Is The Tie Officially Dead?


Time was that any man working in a central city location would wear a tie to work as a matter of course. Has the tie now become an endangered species?

I’m a journalist and a slob, so I very rarely wear a tie anymore. I got invited to an evening work function by an enterprise software company at a very swish restaurant the other week, so I decided to bust out one of my ties for a rare public showing.

It turns out that even in that context, I probably needn’t have bothered: in a group of a dozen people, I was one of just two men wearing a tie. Collared shirts are still pretty common, but it seems we’re not feeling the urge to add a tie as often as we used to (let alone learning how to tie one in less than ten seconds).

I’m curious how widespread this phenomenon is. Have you given up wearing a tie to work? Did you ever wear one in the first place? Are ties now relegated to formal functions, or can’t you imagine getting dressed for work without one? Share your tie philosophy in the comments.


  • i am 26, had 3 main roles over the last 6 and only wore a tie for the first role. After that i rarely wore a tie in the second role only for meetings and such. In my current job i wore one for my interview and about 30 minutes into the first day. The entire support office of ~150 staff only about 3 people regularly wear a tie and its out of choice.

    When i had a wedding 9 months ago i struggled to find a shirt in my cupboard that would shut around my neck, while i have a nice tie collection they are no more or less interview, wedding, funeral and a few other occasions.

    Same goes for my suit jackets i had to get them recut about 12 months ago when i discovered i had changed i havent touched them since and would suggest they will be the wrong size again. Now i just buy pants and shirts.

  • I work in admin and don’t think I’ve ever worn a tie to work. Admittedly, right now that’s because I have a work issued polo shirt that I wear, but even before then I never wore one to work.

    Come to think of it, I’m not even sure I own a tie.

  • I’ve noticed the same thing. I work in client-facing public sector IT, and would only wear a tie if meeting with particularly senior clients. My preferred dress for public events is suit without tie.

    Away from work I’m not sure I’d ever wear one any more. Maaaaybe to a wedding. But again, suit without tie works better for me.

  • I noticed this happening just last week. I was on the bus to work, looked around and realised that not one of the men on the bus had a tie.

    Personally, I don’t wear one either.

  • I worked for a major player in the PC industry in Sydney for a little shy of 5 years, and in that time I only wore a tie for a handful of occasions.

    Typically, I’ve always found sales managers and BDMs to requently wear ties, so I think its more about who you’re trying to impress.

    For a general rule of thumb in business attire that I’ve found; if you’re looking for someone to give you their business (and in turn their money); wear a tie and match it with a suit, but in pretty much all other occasions no longer warrant it.

  • I’m 30, and work in the finance sector in Melbourne. Still plenty of ties around here!

    Personally I love them. Bought myself three storage boxes to house my 80 odd ties and counting.

    There is an unmatched elegance that a nice tie adds to a nice suit.

  • I work in an office in QLD, and I would probably find 6 ties between 350 staff (it’s a big office) – I’ve just landed a job at our HQ in Sydney though – I have a feeling ties will be present sadly. Not ’cause I don’t like ties – I love them! It’s because my neck is too fat for my business shirts and I can’t yet afford replacements!

  • In Australia’s summer climate having your collar buttoned up and a fancy strip of material around your neck is bizarre and a throw back to colder northern hemisphere traditions – I’m the CEO of a large company in the health sector and in the last 6 months I would have worn a suit and tie perhaps 5 or 6 times for formal meetings – 10 years ago I would have worn a suit & tie every day – times have changed and finally acceptable business attire is becoming more aligned with our climate.

  • Thank [email protected] Get with it people! That thing belongs 1) in cold climates to keep your neck warm, 2) in the dark ages and 3) only in the hand of professional hitmen who happens to have forgotten their favourite garrotte. Ridiculous, fuddy duddy & rather camp if you ask me.

  • I’ve yet to wear a tie in a work capacity. I’m 24, my last main job was in a very casual workplace – I generally wore shorts and thongs to work, and I was a supervisor – but I work at a normal office nowadays. The only people who bother with ties are the sales team, and only when they’re trying to make us look really professional.

