Talk about Newsnight


Time to go tie-less?

  • Jeremy Paxman
  • 6 Jul 07, 11:29 AM

Is it time for Newsnight men to stop wearing ties? It has always been an utterly useless part of the male wardrobe. But now, it seems to me, the only people who wear the things daily are male politicians, the male reporters who interview them - and dodgy estate agents.

Of course, there are things to be said in their favour. I was talking to a psychiatrist the other day. He was wearing a tie. I wasn’t. I asked him why he still trussed himself up. He said that there were lots of patients who expected doctors to have something round their necks. It made them think he knew what he was talking about.

Well, we all need help in that department.

I suppose you could also argue that the tie is almost the only part of what the Americans quaintly call “business attire” which allows the wearer a little freedom. Or in Jon Snow’s case, too much freedom.

But that’s not the point. The main reason we remain trussed up is simply the dead hand of convention. House of Commons rules say that men must not appear open-necked. But then the rules also say there are no liars in the House.

Increasingly, ties are simply bits of cloth which we hang around our necks when getting married, attending a funeral, or when called for a job interview. In the days when I used to be sent to report gory murder cases it was always easy to spot the defendant. He was the one picking at the unfamiliar constriction on his neck, in the belief that the judge would think a borrowed outfit made him incapable of malice aforethought.

It will come as no surprise, I imagine, to learn that the Newsnight production team – some of whom are allowed into pubs without having to show proof of age – do not wear ties. Not even the women.

And on air Newsnight’s business correspondent, Paul Mason, never wears one, and it doesn’t seem to affect his “authority”. He probably thinks he can get away with it because of his work on the Poshometer.

All sorts of possibilities present themselves. The bow tie is out, obviously, since it would invite all sorts of jibes about Robin Day, and anyway, the only people who wear them nowadays are doctors who worry about trailing their clothing in their patient’s insides or the sort of boobies who turn up at school sports days wearing MCC boaters and spats.

I was vaguely thinking that perhaps we might have a Newsnight team strip, but I can’t see Michael Crick getting into the lobby briefings in a T shirt. Maybe the answer is to follow the style guidance of the ayatollahs, who consider the tie a sign of western decadence, and to invest in some of those rather smart Iranian high-collared shirts.

The difficulty is that once you’ve started wearing a tie, not doing so becomes a charged statement in itself. So we’re condemned to do what we’ve always done, because we’ve always done it.

I was thinking of suggesting a viewers’ poll on the subject. But the last time we had one of those we ended up discarding the weather forecast to reinstate the tedium of the nightly market numbers. Inertia rules, I suppose.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 12:32 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Johnny wrote:

yawn... nothing better to do jeremy? couldn't you write about something important rather than insulting us with this tittle tattle.

have a look at your colleague mark mardell's blog to see how the medium is used properly.

  • 2.
  • At 12:40 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • csharp wrote:

Yes the tie is a shackle of convention.

Originally the tie was a neck scarf worn by Balkan knights as a symbol of a victory over the Turks. The French King Louis [one the them] liked it and took to wearing one and as what those in power do becomes court fashion it became de riguer to wear one.

In England the scarf was considered too bold a style and in the end got slimmed down to what we have today. So we wear a suit which is a representation of the old suit of armour and the tie which is the symbol of the 'ladies favour' or of European victory over the Turks [take your pick].

To see the transition from Elizabethan ruff to the scarf to the tie go to the portrait gallery. The portraits are in time line order and you can see the changes in style.

Sorry JP until the new kings and their courts [whoever we now deem them to be] establish a new style there is no new convention. But of course maybe you are in that circle and so do have the power to change the style. After all it would be easy to say 'look JP doesn't wear a tie'. Go on. Be the change. :)

  • 3.
  • At 12:56 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Bedd Gelert wrote:

No, No, No - keep the tie.

Look at Jon Snow and Michael Parkinson and the look they create with their Duchamps ties. If you are going to go 'tie-less' then a total change of wardrobe is called for. Wearing a suit, but not a tie, just looks foolish.

  • 4.
  • At 01:04 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Andrei Skorobogatov wrote:

Never. The next thing you know is that you're wearing addidas tracksuits and Kirstie will be wearing horrible hair and Gucci-made "accessories".

  • 5.
  • At 01:05 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Anna Prygodzicz wrote:

Long live Jon Snow!

Now the boozy lunch of the 80's is far behind us, we no longer need ties to keep the red wine and sauce off our expensive shirts...

  • 7.
  • At 01:11 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Bev wrote:

I'm a female, and like men to wear ties for business wear, but until now didn't think of why. However, now I've put a bit of thought into it.1. It stops that horrible triangle at the neck where you sometimes see a bit of hair (and then that sets you imagining how much hair is being hidden - ugh. It hides teh fact that the shirt is straining to contain a chest/stomach that is too large for it, and the tension of wondering whether the buttons are going to pop. It (possibly) shows a bit of individuality and character (why on earth did he choose a tie with elephants/wine bottles/golf clubs on?) so, on the whole, although I'm all for being able to show character through dress (I like to be a bit colourful when I'm sitting as a magistrate to the horror of some of my bench colleagues) i think that a tie is better than some of the alternatives. Not everyone can carr off the dress-down chic - even if some business correspondents can!!!!

  • 8.
  • At 01:11 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • John Bacon wrote:

Seems good to me. Ties are a drag, but I like the colour and dash of extravagance. Maybe we could get shirts made from tie patterned cloths. Something more flamboyant like we had in late 60's early 70's.

  • 9.
  • At 01:12 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Mike Bossingham wrote:

Yes, Jeremy, ditch the tie.

I ditched them years ago.

Rev'd Dr Mike Bossingham

  • 10.
  • At 01:12 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Peter Osborne wrote:

Dear Mr Paxman

Just take it off and get on with it. If you do others will follow. I work in an art gallery in the West End and as you correctly point out, only dodgy estate agents still wear ties.And sellers of Bentleys and Rolls Royces in Berkeley Square I notice.

  • 11.
  • At 01:12 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Damon De Ionno wrote:

I can't even be bothered to read the whole piece. Of course you should ditch the ties. Does it help you do your job? Anyone presenting Newsnight should be able to hold their own, naked, if necessary. I bit of fabric around your neck isn't going to help.

  • 12.
  • At 01:14 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Andrew France wrote:

Yes! Ditch the tyranny of the tie. It is the most pointless item of clothing ever devised.

  • 13.
  • At 01:14 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Annie Mc Cartney wrote:

The tie is a useless thing really, but provided it is tasteful( and sadly most are not) it is a splash of colour amidst the drabness of the suits, and Jon Snow's ties are usually "happenings"

  • 14.
  • At 01:15 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Epimethean wrote:

Have you noticed that many young pop bands started wearing ties almost as soon as they became demode for business wear? Doing the opposite of the establishment for the sake of it...

What looks wrong is just discarding the tie with no other changes.So OK, Jeremy your can lose the tie but you have to have short pointed collars (not wide!) with the first button quite high and done up. Preferably button-down. Tie-less doesn't mean untidy. And three-botton jackets of course; two-button is for lounge lizzards...

