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Tie Die

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by Mark Smith

12 months ago

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It’s almost like I am trapped in 1987 sitting as a bright eyed school leaver at his first day of work as a cadet at Deloitte Chartered Accountants.

As a young man from rural NSW, I had absolutely no idea what corporate attire actually was and the smart people at Deloitte knew that we would need (a lot of) advice and hired an image consultant to advise us on what to wear. One of the things she was absolute about, was wearing a tie. So now in 2017 I am struggling to come to terms with the fact that wearing a tie may no longer be necessary.

After being lobbied for years by the team at people2people, we changed the policy of wearing a tie. I, however, have not relented and every day I place a coloured piece of fabric around my neck and tie it in a traditional (Windsor) knot.

But should I?

To try and answer the question I thought I would put out a survey onto Twitter. The post seemed to get a lot of traction and just under 3,300 people answered the question “Do you think wearing a tie is the norm for male office workers in Australia and New Zealand?” The results…..

65% said NO and a mere 33% said YES. So I am definitely in the minority! It appears that there has been a big shift in what is considered corporate attire in Australia. The tie has been around a long time and a quick look at Wikipedia suggests it all started with the Croats and the French ( hence the word Cravat) and it slowly developed over time as a form of identity and group membership.

So this makes me wonder what group I am proclaiming membership of!

Wiki closes with a paragraph on the anti-tie sentiment and the very last sentence is telling

For 60 years, designers and manufacturers of neckties in the United States were members of the Men's Dress Furnishings Association but the trade group shut down in 2008 due to declining membership due to the declining numbers of men wearing neckties.

So here we are in 2017 and I am still wearing a tie. Do you or the men you know do? What type? Shall we form a group on Linkedin?

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