Fandango’s Flashback Friday — May 13th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 13th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on May 13, 2011 on my old blog. This was written about 5 1/2 years before I retired, and I haven’t worn a tie since retiring.

The Tie as a Phallic Symbol

So what is the deal with ties? My extensive research confirmed that the tie is essentially a phallic symbol. I’m not kidding you. According to Rita Hutner in, men’s neckties direct the viewer’s eyes downward toward the man’s genitals. Hutner claims, “the guy is subtly showing off.” Seriously, Rita?

In researching the history of ties I found out that ties first appeared in 221 BC when military men of China’s first emperor, Shin Huang Ti, were buried wearing neckties. Once you’re dead, though, I think even Rita Hutner would agree, it’s a little late to be drawing the eye toward your crotch.

It was in the 1600s when neckwear for men became somewhat fashionable in Europe after the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), when Croatian mercenaries wore small, knotted neckerchiefs. These “cravats” become a fashion craze in Paris. In 1784, Beau Brummel, an English authority on men’s fashion, associated a neck cloth with individuality and self-expression.

The modern necktie was born in the 1920s when a long, thin, easy to knot tie that would not come undone was introduced. And, up until a decade or so ago, the necktie continued to be the standard attire for white collar workers throughout the Western world. Until someone finally asked “why?” and casual, tieless attire became acceptable at the office.

Hold that thought. Corporate America appears to be reverting to “more traditional” dress codes. According to an article I recently read, “business sloppy” is out, and suits and ties are in. Oh damn!

When I work from home, which is most of the time, I obviously don’t put on a tie. Hell, half the time I work in my underwear. And on those relatively rare occasions when I do have to show my face at the office, I still don’t have to wear a tie. But lately I have been requested to wear a tie when I am going to see a prospective client, even at those companies that have embraced “business sloppy.”

I know you’re supposed to dress for the occasion, but seriously, folks, is it really such a good idea to wear an accessory that draws the eyes of those attending the meeting toward your genitals?

SoCS — Dress Code

Dress CodeEver since I graduated from college, nearly every job I held required me to abide by a strict dress code. Literally all of my post-college jobs were white collar jobs, meaning professional, managerial, or administrative jobs performed in an office or other administrative setting.

In the early days, the dress code for male employees essentially meant wearing a suit and a tie to work. For the most part, once I got to the office, I’d take off and hang up my suit coat and only put it on when I had to go to meetings with clients, customers, prospects, and with executives in my own company.

I really didn’t mind all that much having to wear a suit, but I really hated having to wear a tie. I never quite understood the purpose of or the necessity for wearing ties. But it was the dress code, you know.

At some point, maybe the late 80s or early 90s, a lot of companies started introducing a new dress code that included “casual Fridays.” We didn’t have to wear a suit and a tie on casual Fridays, but we did have to wear a sport coat with a dress shirt, and dress trousers. We referred to that kind of attire as “business casual.”

Then, in the early 2000s, many companies began to allow males to dress in “business casual” almost all the time, with some more progressive companies introducing “jeans Fridays.”

In 2005, I became what was alternatively known as a telecommuter, a remote worker, or a “home-shored” employee. As long as I had a laptop with a reliable internet connection and a telephone, I could work from the comfort of my own home, only occasionally having to physically go into the office.

One of the things I loved about being home-shored, aside from not having to commute to and from the office, was the lack of a dress code. I could work in my pajamas if I didn’t feel like getting dressed. Or I could slip on a t-shirt and jeans. It didn’t matter. Hell, I could have worked naked, were I so inclined.

It was great. No more suits, ties, sport coats, dress shirts, dress slacks, or dress shoes.

And now that I’m retired, my dress code is whatever is relatively clean and comfortable. Mostly that equates to jeans and t-shirts. I dress any way I want to dress. If I dress at all.

SoCS Badge 2019-2020Written for today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. Our task is to write a post using the word “dress.”