Personally I wear a tie when I feel like it; it's just another adornment not a uniform...

  • 15.
  • At 01:17 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Paul Holden wrote:

The problem with not wearing a tie in "formal" situations is that the rest of the male "formal" wardrobe is designed around the tie. Quite frankly, a business suit and a collared shirt looks daft without a tie.

Bring on the return of the Elizabethan ruff with baggy blouse and britches!

  • 16.
  • At 01:18 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Anthony Charlton wrote:

I am all for progress, but there are ever fewer established institutions and those that are removed aren't being replaced, or are replaced by the banal. It's as if our cultural compass is broken. Church marriages and Christenings are superceded by horrible kitsch get togethers with no cultural coherence. The very idea of family gets weaker every decade. Perfect strangers go into mourning every time a child is kidnapped, or a Princess has a car accident.

In such vacuous circumstances the token gesture of a newsreader in a necktie is a reassuring sign that elements of a British national identity still exist.

Yours with tongue only half in cheek...Anthony Charlton

  • 17.
  • At 01:19 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • pearse vavasour wrote:

didn't we do all this before?...I seem to recall an interview with the competition...Jon Snow...a tad OC* perhaps Jeremy...

*Obsessive Compulsive

  • 18.
  • At 01:20 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • James wrote:

I work in a Finance role in central London in the Media industry. If I wore a tie to work I would spend the entire day explaining why and trying to convince sceptical colleagues that I was not interviewing at another company.

The last time I wore a suit (just to look a bit smarter for a change) - my boss took me to one side, asked if everything was alright and to confirm that I was happy in my job.

It's a shame really - the tie is bound to follow the bowler hat into obscurity.

  • 19.
  • At 01:23 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Laura wrote:

Abandon ties! I've always thought it completely ridiculous that children should have to wear ties to school, they are completely pointless. I dont think Jeremy should have to wear one on newsnight if he doesnt want to. The idea that it symbolises you know what you're talking about is patronising and also sexist - that would mean women do not give the impression that they ever know what they're talking about, as they dont have a knot around their necks! I know some men are very attached to their ties and feel they can use them to show a bit of individuality when constrained to endless dark suits and light shirts in working life. I dont think wearing a tie or not wearing a tie should mean anything - it's just a fashion choice. Free yourself Jeremy, it's not dependent on your tie whether we think you know what you're talking about!

  • 20.
  • At 01:24 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Tieless (Not) In Gaza wrote:

I don't need to see a tie to take content seriously. Paul Mason is a good example. I think it's a question of allowing journalists space to work. I'm more interested in the quality of that work.

  • 21.
  • At 01:25 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • paul flynn wrote:

I was going to say that that's the first Newsnight letter I've laughed at but having read Johnny's comment I've changed my mind.....Have you really nothing better to do !
I'm off to read Mark Mardell's blog

  • 22.
  • At 01:26 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Patrick McCormick wrote:

The few times I now wear a tie in business are when I don't want to risk offending a business contact whose views on ties I don't know, and who might frown on this 'drop in standards'.
I'm in favour of getting this issue in the open - make 'T' or 'non-T' equally acceptable, and just as much a statement of liberalism as choosing a flashy/gaudy/bow, etc, tie.
Don't let the 'straights get to you Jeremy - news can be fun as well!

I’ve just seen Andy Swiss on BBC News 24 tieless, and a large bulk of the reporters on CNN and Sky News are frequently tieless, and yes Paul Mason does appear tieless. Apart from the usual expectations of tie wearing (tradition etc), it makes an outfit less boring by adding a dash of colour (but that excludes ties that inflict retinal damage eg certain ties Jon Snow wears). Personally, I think men look far sexier without a tie, with a few buttons undone, and I’d be more than happy to see Jeremy doing Newsnight tieless :-)
I also remember a hillarious report you once did on the humble tie:

  • 24.
  • At 01:28 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • fashion police wrote:

Business attire is just that - attire for business, and it calls for a tie. The ridiculous look of wearing a suit without tie that appears to have gained momentum among accountants and other support staff and now among other less professional categories, such as journalists, is a disgrace to the male dress code and should be banned.
Bring the tie back and look professional, gentlemen!
And those of you who are not professional, go ahead and drop the tie!

  • 25.
  • At 01:29 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Malcolm in BT wrote:

In the tropical West Indies, where the tie seems out of place, it fell victim to a kind of Political Correctness before we had even invented the term. In Jamaica thirty years or so ago, polyester 'suits', dashikis and bush-jackets / shirts were all the rage expressing simultaneous solidarity with Comrade Castro and Africa. I think that fashion has passed.

Despite the attempts by well-meaning or earnest folk, a collar and tie still look best. But, I draw the line at a short-sleeved shirt & tie. Not at all good enough.

I remeber reading, in the Radio Times, over 35 years' ago two things about ties:-

1) That the tie had its origin in a scarf to keep one's wig in place.

2) That the British Sign Language sign for a 'Gentleman', as opposed to male person, is a handful of fingers waggled uner one's throat so as to indicate the wig stabilising tie.

  • 26.
  • At 01:30 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • chris cheesman wrote:

Even if not worn every day an emergency jacket and tie - kept close at hand in the office - can always come in handy... as I found out a fortnight ago.
As a writer on a photography magazine you may think we arrive at the office in T-shirts and jeans and get away with it. Well, yes, we do actually. But I found that it doesn't pay to get too casually-minded when I was asked - with two hours notice - to attend an important 'press briefing' at a posh building in The City that would not have looked out of place on The Apprentice. As I had not expected to attend any such meeting I arrived sporting an open-necked shirt, a pair of jeans and trainers, only to discover that most of the attendees were financial journalists decked out in well-cut suits. I felt slightly out of place and found myself apologising to the chief executive of the fairly large PLC, which had organised the conference, for not coming suitably attired. At which point a lady piped up that she worked for The Guardian newspaper and she wasn't wearing a suit either so I needn't worry. I am not sure what the moral is here but, needless to say, I now think twice before leaving home. You never know what the day may bring...

  • 27.
  • At 01:33 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Helen Foster wrote:

Stay as you are're lovely! :-)

  • 28.
  • At 01:34 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Jeremy wrote:

I'm with the "why are we bothering with this" brigade.

If I feel the need, I wear a tie and when I don't - well I don't.

Of course we all know the difference between them as wear clothes and them as allow the clothes to wear them and if you have a tie, a bow tie or a large block of fetta cheese round your neck as long as you are comfortable with it then why does it matter?

Incidentally what ever happened to fun backed dinner shirts - slightly off topic - but in the late eighties and early nineties they were absolutely de rigeur and then I noticed a year or two back no body seemed to still have them - now they were such fun. Better to debate fun backed men's shirts I would have thought.

  • 29.
  • At 01:35 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • the cookie ducker wrote:

no no NO! this can't be right, you can't be serious on the matter of ties pulled from the collars of male newsnight presenters, what next eh, kirsty pulling on a cigarette and drinking gin from a tumbler whilst doing the friday review.
I blame Paul Mason for this casual looking trend on newsnight, and also that other scruffy looking reporter, you know the one, he looks like he has just woken up and dragged himself backwards through a hedge; strangly enough my wife thinks he's the handsome one, is that the new look, i hope not...

