godan

Elite Member
Auchincloss rules

While this is not the Trad Forum, I have been surprised that no posts refer to the Rector of Justin. In chapter 2, Auchincloss has the title character encounter some students taking advantage of a new master's uncertainty about discipline by removing their ties. The Rector orders the ties back on and tied, then utters the sentence that applies to many abandoned standards of dress that we discuss here, "When a gentleman undresses, a gentleman goes to bed." There it is.
 

phyrpowr

Honors Member
I think it only works casually and in warm weather, although to get it to look right, one must be wearing a light-weight two-piece suit with a loop-collar shirt, collar out. Maybe I've been looking at too many old photos again.
Strangely enough, I've seen some shots of 3P heavier suits, especially tweed, where the tieless look is sort of Okay...but dark 2P, still no.
 

mhdena

Senior Member
It depends.

Have a turkey neck? Don't do it.

Look like George Clooney? OK to do it.

Look Like Dwayne Johnson (Rock)? OK to do it.

Look like Barney Fife? Don't do it.

Don't know which one of the above you look like? Don't do it.
 

Fading Fast

Connoisseur
While this is not the Trad Forum, I have been surprised that no posts refer to the Rector of Justin. In chapter 2, Auchincloss has the title character encounter some students taking advantage of a new master's uncertainty about discipline by removing their ties. The Rector orders the ties back on and tied, then utters the sentence that applies to many abandoned standards of dress that we discuss here, "When a gentleman undresses, a gentleman goes to bed." There it is.
Great quote from a really good novel. That is my favorite Auchincloss book - he upped his game for that one. The characters are more fully developed, the interpersonal relationships deeper and more nuanced and the sweep of the story is broader than his other novels (or at least the several I've read).
 

GWW

Senior Member
What is a mao collar?
This is porbably the only time this VigLink stuff's actually helpful, you'll get to a picture of one if you click it (altough I button them up all the way).

A mao collar is a short stand up collar, a bit like a turndown collar without the turndown portion.
 
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mhj

Senior Member
To quote an unknown blogger, you look like you were just released from the drunk tank and they took your tie from you as a suicide prevention measure.
 

Flanderian

Connoisseur
1936 or not, the guy with the suit on without the tie foreshadows the ugly 1970s disco suits (shows they got some things wrong even in the 1930s style world, occasionally)


The best thing about cellphones is not having to use disgusting public phones (and in NYC by the 1970s, disgusting was the best thing you could say about them).


I always thought the turtleneck was the "acceptable" way to wear a suit without a tie in more casual situations and I like the look - but for some reason, that seems to have all but disappeared. Wasn't the idea that the turtleneck covered the open neck and went high up and, thus, had enough structure to be consistent with the suit (which is echoing Jovan's point about an OCBD at least "standing up" on its own)?
Your post raises some interesting issues, and bears upon some thoughts I've had recently about '70's menswear.

Whether anyone finds a turtleneck with a suit appealing, or not, I believe is very much a matter of personal preference. It's certainly not obligatory, and a man can live his whole life never having worn that combination and be very well dressed. But I think it's a little inaccurate to smear the aesthetic by tying it to '70's disco suits, revolting though they may have been. (I had a colleague who had a suit he wore for business that was supposed to be "Sand" colored, but was, in fact, orange.)

It sounds as if you too also lived through that decade, which I might more accurately term, survived. Certainly, it was one of my least favorite aesthetically. But the turtleneck with country suits, or sport jackets was something I witnessed being worn throughout the '60's and '50's, and judging by photographs and illustrations, was worn for decades before. My opinion is that the common negative reaction to a turtleneck with tailored clothing owes more to its having become fashion and being over-seen, and to its association with ugly clothes, than to the intrinsic value of the aesthetic itself.

And my other thought involves '70's fashion as a whole: Certainly not the best decade for menswear. And at its worse, there are no competitors, but when I run across some old fashion photography of better quality clothing from the era, and compare it to what I see now, it can actually make me nostalgic! And I'm shocked by my reaction! Yes, a surprising amount of better '70's clothing looks a heck of a lot better than what I see parading around Pitiful Uomo or going down Thom Browne's walkways. It's more graceful, better balanced, doesn't make the wearer look ugly, and some of it actually had style, at least compared to a surprising amount of contemporary fashion.

People who didn't experience the decade tend to think of the options available as consisting exclusively of tie-dyed shirts, jeans, platform shoes and fringed jackets. But during the era I was buying business suits at Paul Stuart, Chipp or Wallach's that though they may have been cut with straight-leg trousers and a higher button stance with a wider lapel, are far better looking than what I see being sold as fashion now. And that is true right down the line for all the accoutrements that I wore with them.

So were the '70's a wonderful sartorial decade? Heck no! But look around.
 
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Matt S

Connoisseur
I refer to them as "Banded" collars, popular in the 80's, always the top button would be buttoned, usually worn with a suit.

Never heard the term "mao collar"
A banded collar is not the same as a Mao collar. The Mao collar folds down and looks similar to a point collar without tie space. Have a look at any photo of Mao Zedong.
 

JLibourel

Honors Member and King Fop
I agree with several above that a light colored, more "casual" suit can be worn well with a buttoned polo, or a button-down or other that sort of stands up. But a dark "serious business" suit with spread collar and no tie always makes me think the guy was wearing a tie but took it off because "Jeez, dese t'ings makes me feel like I'se chokin'". A bit Slobbovian.
Sums up my view of the matter to perfection. How many times has this topic been hashed over in this forum, I wonder?
 

Tori

New Member
You look more polished wearing a suit and tie. It's made to go together unless you're absolutely confident in yourself without the tie.
 

TimelesStyle

Senior Member
In my opinion, it all depends on the suit and the shirt. I have some suits which, without a doubt, could only be worn with a tie, while I have some others which could be worn tieless. For example, those which I'd wear for most business tend to be cut to a normal length (no short jackets) and have the trousers a little looser so that they both drape better and can be worn with braces. These suits would look silly without a tie. On the other hand, suits with shorter jackets and more fitted, tapered trousers could be worn without a tie, just probably not for business. Also, no three-button or double-breasted suits without ties.

Shirt matters as well. Very conservative fabrics with wide spread-to-cutaway collars (which I like) tend to look better with a tie. Similarly, those who like BB pinpoint oxford shirts with pockets are definitely better suited to ties. However, a more fitted shirt in a solid lilac or gingham or checked pattern with a moderate spread collar can look fine.

In general, I think that if it's a shirt/jacket I'd feel comfortable pairing with a pair of jeans to go out for dinner at a nice restaurant, then having pants that match the jacket and no tie will be fine.

My one rule for going tieless, though, is that, for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT wear an undershirt! The idea is to look a bit slick so the protruding neck band or even lump from a v-neck detract from that immensely.
 
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