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To tie or not to tie?

You may find yourself wondering whether or not the humble tie still has relevance in a world of remote working and Zoom video conference calls. It may be acceptable to ditch it in some scenarios, but here are a few that still need it to make the right impression.

The worn-out notion that every dress shirt has to be accompanied by a tie has left the (rather staid) building. Even bastions of suit-and-tie attire such as banking and law have given way to a casualisation in the workplace. Perhaps it’s a South African thing – ties are neither hot-weather friendly nor do they go with shorts, however cleverly styled. And, since it’s deemed acceptable to WhatsApp rather than call a colleague, have ties, like phone calls, perhaps become outdated?

Not completely, says fashion editor Neil Doveton, of, who sings the praises of this handsome accessory for the right occasions. ‘As sure as throwing away the rind of an orange, there will come a time or occasion in every man’s life that demands a tie,’ he says. ‘When you want to make an impression, nothing affords a man more gravitas than a collar and tie.’

For a job interview or presentation, even via Zoom – Doveton feels donning a tie is a reliable means of self-introduction. And for such an introduction, the tie to reach for is a silk one. ‘With its unmatchable ability to “bounce” back into shape after being repeatedly tied and untied, a silk tie is a wardrobe investment.’

If you do need a new one, Prada’s printed silk twill tie is certainly a wonderful statement. For something more subdued – that will work well for, er work – get your hands on a blue silk jacquard tie with micro patterning by Hugo Boss. If you find yourself needing fewer rather than more, go for a tie-wardrobe overhaul instead, and just keep three, says Doveton: a striped tie, a textured knit tie and a solid plain tie, preferably in black or dark navy as it’s suitable for most occasions, day or night. Now you know.

By Helen Clemson

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