If the tie-less Paul Mason believes he has any authority he is deluding himself, his casual appearance only underlines this.

With the BBC recently under fire for slipping standards, criticised for the "dumbing down" of its content and its reliance on soap opera now would probably not be the best moment for the BBC's flagship political programme to relax its dress code. With your standard of reportage in clear descent I suggest you tighten your ties and get on with some serious research for your next item while you still have the slightest whiff of credibility left with your dwindling audience and stop burdening us with this trivial tittle-tattle worthy of the water-cooler.

  • 31.
  • At 01:36 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • pearse vavasour wrote:

Didn't we do this before? I recall you interviewing the exotic tieman (and sockman)himself Jon Snow..Perhaps you should have another chat with that psychiatrist on the topic of obsessive compulsive behaviour

  • 32.
  • At 01:36 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • brian wrote:

Men not wearing ties.. who really cares. You wear them if appropriate. Generally the only reason why business people don't is that Senior executives and Board members etc want the younger generation to belive they are free minded and open thinkers, so they don't wear one, thinking it's "cool". Ridiculous, old twaddle, I say wear it if it makes you feel smarter or more fitting for your position.
You keep your tie on Jeremy and grow old with dignity and style (just watch that the tie does match the shirt and suit your wearing, presumming your going to continue wearing a shirt.......

  • 33.
  • At 01:37 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Janet Scott wrote:

Ties do keep a man looking tidy around the neck and if he doesn't wear a tie then he should choose his shirt with care and make sure it is clean

  • 34.
  • At 01:38 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Paul Daniel wrote:

Ties are a sign of status and professionalism and confer a degree of respectability upon you and your fellow presenters.

Your cheap slur against estate agents and politicians was worthy of the worst type of tabloid hack, so perhaps your tie should come off?

Upon reflection, I think your tie should should stay on, as I know that you are capable of much better. After all, you did give Jack Straw a reasonable going over recently about the Government's plan to rat on its manifesto commitment to hold a referendum upon the proposed new EU Constitution, although you did let him get away with saying that the country voted in 1975 to stay in the EU when it actually only voted to stay in the Common Market trade agreement (me included) and thus, you let him re-write history again.

Altogether, the ties stay on or you reduce yourselves to the status of Tony Blair; need I say more?

  • 35.
  • At 01:38 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • chris rose wrote:

bring back the weather forecast but on special Newsnight ties - kill two birds with one stone. as it were. do some nice patterns. get design help from weather forecasters - well known for strange clothing anyway.

  • 36.
  • At 01:40 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Paul in NYC wrote:

Yes, it's long been fashionable to make a grand show of flouting convention, but in so doing creating conformity to yet a different convention. What would happen if you were simply to wear what pleased you as an individual, without reference to public opinion and without concern over who might mimic your decision and who might not?

For the record, men wear ties in order to represent their phalluses overtly without actually displaying them. But notice that the tie is shaped like an arrow and notice where that arrow is pointing. That's what's meant when ties are said to "indicate" authority.

If we're going to discuss this subject candidly, we might as well agree to stop shrouding it in code or demoting it to a mere question of style or fashion--neither of which is in the least an arbitrary matter.

The tie is a potent emblem of male power. One doesn't have to be aware of this fact in order to experience it or benefit from it. It's simply embedded in the culture.

  • 37.
  • At 01:43 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Jonathan Hodgetts wrote:

The choice of tie is one of the few ways us men can individually express ourselves. I have always been a keen tie wearer, known for my interesting (and hopefully tasteful) choices often reflecting my interests.

I think men wearing a suit, but no tie, just look scruffy. If you don't want to wear a tie, then also abandon the suit and go entirely casual.

  • 38.
  • At 01:44 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Chris Bates wrote:

Well I wear a tie, and I quite like it, so why should I stop just because it is useless? I also like cufflinks instead of buttons and spectacles instead of contact lenses - will I be forced to do away with them too?

  • 39.
  • At 01:44 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Peter George wrote:

Cameron rarely wears a tie

  • 40.
  • At 01:45 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Ruth Fellows wrote:

I like to see a man in a tie for all the reasons mentioned by Bev and it may make me sound superficial but I think your (?) psychiatrist has a point. It does give the impression that a man means business, and that can be very reassuring.
At risk of sounding like a Bevvie I agree once more with her that some men can carry off look without the tie but that has more to do with body language IMO. I notice Paul is usually standing up when he's doing an item which gives him the advantage over someone who sits down , especially on that damned sofa you're all so fond of.

  • 41.
  • At 01:46 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Maddy wrote:

Think you should all wear what you feel best reflects your personalities and perceived roles/status. Could be instructive.

I wear ties quite often to cover my undershirt which otherwise would be exposed on certain areas of my shirt because I am an overweight professor. I thought that was why most men wore ties: it covers the straining buttons on your shirt?

  • 43.
  • At 01:48 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • aya wrote:

When you wear a tie Mr. Paxman, you look like you're not going to have any messing about and your interviewees have got to answer straight.

Without the tie, your power will be instantly removed and you're reputation as the best of the best will be shattered.

Don't complain. Just wear the tie.

  • 44.
  • At 01:48 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • David Couling wrote:

Another retrograde step I feel by not wearing a tie. Why bother wearing socks or shoes, perhaps you don't. How long will it be before newsnight is presented in teashirt, sandles and shorts, except for the women of course who will continue to wear trousers.

  • 45.
  • At 01:48 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Alex Gomes wrote:


  • 46.
  • At 01:48 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Peter wrote:

It seems to me that the first person of modern times, in Britain at any rate, to forgo the tie was R. Branson. And I guess his motives were the same as G. Brown's were when he decided not to wear an evening suit for the Mansion House speech.

So what? Well if the Home Secretary can stand up in parliament with the tops of her breasts showing, and various news readers can too, then I'm sure we are not going to get into a lather if J. Paxman does also. Why not sometimes? Start with a Friday - but then you're seldom on the box on Friday's are you? Wonder why?

Dumbing down? Or simply a slow news day?

Tough call. So let's make it a... tie!

  • 48.
  • At 01:48 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Ruth Fellows wrote:

I like to see a man in a tie for all the reasons mentioned by Bev and it may make me sound superficial but I think your (?) psychiatrist has a point. It does give the impression that a man means business, and that can be very reassuring.
At risk of sounding like a Bevvie I agree once more with her that some men can carry off look without the tie but that has more to do with body language IMO. I notice Paul is usually standing up when he's doing an item which gives him the advantage over someone who sits down , especially on that sofa you're all so fond of.

  • 49.
  • At 01:49 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Mark S wrote:

I must admit, on reading your newsletter I had the same feeling as commentor no. 1 (Johnny). I then clicked the link to read the comments and found, yes, comment no. 1. My thoughts on reading comment no. 2 were - as a reenactment nut - "bring back the surcoat, chain maille and sword". You could prop your shield up in front of the desk.
But one thing is for sure, disposing of the tie and keeping the suit is not an option: on switching on the box to watch Auntie's take on the world, people could get confused and think they've tuned into the Knesset Channel.

