Death Of The Necktie? Make That Death BY Necktie

Over the years of working the trade shows and covering menswear, I can’t tell you how many lawyers I’ve run into who started an accessories collection, often neckties.

Arguing the case for the anti-tie side of things, however, is a California litigator-cum-mayor who made news last week for a proposal that his town of Lancaster declare neckties a public health danger.

Of course we know how this kind of thing goes. He just doesn’t like ties, period, and would consider it progress towards the utopia if ties were outlawed altogether, or at least quietly fall into anachronism along with spats, hats and walking sticks. Being a lawyer by training and inclined towards sophistry, the man is clearly trying to impose his dislike of ties on the community by arguing that they impede oxygen flow to the brain. Added to his argument is the invocation of gender equality:

[R. Rex] Parris said he wants Lancaster employers to make wearing ties to work optional at the very least. He likened the tie requirement to demanding that women wear heels to work, characterizing it as an issue of compelled gender presentation. “I don’t think it’s appropriate in America today to make anyone do something that is now known to be detrimental to your health,” Parris said. “Especially if it’s based on gender.”

Parris said he’s well aware the ordinance could be overturned, but he’s not worried about it. Unlike other mayors, he said, he isn’t afraid of litigation.“I’m aware I’m going out on a ledge, but I live my life on ledges,” Parris said. “We’re interested in going in a positive direction until we’re stopped.”

It sounds like he may be right about the oxygen issue, as years of wearing ties have clearly had a deleterious effect on his brain. — CC

Necktie by J. Press.

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25 Comments on "Death Of The Necktie? Make That Death BY Necktie"

  1. Mr. Parris seems to have progressed from living his life “on ledges” to leaping off of them.

  2. The town of Lancaster should change its name to “Tehran.”

    It’s not the necktie that cuts oxygen to the brain, but too tight shirt collars. Most men wear their dress shirts too small.

  3. Evan Everhart | July 15, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Reply

    I visit Lancaster often and can honestly say that I’ve rarely visited a more sartorially disinclined sector of my generally shamefully tasteless state of California, and county of Los Angeles, than the Antelope Valley. The style out there runs the gamut from Deliverance red necks to Inner City sneaker slobs and tweakers with a peppering of retired folks who dress decently-sadly in the minority. Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart came from the AV. ‘Nough said.

    Mr. Parris should stop trying to micro-legislate other people’s freedoms away. Its bad enough the bone heads in the LA city/county council already made it so that we can’t get straws or grocery bags anymore, now they’re trying to outlaw neckties! Wretched decline of civilization and its accoutrements! Ridiculousness!

    One more thing; neckties were worn by many of the greatest minds in modern history and they didn’t seem to interrupt the flow of oxygen to their brains or reduce their mental or physical accuity. Once again; ridiculousness!

  4. Evan Everhart | July 15, 2018 at 4:00 pm | Reply

    *”They”, being the bone head invasive politicos.

  5. Old School Tie | July 15, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Reply

    As a British doctor, I have been steadfastly increasing my tie collection ever since the health service effectively banned them as an infection risk. I cannot abide being told how to dress. I make those decisions as I see fit. I can now go for months on end without ever having to wear the same tie twice. Let these attire-nazis go be damned….

  6. Evan Everhart | July 15, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Reply

    @ Old School Tie:

    Here, here!

  7. I guess no one noticed that Mr Parris is mayor of a town
    in an area with constant seismic activity to the extent
    that it is the site of a major earthquake monitoring facility.
    Perhaps this agitation has affected his sartorial per-
    caption and ultimately his cognition.

    https://www.homefacts.com/earthquakes/California/Los-Angeles-County/Lancaster.html

  8. What if a large number of men — hmm, who could they be? — dug through their closets to weed out their ugliest and dirtiest ties and mailed them to the mayor? He’d get exactly what he doesn’t want.

    Mayor R. Rex Parris
    44933 N. Fern Avenue
    Lancaster CA 93534

  9. Evan Everhart | July 15, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Reply

    Whiskeydent:

    I Salute You!!!

  10. A dozen angry Ivy Style fans mailing neck ties to a California mayor who banned ties would make the most ridiculous headline ever. Even for California.

  11. Vern Trotter | July 15, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Reply

    Anything that dangles from your body, neckties, scarves, bracelets, long hair, even rings and wrist watches has always been a danger. The original purpose of the tie clip. Men who work around machinery can attest. I once saw a man dragged by a yellow cab when his scarf caught in the back door. Scary. Still I shall wear a necktie when the situation is such in my opinion.

  12. Yeah, I skimmed that so-called “study” of dementia-by-necktie. Wonder if occurred to the alleged “scholars” that a touch of stupid CAUSES the subject to overtighten his tie, rather than vice versa? In roughly sixty years of wearing ties, I’ve NEVER purposely cinched one too tight.

    BTW, doesn’t this same pseudo-“finding” come up somewhere about every five years or so? And haven’t yahoos been bitching about ties forever?

  13. I know this man. Went to his children’s weddings. A friend of mine worked for him for awhile. I sat in on a focus group once for one of his cases. He’s an interesting guy.

  14. So let’s forsake boxer shorts, socks, and shoes, as well? Good grief. There are so many Americas out there. Many should be avoided at all costs.

  15. @WFBjr I know this man. Went to his children’s weddings. A friend of mine worked for him for awhile. I sat in on a focus group once for one of his cases. He’s an interesting guy.

