CareerSherpas: Climbing the Mountain

When you’re on the way, it helps to share the load

Do Not Mourn the Necktie

First up, let me apologize that I haven’t been able to think of a feminine equivalent to the necktie. I’d like to say that I have a comparative item of work attire to discuss, but I’m stuck. (If anyone out there would like to suggest a similar clothing status symbol for women in the workplace please do share it in the comments!)

That out of the way, I’ve shared the following clip a few times since it first aired in 2008 and I think it has some enduring relevance. In it, Ben Stein shares his perspective of the value and presence of the necktie as well as what it represents to him.

(Ben Stein appearing on the CBS Sunday Morning show – 2008)

The tie is many things: A conservative fashion statement; a throwback to an earlier era; an imperative in (some) big businesses; a choking noose; and a personal addition to otherwise constrained traditional attire.┬áMuch as I don’t agree with many of Stein’s positions, his perspective rang surprisingly true and brought to the fore all the concrete (if mildly satiric) rationales for wearing a tie. I’ve been wearing one every day for work since.

Where do you stand on the use (and abuse) of neckties?

Peter Fitzgerald is the founder of and is currently working on his first book, connecting individuals with ideas and opportunities, and attempting to learn the bagpipes.

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