  • 50.
  • At 01:50 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Ian Olive wrote:

I burned all my ties a few years ago and have resisted all attempts to get me to wear one since. Not long after I burned all my suits too. It was very liberating to be free of such nonsense in the sartorial department.

  • 51.
  • At 01:50 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Fran Carr wrote:

There are very few ties around here in Daytona Beach US; it's too hot. I've been to funerals where even the pastor and corpse were tieless. Israel and Philopino men don't wear ties but still look neat. Both are hot climates.
I like to watch the news and guess politician's attitudes by their ties.

  • 52.
  • At 01:50 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Peter Hughes wrote:

Rejecting the tie dress-code is simply to adopt a tie-less dress-code. Let men and women make up the own mind, as and when.

I wear a tie to work (a university) because I wish to do so, choose to do so, and no-one much bothers either way.

Provided that Channel Four permits Jon Snow the choice about whether to wear a tie, I am happy that he wears a tie, even though I am not keen on his taste in ties. My taste in ties probably reflects my age and generation.

  • 53.
  • At 01:51 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Aaarrghh! wrote:

Jeremy Paxman not wanting to wear a's like being in the Matrix...

Make it stop!

  • 54.
  • At 01:51 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Naresh Patel wrote:

To me a tie is nothing more than a pointer !

Ah yes - "the old tie ploy". I think an enquiry followed by a report is called for. But perhaps we should broaden this out into "presentation" and not just Newsnight but BBC presentation generally. Just above the tie we find quirky mouths, intrusive tongues, the raucous larynx (even the "come to bed" purr) and the ubiquitous struggling "r".
Keep the tie - just tie it very tightly on those who cannot speak with clarity. Then there is the shape of the desk . . .

  • 56.
  • At 01:54 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • aya wrote:

When you wear a tie Mr. Paxman, you look like you're not going to have any messing about and your interviewees have got to answer straight.

Without the tie, your power will be instantly removed and you're reputation as the best of the best will be shattered.

Don't complain. Just wear the tie.

  • 57.
  • At 01:54 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Aarrghhh! wrote:

Jeremy Paxman not wanting to wear a's like being in the Matrix...

Make it stop!

  • 58.
  • At 01:57 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Geoff in US wrote:

It's simply appearance/fashion - If the tie is functionless then isn't the collar, too? To extrapolate: In summer, then, when it's hot why shouldn't we come to work in swimming trunks and bikinis?

  • 59.
  • At 01:58 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Colin Bridger wrote:

Having worked in a Bank for 40 years I was never tieless whilst at work.
Since retiring 17 years ago I have discarded all by ties except one - a black one which I have kept to wear at funerals, to which I consider that I have a duty to attend, and to weddings when invited.

  • 60.
  • At 02:00 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Mick Fenner wrote:

Just wear a tie only, might make it a more interesting subject.

Personal descion only might bring it up to date, thats the tie wearing not just the tie.

  • 61.
  • At 02:01 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Bob wrote:

Has Jeremy Paxman got nothing better to do than write this drivel, I have just read his book on "The English" and thought it quite a good read then he comes up with this, I feel his is getting to be a pompous pratt, apart from being smart and being the finishing touch for a good suit and shirt a tie stops one seeing a scrawny neck and in some cases (probably in Mr Paxmans case) disgusting greying chest hair creeping out the top of a open shirt collar.
It's a statement of style and respect for ones appearance, gives a sense of order, Trainers next instead of polished shoes? Turn up in a shell suit Mr Paxmenit's it appears to be about your style. taking off the suit and tie when one gets home draws a line under the work day and the start of home and leisure time,

  • 62.
  • At 02:01 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Boris wrote:

Ties are frankly ridiculous. They serve no practical purpose. Bosses who insist their staff should wear them have no right to do so and they are being sexist to boot. I'm not saying we should all turn up in fancy dress, but a strip a cloth dangling from the neck does not make a person look smart or professional or allow them to command authority. It just makes them look silly.

  • 63.
  • At 02:01 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Clapham left wrote:

Jeremy in a Robin Day bow tie and Monsieur Crick in a nice silk cravat

Miss Jeremy doing the weather he was very funny

"take a brolly " he said one night -never forget that ..

  • 64.
  • At 02:01 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Terry wrote:

Come on Johnny and Paul, it's GREAT to see Jeremy's wonderful sense of humour in action. As for ties, I hate 'em and only ever wear them under protest. (And I am not a spring chicken.) Ties and suits don't command respect - people have to EARN it.

And Jeremy has my greatest respect.

  • 65.
  • At 02:02 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • John B wrote:

The saving grace of the tie is that it covers the scraggy neck of the middle-aged male, one of the less attractive parts of the anatomy. Long live the bow tie which neither flaps nor falls in the soup. Churchill was right again.

  • 66.
  • At 02:04 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Don Fram wrote:

Why must all standard be reduced or abandoned. Should not the BBC continue to maintain standards and set an example. Many complaints are made as to the "modern day" behavour. Is this not the time to stop the rot and endeavour to return the country to a nation of people who care and respect others and other people's property

  • 67.
  • At 02:11 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Davina Pancake MP wrote:

What a load of tosh! It is the substance that counts - as recognised by many in the IT industry for years now. Wearing a suit/tie is appropriate in some situations (funerals/weddings etc) but for everyday situations, especially in our increasingly hot & humid summers, it is just unecessary. You can easily wear comfortable clothes that still look smart (track suits are out for news presenters I'm afraid), but reading some of these comments you should still be wearing black tie. Relax:)

  • 68.
  • At 02:13 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Hans van der Veen wrote:

Prince Claus, late husband to queen Beatrix of the Netherlands took off his tie while awarding the annual cultural prizes with his name and patronage.
He called upon all men to "shed the noose" and liberate their attire and themselves. Wise words from a man who was smothered into severe depression by royal protocol.
Let's all follow his expert advise.

  • 69.
  • At 02:13 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Mark Shortland wrote:

Two quotes from commentors:
"Cameron rarely wears a tie"
"It does give the impression that a man means business, and that can be very reassuring."
Newsnight men's options:
1. Wear a tie and be taken seriously.
2. Be a hoody ...

  • 70.
  • At 02:14 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • John wrote:

Lost your Shift key, Johnny?

Give Jeremy a break! Allow him to be flippant occasionally...

  • 71.
  • At 02:29 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Anthea Stoneham wrote:

For goodness sake!! When on the beach by all means take off your tie, roll up your trouser legs and wear a knotted hanky on your head, but when working, wear appropriate garb and if that involves meeting the public then a suit, and tie to cover the unattractive front of a shirt and the even more unattractive male neck and top of chest, is required.

  • 72.
  • At 02:29 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

Personally I would suggest a trade-off. I'll vote "yes" to the idea of Jeremy not wearing a tie if he agrees to write his own "What's on tonight's programme" emails. I enjoyed his missives from last year's party conferences greatly and looked forward to more of the same only to be disappointed. So is it a deal Jeremy?

