The necktie is a vehicle of expression, a status symbol and a statement of masculinity, all at once. While men have started to become more expressive with their clothing in the casual wear arena, and their attention to detail with respect to bespoke clothing, few, if any accessories, accentuate a man’s taste for flair and fashion like a great necktie. Stand 20 feet away from a group of men in suits, and chances are, most guys wouldn’t be able to discern whose well dressed and who isn’t. Throw in a necktie – a statement attesting to a mans personality and his penchant for either sobriety or flair, or somewhere in between that vast expanse, and you suddenly find a clothing package that has come to life.
Women can wear dresses with different colors, in varying lengths and depths. How about your typical executive in the confines of a suit? While a bespoke suit is a stamp of adherence to the highest of clothing standards, your average joe on the street isn’t going to discern as such. Hence, to the casual observer, men in suits are just that – men in suits. But neckties alter the equation. Men’s formal wear landscape doesn’t pivot, but senses a seismic shift once a necktie has been introduced. Ok, it’s not that dramatic! But you get the picture. They come in a wide range of colors, different patterns and textures. Woven, printed silks, woolen and knits. At a formal business meeting, your necktie could be one of the few, if only accessories, that really accentuate your personality – are you the power broker with the big swinging corporate red tie? Are you a less outspoken individual and hence wearing a grey or regular blue tie. Are you flamboyant and willing to wear pink to really make a statement? Or are you just affable with a penchant for flair, and hence have gone for lilac? There really are a million different ways your personality can be construed based on what necktie you are wearing!
The first to wear neckties were Croatian mercenaries in the French army in 1618 – albeit a modification from what we’re used to today. Their small, knotted handkerchiefs worn around their neck sparked a craze in Europe. Probably because it was first worn by soldiers, the necktie has associated itself with tenets of masculinity. This testament to masculinity, combined with the expressive and style element that it creates, will ensure that the necktie remains a fashion icon for years to come.