Gender – The Tie

I chose the Tie because it is a typically masculine accessory but why? I personally think the tie was the symbol of a well dressed, powerful, rich man which hasn’t changed a lot. The smartest outfit is a suit and tie and is very professional in the workplace. Ties are very western and MEDC’s are the ones pushing the boundaries.

In the Book of Ties, the majority of the images are men wearing ties. ‘Women play a crucial role in the world of men’s ties. Because they advise their husbands, and often offer them ties as gifts, wives have a powerful influence on tie fashion.’ (Chaille 1994)

In the mid 19802’s women broke into male dominated professions and started wearing neckties. According to magazine ‘success’ only losers wear bow ties. The president of a professional women’s clothing store claimed ‘secretaries wear bow ties’. Nobody took women seriously but now things are changing. Women are more assertive, powerful and professional. Isn’t that what a tie represents? Women are are equal to men in many more ways, plus fashion is changing. Women in suits and ties are sexy, Take madonna. Women also wear ties when dressing sexually at halloween. Not just a masculine accessory but now as a sex object cemented by fifty shades of grey.

Saint Laurent S/S 14 collection is very androgynous with sharp tailoring and more importantly the presence of the Tie. It is now no longer weird to dress as the opposite sex. The world is far more accepting however it is more usual for a woman to dress more masculine. Masculine/Feminine doesn’t necessarily have to apple to the suitable sex. The lines are now blurred.


CHAILLE, F. 1994. The Book of Ties,Flammarion, Paris

BRUSH KIDWELL, C & STEELE, V. 1989. Men and WOmen Dressing the Part. Smithsonian Institution. USA


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