I thoroughly enjoyed J.R. Moehringer's eulogy to the necktie, but I think it is rather premature ("I Think Knot," Men's Fashion, April 15). My husband, an attorney, wears a necktie with a double Windsor knot to work every day. The company I work for requires men to wear neckties. They're the only article of clothing that gives a man's attire some pizazz. I can understand that they are uncomfortable, but then men should try wearing high-heeled shoes.
I can remember when a man wouldn't be allowed into a nice restaurant unless he was wearing a jacket and tie. If he showed up improperly attired, the restaurant would offer to lend him a jacket and tie, which he would wear while in the restaurant and then return when he left.
As Moehringer eloquently stated, the demise of the necktie has coincided with the equally sad death of civility, courtesy and good manners. Our society has become increasingly coarse, vulgar and uncaring. I only hope that the pendulum, having swung so far away from simple courtesy and good taste, will swing back--and soon.
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Fortunately, we still have propriety and good manners in our downtown Superior Court probate departments. In an era of confrontational counsel, brashness and contrived casual dress, an oasis of professionalism, mutual respect and, yes, neckties exists in probate court.
More than three decades ago I recall one of our judicial officers inquiring of a young attorney, "Young lady, is that the way you dress for court?" That probably wouldn't happen today, but we still have an aura of decorum and professionalism in those courtrooms that is refreshing in today's culture. In recent months, I cannot recall one male attorney without a necktie. Some things deserve to be left unchanged.
I recently attended my mother-in-law's 80th birthday celebration at a Los Angeles country club where formal attire is still required at dinner. If the men in the family didn't arrive in suits and ties, she forewarned, "Don't bother to show up." If men's neckties are falling out of fashion, as Moehringer maintains, she didn't care.
Since my husband's idea of dressing up is a Tommy Bahama shirt and my 17-year-old son hadn't worn a suit and tie since his first communion, I took advantage of a recent menswear sale. There the saleswoman doted on my husband and son, fitting them with designer wear and neckties.
The expression on my mother-in-law's face when they showed up at her birthday party, looking as put together as Will Smith on the red carpet? Priceless.
Moehringer seems to feel that women think neckties make men look stuffy. I am here to tell you that there is one woman left in the United States who feels that a tie is one of the sexiest things a man can wear (the other is a black tux).
Back in the days when intimate moments in the movies were depicted symbolically rather than graphically, the scene always began with a man loosening his tie, then panned to a shot of waves pounding on the shore. Those were powerful images that are probably now only appreciated by moviegoers of a certain age.