What the Fuck is a Tie, Anyway?

Seriously, think about it.

Has there ever been a more pointless piece of clothing?

A hat has a purpose. A watch has a purpose. Hell, even a handkerchief has a purpose.

But what is the point of a tie? Beyond feeling like you’re being slowly choked to death by the world’s weakest person, is there any actual reason to dangle a long piece of fabric from your throat?

According to the peer-reviewed journal Wikipedia, small, traditional neckerchiefs were first seen on Croatian mercenaries fighting alongside the French in the mid-1600s. From there, the Francs took note, Parisians most of all, as their interests were, as Wikipedia puts it, “aroused” by the style and vibe given off by a bit of collar candy. 

Why is it always “arousal” with the Parisians? Why can’t they just be into shit? But no. Always with the arousal. 

Anyway. 

Over the next few centuries, neckerchiefs gave way to cravats, ascots, bandanas and, eventually, the long tie, which, for much of the last hundred and fifty years, has been the de facto sign that says, “I’m here to get shit done.” 

Unless, of course, you’re at a funeral, at which point it’s more, “I’m sorry for your loss.”

But when you think about it, what the fuck even is a tie and why do we insist on tying them around our necks, creating what is no doubt a safety hazard, especially if you regularly take public transportation?

Why is it fabric? Why is it knotted? Why does it exist at all? 

After several dozen interminable minutes of research and a deep dive into the first page and a half of Google search results, I’ve come up with a few alternatives. 

A salmon:

Pros

  • The salmon is a subtle fish that isn’t all “look at me” like its friend, the hoity bass. Seriously. Fuck the bass. 
  • Can easily be turned into a nice sushi lunch. 

Cons

  • After a lunch spent eating your salmon tie, you won’t have anything around your neck. 
  • Having to deal with people who really overpronounce the “L” in salmon. They are, unequivocally, the worst. 

A spoon:

Pros 

  • If it’s metal, it will keep its shape. 
  • If salmon lunch isn’t your thing, maybe you can try a nice hearty soup. You already have the spoon. 

Cons 

  • Having to bend the spoon to fit around your neck each morning has been associated with arthritis of the wrist. 
  • Capital “F” Fashion People might think you’re one of them. 

Danny DeVito:

Pros 

  • A running commentary of your day from one of the most hilarious men of all time. 
  • Pretty sure he won’t require an extra ticket on commercial flights, considering he’s your tie and all. 

Cons 

  • People constantly telling you their favorite Danny DeVito film (Romancing The Stone, btw). 
  • You’ll have to occasionally unknot him for bathroom trips and to stretch his legs. 

An invisible necktie:

Pros 

  • Nothing dangling from your neck. 

Cons 

  • People asking if you forgot your tie. ❏

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2 Responses

  1. This purely utilitarian approach to clothing betrays the author’s peasant origins. As anyone of taste and breeding instinctively understands, the very uselessness of a tie serves an important purpose: It announces to the world that the wearer is a member of the upper class, like me. Come to think of it— Guards! Seize him! Show this sniveling fool what becomes of those who question the wisdom of their betters!

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