When it’s time to move again to the office, and on the few days after I put on a swimsuit and tie, I ought to retire my purple ties, proper, until I need everybody to imagine I’m a Trump supporter? Is it doable for any man to put on a purple tie now and never instantly recall to mind the previous president? — Ken, Newton, Mass.
Though the demise of the tie is asserted recurrently — particularly given the pressures of each the long-term office-casual motion and our present working-from-home actuality — Guy Trebay, our males’s put on critic, maintains that you shouldn’t depend the accent out fairly but. As he stated, “even if we’re not wearing them much during lockdown, you don’t want to give up on an element of the wardrobe that’s been around for 400 years.”
Ties can, in any case, be used to sign “your club, your interests, whether you are a jokester, a brainiac or even a clown.” Not to say, as you say, “political affiliation.”
The question is whether or not the occasion dividing line between purple and blue that has swept even the necktie into its maw will stay uppermost in everybody’s minds now that unity is the phrase of the second (and purple the colour). Given how central purple ties had been to President Trump’s uniform, it’s pure to suppose that we could now have a Pavlovian response to the colour. But the very fact is, purple ties had been a wardrobe staple lengthy earlier than Mr. Trump received maintain of them.
Indeed, from the time presidential debates started being recurrently televised in colour in 1976 till 1988, each candidates wore purple ties 14 out of 18 times; they had been, basically, thought-about much less partisan than eye-catching and highly effective. George W. Bush beloved a purple tie, however so, too, did Barack Obama. Though President Biden appears a fan of blue, he wore purple ties in the course of the major debates, and I’m certain he’ll once more. Unless, after all, he hews to the Mark Zuckerberg-Steve Jobs concept of dressing and settles on a particular uniform to put on day by day.
According to Richard Ford, a professor at Stanford Law School and the creator of “Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History” (out in February), the true signature of Mr. Trump’s ties is just not the colour, which is just too generic for any single particular person to actually monopolize. “A red necktie paired with a white shirt and blue suit has always had an overly literal symbolism,” Mr. Ford stated. “Red, white and blue, see? I’m patriotic!” Rather, the Trump ties are usually “tied to be way too long,” in order that they dangle a few inches beneath his belt.
It’s the mixture of shade and elegance that makes the assertion of allegiance, not merely one or the opposite. That’s what you must remember when getting dressed. Then go forward: Tie one on.
Your Style Questions, Answered
Every week on Open Thread, Vanessa will answer a reader’s fashion-related question, which you’ll ship to her anytime through electronic mail or Twitter. Questions are edited and condensed.