Sans Socks: Tie one on

Summer seems to have a tendency to bring with it many abominations to the sartorial world. Flip-flops.

Summer seems to have a tendency to bring with it many abominations to the sartorial world. Flip-flops.

Under normal circumstances, the overall trend of casual dress that accompanies summer doesn’t bother me in the least, I wouldn’t, however, consider these normal circumstances. A Gallop Poll taken over the past 5 years has reported that the number of men wearing neck ties daily has fallen from ten to six percent. A seemingly ridiculous topic for a poll, however surrounding the decline of the tie is the general decline of formality.

Today it’s the necktie, but tomorrow it could be collared shirts, or the blazer and before you know it the world is clad entirely in jeans and t-shirts. Not to say there is anything wrong with jeans and t-shirts, in fact the two can be worn quite successfully, but there is a time and place.

Many designers today find themselves on the front lines of the casual battle. None more than the uber-conservatively styled Thom Browne. Though his designs are seen sometimes as eccentric and ridiculous, Browne stands firm in his belief that nothing beats a close-cropped suit and tie. Slightly less eccentric, Michael Bastian supports there being an occasion for everything. Even labels such as J. Crew and GAP have begun creating more well rounded lines, in hopes of saving formal wear.

While in general, disturbing this trend has spawned an even more interesting side-effect. With the necktie losing it’s grip on the corporate world, it has begun to be adopted by the youth “counter-culture” and worn as something of a middle finger to the corporate world. And while that is all well and good – really who isn’t excited to flip off the corporate world – the necktie is becoming more of a gimmick than anything. A sad state of affairs given the already limited amount of accessories available to men.

Not surprising, trends among woman have, if anything become increasingly less casual. While men embrace the ultra casual life, woman – already typically better dressed than men – are embracing a resurgence of formality. With many designers and labels introducing more formal lines for woman, the fairer gender continues to excel in all matters sartorial.

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