  • 73.
  • At 02:30 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Whingeingpom wrote:

Very good article Jeremy. I'm a lawyer and never wear a tie. At least not in the confines of the office unless I'm meeting with clients or other lawyers, or out of the office when I'm on business. In effect, the only times I'm not wearing a tie are when I'm sat at my desk reading your blogs on the BBC website/not doing any work. Apparently wearing business attire means that you have more respect for your colleagues and puts you more in a work frame of mind. What rubbish. On our dress-down Fridays I have as little respect for my colleagues, and do no more work, than on any other day of the week.

  • 74.
  • At 02:30 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Mark Clark wrote:

I sit here writing to your blog, wearing a tie, A true Civil Servant? I hope so. I have several drawers of the things and I firmly believe it says something about character, tidiness and being generally `smart' which appear to have gone out of the window in some sectors. Truly, I hope to be buried in a nice garish one. With a smile.

  • 75.
  • At 02:32 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

The tie should of course be optional, but the way the wearer deploys it should be as important as whether it is worn or the colour or pattern of the cloth. "Wind-swept" (over the shoulder), "The Rapper" (reverse, hanging down the back), "Doctor Who" (wrapped round like a Tom Baker scarf), "Pigtails" (split down the middle from collar to tip), "Proboscis" (tip wrapped up into collar underneath the body of the tie)...

So many variations, which could say so much about the wearer and their mood.

  • 76.
  • At 02:33 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Mary Tobias wrote:

A tie is a statement.
It would be interesting to know how many woman have been mugged by men wearing ties.
Mary Tobias

  • 77.
  • At 02:35 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Michael wrote:

Ties are uncomfortable, get in the way and are bad for your eyesight (or so I've read). They show up people with poor dress sense and regularly offend those with good taste. Plus, as someone who objects to the way silk is made (by boiling baby silk worms alive), it can be a right pain in the neck finding nice-looking ties to wear.

  • 78.
  • At 02:36 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Fred L wrote:

If newsnight presenters stop wearing ties, I am quite sure that the entire universe will implode. Please don't do it.

  • 79.
  • At 02:37 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Alex Mitchell wrote:

What you say is more important than what you wear. I only ask that you look neat and tidy - and make them stop dumbing down the programme

  • 80.
  • At 02:38 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Ruth Fellows wrote:

Face it Paxo,
you are one of the few men who look really good in a tie. Don't knock it!

  • 81.
  • At 02:49 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Will wrote:

David Batchelor, the artist and writer, observed that colour is seen as feminine. Men's suits are mostly colourless to stress their stereotyped masculine qualities (strength; lack of emotion; control). The tie is left for self expression or to emphasise belonging (perhaps to the MCC?).

Keep the suit/tie combination or lose both. just don't go for the American uniform of tan slacks and blue shirt. You'll look like a fool.

  • 82.
  • At 02:49 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Sue Austin wrote:

It seems to me that the suit, together with a well chosen tie, is the best way for a man to demonstrate his individulaity (Jon Snow, David Dimbleby, Paxman) whilst remaining stylish and authoritative... and occasionally eye candy too! When left to attain the "casual look" just look what happens! (I have in mind the men waiting to go through security checks at Stansted Airport for example!) Oh dear. QED! Long live the tie.

  • 83.
  • At 02:52 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Daniel wrote:

I liked the essay, Jeremy.
Now write about shoulder pads for even more fun.

  • 84.
  • At 03:03 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Rita Gayford wrote:

Re: Psychiatrists and ties: many years ago I trained as a Psychiatric Nurse and all the (male) Psychiatrists wore ties but only the clip-on variety. This was a safety measure incase a patient took exception to something and made a grab for the tie - which would, of course, come off in his or her hand.
Can we change the subject now please?

  • 85.
  • At 03:09 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • de castro wrote:

little story about ties

In 1962 my eldest brother returned to my country of birth GUYANA then
BRITISH GUIANA having qualified from
OXFORD uni with degree in engineering.
First day at work for multi national
corporation(BOOKERS) he turned up for work without a tie. He was told that if he refused to wear one he would have to resign.
What happened after that was no surprise he returned to LONDON and finished his education with PHD in economics.
It is a gentlemanly thing to wear a tie but in todays climate(global warming et al) it may be politically "incorrect". Why even T shirt and jeans would be considered revolutionary ! congratulations JEREMY and Good luck !

  • 86.
  • At 03:10 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Nigel Clarke wrote:

I daily expect the publication of a report that proves beyond doubt that the wearing of ties is a major contributor to climate change. We'll all be banned from wearing them.

  • 87.
  • At 03:10 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • liz wrote:

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE keep your ties!!! Does this mean you've had enough of your tie Jeremy? But I love you in your tie!
Yes I know Paul Mason doesn't wear a tie that often - and look at the state of him!! There have many comments in our household about his state of undress - so for heaven sake cast your energies to subjects more deserving and less alarming to us loyal and appreciative viewers.

  • 88.
  • At 03:10 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Glenn Playfair wrote:

Go for it Jeremy!
You're not going to get the sack!

  • 89.
  • At 03:14 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Mongo wrote:

Lose the ties! We are supposed to be a classles society at ease with itself.

  • 90.
  • At 03:15 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

Have you not seen The Thick Of It?
The Xmas special? Wittering on about tie vs no tie was surely blown out of the water by that, no?

  • 91.
  • At 03:16 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Keith Elder wrote:

Why not go the whole hog Jeremy. Sandals, Shorts, Tee Shirt with 'Noos nite' across the middle. There again wear what you find comfortable.

  • 92.
  • At 03:17 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • John Coller wrote:

I'd like to see Jeremy wearing a cravat when he presents Newsnight.

  • 93.
  • At 03:19 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Maura Bennett wrote:

The tie is part of a carefully considered ensemble - suit, shirt, tie - which has evolved over many years. It is silly to discard one without the others - consider suit, tie but no shirt ?? Just daft.

Men's tailors and fashion designers should get busy to produce some form of 'smart casual' wear which would convey the authority of the current outfits, without resorting to Fancy Dress, and of course, without a tie. So many fabrics are available these days to cover all seasons and weathers world-wide - and naturally, a more formal occasion would merit a top-quality cloth. But PLEASE not just a sloppy open-necked shirt worn with formal suits. Totally incompatible.

Perhaps a comfortable, collarless shirt, a semi-fitting jacket without the old-style collars - an exciting design challenge in fact.

Oh and while you're busy with these world-changing sartorial weeds, put something together for Gordon Brown to wear at the Mansion House functions where he insists on appearing in a business suit, whilst everyone else conforms to the current protocol.

  • 94.
  • At 03:26 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Rodden Shaw wrote:

I must say that I think ties hold a great deal of aesthetic value (though this is often marred by some of the gaudier numbers people choose to wear).

Also, I would be most upset if they fell out of fashion considering just how much I've spent on the damn things!

  • 95.
  • At 03:27 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • m khan wrote:

It is even more of a puzzle why males in hotter countries wear them ?

A sign of the old Colonial ties (no pun intended) or the remnants of Colonialism ?

As a young pupil I had to wear a mock pull-off tie, as part of a school uniform which would have been considered incomplete if presented without the tie (risking due fines/penalties), in well over 100 degrees heat!

