I was riding the subway home Sunday afternoon when a man-boy straight out of a ’90s trip-hop video stepped aboard. He wore a baseball cap, chinos and… and… a thin tie looped around the collar of a… of a… short-sleeve shirt.
And he was serious about it.
The tie-with-short-sleeve-shirt is on the rise, and it’s not a good thing. Just last week, I witnessed another dude wearing a tie over a t-shirt. The only way such an ensemble should happen is if you’re entertaining children at a birthday party. With clown shoes. And a red button nose. Because you’re a clown.
You’re mimicking something you wish you hadn’t missed. If you love punk rock, just listen to the records and respect the tie.
This is a mockery, men, and maybe that’s the point you’re making: If you do the tie-with-short-sleeve-shirt thing, you fancy yourself anti-establishment. Maybe you’re a modern-day punk who doesn’t have time for silly fashion rules. You’re gonna do it the way you see fit, by golly, and people are gonna like it.
And that would be fine if you were actually a modern-day punk. But you’re not. Punk ended sometime after Jello Biafra painted a dollar sign around his tie and long before Nirvana made a bunch of slackers in patchouli think they were part of a movement. You’re mimicking something you wish you hadn’t missed. You’re trying to pull off the tie with short-sleeve shirt look seriously, but no one’s taking you seriously. You look like a schoolboy. If you love punk rock, just listen to the records and respect the tie. The tie goes exclusively with long sleeves and a jacket.
Maybe you operate a terminal at NASA and the tie-plus-short-sleeves-plus-protector look is practically a job requirement. Maybe you are a schoolboy on picture day. If so, you get a pass (and my sympathy). Otherwise, you are hereby put on notice to stop wearing ties with short-sleeve shirts.
Because here’s the thing: When you wear a tie with a short-sleeve shirt, you’re stuck between summer casual and fall formal. Short-sleeve button-up shirts are great, as are ties. But the two together are an abomination of a tried-and-true combination, much like the pantsuit. It just doesn’t work… Blake.