Why Ties?

For my brother’s graduation, my mom and I went hunting for ties. I expected them to cost like $20, maybe $30 max.

Guess what, folks? THEY’RE LIKE $60 AND UP. 

Excuse me? These tiny strips of cloth used for merely decorative purposes cost that much? Was it because of the materials or was there more to it? Perhaps it was because of a certain name of a model? And why do men wrap slivers of cloth around their necks anyway? I mean, yes, it is quite good looking but someone had to come up with it before. What was the first tie?- I mean, what was the logic behind that? Was it a wife looking at her husband’s work attire and, deeming it not good enough, grabbed some random piece of cloth lying around and tied it around his neck? What was the reaction to that?

Thankfully, we live in the technology era and I could find all the answers (or at least most of them) with the beauty that is Google. And so, here are my discoveries~

HISTORY

So it turns out that indeed ties started out as something meaningful rather than an accessory. Roman soldiers used to wear some sort of neck ware as part of a uniform to identify with a certain group. But then after that, the tie branched off as an article of fashion. Parisians during the Thirty Year’s War liked what Croatian mercenaries were wearing around their necks and then the tie took off in a storm. In fact, even today, Croatia, the founder of the tie, as well as other countries celebrate International Necktie Day on October 18.

THE SCIENCE OF TYING A TIE

Because all those actors on the TV shows weren’t lying when they said it was hard to tie a tie. And I remember hearing a while ago someone saying that less than half of the male population knows how to do the procedure. …wow.

Starting in the 1800s, ties were getting a lot of attention and people started to seriously invest time and effort to document how to tie and tie. The first book ever written about ties is Neckclothitania, which describes how to tie 14 different ties. (um what) It got to the point where the procedure got so complicated that knowing how to tie a tie became a sign of high class and wealth.

( And some people think that only women take fashion seriously…)

The modern tie we see today is a longer version than it’s great great great grandfather. It was made longer in order to make it easier to tie. Today, there are four ways to tie a tie, which is much better than before but still. Wow.

ISSUES WITH THE TIE?

What are ties for?

Looking spiffy usually while going to work. But apparently this belief brought some problems with it. The tie was by some as a symbol of submission and slavery (!) since it was something around a person’s neck. In fact, in Iran the tie is seen as a symbol of Western oppression. Even today Iranian men exclude the tie even while wearing the usual Western three piece suit.

CONCLUSION

There’s a lot more to ties than the eye. (oh snap I even rhymed there too *pats self on back*) It’s so cool peeling back these everyday objects because behind them, there’s always something more. It’s like peeling back an orange which though already pretty on the outside, is much juicier inside.

So yeah, that’s a tie! 

(Get it? Like that’s a wrap but that’s a tie instead because puns…*awkwardly coughs*)

Okay I’ll stop now XD

~ajc

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