Monday, January 30, 2012

Neckties and Rock and Roll

Mick Jagger in a recent photo
wearing a narrow "cool guy" necktie
Rock and roll musicians wearing ties are not a common fashion trend for sure, however it was not always the case.

A visitor to this blog asked me for my opinion on this matter so with his permission I have decided to post his question and my anwser.  A follow up post in the next day or so will be my theory on why rock and rollers don't wear neckties. 

Check out this related post The Peacock Effect for Sake of Originality about the music industry and neckties.  This article actually gives ties a bit of slack as those narrow neckties are a favorite of cool guy musicians. 

Ties and musicians or to be on point - no ties and musicians; what comes to mind is the Beatles and their influence on a generation that in just a decade caused a great shift in culture, which had quite an effect on what fashion meant to youth.  Of course most notably - the advent of a loss for barbers.  The Beatles did wear neckties in the beginning of "Beatle Mania," you can see for youself in the photo below.

Jeffrey, I just spent a few minutes on your blog looking for something to answer this:  "When did the necktie stop being used routinely by music groups?" (and thus lead the way to informality, in general, in the general public of the USA)

This was a question I asked myself after I was sent a sixties pic of Peter and Gordon... of course they were wearing neckties.

I have a pic of men wearing black trousers, vests, suit jackets, and black bowler hats from 1906, with the enormous fish they caught near Catalina. In August! Today I would be in shorts and tee shirt and a wide brim white hat.

Elvis wearing a necktie
Clearly things have changed.

Do you have a sense of when musicians like the Beatles and Stones and others stopped wearing them?

The Beach Boys wore them, up to a point too.

I'm a sixty year old and grew up with LA radio music, beginning in about 1957, and living in the Pacific Palisades. My dad stopped wearing a hat about when I was born, and I always figured that was a So Cal thing. But this is really not about hats, or suits, it's about the tie...

Thanks for any insights; perhaps this would be a good topic for your blog. -Corey, Tracy CA


I am going to post your email message if you do not mind in a forum of sort’s format.

I have often wondered about this as well. I have memories of images on TV and in magazines and newspapers of the Beatles wearing ties. I was 8 years old when Ed Sullivan had them on his show. I'll never forget that introduction. In the latter half of 60's a change was occurring in society which was certainly the cause of the un-popular Vietnam War and the free love movement. I guess a hippie wearing a necktie would send a soft message and absolutely yield conformity to authority that was not within the main objective of becoming free of what we now know as corporate corruption. By comparison, I do not see many "Occupiers" in suits and ties - that would send a mixed message I guess.

The Beatles and Ed Sullivan wearing neckties 1965
I did a post about a year ago that illustrates the necktie and the musician issue. It may have something to do with the thought that musicians are artists and supper creative, while the managers and businessmen “the suits" are not creative at least in the artistic sense. They are seriously managing difficult and complex financial matters, and being respectful of the dynamic of big business is all too important. An artist probably has no concept of that abstract world and wearing the attire that is customary within that institution just was not going fit in the “groovy universe” that musicians had to exist in. Certainly not while most of the people who were adoring them were in jeans and T shirts with beads hanging around their necks - not ties.

Jimmy Hendrix wearing a tie
There has been a major change in what is considered an acceptable dress for men over the last two decades that has casualized society into a ( if I dare say it ) a sloppy state. I recall that about 15 years ago I read in a newspaper that it was OK if a woman wore clothing that revealed the straps to her bra. The fashion world deemed that it was OK for exposing something that was meant to be un-seen. None-the-less, women have always taken much more care of their appearance then men spending fortunes in time and money to have a look that affords the attention that they desire. For the most part men also desire to be as attractive as possible; however it wasn’t long ago that men took greater care in their attire. I guess men have become much more relaxed abandoning suits and neckties - what is now considered too conservative. Up until the last two decades of the past century every man had a few suits and many ties. Now most men have not even one suit and cannot tie a tie to save their life let alone wear one. - Jeffrey


I have looked at the album covers of the Beach Boys and within at least one site aside from Wikipedia. An early photo shows them wearing ties. Album covers from the earliest do not show them in the standard dress attire with ties, although they might be called yuppies for what they wore: Pendletons on one, which were expensive then as now, and others with open collared button downs, and others with crew neck sweaters, etc. You might enjoy the trips on Memory Lane, I suggest you simply go to Wiki and do the discography.

My Pacific Palisades upbringing was surely upper middle class, and we wore ties to dances until the late sixties. Long Hair Rebellion at Pali High was actually LA Times news in 1966.

It seems to me the album cover of Sgt. Pepper (1967?) influenced change and maybe one could make the case for the shift away from ties at about the same time. Beatles were very influential on modes of casual dress and I was part of the group that adopted those changes.

I spent my career in technical efforts in chemistry and did not wear a tie but perhaps a dozen times in 30 yrs. The managers of the efforts did wear ties thru the 90's, and my experience was that by the 2000's only the upper-class, or senior management, felt ties were necessary on a daily basis. I fielded a tie for interviews, presentations to management, and for banquets. My work was not "business" per se.

Thanks again for your reply and expansions.

I still wear a tie at times... and I tie my own... but my 30-something kids don't. 
I will always think that a fine shirt and even finer tie makes a fine appearance.

Thanks, Corey

Now if there ever was a contradiction - maybe a rock and roller won't wear a necktie but you may want to wear a rock and roll tie yourself .  Checkout our collection of limited edition rock and roll neckties.

The Rolling Stones Necktie                                   Jimmy Hendrix Tie 

The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Tie

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Surfer on a Mission

A Surfer wearing a suit and tie on a mission
Why would a surfer go surfing wearing a suit and tie?

