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Shyheels last won the day on March 18

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  1. Not at all. Wearing a suit without tie is relaxed, at ease, in control, not uptight.
  2. There is of course an obverse to this topic - ties without suits. I did explore this fashion once, briefly, in my early teens when my aunt and uncle and several cousins came to stay. They were quite rich and very corporate - Uncle was an old Standard Oil man - and their kids all went to military school. You probably get the idea. Anyway, orders came down from on high - stern Uncle, and eldest cousin, by then a lieutenant in the Army - that all would attend church in the morning and ties would be worn. This latter edict was issued with a particularly steely glance in my direction. My mother, who was finding them increasingly obnoxious, left me to deal with that on my own. I did. I showed up at church in a tie all right - tied around my bare neck since I was also wearing a T-shirt. Uncle didn't like it. Neither did musclebound cousin. I was treated to some highly coloured language right there on the church steps - Auntie, Uncle and eldest cousin all chiming in with abuse, and demonstrating a distinct lack of Christian charity. It might have gone worse for me had not the priest - who read the situation accurately - been so obviously amused. And had not my grandfather - whose tie I had borrowed for this little stunt - given them his cool Patrician what-are-you-going-to-do-about-it stare. As it was I had to dodge my evil and sadistic 2nd lieutenant cousin for the rest of their visit and make certain I was never cornered or found myself alone with him. So much for ties as tokens of manly responsibility
  3. I thought so, but your earlier post was ambiguous, could be read both ways. Of course one could always say nothing, but simply show up at the Bar Mitzvah in patent pink thigh-high stilettos and take it from there...
  4. Yes, but you're not supposed to take off your tie - according to Megan - unless, I suppose, you're going to take off the rest of your suit as well, which would certainly make for an interesting cocktail party. Actually there is quite a list of potential health and safety issues with ties. Get your tie caught in a subway door sometime and see how you fare. Not so bad if you're inside the coach, perhaps, just slow strangulation, but no fun at all if you're still on the platform. These things have happened. No, ties really need to be optional... As should stilettos. Nobody should be compelled to wear something they don't like. At least with stilettos, there is a transformative effect. With ties, it really does feel like one is putting one's head in a noose.
  5. Hopefully that's not the end!
  6. I resemble that! Sorry for double post - don't know what happened there
  7. Is that honest up-front gentlemen, or sneaky behind the back gentlemen you are thinking of? Which one wins the fair maidens hand - and keeps it?
  8. I resemble that!
  9. Badge of responsibility or reminder of it, either way the necktie seems to fail miserably at its job. Ties are required far more frequently, and with greater vigour, than stilettos ever are.
  10. Belonging to a group involves many things, any one of which would have equal claim to being the 'true' meaning behind a necktie - exclusivity, arrogance, identity, safety, belonging, etc. etc. But even if you wanted to single out 'responsibility' and declare that to be the overriding character train that is symbolised by the old regimental tie - and I think that is a long bow to draw - you are still left with only a small subset of neckties to which you could reasonably apply that symbolism. And again, I think singling out 'responsibility' as as the single most important trait there is really a stretch. And let's face it wearing the old school tie is not about responsibility or not disgracing the alma mater, it's about sending the right signals at a job interview. But let's forget about 'identity' ties for a moment. They are only niche anyway. You are still left with the overwhelming numbers of neckties that are unaffiliated, bought and worn simply because the wearer liked the colour, or it matched his eyes or his wife bought it for him for Father's Day or which some overpaid style guru convinced him was a 'power' tie. Let's consider the power tie for a moment. Responsibility? Hmmmm. No. The guy who wears a 'power tie' is exactly the sort of corporate head kicker who, at the AGM where he's gaily announcing an eighty trillion pound profit, will announce in the very next breath that the company is slashing eighty thousands jobs to clear the way for greater profits next year. Oh, so you say his responsibility is to the shareholders? Well, that's a neat, socially soothing salve and used often - although not in a necktie context - to justify this sort of callous behaviour, but I think everybody knows differently - even the participants themselves. We all know the power-tie behind the blood-letting is getting himself a whopping bonus for doing just that and within a year or so will be undoubtedly be doing a similar job at another corporation, and earning himself another tidy bonus. He's a mercenary. If he fails, he still generally gets a whopping bonus. It'll be in his contract. Fine print. He doesn't care. He doesn't have to. Just make the numbers. So what about the eighty thousand souls left out of a job by this corporate head-kicker? Many of them will be necktie wearers, helpless middle-management types for whom the tie is more literally a noose, a symbol of corporate bondage that has led to nothing but the scrap heap. I'm sorry but where are we seeing responsibility in any of this? If a necktie is a badge of responsibility it is about as authoritative as a plastic sheriff's badge plucked out of a Coco Pops cereal box. As for informality and presumptions of power - did you ever see the photo that was taken in the White House situation room the night Osama bin Laden got clipped by the Navy Seals? It's very interesting. In a room full of people in uniforms and suits, President Obama stands out because he is swearing a jumper, and is sitting in a fairly low-down, modest position. Yet no one looking at that photo has any doubt about who is in charge there. And who is responsible. No necktie required. And yes, the query about the stilettos does require an answer - the parallel is exact. Both are said to be symbols of authority within the corporate kingdom. And while it might be PC to declare stilettos and heels in general to be symbols of submission, I do not think many of the wearers themselves would agree, at least not in the lofty worlds of finance, law and politics. Here I find myself thinking, for example, of Samantha Powers, the former US Ambassador to the United Nations. A vigorous, strong willed and outspoken woman who knew her own mind, she was also known for wearing killer stilettos. I don't think she wore them as a sign of submission in a male dominated world. And being something like 5'10" already she didn't need the height.