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A note from the field


Jul 23, 2010

Ties, we all love them and a large proportion of the population wear them five days a week but what do we actually know about them? Well, that’s all about to change…here at Smart Turnout we are proud to bring you twelve fun facts about the humble tie.

1) Rock around the clock – the origin of the tie.

The fashion of wearing fabric around the neck has been linked right back to soldiers buried with the Chinese emperor Shih Huang Ti in 210 BC so ties are certainly nothing new. The appearance of the more recognisable neckties dates right back to 1618, however after the First World War ties became increasingly popular as a way to display membership. Accordingly, in Britain, Regimental stripes began to take prominence in the 1920’s…

2) An English tie in New York?

Visually, British ties can often be identified by the way the stripes run from the left shoulder down to the right side. Unlike the UK, in the USA their ties are cut in the opposite direction to differentiate them from the British regimental stripe.  Although there are occasional British exceptions such as The Royal Navy, Royal Marines and Wellington College which all run the same way as the U.S. stripes, generally this rule holds true.

3) It’s not easy being skinny.

It is sometimes possible to guess the historical era of a tie by the width -widths increased to around 4.5 inches after the second world war. In the 1950’s ties became thinner and widths slimmed down to around 3 inches and continued slimming until the 60’s where thin ties became the norm – the thinnest width was around 1 inch. At the start of the 21st century, ties widened to 3.5 inches wide again and this remains the standard width today.

4) To cut a long story short…(or indeed tie)

Before World War II ties were worn shorter than they are today; partially because trouser waists were higher and because three-piece suits were a key trend, and having the tie stick out below the vest would be considered a major faux pas…

5) A Groovy kind of love!

The 1960s brought about an influx of pop art influenced designs partially inspired by the huge amount of pop art based advertising in the States. It became common to see more fun and exuberance of the styles.

6) He Didn’t Have To Be… Paisley

The 1970’s marked the rise of the Paisley tie – possibly as a reaction to the more garish designs and it became fashionable and indeed common to see various different paisley ties on men

7) Money Money Money…it’s a rich man’s world

In terms of business and fashion how you dress reflects upon how you are perceived. Therefore to look Smart and conscientious in the UK and the US the tie is an absolute must for work wear. The tie in the UK particularly has become a symbol of respect so for any formal occasion it would be impolite not to wear it. Additionally, as men have become increasingly fashion conscious ties help to ensure you look your absolute best. To quote P. G. Wodehouse from Jeeves and the Impending Doom, “There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter.”

8 ) The Stripes are back in town…

At the moment the traditional striped tie is enjoying a major renaissance. Certainly, trends come and go, and colours have become brighter and bolder but the appeal of stripes seems timeless.

9) That’s not my name…

You’re a what now? A person who collects ties is called a Grabatologist. Rumours that knowing this can also bag you a victory in countdown are unconfirmed…

10) Schools out for summer

British schoolboys are especially noted for wearing ties to school. Both state and private schools required them Ties are believed to have been adopted as a part of the mainstream uniform around 1910. Oxford University rowing club are believed to have created the first sporting tie.

11) Daddy Cool

Around the world, the tie is still the most popular Father’s Day gift closely followed by socks.

12) We are living in a material world…

The worlds most expensive tie was worth approximately £162,030.46 (or $250,000.00 USD) The designer, Satya Paul, created it for a 2004 Mumbai fashion show. The extravagant tie is made of pure silk and studded with 261 diamonds. Definitely not a tie to spill coffee on.!

I hope you enjoyed our latest post and If we have missed out your favourite tie fact let us know!

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