--By Rashika Pokharel
Once considered an essential part of men’s formal wear, the tie is no longer regarded as the same. The trend of wearing tie is slowly diminishing. A tie is no longer required to accessorize formal attire. The fashion of wearing a tie is slowly losing popularity in the formal dress code. The question is: WHY? One of the many reasons behind this changing culture is the changing perception of people. Gone are the days when people judged a person on the basis of their attire. The strict demand for a formal dress code is slowly becoming a matter of history. These days’ casuals are preferred to formal outfit in most of the professional sphere across the globe. While the professional attire makes you look classy and sophisticated, one cannot deny that it causes discomfort. On the other hand, casual clothing is more comfortable and at the same time, it makes you look trendy. The professional look, that once demanded the wearing of a tie, is similar to fastening a belt on the neck. As such, business people have now bid farewell to the tie culture.
The culture of wearing a tie was started by the roman soldiers who used the bow tie as a part of their uniform to depict the symbol of belongingness to a particular group. Gradually, the necktie spread to Europe. The beginning of necktie in Europe can be associated with Croatian mercenaries during the Prussian wars of the 17th century when the Croatian mercenaries started putting a scarf around their necks to hold together the opening of their shirts. This was soon adopted under the name cravat which is derived from the French for "Croat" by the upper classes in France. France was a leader in fashion during that era so through the influence of French, the tie culture flourished to the rest of the world in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Although tie gained popularity in the past, the culture of wearing a tie gradually started disappearing especially after the 1950s when the Americans and Canadians started the trend of “Casual Fridays" when many offices started celebrating Friday as casual day in a week, allowing informal dresses such as jeans, t-shirts for work. Casual Friday was celebrated in the form of relief from the constrictions of a formal dress code. During the rest of the week, business shirts, suits, ties, trousers, and dress shoes would be the rule. People's attitude towards formal dresses is changing at the workplace. These days most people feel that a comfortable dress code is good for productivity as well, as employees express their individuality and feel more comfortable in the office. While others believe that the notion of casual dress undervalues the workplace by snatching away a sense of formality and respect. Nowadays opinions vary, depending on the industry and the country for example the technology industry is finely known for casual dress in general, but many financial companies tend to frown on business casual.
Public Icons without Tie
Tie is regarded as a trademark or compulsion mostly for the public personalities such as the President or the Prime Minister. But the presence of Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and David Cameroon in the G8 Summit 2013 without a tie, illustrated the fact that even world leaders are in favour of the modern and liberal dress-up. During the two-day international conference, they were seen in more relaxed outfits. Their presence in the conference without a tie created a buzz in the public. This fact indicates that even these public icons sometimes get overburdened with classy and sophisticated attires and want to enjoy the comfort of casual dresses.
The fondness for tie in the workplace is declining and people are slowly opting for more casual outfits. However, whether to wear a tie is a matter of choice.