Intrepid

Super Member
What do you guys think?
As we know, it is unusual for a top level executive or a significant politician to appear on TV wearing a tie, same for the work place or church. Seemed to happen rapidly. Suit or jacket, open collar dress shirt. What's your take on this?
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
What do you guys think?
As we know, it is unusual for a top level executive or a significant politician to appear on TV wearing a tie, same for the work place or church. Seemed to happen rapidly. Suit or jacket, open collar dress shirt. What's your take on this?
It started with the Iranians and Israelis, and is now trending toward the norm.

I couldn't care less. 😴
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
There are any number of tieless looks that go well with a sports coat but I am always jarred when I see a suit without a tie.
I almost always wear a tie....primarily because at our advancing ages we may not have a lot of years left, but we have a crap-ton of ties and shoes left to wear out! LOL. Seriously though, old habits are just hard for some of us to break. ;)
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
Since this is on the Trad side of the house, I'd say that from a Trad perspective, there are many historical examples of sport coats being worn without ties (and with just an open-collared shirt or turtleneck) from the '50s on and, even, occasionally, from the '30s on. I'm basing this on my memory of movies from that era and books on fashion history that I've read (both are activities that I do way too often and have for way too many years :) ).

I like the sport coat-without-a-tie look with the caveat that, like anything, it has to be done right. But an open-collar OCBD shirt, pair of chinos, corduroys or even flannels - with or without a sweater - paired with the right sport coat can look great, and, as noted, was quite common from the '50s on.

But you want to "balance" your casualness in style, fabrics and design; so, for example, a tweed sport coat with an OCBD shirt, Shetland wool sweater and pair of cords or heavy chinos looks great (IMO), but I would not pair all those items with a smoothly finished wool and crisply tailored navy blazer as the blazer would look to "formal" and not of the same "feel" as the other casual items.

Conversely, if you paired that crisp blazer with a fine pinpoint-cotton shirt, merino wool sweater and smooth-wool and well-tailored grey trousers, it would look good, but those same items would look too "refined" under a tweed or corduroy sport coat - again, IMO. And all of these combinations have historical precedent going back to the '50s (and, as mentioned, even the '30s).

That's a long way of saying, from a Trad perspective, a sport coat doesn't need a tie as long as it's all thoughtfully done. As to the suit, other than with a turtleneck (and that wasn't very common, but was done now and then), there is very little historical perspective for suits being worn without ties through most of the 20th Century in the American Trad world. As an aside, I'm leaving ascots out of this discussion as they are very rarely seen anymore. So, from a Trad perspective, I'd say a suit without a tie isn't Trad.

When suits without ties started popping up - give or take - twenty years ago, I thought it looked very off - as if someone had left the house without finishing getting dressed. And while I don't love the look, after almost two decades of seeing it done - and done more frequently in the last several years - I've adjusted and get that, in particular, many young men like to wear suits that way.

If they do, then most of the old guidelines still apply as the suit should be properly tailored and proportioned to the wearer's body and the other details - shirt, shoes, belt, etc. - should be consistent in quality, style and finish. If so, and if you want to do it, then, I guess, in today's world it's part of the norm, but it still wouldn't be Trad (if we define Trad, very broadly, as in the American tradition of dress from the middle part of the 20th Century).
 

Charles Dana

Honors Member
If I’m in a dark wool suit, I’m wearing a tie. However, I think a decidedly casual suit--such as one made of linen or cotton poplin--looks OK without a tie. And because it is relatively far down on the formality scale, even a tan wool gabardine suit can look agreeable without a tie.

Still, a seersucker suit, to me, requires a tie.

(By the way, didn’t we have a thread on this exact topic a few months ago? Could have been longer ago than that, given how easily I lose track of time. Evidently we’re in re-run season. Not that there’s anything wrong with re-runs. Seinfeld, anyone?)
 

Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
Since this is on the Trad side of the house, I'd say that from a Trad perspective, there are many historical examples of sport coats being worn without ties (and with just an open-collared shirt or turtleneck) from the '50s on and, even, occasionally, from the '30s on. I'm basing this on my memory of movies from that era and books on fashion history that I've read (both are activities that I do way too often and have for way too many years :) ).

I like the sport coat-without-a-tie look with the caveat that, like anything, it has to be done right. But an open-collar OCBD shirt, pair of chinos, corduroys or even flannels - with or without a sweater - paired with the right sport coat can look great, and, as noted, was quite common from the '50s on.

But you want to "balance" your casualness in style, fabrics and design; so, for example, a tweed sport coat with an OCBD shirt, Shetland wool sweater and pair of cords or heavy chinos looks great (IMO), but I would not pair all those items with a smoothly finished wool and crisply tailored navy blazer as the blazer would look to "formal" and not of the same "feel" as the other casual items.

Conversely, if you paired that crisp blazer with a fine pinpoint-cotton shirt, merino wool sweater and smooth-wool and well-tailored grey trousers, it would look good, but those same items would look too "refined" under a tweed or corduroy sport coat - again, IMO. And all of these combinations have historical precedent going back to the '50s (and, as mentioned, even the '30s).

That's a long way of saying, from a Trad perspective, a sport coat doesn't need a tie as long as it's all thoughtfully done. As to the suit, other than with a turtleneck (and that wasn't very common, but was done now and then), there is very little historical perspective for suits being worn without ties through most of the 20th Century in the American Trad world. As an aside, I'm leaving ascots out of this discussion as they are very rarely seen anymore. So, from a Trad perspective, I'd say a suit without a tie isn't Trad.

When suits without ties started popping up - give or take - twenty years ago, I thought it looked very off - as if someone had left the house without finishing getting dressed. And while I don't love the look, after almost two decades of seeing it done - and done more frequently in the last several years - I've adjusted and get that, in particular, many young men like to wear suits that way.

If they do, then most of the old guidelines still apply as the suit should be properly tailored and proportioned to the wearer's body and the other details - shirt, shoes, belt, etc. - should be consistent in quality, style and finish. If so, and if you want to do it, then, I guess, in today's world it's part of the norm, but it still wouldn't be Trad (if we define Trad, very broadly, as in the American tradition of dress from the middle part of the 20th Century).
Whole-hearted agreement, here.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
If I’m in a dark wool suit, I’m wearing a tie. However, I think a decidedly casual suit--such as one made of linen or cotton poplin--looks OK without a tie. And because it is relatively far down on the formality scale, even a tan wool gabardine suit can look agreeable without a tie.

Still, a seersucker suit, to me, requires a tie.
A valuable distinction I feel. I've always enjoyed a tan cotton poplin suit with a woven or knit sport shirt. With knits, I prefer the top button buttoned. I think it's a neat and finished look.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
I almost always wear a tie....primarily because at our advancing ages we may not have a lot of years left, but we have a crap-ton of ties and shoes left to wear out! LOL. Seriously though, old habits are just hard for some of us to break. ;)
Exactly my approach @eagle2250! I have a gazillion of them, four-in-hands and bowties, and after retirement I rarely need to wear them. I did dress in sports jackets, sweaters, dress trousers, ties and proper shoes when I was working, and even a suit on occasion, but it was very flexible since my work was as a professor /scientist at a university. I had an appreciative audience too -- the students liked their professor dressed up a tad, and they even complained when I turned up tie-less on occasion! I still wear a jacket or sweater and tie on occasion, or when taking a day trip to a nearby city like Madison for bookshopping, films and lunch/dinner.

As for suits without ties, that is definitely a no-no for me. But I'm old-fashioned enough not to wear any item of formal clothing with jeans (except a very unconstructed sport coat), or anything with loud colours and patterns, period.
 