.. just thinking about it now can steer one away from Savile Row !

  • 96.
  • At 03:30 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Flower wrote:

Get 'em off!

  • 97.
  • At 03:31 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • They might strangle but they are good for arrest wrote:

They might strangle but they are good for arrest

  • 98.
  • At 03:34 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Conrad Marks wrote:

Slow news day?

Auntie not getting enough out of the Brown government's closest advisers to fill a single email with some proper news?

My, my - are you and your team losing your touch, Jeremy?

This story about 'ties' is a few years out of date - and just goes to show that Newsnight is in danger of developing the same reputation. Please fill my inbox with something more substantial soon - or I'll hang myself with my own tie. If I can find one.

  • 99.
  • At 03:37 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • PF wrote:


slow news day is it?

  • 100.
  • At 03:39 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • George Shepherd wrote:

Dear Jeremy, I agree that the wearing of the tie should be scrapped with the exception of special occasions.

BUT, at the same time a liitle research should be carried out by the shirt manufacturers to establish the exact position of the top button of the shirt. May be half an inch higher or lower can make a great difference between looking nice, and looking scruffy i.e. the points of the collar sticking out at different angles.

I first noticed the practice by Snooker players. How refreshing it must be now, not to be bound by the tradition of dinner suit and bow tie...Regards...George Shepherd shepherd

  • 101.
  • At 03:43 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Tony wrote:

I have over 150 ties - one for every sigh brought on by the descent of standards in this race towards anarchy. Anyway, they hide the turkey wattles.

  • 102.
  • At 03:43 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • George Shepherd wrote:

Dear Jeremy, I agree that the wearing of the tie should be scrapped with the exception of special occasions.

BUT, at the same time a liitle research should be carried out by the shirt manufacturers to establish the exact position of the top button of the shirt. May be half an inch higher or lower can make a great difference between looking nice, and looking scruffy i.e. the points of the collar sticking out at different angles.

I first noticed the practice by Snooker players. How refreshing it must be now, not to be bound by the tradition of dinner suit and bow tie...Regards...George Shepherd shepherd

Many years ago when ties were mandatory, I was employed in the Bermuda Public Service and felt anything but formal wearing a tie with a floral jacket/blazer and those below-the-knee Bermuda shorts. Later it was deemed OK to carry the tie attached to one's trouser belt - even more bizarre! The tie was thus a symbol of formality, recognising a standard of dress code.
In UK society we seem hell bent on pushing our standards of dress and behaviour yet lower each year, abandoning all attempts to maintain decency. From FCUK tee-shirts to even more blatant look-at-me filth on public display.In Brighton the great unwashed yobs are allowed to board public transport bare-topped or wearing vests only, exposing their smelly underarms. Discos no longer require 'smart casual' so whilst the women expose most of their flabby flesh, males appear to be dressed for labouring on building sites, with dirty jeans and trainers. The media (including BBC) has a lot to answer for, dumbing down tastes and pushing minor 'celebs' and unworth role models on our moronic adolescents and impressionable children. Newsnight is past the watershed time, so do your worst - wear pyjamas, longjohns or even burkas for all I care: I won't bother to watch tonight's edition.

  • 104.
  • At 03:48 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Conrad Marks wrote:

Just to give you one example of how outdated this debate is, take a look at the following link...

That's the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Gus O'Donnell, dismissing the requirement for ties among senior civil servants. In 2005, no less!

I repeat my question (please don't make me do this 14 times) - slow days day, Jeremy?

  • 105.
  • At 03:48 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • neil wrote:

Bertie Wooster: What do ties matter, Jeeves, at a time like this?

Jeeves: There is no time, sir, at which ties do not matter.

  • 106.
  • At 03:50 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Justin Howard-Sneyd wrote:

Quite why anyone would willingly want to put their head into a noose every morning is beyond me.....

  • 107.
  • At 03:53 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Eileen Gerrard wrote:

I enjoyed reading this Jeremy, quite amusing. I agree with the posters who think a suit without a tie looks wrong. I am old enough to think a tie is worn in a way as a mark of respect! Keep wearing the tie please........or change your style altogether.

  • 108.
  • At 03:54 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Eileen Gerrard wrote:

I enjoyed reading this Jeremy, quite amusing. I agree with the posters who think a suit without a tie looks wrong. I am old enough to think a tie is worn in a way as a mark of respect! Keep wearing the tie please........or change your style altogether.

  • 109.
  • At 03:55 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • astroMaSterious wrote:

don't need to see a tie to take content seriously. Paul Mason is a good example. I think it's a question of allowing journalists space to work. I'm more interested in the quality of that work.

Sorry to have quoted this, but had to because I believe the exact same thing meself..haha!!! And, the history or the Tie does make me feel ill and of coarse we all know that that's not all the history of it now is it!! History never ever totaly divulges! does it?? Hummm. I don't know haha!! One must diverge! Every now and then..I say. Now..need I say more...Naa..

  • 110.
  • At 04:05 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Joseph Wilson wrote:

It's a truth that the news would be generally just as bad if the reader (male in this case) was wearing a tie or not. The same could be said for the male weather presenters too.

However, the presentation as a whole does make a difference to whether or not you trust what you are being told.

On the other hand politicians rarely tell the whole truth and some wear ties and others don't.

Perhaps you should all start wearing T-shirts with 'Am I bovvered?' on the front, and 'Nah!' across the back.

  • 111.
  • At 04:11 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • kate wrote:

What happened to Paul Mason's blog? It's been dead for months, yet he was the best Newsnight blogger (possibly the best BBC blogger) of them all.
Bring him back!

  • 112.
  • At 04:12 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • David Stockdale wrote:

Surely this is just another fashion thing, why must so many people slavishly follow it.
Be yourself and do your own thing, the "Casual Fashion" trend which is so widespread has reduced people to looking like used teabags.
If you must look like everyone else then do it but don't fool yourself that it shows anything of your true character.
There are many men who appear without a tie who take on the appearance of an out-of-work bricklayers labourer while others look quiet acceptable. As ever it is "horses for courses".
I would prefer men to show their own individuality, why be consumed by what so many others are doing


I have worked in an office for the past 20 years where a tie was seen as compulsory, even in the warmest weather. Talk about neck-torture! Then I found out that there was no written dress code and the tie came off. For the past few years I have worn open-necked shirts, under a pullover during the winter months otherwise. It is smart yet comfortable. Enough said?

  • 114.
  • At 04:24 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Mat Vigour wrote:

Yes Jeremy you should wear a tie. The BBC's news output, especially BBC1's mornings are verging on moronic of late. Please don't go down that road.

Tie's look great and they make a statement.

Next thing you'll be wanting to sit on a sofa, or worse, perch on a desk.

  • 115.
  • At 04:31 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • bob money wrote:

Keep the ties - they offer an opporunity for colour and orginality.

  • 116.
  • At 04:32 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • notA drone wrote:

Not long then before everyone wears the ubiquitous uniform of the polo shirt: originally the preserve of leisure centre workers and now 'de rigeur' for police, nurses and other public servants. Only a matter of time before judges are forced to wear them. Perhaps a black design for Her Majesty with genuine EIIR yellow cotton embroidered motif (only for state banquets).

