Is Obama killing the necktie?

Obama heading to the theater

Obama heading to the theater

Okay, he is not single-handedly killing the necktie, but then neither did JFK kill off the hat.  Yet, the perception is just as important.  Just as the idea that the President did not wear a hat regularly was one of the final nails in the large-scale hat industry, the idea that the POTUS does not have to wear a tie is going to mean fewer and fewer will actually wear them.  Just going to see Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, the President shocked old-school New Yorkers

There was Barack Obama — a president so beloved in Manhattan that he won 85 percent of the vote — heading off with Michelle to the theater Saturday night dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and (just typing these words could bring on a coronary) no tie. Not Hermes silk, not street-vendor synthetic, not even a New Mexican tourist bolo — nothing at his neck besides skin.

But, what does it mean?  How significant is it that Obama has gone to the theatre without a tie?  What about in the Oval Office?

Actually, Obama’s relaxed attitude to neckwear is the result of years of gradual changes in men’s fashion.  If a person from an older generation had been elected, then ties would have remained as part of the uniform within the Oval Office.  But, times are changing

A Gallup poll in 2007 found that only 6 percent of men wore a necktie every day, down from 10 percent in 2002. An additional 7 percent responded that they wore a tie “most days” or “half the time.”

So, before you blame Obama for the death of the tie, you might want to think about all of those ‘casual Fridays’, tie-less bankers, and ‘friendly’ dressed-down lawyers.  But, if you are going to buck the trend, please wear a proper tie and not some crazy “conversatonial” or gimmick tie.  Stick with the traditional fabrics and patterns!

If you have not worn a tie for awhile (or want to re-learn how to tie one), check out the Art of Manliness’ videos:

For more ways to tie it, check out this page.