I Tried Wearing a Tie to Work

Lots of people in my industry wear ties; they are all men (or at least, in my observation they have all been men).  As we know, I don’t let a little thing like tradition hold me back in my fashion choices, and I figured I should just put ties in the “seems like an easy way to add some pizzazz” category of my fashion brain.  It would join colourful shoes, statement earrings, weird prints and culottes.  However, I was also aware men also complain about ties, so I started off with a cheap option just in case it was terrible and not-to-be-repeated.

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I went with this snazzy blue and white floral number, which was complimented by at least two men in my office as a “cool tie”.   I was also in a jumpsuit mood (more below) and this number was perfect with its lapel-like front.  Blue and white…the obvious addition was a flash of red in my shoes and my lipstick and there I was, a walking embodiment of all those countries that used red white and blue in their flags.  I now regret not wearing this to work on Bastille Day, what an opportunity missed!  And here’s why I love Wellington – not a single person commented on the fact that I, a woman, was wearing a tie.  Clearly, my workmates are just used to my looks, but nobody else in all of my interactions commented either.  Good job, Wellington.

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My review of ties: as we know, I wear high heels, generally considered to be painful instruments of torture and a way to subtly (ish?) subjugate women.  My threshold for clothing items that are nonsense is really high – I wear belts around my middle for looks, rather than to hold up pants, on a regular basis.  I’ve occasionally used double-sided tape on particularly fancy dresses to stop them from flashing.  And yet, I like ties the least.  At least with high heels you get a leg-lengthening effect; with belts, they cinch you into a generally pleasing hourglass shape.  I don’t have a penis, so I don’t need a giant arrow pointing to my crotch (in hindsight, probably partly why I wore this tucked into a jumpsuit).  As a result, the tie just felt chokey and weird.  Although I was able to mostly ignore it during the day, taking off my tie at the end of the day was more satisfying than taking off my shoes. 

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The scientist in me *puts on lab coat* knows that this is in part due to the fact that I don’t usually wear ties, so part of the issue is unfamiliarity.  It’s like the old trick of putting your watch on the wrong wrist, as a gentle reminder that you have to do something.  I will hold onto my tie and try it again in other combos – I can definitely imagine it with some kind of a dress/jumper combo – but I can’t imagine myself reaching for it all that often.  I do have more sympathy for the men in my industry now and to the men in my team who report to me, if you are reading this, please don’t feel you need to wear a tie.  They are dumb.  Pay it forward one day when you are the boss.

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Finally, a quick note on “jumpsuit mood”.   Jumpsuit mood is the mood where you just want something easy and all in one, like a dress, but you want to be able to really take up some room in meeting and/or fossick under your desk for the hand cream you dropped without having to worry.  I don’t wear jumpsuits hugely often, but every time I do I am reminded of their amazing blend of utility and ease (and style).  They can be an absolute pain to buy though, as you have to have the correct depth in the rise (or you get a wedgie) and a long enough torso (but not too long, or the whole thing will flop).  The perfect work jumpsuit, in my view, comes in navy or another neutral, non-black colour and has a front that in no way suggests you are wearing dungarees.  I love this one because it so easily lends itself to layering and it contains the whisper of a suit jacket – parfait. Strongly recommend perusing jumpsuits for a day when you feel like man-spreading while wearing a tie.

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