Beanery Online Literary Magazine

August 25, 2009

Why Neckties?



Joe F. Stierheim

     Men often comment on the willingness of women to follow the vagaries of fashion in their pursuit of approval by society. Men fail to recognize that they are guilty of the same thing in their meek and unthinking acceptance of an article of attire that is one of the most nonsensical and useless in the history of man, and that is: THE NECKTIE.

     What possible, plausible reason is there for a necktie? It serves no practical purpose, and, if one really considers the matter, it is not esthetically pleasing. Yet men keep wearing them and spend a great deal of time and money to acquire them.

     Neckties in shops in the town where I live are prices as high as sixty-five dollars. It’s possible to spend much more than that, though. A designer tie can cost one hundred fifty dollars or more.

     Where did such an article of clothing originate? I heard an explanation of the phenomena from a friend of mine who is well versed in medieval history. According to him, the necktie originated as a very practical article of clothing devised for knights. A portion of the metal armor worn by the knights tended to rub against the neck. To prevent chafing, a piece of cloth was worn around the neck underneath the armor.

     It became customary for knights to continue to wear this cloth even when not wearing the armor, and that cloth became a symbol for the station of a knight.

    At what point commoners began to imitate this neckwear of nobility I don’t know, but the fashion became popular. Over time, the neckwear itself deteriorated into the modern necktie, which is still worn as a symbol of higher social standing.

     It seems rather far-fetched that a scrawny piece of cloth tied, rather uncomfortably, around the neck could elevate a man to respectability. That, however, seems to be the hope that sustains the wearers of the necktie.  






A DAY IN MY LIFE: Journaling on June 12, 2009

Varying Bottles of Wine

The Execution of the Reincarnated Edgar Allen Poe



1 Comment »

  1. It matters not to me that a necktie elevate a man to a level of respectability, fashion-ability is another matter all together. I once fell in love with a southern gentleman who use to flip his necktie over his right shoulder when eating so as not to spoil his tie with a stain. There is just something about a man in a starched white or single colored long sleeved shirt and a silk tie. What a man in uniform does for some woman, a man in a starched long sleeved shirt and tie does for me.

    Comment by Peggy Jo — August 25, 2009 @ 5:17 pm | Reply

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