I used to surf so I have some idea of what is going on here.  From the looks of the sky I would say that this is the probably afternoon and the bluffs in the background look like a typical California shore line. 

So with that knowledge in mind I can more or less come to the conclusion that this surfer who running towards the surf wearing a suit and necktie for the following reasons

He has just gotten off work another clue why this is probably afternoon and not morning.  The surf is really good because if it is afternoon and because this is most likely southern California this would mean that it is the "afternoon glass-off" ( that is when the surf gets really good when the wind dies down and water is smooth like glass ).  We know the surf is really good because the surfer is running and there is no time to waste.  Certainly the reason why he is still wearing a suit and necktie.

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Why Does Yogi the Bear Wear a Tie

Why does Yogi the Bear wear a necktie?
Finally, why Yogi the Bear wears neckties and Booboo wears a bow tie.  It's part a technical and part a fashionable answer.

It seems like a silly thing to think about but actually it is not so stupid of a thought. I was bored about a year ago so I decided to find out why Fred Flintstone wore neckties and entered the question “why does Fred Flintstone wear ties” in a Google search. I was surprised to see page after page of pages that had the same or similar query. So I decided to find out for myself, which became quite a bit of work. Surely the artists at Hana Barara had some reason to have some of their cartoon characters wear ties.

That resulted in an article that was posted on Feb 5 2011 Why does Fred Flintstone wear neckties  You'll want to checkout this post after you read this one.

Thanks to someone who left a comment on my blog article about Fred Flintstone wearing neckties I found this Web Page about Yogi the Bear wearing neckties.  You'll want to check this video out as no matter what you may think about how silly this really is the video is very interesting and quite informative concerning cartoons and television.  I did promise to continue my research, so this was a great find for me as I never would have figured this out. That promise also included checking into why Yogi the Bear wore a tie, so now I can finalize my Fred Flintstone article which was a speculation on my part.  It did not touch the technical issue and probably the real reason for tie wearing cartoon characters.

Apparently the reason these two cartoon characters; Fred Flintstone, and Yogi the Bear, and lets not forget Booboo wear a collar and a tie is a technical one.  To create to a cartoon character that moved an spoke with detail was time consumig.  The character bodies has much less movement and detail that changes then the heads and creating the same thing over and over with the only changes to the details of the character faces was a redundant task.  This had proved to limit the artistic value of the cartoons due to time and financial budgets.

It was very time consuming and costly for the artists to create characters that had movement details like neccessary for speaking.  The creative solution was to marry several different illustrations together, the cartoon character heads, bodies, and the backgrounds.  To conceal the artistic work and any difficulty regarding adding the artwork illustrating the heads to each character body was to add a collar and tie.  This saved a great deal of effort and time, not to mention money.  This gave way to cartoons that had characters that were more life like, thanks to this method of allowing a solution to create the details that allow the cartoon characters to speak and move as realistically as possible.

Now, one thing comes to mind that warrants something else to be considered here. Yes, the collar is a great way to conceal, in an artistic way the mechanics and any problems concerning the challenge of dropping in an animated cartoon character head that has much more movement than an animated cartoon character body. However that does not answer fully the question why Yogi and Fred wear a necktie but not other cartoon characters like George Jetson. Couldn’t Yogi and Fred have just collars and no ties?

I think that Yogi and Fred need to have an extra accessory, the necktie to add a bit of character and charm to their personalities. After all Fred Flintstone and Yogi the Bear are bit goofy so wearing neckties make them much more sophisticated and easier to appreciate. Isn’t that the reason that men wear neckties in the real world? It is all about respect, a man or a cartoon character who wears a tie sure gets a great deal of that.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Plumbers Crack or Neckties?

Doing the plummers crack Instead of wearing ties?
Yesterday I found this picture on Face Book.  Another post by my ex wife that make me feel very fortunate to have known her and, lucky enough have loved her and to be honest - still in love with her. - Jeffrey Hunter

Every once in a while I am reminded again of  the poor taste in the attire adorned lately, especially by young men.  This poor judgement in fashion is either the cause, or the effect of the horrible state that society is in.  I do not know what could possibly be the motive or the cause of having such a mindset - that would make a young man wear his pants, or actually not wearing his pants like so blatantly illustrated in the photograph at the left.

If men wore ties like they used to and dressed as if that had an ounce of respect for themselves, let alone others; civilization would certainly be in a greater place.  It seems that at this time we have reached an unimaginable lack of sophistication that has a direct connection to the demise of modern man's lack of fashion consciousness.   Exposing underwear like this is not a fashion statement - it is a fashion failure and with no question, a complete disregard for common decency. 

Whenever someone starts that stupid necktie argument with me the very first thing I counter with is, "and wearing a pair of pants with the waist hanging somewhere closer to the knees then where it is meant to be, thus exposing underwear that are in no way meant to be seen, ( that is why they are called underwear - right ) makes absolutely no sense I guess."  If wearing a necktie makes a man feel uncomfortable then what the heck is purpose of showing the world underwear and worse plumbers crack too.  It is not sexy, it's rude and it surely spells out loud and very clear, a lack of class and intellegence.   That is something that is absolutely impossible to achieve if that same young man were to wear a necktie and as well his pants that way they are meant and designed to be worn.

I just cannot understand so many things now-a-days that I feel so very old and lost and crazy.  Maybe it is everyone else that is lost and crazy not me and as well the guys that wear the pants the correct way and also wear neckties.

Checkout these two related posts

Another "Ties are Dooms Day of Fashion and Freedom" Wed Site

What Casual Really Means

Visit to buy quallity neckties