Most people will see the picture above and think very beautiful thoughts about how fine those pieces of fabric look and possibly how fantastic they would look with some fabulous shirt that they have in their closet. But I am not one of those people. When I see a necktie I sort of cringe and recline into my mental shell. The picture above has about the same effect on me as a large red cape would have on a bull at a bullfighting event.
I work in Investment Banking, one of the few careers where a necktie is necessary if not completely mandatory. A necktie can make you look really sharp and smart and project the image of seriousness and immense dignity to an onlooker. But it can also make you look terribly out of place, if worn improperly, and downright uncomfortable.
Before starting this blog post I typed in to the Google search engine “History of tie” and then it corrected me and offered “History of Necktie” as a suggestion, which I took. And immediately I felt this brief familiar sense of being overpowered. Almost like I can’t even be allowed to ask the way I want to ask a question. Like Google had to snatch the question from me and ask it in a more “proper” way. It is this same feeling of being overpowered that I feel when I wear a necktie. I have always been told by a great deal of people that wearing a tie makes you feel confident even when you feel down, and that it exudes a certain level of masculinity that is very essential to a man. Unfortunately I can’t say that I share in these sentiments as detailed above. To be a total anomaly, I find that I work at my utmost best when my tie is off. I feel more at ease and alive.
When I am dressed up in my tie and shirt to work, some people are kind enough to applaud how smart and studious I look. But I don’t feel that way. For one thing when I wear a necktie, I feel like I am being choked by my own self, and there is nothing I can do about it. It’s the reason why my commute to work is one of the most liberating times of the day simply because I hardly, actually never put on my necktie. I don’t even put on my formal shirt; I just wear a casual round neck shirt. I would be happy to tell you of some childhood story of how I was almost choked to death, and how it explains this deep phobia I have for tying tightly a piece of fabric around my neck. I, sadly, have no such story to tell. On more than one occasion I have purposely left my necktie at home, or even in the car, and then pretend to be oblivious to the fact that I did not have it on. One very few occasions, I genuinely forgot to take it along with me from the house.
I so desperately envy my friends who work in IT or Oil companies, not because of the money (sometimes for the money though), but because of the rather casual (and smart) approach to apparel they have going for them. So then I guess my real question is; is a necktie really a fashion accessory, or is it just an uncomfortable addendum to the formal look?
It is said that fashion is an expression of the inner creative mind of an individual, both from a designer and consumer point of view. Fashion is supposed to help us celebrate our individuality and accentuate our eccentricities. I am not much of a “fashionista” in the real material sense of the word. For me comfort is the key thing in consideration. And I hate to wear fashion that topples my personality. I don’t like to wear clothes that scream louder that I can, in fact the quieter the better. So I guess to an extent that might explain why I am so averse to the idea of neckties.
If I were ever lucky enough to own/run a bank, one of my first points of call will be to liberalize the choice of wearing neckties in the office.
I hope my boss doesn’t actually get to ready this. This is one of the many warring thoughts in my head that are too afraid to make their way out of my vocal cavity…lol