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Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down


The tie is having a rough year, and if thing keep up this way, the double-windsor may soon go the way of the cummerbund.

Last week saw the end of the Men’s Dress Furnishings Association, a trade group that took on the Lorax-like task of speaking for the tiemakers of America. Unfortunately for the MDFA, men aren’t wearing ties that much anymore, even to work. The Wall Street Journal points to a gallup poll citing a record low of 6% of men wearing ties to work, compared to 10% six years ago. The highlight of the article is the description of an annual luncheon where many MDFA members went tieless. There isn’t usually a dress code for a tie association gathering, but they probably could have figured that one out.

Much as we want to defend the staple, we can’t say we’re surprised. The most exciting ties these days—knits, club ties, the occasional skinny—aren’t the sort you’re likely to find in the boardroom. And as ties become less compulsory, they become more adventurous. They’re free to show a little more flair, and wearing one starts to mean something other than just “I came straight from work.”

While that may not be good news for the MDFA, we’re pretty happy about it.