Five Ties

Five silk neckties.

The necktie has become a thing of the past. It was the done thing at the outset of my career as a software developer in the early ’90s to wear a suit & tie to work, which is what I routinely did for a decade or so. As befits someone my age, I still have at least a dozen of the things, currently all draped around the neck of a mannequin. Five of them are shown in the photo above.

Four of the five date back to the last century. The leftmost one is an Eredi Pisanò tie I bought in Rome in ‘97. The distressed-looking green one has a lovely marbled pattern which is difficult to see in the picture. I picked it up at Alberto Valese Ebrù in Venice, who sold all manner of marbled papers and fabrics. In the middle is a stolen item, a Bill Blass tie that came into my hands after an airport baggage reclaim mix-up in Canada. My then-fiancée spotted the tie in the bag that was not mine, and insisted it would suit me and that I should keep it: I was too besotted (with her, not the tie) to argue the point. Second from right – another one not in the best of shape – is the tie I wore on my wedding-day. It’s a ‘Principles for men’ tie purchased at the Debenhams in Crawley ca. September ‘99.

Lately I’ve only worn ties to weddings and funerals. I wore the one on the right of the photo to my niece’s wedding last year. I’d ordered it on-line from Charles Tyrwhitt. Not pictured is the plain black tie I wore to a funeral a few months later. Such occasions are now just about the only ones where knotting a length of silk around one’s neck is still standard practice.