Born initially as a handkerchief, the tie has quickly achieved a remarkable position in the lives of men. A man who values his status in the society holds his tie in high regard. Internet source, AskMen, informs that the tie was born as a piece of material worn by Roman legionnaires around the neck for reasons of hygiene or climate and was called a ‘focale’.
It adds that centuries later, the French wore this ‘handkerchief’ borrowing in their time from that which was worn by Croatian mercenaries during war. Just as a lady stands unique when she is wearing stilettos, a gentleman distinguishes himself from others with a tie.
A man’s tie greatly symbolises his personality in life and his sense of style. Take typical bankers and accountants for example, their ties are usually dark blue and at times feature stripes of grey. The point is that their ties are generally simple and won’t attract much attention but it is their colour choice that sets their garment apart from the rest of other professionals.
Tiro Tlou, an attorney, took time to adjust to a life with a tie on. “As a young boy, I always looked up at businessmen wearing pieces of cloth around their necks and thought to myself that it did not possess any viable function,” he said. However, time has proved him wrong and shown him that a tie is not just a small piece of cloth.
His understanding now is that a tie is a garment of power and influence. Actually, it is where connections and valuable partnerships are formed. According to Tlou, a man who is dressed up in a neat suit or shirt with a tie commands respect without trying too hard. He mentions that ‘power influences power’ hence the ability of tie wearers to persuade and create impact.
On the other hand, there are men who have come boldly and added sophistication to the tie. They wear ties that exude an image of not just power but flamboyant lifestyle. Their ties are fabricated out of the trendiest and flashiest material such as silk and with new designs.
These ties are usually worn by men who are less conservative such as artists, entertainers and fashion savvy individuals. It is usually the more outgoing trendsetters that wear the latest and stylish ties.
Take for example, American rapper and business mogul P. Diddy. His suits are never complete without stylish ties. His ties also add a sense of luxury and wealth, as well as colour to his outfits. Nonetheless, the old design remains a classic.
The knot in a tie carries with it some symbolic meaning. Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde in his The Importance of being Ernest says that ‘A well tied tie is the first serious step in life.’ This indicates that the daily gesture of tying the tie assumes a symbolic and nearly magical meaning.
According to the source, in symbolic iconography, the knot represents union, marriage, fertility, and therefore life. Therefore a man who knows how to tie his tie understands the ritual of elegance and taking perfect care.
According to One Matlhare, a fashion design student at Lomkokwing University, a solid coloured tie is a very classic combination that will likely be around forever. He states that buying a solid black tie will also be a valuable asset because it can be worn daily as well as for any event. “Black is universal and goes with any colour and any outfit,” he says.
Despite it giving men a better place in the society, women have also embraced this indispensable ornament to embrace their feminine elegance.