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Tied up for Father's Day

Tied up for Father's Day
© Suharjoto |

Be honest. Did you get your dad a tie for Father's Day?

According to the studies, fewer and fewer men are wearing ties, especially in the workplace. Few people are convinced by the old notion that you do your best work when dressed formally, and there is no evidence that an uncomfortable worker is a good worker. The tie simply no longer conveys the impression of authority and respectability it once did. Power, after all, should be being able to wear whatever you want, rather than dumbly subscribing to a tradition of business attire we Australians inherited from a much cooler climate.

What other item of clothing is as plainly useless as the necktie. A belt keeps your pants up; a hat keeps the sun off your head and a scarf helps to keep you warm but if humans were ever visited by extraterrestrial intelligence, we'd have a pretty hard time explaining the function of a tie. 'Uh, it's a strip of fabric that … well, it hangs from your collar and … well, um, …'.

What's the point? It would be quite convenient if it doubled up as a bib or handkerchief but adult men wearing bibs may not catch on with the general public.

And speaking of things catching on, is there any other fashion accessory that seems specifically designed for accidental strangulation? Sure, you can undo the top button of your shirt (you rebel, you), but it's not going to help when your tie gets caught in the industrial-strength paper shredder.

Sure, this is an extreme case but there's still something just a little unnerving about self-imposed vascular constriction. The daily ritual of knotting something around your own neck has unfortunate noose-like connotations (though depending on how you feel about your job, this may have some merit).

Say what you will about that other beloved Father's Day gift, the humble pair of socks, but they're clearly the better option. They keep your feet clean, warm and comfortable, ease chafing and stop your sneakers from stinking to high heaven. So this Father's Day, ditch the tie and go for socks.

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