Bilirubin: A short treatise on the advantages of wearing ties.

Tie wearers don’t have it easy nowadays. Corporate drone, wannabe nob, swishy fag, or even suppressed masochist are some of the less colourful names you may be called if you wear a tie on your own volition. Depending on your social surroundings and local custom, ties are considered stigmata of oppression and a thing of Ages Long Gone™.

This has to stop. Ties have many advantages, and bearing the perfect knot should receive the recognition it deserves. Yes, I admit it: I like ties. Deal with it.

Of course, I don’t wear them all the time. Quite often, I too experience fits of tie-weariness and run around with my collar unbuttoned and my shirt ungraced by knotted silk. Thankfully, those fits usually don’t last for too long. Wearing ties is not an obligation unless you consider yourself part of the anarcho-dandyist movement or have rather weak self-esteem. It’s all a question of your personal point of view and understanding of the terms “style” and “taste.” So, in short: if you’re the t-shirt wearing kind, the following doesn’t apply to you. But it can’t hurt to read on anyway – you never know when you might see the light.

The three claims from the anti-tie faction.

Ties chaffe and choke! No they don’t. If you choke, get a looser shirt. It’s not rocket science, dude.

Ties are the symbol of patriarch oppression! Err, right. Lay off your Tannen reading, and stop watching all that S/M porn.

Ties are an unnecessary accessoire of the past! Well, true: Ties have come out of fashion, somewhat. But unnecessary? Hardly. How often do you spill drinks on your pristine white shirt? How often do you eat pasta? Get a tie – problem solved. Quite obviously, ties have a place even in our modern technocrat society.

Why everybody should wear a tie.

There’s a plethora of good reasons never to leave your house without a tie on. Here are some often overlooked advantages you will enjoy thanks to your friend and helper, Mr. Silk Tie, Esq..

Plain shirts are boring. Well, not all shirts are boring. But business shirts? Boring. Booooring. You can easily counter the lethargy of too sober (i.e. boring) a shirt by adding a nicely contrasting tie. You can also annoy the shit out of your peers by wearing ties so loud epileptics have to take a detour when you’re in the vicinity.

Ties can come in handy. If you’re into D/s, wearing a tie will provide you with a handy and stylish blindfold, comfortable bondage tool, or even a beginner’s whip. Never again will you have to carry that suitcase to the club: wear a tie, and you’re always ready for action. The same goes for serial killers and professional assassins, of course: garotte made easy.

Dress up or down with no effort. Ties give you the possibility to fine-tune your clothing: Wear solid-colour ties to dress up, rustic ties to dress down. Just avoid the Mickey Mouse things, those ties are made by Satan and should only be worn by the mentally ill. You can easily upgrade a mediocre suit with a nice tie. Always remember: a tie can both make or break your suit. You’ve just read what’s quite possibly the most important fashion advice you’ll ever get.

Ties are appropriate for almost anything. Wearing a tie enables you to enter virtually any bar, restaurant, and party without being bullied by the bouncer. Also, just because you keep the thing on doesn’t mean you’re out “for business” – properly selected, you can wear ties to anything from a five course dinner to a Death Metal concert without looking out of place. And if you do feel overdressed? Take the tie off. Easy.

The Tie-Ching. Only few people are aware of the fact that ties will tell your fortune. Rather than gauging your life by the price tag on that Hèrmes thingy, you should closely observe your morning knotting ritual, especially how many times it takes you to get the knot just right:

  • 1 try: Your day will be perfect. You can expect a nice raise and improved pulling power in the near future.
  • 2 tries: Sounds like an average day. Nothing out of the ordinary, but nothing to be worried about, either.
  • 3 tries: Careful. Be prepared for some bumps in your daily routine.
  • 4 tries and more: Don’t bother with the tie. Undress and call in sick. It’s nigh certain that you will be probed by aliens, get ditched by your significant other, lose your job, or all of the above.

Of course, you have to consider your personal tie-knotting handicap. The same divination technique works rather well with bow ties, too, but unless you’re the reincarnation of Winston Churchill, adjust your handicap to be on the safe side.

Closing remarks.

It will remain one of humanity’s great mysteries why ties have fallen from grace this far. Well, I guess it’s sort of understandable that somebody who is forced to wear a tie at work can’t be bothered to continue wearing them bloody things for leisure.

If you don’t like wearing ties, no problem. But please don’t bitch about ties in general, I think I made it clear that ties are still the staple of a gentleman’s wardrobe. And stop patronising people who like ties. It’s not their fault that you feel oppressed by some inane dress code at work. Get your priorities straight, man.

(This article was first published in 2002, but hells, I still enjoy ties.)

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