If you think about it the tie is an odd piece of garment. As far as clothes go it is both physically functionless and a hassle to eat soup with. Not to mention a source of many an embarrassing memories for an inept 16 year old Faisal for whom the intricacies of a ‘Double Windsor’ knot remained elusive for years. Now, I’ll readily admit that this is a straw man argument and that we don’t wear it because of its physical function but rather as an indicator of formal wear, occasion or ‘professionalism’. It has become so accepted in the Western world (and increasingly globally) that the tie is a symbol unto itself.
And this is precisely what the company Formalitees and their concept of ‘Tie Tees’ has looked to exploit in the most ironic way possible. They have invented a t-shirt with a neck-tie permanently attached to it, a simple idea that surprisingly has not been replicated as a product before. Its ideological motivation is a massive two fingers up to the establishment of suited professionals and multinational corporations. They want to reinvent the idea of the modern professional as ethical, egalitarian and ultimately non-conformist. Credit to them, its about time someone saved us from ironing our shirts and dry cleaning our jackets, slipping on a t-shirt every morning is much more ‘stylo’.
The question is, will it catch on? A predecessor of sorts was the tuxedo t-shirt, but although funny as a novelty item it didn’t necessarily have such a large ideological motivation behind it.
You feel that with the Tie Tee people might actually wear it for a reason outside a piece of fancy dress for a hipster rave in a ‘secret’ warehouse in Shoreditch. I’m not suggesting that suddenly the dress code for your next job interview is going to be strictly Tie Tee but rather that people might be willing to use it as a means to question what could be acceptable. I don’t think it is going to be challenging the suited establishment any time soon but how about that enigma that is the ‘smart-casual’ look? I’ve always seen it as a bit of a nothing dress code that tends towards under-dressing or over-dressing but never just right. So surely if anything epitomizes the smart-casual look then surely it is a tie that is smart and a tee that is casual. A fashion conundrum cracked.
Maybe the broader point to take from this is that t-shirts are comfortable and they should be pushed into more formal or professional spheres. It is time to push the boundaries of clothing categories and Indigo Clothing is happy to jump onto the bandwagon.