Suit without a tie...

Discussion in 'Suits' started by avedwards, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    I have a hazy memory of a circa-1990 fad in British menswear, which was also a thing in Japan at the time (perhaps where the Brits' inspiration came from) for wearing a shirt with no tie, and the top button done up (rather like some of the early images of Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who). Punch magazine at the time even did a cartoon with a posh restaurant that had the sign "Top Buttons must be Fastened" as a parody. It didn't last, though it has come back around in recent years on both television and politicians. I will find it a great shame if the tie does die - it's not much in menswear that is so gloriously, flamboyantly un-utilitarian, there solely for decoration.

    I would agree that the pocket square is rarer in the UK than the US... and does indeed look to have been so going back. It's more of a dandified - and I suppose perhaps an upper class - affectation. I wouldn't dream of going out without one in my jacket but certainly it's no more a historical 'norm' in the UK than, say, the spearpoint shirt collar that is so ubiquitous at vintage themed events.

    I hear you on everything save the jeans with the blazer..... when I was in my early twenties, I did that a lot, and I like to think I pulled it off with a Keith Richardsesque swagger. Now I'm fat and middle aged, it's a look that can be too Jeremy Clarkson for comfort.

    You're bang on about tucking the shirt, though. I don't like an untucked shirt at the best of times, but there's something downright absurd about one with a suit. Always makes me think the wearer is trying too hard to rebel - like the kids who wore their shirt untucked with their school uniform.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
  2. HanauMan

    HanauMan Practically Family

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    Yes, I agree that ties are no longer in sync with the present Zeitgeist, especially amongst the younger generation.

    The tie, as with pocket squares, sock suspenders and shoe spats, are seen as irrelevant anachronisms. Me? I agree with them. Suits are stuffy and all this talk about formality and such is just the final last gasping of the Beau Brummell brigade!

    Just sayin'.... :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  3. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    You are so snobbish Edward, of course you should wear your shirt where it can be most admired and while you are at it, you could wear a tie underneath your shirt, after all, Superman wore his underpants on the outside, and to complete the look, how about some weird looking codpiece?
    codpiece.jpg
     
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  4. Hal

    Hal Practically Family

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    Ridiculous! How can any item of clothing be "stuffy"? The people wearing such clothes may be.
     
  5. MondoFW

    MondoFW Practically Family

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    I have to respectfully disagree with the comment about suits. The Golden Era proved that a man in a suit could look fun. Well, narrow that down to the late 30's-early 50's. In some social circles, a suit is seen as a form of pretension, and I'll never understand that. They're stylish, elegant, and pay ode to generations of tradition. Why don't we throw out the tuxedos while we're at it? Ridiculousness.
     
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  6. Anthony_Eden

    Anthony_Eden New in Town

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    Hi there,

    I don't think that the tie is obsolete at all yet... Of course it depends on context, but in my trade (government officials), even casual Friday does not exist, and it tie is both a kind of accepted uniform, or a mark of rank/seniority. When uncomfy, people drop the jacket or loosen the tie / unbutton the shirt (which make is even more familiar than no tie at all). And with all those boring dark suits (I kind of resist with my Prince of Wales and textured ones), the tie is often with cufflinks the only visible place when nice colors can express themselves...

    Long live the tie !

     
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  7. Hal

    Hal Practically Family

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    Exactly! Why forego the opportunity for a bit of colour and individuality?
     
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  8. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

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    Stuffiness here is probably unconsciously related to discomfort and tightness, because no one on earth can say that a properly fitting suit, with tame proportions scaled to the wearer makes a man looking a hundred times more handsome.
    If you find suits restricting and uncomfortable, you have to blame the fashion industry which sacrified quality to increase productivity, so that it could give newly styled garments every six months to the fashion addicted.
    Do you want to wander around in t-shirt and jeans? No problem, but don't behave like you are the good wise man, the free spirit that doesn't mind to follow the "uniform", because your jeans and your t-shirt are a uniform, like you say the suit is. The difference is, jeans and t-shirt is a very badly looking one.
     
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  9. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    I have been binge watching Person of Interest. The first thing I think of when I see John Caviezel on screen is that his tie is missing. Black suit, white shirt, no tie! Nope.

    77f54dfffb6230af38b057870b445ec2--jim-james-jim-orourke.jpg
     
  10. avedwards

    avedwards Call Me a Cab

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    In my opinion that's a poorly done version of a suit without a tie. A grey shirt (with or without a pattern) would already make the whole thing look better.

