January 19, 2012

January 19, 2012

Tie One On

Try as I might, I have no sympathy for men who complain about wearing ties. And believe me, I’ve heard a LOT of complaints on the subject. The uberstrict religious schools I attended had the harshest of dress codes,* and ties were required for men on a daily basis. Personally, I think they look sharp. Anything that makes my everyday life a little more like Harry Potter’s is preferable.

“But Heather,” men will say, “You don’t know what it’s like. “They choke you. They’re so uncomfortable.” To which I reply, “YOU REALLY WANT TO TALK TO A WOMAN ABOUT UNCOMFORTABLE CLOTHING?” Honestly, if I had to wear JUST one uncomfortable piece of clothing every day, I would be thrilled. The typical woman in a white collar job is constricting at least four body parts during the day and several additional ones during evening cocktail parties. Guys, try on a full-body pair of Spanx and see how fast you turn back to a little discomfort in the neck region.

For those men who’ve accepted the tie as a way of life but dislike paying $100 for 50 square inches of fabric (your mileage may vary), there may be hope. Specifically, TieTry.com. It’s like Netflix for ties. You pay a monthly fee and get between one and five ties at a time. I guess you would supplement your existing tie wardrobe, or perhaps use TieTry exclusively if you have enough disposable income.

I can’t comment on the feasibility of this idea, since there is nothing analogous for women. We do not have bra libraries or pantyhose consortiums. Our shapewear tends to be a little more personalized. Everyone’s is different. (Ironic, since the endgoal is almost always the body size of a malnourished teenager.)

Ties for women never really caught on, did they? My first exposure to the concept was my local Ponderosa Steakhouse, though thinking back on it, I’m guessing those women were conscripted into neckwear. I myself was inspired to at least learn how to tie a cravat,** but my lack of internet meant I just ended up wrinkling one of my dad’s ties. I’ve still no idea (nor motivation) to learn, though I’ve discovered these cool zipper ties that require no knotting at all. Brilliant.

Should the androgynous look ever catch on in the wider world (i.e. with anyone besides Tilda Swinton and David Bowie), I shall be ready. Someone can zip me up, right?

* Among the things regulated: hemlines, fabrics, collar plunges, clothing brands. The not-so-tongue-in-cheek description of the ideal woman’s outfit? “Long, loose, and lots.”
** I use the word “cravat” only because I don’t want to use the word “tie” thrice in a sentence. If cravat turns out not to be a synonym for tie, then the joke’s on me. But the tie isn’t, as we’ve established.

1 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke:

I personally am a MASSIVE fan of thetiebar.com. They address my long-standing problem of never being able to find a tie suitably long enough for me to wear (I'm 6' 5". Yeah, it's a problem). The prices are pretty reasonable, and they have a tie-of-the-month club I ask for as a christmas gift every year, but haven't gotten yet. sadface.