Ties can be made out of any fabric that’s reasonably light. Silk is the most popular material simply because of its ability to “bounce” back into shape after being tied and untied all of the time, without showing creases. Ties and self-tie bowties are the only pieces of clothing that have to be knotted on a daily basis!
Ties, like men’s fashion in general, are always evolving as recent history shows.
In the 1970s ‘kipper ties’, which were often as wide as 12cms, were the neckwear fashion statement of the decade. In the 1980s, (just as in the 1960s), skinny ties, some as narrow as 3cms, became popular again.
Into the 1990s, as ties got wider again, increasingly unusual designs became common. Novelty (or joke) ties, as well as deliberately ‘bad taste ties’ designed to make a statement gained a certain popularity. These included ties featuring cartoon characters, commercial products, hobbies and pop culture icons. During this period, with men wearing their trousers at their hips, ties lengthened to 150cms.
In 2008 the world of fashion saw a return to skinny ties. The most common pattern for such ties in the UK and most of Europe consisted of diagonal stripes of alternating colours running down the tie from the wearer’s left. These neckties are cut on the bias (diagonally), so the stripes on the source cloth are parallel or perpendicular to the selvage, not diagonal.
Outside of these environments, ties are worn especially when attending traditionally formal or professional events, including weddings, important religious ceremonies, job interviews, court appearances, and fine dining
Despite various attempts to kill them off over the years by certain groups from turtleneck-wearing intellectuals, scruffy Silicon Valley types such as Richard Branson, and the recent ‘corporate casual’ movement – Neckties endure.
Indeed, after a brief downturn a few years ago ties are coming on strong again amidst a revival of tailored clothing, as well as an upsurge in interest among young fashion conscious consumers whose penchant for pairing non-traditional elements to create distinctly personal looks cries out for captivating neckwear. These trend setters are currently being attracted to ties that are of a medium width around 7cms wide.