Why I wear a tie.

I wore a tie on my first day or two at the job I started in June because I thought I should.  Then, I noticed that nobody else was wearing a tie.  Nobody. (OK, a few men do on “Tie Tuesdays,” but even then it’s maybe 50%.)

I still wear a tie every day except Friday, every week.  Here’s why:

  • The tie reminds me that I’m at work.  I say that when joking with coworkers, but it’s true.  I’m not hanging out.  I’m not a student.  I’m getting work done.
  • The tie reminds me that I’m doing quality work.  I’m a professional, I produce excellence, and I’m not playing at this, even though it usually seems that I am.
  • The tie is a place for some personal expression.  Take away the tie, and I’m another shirt and khakis.  Where’s the fun?  Where’s the splash?
  • The tie is different.  At my last job, at a seminary in South Africa, most people wore ties.  There, I never did.  Now, since no one wears one, I do.  I’m a contrarian, I guess.
  • And a couple months after first writing this, I realized another reason: I get to wear a tie. My dad worked hard in a factory and on a farm and only got to wear a tie to church, which he often chose to do, or a special occasion like a wedding. To have a job where I can wear a tie is a privilege.

Perhaps there’s a method to my madness.

  • Grete

    thanks Adam! This is a perfect example of why dress matters. It reminds us (and others) of our role, our enviroment and purpose in being there, and lets us express who we are as a person outside of that context. All in one outfit, implying, showing, without interupting or imposing. It’s a powerful form of communication. Way to wield it. (or should I say associate direct it?) But don’t say nobody was wearing a tie. Not on tie teusdays.