Today’s post won’t be about anything I generally write about. But sometimes you need to simply write about something you enjoy. And this post is no exception. I love neck ties. It’s a weird thing to enjoy, but I do. Years ago when I lived in the Ottawa area, I had the benefit of a couple of shops that sold nothing BUT ties. They carried every colour of the rainbow and I somehow managed to build a small collection of them, even if my array of dress shirts and venues in which to wear them were pretty limited.
In fact, for the most part a neck tie is generally worn for three functions: a wedding, a funeral or a job interview. Depending on how these events play out, any number of those three can be combined. When I got old enough that I was out in the world, I joined a police force and suddenly, any and all formal functions involved an issued dress uniform. It seemed as though my collection of neck ties was destined to sit and collect dust. Until last April, when I started a new career that involved the wearing of a suit on a daily basis. At last, my ties would have their moment in the sun.
Although most origins can depend on whose history book you’re reading, most sources seem to agree that the neck tie finds its origins in France, sometime in the 17th century. The reigning monarch of the time hired Croatian soldiers who used a strip of cloth tied around their necks in order to tie up the top of their uniform jackets. This is why the French term for neck tie, “la cravatte,” originates from the term “la Croate,” which means Croat.
Since King Louis XIV of France admired and liked the ties so much, they became a status symbol of wealth and nobility, and continue to represent neatness and order. Although they originally served a functional purpose, they’re mostly decorative and formal in modern times. People wear them as a symbol of formal dress for work, sometimes as symbols of membership in certain circles and as a symbol of financial wellbeing.
Although mostly used for formality, there’s really no bad reason to wear a tie. Even going out to coffee with friends can involve throwing on a comfortable button-down shirt and slipping on a stylish tie. But I definitely enjoy wearing them and I couldn’t be happier that I get to do so on a daily basis for work. yes, it may be a quirky thing to enjoy, but now you all know something about me you likely didn’t before. And just for fun, here’s a drawing of me as a Simpsons character with a tie. Enjoy! ☯️