09:00 18 August 2009
Many of us are burdened with wearing a tie for work. Snappier dressers might even wear one for going out on the town.
But work or play, your choice of tie, or your choice of going without one, says more about you than you could imagine.
So, what are the subliminal messages coming from your neck?
Fat tie - self important
As seen on: Football managers, Italians, City whizkids.
Ties are either fat or thin, says Charlie Porter, associate editor of GQ. And right now, he says, they're not fat.
"At the moment, ties are skinny or not worn at all.
"But fat is quite a statement and it's showy and self-confident. You could say it's the same as women's hemlines rising meaning that it's good for business. When ties are fat, business is good, but right now they're skinny."
"This is the 'Look at me tie'", says a Burton spokeswoman. "Probably silk and quite expensive as the City's a place where men find it hard to portray their individual identity due to the stiff constraints placed on work wear."
Skinny tie - retro cool
As seen on: Franz Ferdinand and other hip and cool kids.
Plenty of bands are wearing very skinny ties and it's the look of the Dior catwalk, says Catherine Hayward, fashion director at Esquire.
"It's had a huge impact on younger men and boys who otherwise might not wear a tie at all. It's become quite cool, even with jeans and trainers."
Medium tie - responsible/safe
As seen on: Politicians and dull office workers.
"A man in a responsible job like banking or politics has to wear it," says Ms Hayward.
"You're being seen and you have to look smart."
Open neck (no tie) - creative
As seen on: Tony Blair, more and more businessmen.
It's less of a statement than it used to be.
"This is entirely generational", says Charlie Porter.
"Most 21-something men work in an industry where they don't need to wear a tie. Dress Down Friday is now the whole week, especially in creative or internet entrepreneur industries."
Bow tie - flamboyant
As seen on: Sir Robin Day, hospital consultants.
Fine at a dinner and dance, says Ken Lock of Toye, Kenning and Spencer.
"But for the rest of the time, I'd say they want to be noticed, because it's so unusual. They tend to be more flamboyant, like Robin Day. Or they may feel they're more up-market."
Cravat - fashionista
As seen on: Robbie Williams, Jude Law, Martin Freeman.
"Cravats and neckerchiefs have been on the catwalks for a couple of seasons and they're coming to the fore at the moment," says Mr Porter.
"There's a preppy school thing happening. The neckerchief is not as flowery so easier to carry off.
"It used to be stuffy but it's become a bit more fashionable now, since Jude Law wore his pink, spotted scarf."
Top button done up - slightly odd
As seen on: David Hasselhoff, Alan Hansen.
This is weird, says Charlie Porter. "Some men get neck rash from wearing a tie, so you need to open a shirt up. I don't know who would want to do this but it's slightly repressive."
Needs to be a skinny-fit shirt or with button-down collars to work, says Ms Hayward.
Novelty/musical tie - not funny
As seen on: Idiots
Just don't go there...ever.
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