    I don't want to get involved in an inflamed discussion over whether suits and ties are "stuffy" or a dated anachronism beyond the observation that they are still commonplace, therefore relevant and current. This discussion is about whether a suit can be worn without a tie; please contribute constructively or give this thread a miss.
     
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  11. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

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    I want also to add, that I have worn "city" suits sans-tie on several occasions and I have to say that it could be made to look decent in some occasions. This was my recipe:
    - the suit has to fit reasonably well and needs to be definitely on the trimmer side (not ridiculously so, however);
    - the shirt has to be not white or light blue. I would say that dark shirt and light suit is a better combination in this case;
    - the collar of the shirt must be perfectly fitting, rather spread and possibly on the softer side. Absolutely to be avoided too big collars (the tend to sag down) and narrow collars. I don't wear button downs so I can't comment on those.

    I have been wearing such outfit only for some dinners with friends and sometimes at the club; in total, not more than three times a year. I have worn a black suit with a grey shirt once for New Year's eve dinner at a bistrot. The atmosphere was congenial with such a look. Definitely not a versatile outfit, and definitely can be finished with a discrete tie without looking overdressed at all.

    The air of "privilege" that some managers convey when they purposely don't wear a tie is, please forgive the French, just bullshit.
     
  12. OldStrummer

    OldStrummer Practically Family

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    For me, it's the "structured" look versus the "unstructured" look. A properly tailored suit is structured to conform to a man's body, and the design lends itself toward the more formal look. Which means a tie. An unstructured sports jacket or blazer is looser and is an adjunct to the overall look.

    When I wear a suit, I always wear a tie. But there are times, such as when I'm taking an airplane, a cruise, or just diddy-bopping around that I will add a sports coat to the mix. Having the additional inside pockets for tickets, glasses cases, car keys, librettos, etc. is quite handy. Plus, going from one environment to another (I just returned from Florida to the chilly mid-Atlantic), a sports coat takes the place of a jacket that might otherwise be useless half the trip.
     
  13. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    That guy could wear a bin (trash can) liner and still have more of what my Missus calls, oomph, than most of us lesser mortals could aspire too. I hate him.
     
  14. Anthony_Eden

    Anthony_Eden New in Town

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    Also imo the suit without a tie wrk much better if the suit is not an archetypal business suit like a navy striped one or equivalent.

    A nice tweed, flannel brown or green suit with checks would for instance work much better without a tie due to its less formal nature...

    I would say that a suit without a tie is definitely acceptable, but it would look far better if it doesn’t look like you just forgot or stained your tie :)
     
  15. Zoukatron

    Zoukatron One of the Regulars

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    This is a very interesting discussion. I have very mixed feelings about suits without ties. Generally speaking, if I see someone wearing a business-appropriate suit, with a business appropriate shirt, I hate seeing them without a tie (in all honesty, I hate seeing such attire without a waistcoat as well, but's an entirely different issue). It just doesn't look complete to my eyes.

    Having said that, the same charcoal or navy worsted suit would look fine to me with a dark burgundy shirt and no tie, or perhaps a light coloured floral tie. I also think that, in the absence of a tie, a pocket square is a very important addition to make to an outfit come together better.

    As a final aside, regardless of what type of outfit it is, I don't like seeing a collar button done up without any form of neckwear (as seems to be very popular currently amongst the youth in the UK) - that also looks very incomplete.
     
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  16. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    That 'look' is actually a throwback to the Golden Era among 'less affluent' people. I have seen photos of rural men in a jacket, and a shirt buttoned up. Being rural, and a long time ago, and the due to the age of the clothing, it's a look I like.
     
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  17. Zoukatron

    Zoukatron One of the Regulars

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    Indeed, I've seen images like that too. I still don't like it as a look though. ;) I think it's because growing up I was always exposed to people wearing it with a tie.
     
  18. scottyrocks

    scottyrocks I'll Lock Up

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    Yeah, me too.

    One can never account for what anyone will favor.
     
  19. Zoukatron

    Zoukatron One of the Regulars

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    Back on to the prime topic of suits without ties, I will make a horrifying confession and say that I have worn a dinner suit without any form of neckwear on several occasions. The shirt I wore was a dark red and heavily textured. I wore this particular outfit to go out to casual dinners with friends a few times (I'd never do it to anything actually black tie).
     
  20. Zoukatron

    Zoukatron One of the Regulars

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    Thinking about it now... a tieless dinner suit is an experiment I regret doing (a navy suit would have carried the image I was going for much better), but it was worth trying I guess.
     

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