I also note that Gordon Brown has an aversion to evening dress, sticking out like a sore thumb in a lounge suit because he doesn't respect other people's dress codes. This is not elitist since you can buy a DJ for under a hundred quid, you know!

It's nice to be 'casual' but nice to dress up a little sometimes too. Have some respect for yourselves.

  • 117.
  • At 04:32 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Colin Davies wrote:

Beware that you don’t degenerate into inappropriate dress code
Remember the day that Michael Foot wore his Duffle coat at the Cenotaph I’m sure he was very sincere about the remembrance, but looked like a Wurzel Gummidge.

Keep the tie and the authorities will respect you.

Colin Davies Solihull Not a car salesman

  • 118.
  • At 04:33 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • company director wrote:

Keep the ties - a suit and tieless shirt looks awful - as though the wearer has just forgotten something. Smart business wear - which includes a tie - is for business, and to be taken seriously.

  • 119.
  • At 04:34 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • larry stewart wrote:

Despite the fact that a substantial part of my life was in the "a tie is a must" era - including the military, I have no real problems with their going the way of the dinosaur. But please wear appropriate shirts and attire. These people who insist on wearing dress shirts without ties and suits look like crap.

  • 120.
  • At 04:35 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Paul D wrote:

Ties? Who needs them? Of course, a suit doesn't really work without one so you might as well dump the jacket as well. Roll up the sleeves, why don't you? - looks much better with jeans of course. Which - come to think of it, are a natural with a tee shirt - on which you can have printed something which expresses your style, personality and individuality. A bit like a tie does?

Caterers will have to carry on wearing silly white hats in the interests of hygiene, priests will wear dog collars as badges of office and countless public officials will carry on wearing uniforms that would embarrass cheerleaders because it is in the job description. But they, of course, are mere mortals.

Stop whining, put your tie on and go back to work.

  • 121.
  • At 04:39 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Steve Eggleton wrote:

If Jeremy finds he is sentenced to wearing a tie for evermore, perhaps he can find some small consolation in the huge number of different knots to choose from. There are 85 (or 170 if you do them left handed) including the Nicky, the Windsor and the Pratt! He could try a different one for each appearance on Newsnight and give us viewers some extra entertainment.

  • 122.
  • At 04:45 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Mark wrote:

So far, there have already been more comments about this subject than the next three combined. Okay all you people dancing around this bush without daring to touch it, I'm going to be so bold as to make a suggestion, a man's necktie is an overt sexual symbol whose obvious allusion cannot be ignored. Nor can the fact that Paxman was talking to not just any professional or just doctor but to a psychiatrist about it. How appropriate. Why not ask him directly Paxman? See what he has to say. Most of the women posting here say they WANT to see a man wear a necktie when they are in business atire and I suspect at more casual events as well such as dinner at a nice restaurant. In some restaurants, a sports jacket and tie are manditory if you are to be seated and served. How many movie scenes have I scene when an obviously interested woman grabs a man's necktie and pulls him close to her with it?

  • 123.
  • At 04:45 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • John G Hunt wrote:

Go for it, Paxo, show the way! Consign ties to the bin wherein are powdered wigs, spats, plus-fours and, oh, stuffed shirts!

  • 124.
  • At 04:46 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • s wrote:

keep the tie and wear a birthday suit.

got to keep them politicians distracted when you get the killer question in.

  • 125.
  • At 04:55 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Matt Dyer wrote:

I think wearing a tie is important. Do newsnight or The BBC not want to be taken seriously anymore?

The very reason I watch newsnight is because I feel it takes news seriously and focuses all it's attention on accurate reporting, unlike other rival channels, so why should newsnight lower it's dress code to stay in line with the rest?

I think only the 'Anchor Man' Should be made to wear a tie because they set the tone for the whole programe. The male reporters & Correspondence should use there common sense.

  • 126.
  • At 04:59 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • john sims wrote:

I remember passing by a bemused looking Jeremy Paxman just below the steps of Buck House at a garden party a few years ago. I am sure we were both as uncomfortable with the days procedings, packed with formality and convention as they were. However we both chose to be there. Ties present a similar predicament; there may be conventions but it is your choice. Up here in Yorkshire we find the string around our trousers a more important issue.

  • 127.
  • At 05:02 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Thomasyne Flynn wrote:

- oh, please, PLEASE don't shed the ties! Many women, inculding this one, find them utterly masculine, and sexy -er, most of them, anyway. Loosen them up a little; all the better, my dears, but refrain from tossing them out.

  • 128.
  • At 05:08 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Chris Holcombe wrote:

If I stopped wearing a tie,I would receive only socks as Christmas and Birthday presents!

  • 129.
  • At 05:09 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Paul Lightfoot wrote:

How about ties for women? That way, your viewers would be confronted with fewer of those ugly cleavages that apparently pass as high fashion these days.

  • 130.
  • At 05:11 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • nick ruddock wrote:

I agree with the psychiatrist - I also like a number of Jon Snow's ties. I don't think it matters, though if my memory serves, I don't believe in your taste (?). Too garish whilst being staid, fixe, and constrained, conservative even. Trying too hard but afraid to be independant. Wear what you like!

  • 131.
  • At 05:14 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • angel wrote: this a furtive attempt to draw up the bridge on the old school tie just as the new money pours in ?

.....a gentle hint to hermes to send round a sackcloth full ?

or an indictation , perhaps , of how anxious bbc news readers might feel at having anything tied around their sensationalist necks ?

( I cannot be the only eco-worrier observing sound - often wooden - household furniture currently heaped outside flooded homes erroneously pronounced dead by insurance industry-sensitive reporters ; if only they'd show a sense of humour and dress up as steptoe & son )

my father - also called jeremy - once told me never to trust a man who wears a bow tie - nor a beard for that matter - during the day

however, a no tie zone sounds madly cromwellian , and they can look dapper to we girls ( and provide an elegant arrow toward something more entertaining below - news desk heights permitting )

perhaps we could have peter york on to debate - with drawings by john springs - whether news readers might be invited to enjoy , say , dress-up-wednesday ..

dress code : what nicky haslam so brilliantly described as Louis the Hotel

( tempted now to quote charlie weld : " the problem with working
on wednesdays ...... is that it ruins both weekends " )

of course, we don't yet know what lies beneath mr paxman's shirt - may be a fine flock of englebert humperdink chest hair eager to be liberated inbetween his buttons

any congested road up , climate change will soon dictate dress codes ; so far this July here in luscious gloucs it's level 5 puffa & what I call all-weather-lesbian-chic

  • 132.
  • At 05:15 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • John French wrote:

I don't think that I have ever read such a poor peace of writing. Of course there are times when a shirt and tie would be overdoing it. I look at far too much TV, I'm old and
not very fit, I've noticed that so many men are looking unkempt, their collars open and shirts that often look poor in quality.

  • 133.
  • At 05:15 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Neil Rodgers wrote:

I agree with No 117 - Company Director.

