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Could neckties be cool again?

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Are ties making a comeback?

Are ties making a comeback? Photo: AFP

Now that older men have ditched it to look cool, the stylish young are reclaiming the necktie as their own, with the once-derided accessory making a stealthy comeback on the menswear runways.

"I never wear one," Antoine Arnault, the 34-year-old son of luxury tycoon Bernard Arnault at a recent menswear show by the LVMH-owned shoemaker Berluti - where ties were a full part of the look.

"Except on Monday afternoons when I have appointments with my father. If I didn't have a tie I'd be the odd one out."

On Saturday, his father was tie-less as he sat front row at the Dior Homme show - a fact that did not go unnoticed by the fashionista crowd.

"It's the weekend," whispered one.

Ties have been ubiquitous at many recent men’s fashion shows. And where there were no ties there was often the suggestion of one - in a strip of silk scarf visible under the collar at Paul Smith, or a crossed kimono-style silk shirt at Louis Vuitton.

Karl Lagerfeld for one never steps out without a tie.

"I have worn one all my life - starting at school," he said.

"I can't stand people looking dishevelled - especially after age 35!"

Because age is critical when it comes to the tie.

"For a few years now older men, businessmen have started going without a tie to look younger," said luxury consultant Jean-Jacques Picart.

"So it's only normal for young people to reclaim them."

The problem with going tie-less, said Picart, is that most shirts are designed for a tie. You have to choose a collar that buttons very high on the neck for it to look right - and there are not many of those out there.

Plus, past a certain age, the "neck can look a bit scrawny - a bit like a chicken or turkey's neck" - a powerful argument in his view for putting the tie back in its place.

"Ties are a part of the suit that is coming back," said designer Alber Elbaz.

"Not the ties of our fathers or grandfathers. They are worn by a new generation that comes from sport, new technologies.

"It's neither the world of the dandy nor of the boardroom."

AFP

13 comments so far

  • I for one think ties look great- if of course the rest of the ensemble is equally good. A well cut suit, nice shirt and smart tie can transform any average Joe into quite a handsome looking man.

    Commenter
    Enigma
    Date and time
    February 06, 2012, 11:34AM
    • When I retired and no longer had to be presentable to clients I stopped wearing ties except to weddings and funerals.

      I don't give a stuff what the fashion types say.

      I wore and wear a tie to show respect to the clients, the newly weds and the dead and grieving.

      I could use them to tie up tomatoes and beans to their sticks in the vegetable patch but my wife reckons this is going to far. After all she said you are not dressing up the scarecrow in a suit.

      Commenter
      caledonia
      Location
      sydney
      Date and time
      February 06, 2012, 11:39AM
      • When were ties ever unfashionable? One of the most disappointing things I'm finding out these days now that I'm about to graduate is so few men actually wear ties, or even business suits in the office. I feel out of place by wanting to.

        So many of them wear completely casual clothes, like jeans and t-shirts. It's so disappointing. Wearing a tie = manhood. And almost nobody seems to wear them.

        Commenter
        Opinionist
        Location
        Sydney
        Date and time
        February 06, 2012, 11:49AM
        • I think this article comes directly from cloud cuckoo land... It completely overlooks the fact that in many business/ professional situations NOT wearing a tie is a right reserved for those in the power seat.

          Young men need to wear a tie because for most of the time they are not in power. But even those at the top need to wear a tie sometimes. Perhaps for a board meeting with the chairman or perhaps for an SC when they go into court to face the judges.

          Not wearing a tie in a a business/ professional setting is saying this:

          No-one here in their right mind would tell me to go put one on.

          Obviously, then, that situation occurs less for young ones.

          Commenter
          Young One
          Location
          City
          Date and time
          February 06, 2012, 12:19PM
          • I think women should be allowed to wear ties without the odd glance!

            I'm an executive non male, and I think my shirts would look great with a tie, if not sassy!

            Commenter
            WomenTies
            Location
            Sydney
            Date and time
            February 06, 2012, 12:46PM
            • Smart, sophisticated, mature gentlemen have never 'ditched the tie to look cool'. Heaven forbid.
              A suit worn without a tie simply appears incomplete, if not downright tasteless. A thoughtfully selected and well-knotted tie always has and always will be, a hallmark of a gentleman. My beautiful lady would be mortified if I ever emerged on the street wearing a suit minus a tie, my shoes unpolished or my trousers unpressed.
              Now, please feel free to refer to me as old-fashioned. I couldn't give a farthing!

              Commenter
              Sir Tyson Garfield
              Location
              Leather-to-Willow
              Date and time
              February 06, 2012, 2:56PM
              • I think reports of the death of the tie were premature and greatly exagerated.
                Sure they vanished from "creative" industries, and dress-down Friday caught on a little, but if you want to be taken seriously in the business establishment; show some respect for important clients, and show some individuality in the "corporate uniform", a great tie has always been an essentially, together with clean, polished shoes, a good shirt, and the best, well-fitting suit you can afford.

                Commenter
                Rob
                Location
                Bendigo
                Date and time
                February 06, 2012, 3:07PM
                • "For a few years now older men, businessmen have started going without a tie to look younger,"

                  Just shows how out of touch with reality people from the fashion world are. The era of not wearing ties has little to do with fashion and everything to do with a relaxing of an antiquated practise. I don't recall older men taking longer to adapt to not wearing a tie and I have never heard some whisper in derision "the 20th century wants it's tie back!"

                  The truth is people have seen ties as unecessary and uncomfortable. Sure it will make a come back, but in many professional industries it will remain optional.

                  Commenter
                  really?
                  Date and time
                  February 06, 2012, 8:41PM
                  • ‘Menswear’ means ‘uniform’, has no-one else ever noticed this? and just like indentured slaves and house-wives men are ‘grateful’ for the lack of freedom of choice and oblivious to what it demonstrates about them and a society that treats them that way. Just astonishing. I must be an idealist because I imagine a world where choice, dignity and the rights of the individual might be making a comeback; not this, this is just sad.

                    Commenter
                    Ash
                    Date and time
                    February 07, 2012, 12:02AM
                    • No. Ties suck. At any age.

                      This article seems like a desperate pitch by the perfidious necktie lobby to stitch up more sales.

                      (Or at least the struggling Australian retail sector...)

                      Commenter
                      Weary Dunlop
                      Date and time
                      February 07, 2012, 6:10AM

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