I'm just old school enough to think that a man should wear a tie to certain events, such as working in an office where one deals with the public, religious ceremonies, and funerals (including his own).
Comcast SportsNet MidAtlantic has now relaxed their dress code for male sportscasters, allowing guys to appear in open-collared shirts under jackets. They call it "comfortable casual."
"We’re not looking to create Wayne’s World in a basement here, I want to be clear about that," Joe Ferreira, CSN's VP of content strategy, told the Washington Post. "We are very proud of our look and feel and our brand. But we are really thinking that the more ‘real’ and casual and comfortable our talent is — both on-camera and with our fans, both live at an arena and in the studio — the better they’re going to be. I like that style better and that voice better."
I'll agree that wearing a suit and tie to call the play-by-play of a baseball game on a steaming August evening is a bit goofy, but I still prefer people in a television studio to take the time to put on a tie.
Same with medical professionals and anyone else in the workplace where credibility and professionalism matter. Frankly, if I need brain surgery (go ahead and say it!) I don't want to meet some doctor dressed like Goober Pyle.
I know, times change and standards wane, but there are constants. Sure, if you're a suave Hollywood actor, you can pull off the no-tie look that Mr Cooper (left) is Hanging With, but even though it makes me as dated as last week's Saturday Evening Post, I expect a tie with a suit.
Neckie sales are down, I'll give you that. They peaked in 1995 in the US ($1.8 billion) and bottomed out in 2008 ($677 million) as men realized they didn't need to dress up too much to sit in the unemployment office. Andy Serwer, who is the managing editor of Fortune magazine, says that sales are improving again but adds, "In any event, it’s hard to see the tie biz ever again hitting the levels of two decades ago."
Etiquette guru Peter Post sums it all up nicely: "The tie’s value is that the formality it represents demonstrates respect for the occasion and those present."
And he adds that if you wear one and the occasion seems to make it unnecessary, you can always remove the old cravat...but if you show up open-necked and everyone else is wearing a four-in-hand, you can't just pull one out of thin air.
I gave several dozen ties to Goodwill when I retired, meaning that men all over Baltimore are wearing my rep stripes with pride, and I did save a few for important occasions, including my own.