in the first experience to the child along with the school uniform. Later wife tying for the hurried & worried husband in the morning hours adds a personal touch to the art of wearing the tie for the proposed occasion. All other forms of tying the knots are conventional process, best & popular necktie knots are half Windsor knot with dimple, the most common form of knot worn by people across the globe or Atlantic knot which is tie tied backwards.

Before Second World War ties were shorter than today as the natural waist for the trouser was at the belly button level. With time & industrialisation the trouser waist slipped to hip level & length of the tie increased.

The size of tie is also an issue for the buyer. Short men & tall men have different lengths of tie to choose from as the wide end of the tie after the knot should end at the centre of the belt on the waistline & the narrow rear end should be smaller than the front length & duly tucked. Any other length is individual style statement.

In 2008, American surveys showed that the ornamental dress accessory The Tie has lost its significance & relevance as it is misused / supported by each & every segment, section of the society. The American corporate also has switched from the neck tie culture to Steve Jobs emphasised Turtle necks with jeans as the new dress code in the Silicon Valley. The most hilarious combination of wearing a tie is on a T-shirt with jeans & sports shoes or with a shirt on Bermudas, avoid it or ignore it.

 
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Tanya Virmani is a Luxury Fashion & Travel Blogger from Delhi. Her blog, Let’s Expresso is one of the top Fashion Blogs of India. She is working with leading brands and writes on latest launches, events and trends.
Tanya is an English Hons from Delhi University and an alumni of NIFT, Delhi.
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