    The fact is, a buttoned-up shirt, black pants, black shoes will get you almost everywhere. if you’re out for drinks or visiting clients casually, you just roll up the sleeves and undo a button. Add a tie to that, and suddenly you’ve increased your range a few levels – you can look much more official and professional, but you can look much less casual and relaxed.

    Also, I still don’t know how to tie a tie properly. I have two pre-tied on a coat hanger, for the rare occasions I need one.

  • It may be a Melbourne thing but I see lots of guys wearing ties. Like GT I really love my ties and think they lend a touch of style to any suit, a suit without a tie looks sloppy to me.
    I can’t say I have 80 ties though, Perhaps 30 – 40 but I’m working on it.
    I also agree with Michael on the whole casual Friday nonsense.

  • This is not a new phenomenon for IT people. I am a software engineer. I have been working in Australia since 1989 (and in overseas before then), and I have never worn a tie. I thought IT industry rejected wearing ties long ago. Maybe it’s me. I could get by not wearing it perhaps, I remember back in 80’s some IT folks still wore them.

  • When I moved to Melbourne from the UK 3 years ago I was surprised by the prevalence of ties here. I’ve had to wear them for a few jobs, but don’t at the moment, and am happy about that…

  • I work in the finance industry. Ties are still pretty common place unfortunately, especially in client facing roles. However, i ditch the tie in summer unless i HAVE to put it on… nobody has commented yet. It is stupid in our climate to be wearing a tie in summer.

  • The disappearing tie is definitely a trend, but it will be interesting to see whether it represents the fashion of this day or a larger shift.

    Was there similar discussion 40 years ago about the trend away from hats in business attire?

    In Australia, I think the climate is a big argument against stuffy business attire. I don’t see it happening in my lifetime but I yearn for the day when shorts can be acceptable business attire in summer…

    • Losing the tie results in a slightly more minimalist, casual air. Wearing shorts makes you look like a disproportionate schoolboy. Outside of beach- or athletics-based applications, shorts are just wrong.

  • IT side of banking in Sydney; only people wearing ties on the IT floor here are the senior managers, and one guy from the UK who insists it’s not proper to go without.

    The front-of-house guys still wear ties, but anyone who isn’t likely to meet a client skips the ties.

  • I work in PR in Melbourne and wear a tie when I’m meeting with someone, I try not to wear one on the way to work or I end up all sweaty.

    Buttons are crap, it’s good to cover those things up.

  • I once taught at a private catholic girls’ school in Melbourne where a relatively small % of staff were men. I made sure when I took the job that I didn’t have to wear a tie (I hate them but have had to wear them in previous jobs).

    Halfway through the year the idiot running the place decides that we have to wear them. We didn’t on the first day and at the end of that day we all got nasty letters. Next day, all the others turn up with ties on, wimps! Bugger I thought, what to do? At the same time, as is usual, most of my female colleagues were dressed very comfortably, dressed for work, not casually, but certainly not formally. I stuck it out, received increasingly threatening letters (even though my work was valued), the numbats at the Catholic Education Office got in on the act too and I was formally threatened with the sack. All the while I wore a nice suit or equivalent every day, no tie though.

    Anyway, I found a MUCH better job and then my principal had the nerve to have a whinge to my new boss that she shouldn’t take a senior teacher at such short notice. Got plenty of laughs about that.

    Weddings, funerals, certain other occasions, I’ll cope with one but never again on a daily basis.

    Men, cast them off (unless of course, you want to wear them). They don’t suit our climate, many of us find them damn uncomfortable and our female colleagues are not expected to wear anything so constricting.

  • I work in the corporate office of John Holland Construction Group in Brisbane. Most people I work with have been promoted from contruction sites originally and therfor are not keen on the formal atire and upsettingly, there are few who do wear ties. However, those who of us who do look amazing and I get many comments, especially from the ladies. I’m bringing the tie back!

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