Originally published – June 17, 2013
A month ago I wore a tie on a Tuesday. Another guy at work noticed and asked if it was for “Tie Tuesday”. What is this “Tie Tuesday”? I had never heard of such a thing. Could it be? A legit reason to wear a tie once a week that wouldn’t spark the question, “Are you interviewing or something?” Yes, I do believe it was for Tie Tuesday. And so, I started expanding my tie selection and honoring “Tie Tuesday”.
Where I Work
I love where I work. It’s truly the best company I’ve every had the pleasure to serve. But, it’s important that I explain my work environment. Ties are uncommon. More than uncommon, unheard of. Unless your a contractor or consultant, you don’t wear a tie and definitely not a suit. Our dress code is pretty casual, and I appreciate that, believe me. If I want to wear jeans and a polo, that is fine with everyone else. And on Fridays, I do.
This is becoming very common place in the modern work environment. It speaks to respecting what’s on the inside, that we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover and so on. It also makes it very simple to show a little extra effort, because, regardless about how we feel, it is human nature to pass judgement upon initial impressions and appearances.
You may recall I said I wanted to turn it up some in my professional attire. And so, I started, or am attempting to start a trend, a work attire revolution with “Tie Tuesday”. So far, I have one or two guys following my lead. Hey, it’s a start.
Turning It Up
“Tie Tuesday” shows a little extra effort and makes your memorable.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not so shallow as to think the guy with the best clothes should have it made. I believe you should work hard and success and good fortune should come your way. Like magic. Like getting your college degree. It should come with guarantees. It doesn’t.
The truth is, if people don’t know you, remember you, and associate you, the brand of you, with something that’s good for the company, you may be missing your chance. Wearing a tie once a week is less about a a piece of fabric around your neck, it’s more about standing out, standing up and showing your best. I’d like to point out here, I am growing to be quite a fan of Charles Tyrwhitt. They had a free tie offer. And I love free stuff.
Make It Your Own
So, if you don’t work in a tie everyday environment, then I encourage you to give “Tie Tuesday” a try. If you do, make it “Suit Tuesday”. “French Cuff Tuesday”, “Bow Tie Tuesday.” Make it something that works for you. Be ready for some critiquing from your coworkers like, “Did somebody die?” and “Looking for a new job?” But gently remind them, “It’s Tie Tuesday, I like to wear a tie sometimes”. They may laugh. They may say they never want to wear a tie again. But some will follow your lead. And for sure, they will remember you. And that’s important when you need to be remembered. Like when it’s time for talent reviews. Or when you are looking for your next step in the company. Or when you want the open office!
Tie Tuesday isn’t going to make you or me the next amazing manager. No instant promotion for your dapper style. But it does show you care enough to add a little extra to your level of professionalism.
It’s a little way you can turn it up some at work.
Also, this doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby. Some of my favorite ties are thrift shop or estate sale finds. What to look for in tie thriting:
1. Check for stains and snags – People eat in their ties and they turn into decorative bibs. Tie cleaning, in my experience, is not the easiest. Also, older ties often have a thick weave to them that can snag. Make sure the fabric is intact.
2. Feel the weight – Many older ties will have brand names you have never heard of, which is actually kind of cool. Look for hand woven silk and padding in the tie. Is it heavy or very light? I prefer a heavy tie. You can feel the quality.
3. Keep it simple – Look for stripes or medallions to match your shirts. I’m always weary of the abstract art or tie-die. Do your own thing, but keep it classy.
4. Don’t spend to much – I am all for paying for quality if you can afford it. But hey, I got kids and a mortgage. If you are new tie shopping and can afford it, go for it. But my favorite tie was literally $0.50. It’s a thin black and silver from the 50s, very thin and impossible to find new.
5. Know what you’re looking for – Remember what shirts you have and what you would like to match. If you get in to tie thrifting, you could end up with hundreds or thousands of ties if you’re not careful. Know what you want or you’ll end up buying it all.
I hope you have fun with it, after all, what’s life without fun. Turn it up some.