PAUSE Highlights: Styling a Shirt and Tie

The smart-casual way!

Wearing a shirt and tie is something that most do not do voluntarily, whether it is for work or a formal occasion, we are normally happy once we can take the piece of fabric tied around our neck off. Some fashionable men are starting to change that mindset, however.

Once a proud symbol worn by all men, Oscar Wilde said, “A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life,” and they have managed to remain a prominent symbol in menswear, going through various evolutions. Today, there is a sense that they could soon become obsolete as office uniforms become less strict and fashion is, in general, becoming more informal; but as fashion history tells us, everything comes back into style, and the pendulum of taste may be about to strike favourably on ties.

Bringing this accessory to the present day is a challenge being fought prominently by A$AP Nast. The New York rapper, who is a member of the A$AP Mob, has been experimenting with smart casual outfits for a long time and been mixing wearing a tie with streetwear essentials such as printed wide trousers and vest jackets for a juxtaposition that appears surprisingly natural.

It is a difficult balance to get right, to make sure you don’t like a city professional who is sick of their job, so, as with many of the outfits we have selected, it’s good to mix the style with some more casual pieces and accessories. These can come in the form of a bucket hat, pair of trainers or a more casual jacket as opposed to a blazer, which a shirt and tie would traditionally be worn with.

How it has come that wearing a shirt and tie in such a casual manner is having a fashion moment is most likely answered by fashions move towards more formal attire in recent seasons. The runway has been at the forefront of this shift and Balenciaga, Prada, Burberry and Alyx have all had a focus on shirts and ties in their most recent collections – a combination that was not given such a spotlight just a few seasons ago.

Since fashion is constantly looking to reinvent styles of the past, it is unsurprising that labels are starting to look towards neckties. Although they have been a feature of menswear since the mid-17th century, ties as we know them only came around in the 1920s when American tie maker Jessie Langsdorf invented a new way of cutting the accessory, previously they were more like cravats.

Since then, they have become an essential part of menswear, originally worn for everyday use while bowties were reserved for evening wear, wearing a tie has been symbolic in many subcultures, from the bold colourful versions worn in the art-deco movement to the more long and thin numbers worn by London’s Mods in the 60s.

Are you supporting another rise in popularity for the tie? Check out our full gallery of outfits and shopping suggestions below then let us know!

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