    Did he ever display a red face, shortness of breath, bulging veins at the temples and other general signs of oxygen shortage?

    @VernTrotter Anything that dangles from your body, neckties, scarves, bracelets, long hair, even rings and wrist watches has always been a danger.

    Absolutely everything? I guess that’s why athletic supports are so useful on certain occasions.

    Anyway, back to the topic at hand, as some who absolutely insists on wearing a tie regardless of the occasion and activity, I think that the his worship the Mayor has a point under certain circumstances. For instance, when using my belt sander or circular saw at home, I always make sure to tuck my tie in behind my dungarees. Similarly, when settling down to a good session shredding old personal papers, I always wear a tie clip to avoid getting my tie caught.

    I suppose I could save myself a lot of time by going over to bow ties, but I fear it might make me look a trifle too eccentric and professorial.

  16. On the other hand, if there is such a thing as reincarnation, those who do not like neckties may have been hanged in one (or more) of their prior lives.

    The mayor might have become an attorney because of his past lives (unsuccessful) interactions with the legal system.

  17. I just reread Spengler’s “Decline of the West” and am now working on a piece on what you might call sartorial morphology. Neckties can’t last forever.

  18. Only in California. If I couldn’t put on one of my beautiful Crie de la Soie knitted ties now and then, I simply don’t know what I’d do. Put on one of my Ancient Madders, I guess.

  19. @Christian Funny you should mention Spengler. There is a program about him and “Decline…” to be broadcast on BBC Radio4 here in the UK this evening (8pm our time I believe). I have no idea if it’ll be any good or not, because clearly it hasn’t been broadcast yet, but you can listen to it again via the catch up facility IPlayer on the BBC website if it appeals to you.

    Personally, and like the decline of the West, I think rumours of the tie’s demise have been around for a long time, but have yet to properly show evidence that they’re going anywhere. Men don’t wear them as part of a ‘smart-casual’ outfit in their free time, it is true. But dress codes throughout the world still demand ties, and whether it’s for professional reasons or not, I personally wear one absolutely any opportunity I get if it’s appropriate to the occasion.

    It’s also important to note the origins of what we’d currently class as a tie. Certainly 100 years ago, but as far back as 125 years ago, and perhaps even 150 years ago men- especially the leisured and prosperous classes- were wearing neckwear that was effectively a modern day tie, although variations were greater. But go back 200 years ago to the world of the ‘haut ton’ in London- where the modern tie has its origins- and Beau Brummell and his followers were wearing neckcloths that looked, and were tied, rather differently.

    And of course three hundred years ago things were different still, and so on back.

    I guess that what I’m trying to say is that on grounds of mere function alone men always have and ever shall have recourse to wearing something around the neck, to keep out the cold and so on. I also have no doubt that in the long term you are right: Ties won’t last forever. Not many things do. However, I still think that in its present form, the tie has proven to be a relatively fixed and durable design. It has so much to recommend it that hopefully it’ll last a lot longer than we think (or fear).

    And by the way, friends, I’m going to keep referring to them simply as ‘ties’ until you gentlemen drop the redundant prefix ‘neck’. I mean, where else would you wear a tie? 😉
    (Unless you’re Jimi Hendrix, who tied all sorts of scarves and things to his arms, or an avant garde designer, who might send models down the catwalk with belts around their necks and ties holding up their trousers. Yes, that’s trousers, not ‘pants’, which is a different garment entirely 😉 ).

    Anyway, I hope you all (not y’all), my dear international friends, can take a little gentle and well-meant linguistic leg pulling. All I can add is long live the tie, wherever one ties it, and may the day when our beloved West does decline be a long, long, long way off. Indeed, let it never come at all. After all, a civilisation that gave the world the tie can’t be all bad can it?

    As you were, chaps.

  20. Vern Trotter | July 16, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Reply

    Of course first thing when you are in a bar brawl is to shed your necktie. A noose around your neck. I speak from experience as my opponent left his on and paid a severe price.

  21. @Christian: According to Spengler, optimism is cowardice. Reading too much Spengler can cause a pessimistic outlook on life. His goal was to predict the next 500 years of western civilization which he compared with the transition from autumn to winter. Personally, I don’t share his pessimism but I know for sure that fashion is moving into an ugly, uncharted territory. You can see it in the clothes college students wear today and the fashion shows from brands like Rick Owens which the WSJ deemed “ugly.” With or without the mayor of Lancaster’s opinion, the necktie, men’s fashion and decorum are doomed because nothing is permanent.

  22. Carmelo Pugliatti | July 16, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Reply

    This Mayor isobviously a ultra-liberal,true?

  23. perfectly encapsulates the progressive mantra: “We’re interested in going in a positive direction until we’re stopped.”

    lucky for us some still “stand athwart history yelling stop!” as the good Mr. Buckley put it, or there’d be no stopping these progress-for-progess’s-sake progressives imposing their beliefs on others.

  24. The best thing that can possibly happen to the tie is for it to die! The Lancaster mayor is quite correct. Uncomfortable has heck, hot as you know where, and worst of all: Stupid looking. Anybody who would stoop to wearing one of these anachronisms in the 21st century shows their inferior mentality! Heck, I’d rather wear a corset than a tie, and don’t get me started on hot, unnecessary, WOOL “sportcoats”! After almost 200 years, this stupidity needs to go the way of the Dodo bird.

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