Men Tying Ties Around their Necks

ABC News’ Marilyn Gardner writes on the ‘Net today about ties, something I am happy never to wear.

“After a decade of sartorial rebellion and confusion, neckties and — gasp! — even suits are staging a modest comeback. Some wearers are simply obeying more stringent corporate dress codes. Others are enjoying a more polished look.

In the early 1990s, retail sales of neckties peaked at $1.3 billion, he says. At the height of the casual revolution, sales dropped to about $750 million. This year, Gerald Andersen, executive director of the Men’s Dress Furnishings Association estimates that sales will climb to $1.1 billion.

For younger men, wearing ties may be a counter-rebellion. “When your dad is running around in jeans and a T-shirt, you want to look different,” Andersen said.

Andersen attributes some of men’s growing fashion sophistication to television makeover shows, such as “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” as well as “The Apprentice,” where “the corporate look is part of that milieu.”

Ties can even spark a competitive spirit among men at work.

Contemporary ties also give men a way to safely indulge their inner peacock. Along with conservative reds and blues, they can choose bright colors — lavender, indigo, fuchsia — and bold designs. “For a guy, it’s just about the only form of creative expression allowed to you,” said Dave Platter, a marketing executive in New York.