Color 8

Senior Member
IMO it's part of visual messaging and marketing in the current socio-political climate.

Suit + tie became associated with uptight old-guard Conservatives, elitism etc ; everyone wishing to appear young, modern, Liberal, populist etc. all rushed to the other side of the fence with open-collars / no tie.
 

New Old Stock

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
IMO it's part of visual messaging and marketing in the current socio-political climate.

Suit + tie became associated with uptight old-guard Conservatives, elitism etc ; everyone wishing to appear young, modern, Liberal, populist etc. all rushed to the other side of the fence with open-collars / no tie.
Im not sure its entirely liberal, & it certainly isn't current. Politicians have been losing the jacket/tie & rolling their sleeves up in the midwest states for years. The shirts are also usually blue to try and fit in with the blue collar worker. A bit on the nose, but people continue to eat it up.

There are definitely times wearing a jacket without a tie is appropriate, but IMO it will never look as good as the same outfit with a tie. And a suit without a tie just looks like you forgot to finish getting dressed that morning - or don't know how to tie a tie! The idea that theyre uncomfortable is ridiculous. Tied correctly, you shouldnt be able to tell you have one on. And I'd be willing to bet half the time its the shirt collar - incorrectly sized - that is to blame.
 

Dhaller

Advanced Member
IMO it's part of visual messaging and marketing in the current socio-political climate.

Suit + tie became associated with uptight old-guard Conservatives, elitism etc ; everyone wishing to appear young, modern, Liberal, populist etc. all rushed to the other side of the fence with open-collars / no tie.
If I see two men walking down the street, and one is in a jacket and tie and the other is wearing jeans'. tee shirt, and a baseball cap, and I have to wager who's liberal and who's conservative, I'm putting my money on the tie-wearer as the liberal.

See how we can tweak this messaging? (for those following along, it's the *baseball cap* which directed the wager.)

As accessories go, ties aren't the "political" ones.

DH
 

Color 8

Senior Member
If I see two men walking down the street, and one is in a jacket and tie and the other is wearing jeans'. tee shirt, and a baseball cap, and I have to wager who's liberal and who's conservative, I'm putting my money on the tie-wearer as the liberal.

See how we can tweak this messaging? (for those following along, it's the *baseball cap* which directed the wager.)

As accessories go, ties aren't the "political" ones.

DH
Depends on the cap, obviously. Michael Moore is never without one.

And I agree it's nothing new - JFK was frequently photographed without a tie, or with it loosened and his collar button undone, for all the reasons mentioned.

I will cite this an example of the current trend : IME most of the people on FOX wear ties, and most of the people on MSNBC do not (anchors excluded).
 

smmrfld

Super Member
IMO it's part of visual messaging and marketing in the current socio-political climate.

Suit + tie became associated with uptight old-guard Conservatives, elitism etc ; everyone wishing to appear young, modern, Liberal, populist etc. all rushed to the other side of the fence with open-collars / no tie.
Judge much?
 

Charles Dana

Honors Member
Suggestion: At your earliest convenience, go to Google and in the search field, type "define inane". (Leave out the quotation marks.) You will immediately see the definition of inane: "silly, stupid."

You will then see a long list of synonyms for "inane." (My favorite is "jejune"--be sure to click on that one.)

"Inane" and all of its synonyms--especially "jejune"--apply to any argument that attempts to prove a correlation between the wearing/not wearing of neckties and political persuasion.

I hope this otherwise reasonable thread's inane digression into the realm of the political exhausts itself soon. For those interested in jejune theories about the intersection of politics and ties, you have the Interchange.
 
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At Law

Senior Member
I almost always wear a tie....primarily because at our advancing ages we may not have a lot of years left, but we have a crap-ton of ties and shoes left to wear out! LOL. Seriously though, old habits are just hard for some of us to break. ;)
I have personally seen eagle2250 wearing only a tie and no suit while walking down Michigan Avenue.
 
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