Christmas Tips & Fun

Learn interesting, unusual, unique and useful facts and tips about Christmas and the winter holiday season, in America and around the world.


Christmas Clothing & Apparel

Christmas Ties for Men and Boys – Yesterday and Today

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o begin with, fewer and fewer men are wearing ties – anywhere, anytime. That’s not something we’ll discuss here. What we will talk about is the idea of wearing, and buying and owning ties with a Christmas motif.

Why ties in the first place? It turns out that they are a relatively recent invention – dating back only to the 1600s. Originally a piece of cloth was worn around the neck and tied with a string. They went through several evolutions until the mid-1700 when a group of wealthy young Englishmen who had made the Grand Tour of Europe discovered a pasta in Italy that was called “macaroni.” These same wealthy young Englishmen also were the fashion plates of their day, wearing fancy cravats and being highly pleased with themselves – which caused them to become the target of satirists.

One satirical reference dealt with the nickname of these men – they were called members of the macaroni club – and incorporated a derisive version of them into a song that became quite popular in America in the later 1700s with a portion of a song lyric that went “stuck a feather in his cap and called it macaroni.”

Fast forward to the middle of the last century and the traditional men’s tie. It was the mark of a well dressed man who wore a tie to work and to church and felt sort of undressed without one. By the beginning of this century that idea was beginning to crumble with the advent of casual Friday – no tie required – and the gradual spread of that concept to the point where, as we said we wouldn’t discuss, not all that many men wear ties at all except to more formal occasions.

All that being said, there are still a whole lot of Christmas-themed men’s ties out there, just a whole lot fewer occasions to wear them.

There are ties with Santa, Rudolph (even one that has an electrified nose and plays “the song”), snowflakes, trees, bells and almost everything in between. There are ties for boys, tall men, and, shall we say, larger men. There are bow ties, string ties, traditional shapes and even a shaped tie that evokes Santa himself.

After Christmas is over the best way to store a Christmas tie (or ties) is to roll them up and place them safely in a drawer. This, of course, assumes that dripped salad dressing or a misplaced beverage has not soiled them, in which case a trip to a good cleaner’s would be in order as a first step.

Perhaps the best time to buy a Christmas tie for giving to a man in your life is during the after-Christmas sales. An alternative is to let your mouse find them on the Web. They still make a statement – subtle or sublime or just plain silly – and can start interesting conversations at parties or in an ophthalmologist’s office.

Written by Dianne Weller
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