Ties – Affectation to Set an Example

Grinch, Santa, Halloween, Penguin tiesDuring my last decade or so of classroom teaching, I wore a long-sleeved shirt and tie almost every day. Much of that time I was the only male teacher on campus to do so. I taught History and Computer classes, not wood- and metalshop as I had earlier in my career, and did not worry about getting dirty or getting caught up in machinery.


My dad wore a tie, most of my male teachers in high school and college wore ties, so I wore one too. If you expect to be paid and treated like a professional, you should dress like one.

Simpson, Presidents, Candy & Crayola tiesBut ties don’t have to be the boring, formal ties you see on politicians and lawyers. There is a lot of room for imagination and tweaking your nose at the system. A lot of “character” ties exist and now you can design your own and have them economically produced online and by mail order.

When I retired I had a collection of several dozen such ties; enough of them that using only those ties one of my students in a year long class would only see it three times and a student in a trimester class would only see it once.

It was fun. Wear a Homer Simpson tie on test correction day. SpongeBob when you have an important and/or distinguished visitor on campus. And, at Christmas, to stay in character – Mr. Grinch.

Chili, SpongeBob SquareTie & Dodo Bird TiesI saw, and still see, too many men who look uncomfortable in ties. Their shirts are too small or, at least their collar size is too small. Always buy shirts with a collar size one-half inch too large. If you have a sixteen inch neck, buy a shirt with a sixteen and one-half inch neck. You’ll always be comfortable wearing a tie, and, if you gain a little weight, it’ll still fit.

Wear interesting ties, have fun and, if your boss suffers from the Alicia Silverstone disease (You did see the movie Clueless, didn’t you?), enjoy his, or her, handicap.