A tiny sentence in an accessories catalog has created reactions of almost seismic proportions.
“We widened our ties by ¼” to keep up with today’s changing proportions,” revealed J.Crew’s October catalog.
This slight shift in width led Bloomberg to announce, “Sorry Hipsters, the Skinny Tie is Over.”
One can almost hear some of the groans from a mile long. Many fear the arrival of the broad sails, the wide expanse of cloth across the chest signaling the executive’s arrival in the room. (The new-age IT kids do not have to worry; their ilk has already eschewed the traditional noose around the neck).
The wide style, popular in the 70s and 80s, saw a gradual tapering off at the beginning of the century with the width coming down to a sleek 2.5 inch.
But it seems from now onwards J. Crew’s ties will be 2.75 inches in width.
Why the change one may ask? Simple, narrow ties go with narrow-styled suits, which according to the latest fashion experts are no longer in. More relaxed unslim fits are coming back.
“We’ve definitely seen the change in what the consumer’s buying,” the CEO of one fashion retailer tells CBS. “We’re seeing them go wider now, but not as wide as they once were in the ’90s. I don’t think we’re going back to the wide Italian ties.”
Many might take heart from this assurance. A quick study of the market shows that it is only the hip and the cool who have succumbed to the narrow. The staid and solid like to tread the middle path.
Most brands like Brooks Brothers, Tie Bar and Hermes report the average 3 plus inch ties show steady sales.
So why this strong reaction? Maybe, it is just the thought of the width going beyond the acceptable 3 plus inches to the bib-like width of yore. As the wise have said: Fashion is cyclical after all!
And the hip and cool like to get on the merry-go-round.