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Neckties are awful, and the person who invented them should have been hanged. It would have been poetic justice. A necktie is basically a decorative noose, after all. It’s rather morbid if you think about it.
Who decided that a limp strip of cloth, dangling sadly from the throat, should be a formal men’s accessory? Unlike most garments, the necktie doesn’t conform to the shapes and contours of the human body. It just… hangs there.
I can’t tie a necktie to save my life. (I suppose this means I lack any sort of class or social graces, which is fine with me.) A couple of years ago, I turned to YouTube, that inexhaustible fount of knowledge, in search of tutorials. I found many, but none of them helped. My fingers, so agile when tapping away at a computer or video game controller, are rubbish when it comes to tying knots.
Fortunately, none of the jobs I’ve worked have demanded I wear a necktie, so I’ve kept my head out of the noose. Only once that I recall was I ever required to wear a tie.
In the early aughts, I was part of the worship team at my church in Quito. (I banged a pair of bongos; what I lacked in skill, I made up in enthusiasm.) The pastor decided one day that everyone on the worship team should wear a necktie. On the following Sunday, with groans that words cannot express, we showed up wearing neckties.
One young man, whom I’ll call Socrates, rebelled against the pastor’s edict. He wore a necktie knotted neatly around his head like a headband. The pastor was so amused that he allowed Socrates to play with the worship team… but after that Sunday, the pastor was quick to clarify how neckties were supposed to be worn.
I’ll be the first to admit that neckties sometimes look nice—on other people, of course. They add a touch of sophistication when matched with a suit or vest. Alternatively, a mismatched tie gives an untucked shirt a bit of casual, carefree charm. Neckties may be a traditionally masculine accessory, but they can look really cute on ladies.
My favorite kind of necktie, i.e. the kind of necktie I hate the least, is the bow tie. In Doctor Who, the Eleventh Doctor repeatedly insists, “Bow ties are cool,” and I have to agree.
He really rocks the look. Bill Nye also looks good in a bow tie.
I admit that neckties can look all right. That said, I blame cultural conditioning for fooling me into thinking that way. Neckties are uncomfortable, useless, and empirically evil. If you’re going to wear a noose, at least keep your neck warm with a scarf!