The Tie

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by Andrew Jacobs

When temperatures drop and summer memories begin to fade, the season calls for layering. Yes, fall is that special time when we are not bound by the scorching summer heat or the bitter winter cold. For a short while, mother nature graces us with the opportunity to show off our true style.

Of course, you already know this and that is probably why you are reading my column (thank you!). However, we are all students of style and with each season opportunities to learn and experiment come our way. One thing I have noticed in Madison – on campus in particular – is that very few men wear ties.

With the exception of professors and those who occasionally wear ill-fitted suits, I rarely see stylish male students wearing one. This baffles me because fall is all about adding visible depth to your attire and the necktie is a timeless and sure-fire way to do so.

I think the problem is most guys envision a tie in a very formal context. However, just like a sport jacket, a tie can be easily dressed up or down. To get your mind going, let’s discuss some ways one can be worn with jeans, for example.

The fall wardrobe of most guys consists of long-sleeve shirts, zip hoodies, sweaters, cardigans and light jackets. In my opinion, the best way to dress down a tie is to limit the amount of fabric you show. For example, layering a crew-neck or v-neck sweater over your shirt and tie will not have people assuming you are headed to an interview. Yes, it will make you look a little bit more sophisticated, but hey, is that really a bad thing?

I, for one, look back at old Ivy League style – where ties were as commonly worn as backward baseball caps – with great admiration. The style of that time personified university as the bridge between youthful exuberance and maturity. Although times and styles have surely changed, I feel adding a tie to your fall wardrobe echoes a time at which we look back with great nostalgia.

Until next time, take care!

photo by Street Etiquette

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