Several months ago, the inestimable Admiral Cod wrote a thought-provoking post about old school ties that sent Reggie searching his closets and drawers to see what neckties he still owns of the schools, both preparatory and collegiate, that he attended. And he came up with rather a lot of them. It's not surprising that Reggie held on to so many of such ties over the years, since they are not exactly the kind of thing that one is inclined to throw away or send off to the jumble sale at one's local parish. Heavens, that one should come across an unsuitable stranger wearing one's old school tie!
|Pompey whizzing by Reggie's old school ties|
When Reggie was a schoolboy he attended private and preparatory schools that required their students to wear uniforms or abide by dress codes. From the time he entered fourth grade through when he graduated from prep school he was expected to wear a jacket and tie to school. No questions asked.
|Saint Grottlesex School ties|
Reggie never found the wearing of uniforms or abiding by dress codes as a lad to be an unpleasant or restricting requirement. Not only did they make his sartorial choices easier (or did away with them altogether), but they helped provide him with a greater sense of community with the other students he went to school with. As an adult he has come to further appreciate that school (and other) uniforms and dress codes are a sign of respect for the institutions and places in which they are worn.
|Sherborne School ties|
Even though there was no formal dress code at Yale by the time he enrolled there in the mid-1970s, the wearing of a jacket and tie was expected of male undergraduates when attending university functions or other organized gatherings. Reggie found himself donning a jacket and tie at least several times a week when he was an undergraduate at Yale.
When Reggie joined the workforce after college, taking a job in a large bank on Wall Street in New York City, men were expected to wear a suit and tie to the office each and every day of the week. And so it was for the next fifteen years or so, until all Hell broke loose and "business casual" took over like so many canker sores.
|Yale College ties|
Reggie is a firm believer in the positive benefits of students and employees abiding by dress codes, and he rues the day that so many schools and places of employment relaxed or did away with such requirements altogether. He would far rather see a young man wearing a jacket and tie in a lecture hall or his place of employment than one wearing an oversized golf shirt and ill-fitting, no-iron khakis. Or—even worse—a tee shirt and blue jeans.
|Yale Whiffenpoof ties|
But Reggie isn't the only one who feels this way. In the last several years there has been a movement in financial and other firms in New York City to reinstate the daily wearing of suits and ties in the office. In fact, the Investment Bank where Reggie works on Park Avenue has recently re-instituted a policy that requires its client-facing male employees to wear suits and ties to work every day, at least during the cooler months of the year. It's thought to be more respectful of the institution, our clients, and one's colleagues. And it brings a level of discipline and professionalism to the firm that reflects well upon it.
Needless to say, Reggie is rather happy with this development. And he would, of course, be overjoyed should his firm require men to start wearing proper hats again, too . . .
All photographs by Boy Fenwick