Men in ties make people take them seriously and most certainly when it is business we need to be taken seriously. Why is it that people want to bring everyone down to their level in everything these days. We have copied the USA yet again-why is it that people think what the USA does today we must do tomorrow. We have had enough copying the USA with the Iraq debacle - enough said.

We will be seeing people going to work in "Vests and Shorts" next. The very thought.

Maybe the Daily Mail should run a campaign for "KEEP THE TIE" I would certainly sign the form.

  • 134.
  • At 05:17 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Stan Dack wrote:

I like Bob's idea in No.61, I can imagine Jeremy sat there in a shell suit trainers and a huge medallion, a Jimmy Saville lookalike interviewing the Prime Minister, or trying to get some serious point acoss. It could be the start of a new comedy show.

  • 135.
  • At 05:19 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Ash wrote:

Ties are cool, Jeremy. You should know that.

  • 136.
  • At 05:21 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Brian Atherton wrote:

Stand on any street corner and watch the people walk by. Those that catch the eye are those wearing a tie (exotic dress excluded). Mainly they will be men and the tie, if properly coordinated with shirt and jacket, presents a pleasing ensemble. There is nothing attractive about the male cleavage. When a female wears a tie it catches the eye because it is unusual.

Open necks should be banned for men. Let the tie rule!

  • 137.
  • At 05:25 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Barry Tickner wrote:

Last night was the last night that I shall ever watch newsnight (not even worth a capital n now). I couldn't bear to watch or listen to paxman (not even worth a capital p now)& that mason chappy waffles a load of rubbish anyway. So I shall go to another channel tonight & watch the Elephant Man. Incidentally I wear ties, bow ties & cravats (individually of course) but I have taken them off to dictate this.

What a sad day!! It will be Kirsty topless next

  • 138.
  • At 05:29 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Michael wrote:

Bev, can we relax a little? For one thing, some people find the "little triangle" attractive and besides, you can't possibly argue that modern women's fashion never reveals parts of the female anatomy that at least some of us find vaguely repulsive. If men can and should live with bare midriffs on large women, then you can live with a few chest hairs sticking out of a man's shirt.
So yes, by all means ditch the tie rules! John Prescott in a tracksuit would at least be a statement of honesty :b

  • 139.
  • At 05:32 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Jack wrote:

If Eddie Stobart's drivers can wear one to work, I cannot see why it should be too much trouble for newsreaders.

  • 140.
  • At 05:34 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • A Walter wrote:

By all means remove your tie but please replace it with something as tieless shirts look scruffy. I wear a polo but am open to suggestions.

The tie is about personal taste. No rules - just wear one if you feel like it and don't if you don't. If you make a rule about not wearing one, you're no freer than when the rule said you should.

It could be fun decoding your mood from the tie or no tie statement each night.

  • 142.
  • At 05:43 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Mark Groen wrote:

Of course it's important to be presentable, especially in client facing positions, but in my opinion most people are overdressed for the work they do. People working in back office should be able to wear casual clothing, as long as it's presentable.

It also seems slightly odd that where men are all forced to wear identikit suits, women have much more freedom in what they're allowed to wear.

Newsnight presenters should stick to wearing ties - considering the gravity of some of the newsreports, I think it suits the occasion.

  • 143.
  • At 05:47 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Liz wrote:

Mark (Comment 122) says that women like to see men in ties.

I disagree as a woman in her middle years. I prefer the man I am with to feel comfortable, not trussed up like a joint ready for the oven.

Jeremy, I enjoyed your blog/email, and I want to say: Wear what YOU feel comfortable doing your job in, and never mind the old fogeys!

I can't see my favourite Newsnight Rottweiler being any less authoritive, forthright and (dare I say) intimidating just because he doesn't have a noose around his neck!

Wearing a tie doth not an intellectual make. So don't listen to the naysayers and go for it!

  • 144.
  • At 05:50 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • John Morgan wrote:

Well Jeremy. Reckon it says more about the psychiatrist than it does about the wearing of a tie!
If that's what his/her patients think, then job done! The way that I now have word this statement is testament to this . Any one with any wit at all would know that half of any nations talent is vested in its women

Frankly I think that all too much of the common courtesy s have been discarded in order to accommodate the present day liberalists and "progressive thinkers" .

I do not wish to address my doctor by his christian name or see him without a tie. He has to work magic and I don't want him to be just the same as me!

So continue to do me the courtesy of wearing a tie which separates you from all the rest of the scruffy s*ds who choose to do other wise.


  • 145.
  • At 05:51 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • mq, cb wrote:

It's not the tie or the suit that matter, Jeremy. It's the type of tie and suit. A decent unflashy suit with a tie that fits (an important qualification) may say "formal" and "stuffy" to some, but it also says, "I expect people to listen to me and so they do" because you look confident and in charge. Like all uniforms, it's a shortcut to saying who you think you are. If the way you read an autocue is so brilliant that you could be wearing pyjamas and no one would care, then good for you. Otherwise, be prepared for the snide comments.

Look at our new PM, a case in point. There he stood after the recent car bomb attacks, making the expected and rather dull public statement, looking like an old bachelor uncle at a family wedding. I know he's going for dull as a contrast to the previous incumbent, but all he managed to say is that it's all getting away from him and he can't quite cope.

Try buying a shirt with a collar that fits properly and learn to wear your tie in a comfortable way. Oh, and don't take Gordon as your style model; he's got a long way to go.

  • 146.
  • At 05:51 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • David Nettleton wrote:

All Newsnight presenters should wear suits and ties as part of a modern corporate image. I suggest that Kirsty Wark, Emily Maitlis, Gavin Esler and Jeremy Paxman meet to discuss a design acceptable to all four.

  • 147.
  • At 05:57 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Mike Constable wrote:

Please, can male Newsnight presenters continue to wear ties. And judges and barristers continue to wear wigs.

  • 148.
  • At 06:04 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Brian J Dickenson wrote:

Why not a cravat with a decent stick-pin.
Lets keep some standards in our dress code.
Just look what has happened in one day cricket. The players can't even be bothered to change out of their pyjamas.

  • 149.
  • At 06:27 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • michael thomas wrote:

What a pity an inteligent man wants to spend so little of his thought on us .

But if we have to...
keep the tie. Conventions are what keep us from anarchy;if you have to draw the line in clothing wearing a tie is better than most. See what has happened to women ! Cleavage down to the waist ,bras on display, two piece clothing with a bare midriff,backless ,frontless, knickers showing, skirtless, what else can be done to draw attention ?Dressing would be a good start.
No I don't want men to follow their example.,thank you Michael Thomas

  • 150.
  • At 06:32 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Ivan Drake wrote:

I think it just another case of dumbing down.Why do you not bother to comb your hair also and join up with all of the other idiots that try to keep up with the ridiculous fashion ideas of today. Even the football pundits still look clean tidy and well dressed. What a nation we are becoming. Even to look scruffy is the in thing.I dispair of the BBC and the English race.

  • 151.
  • At 07:00 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Ken wrote:

The trouble with people who cannot be bothered to wear a tie, is that frequently they also cannot be bothered to shave.....why do so many people appear to be in such a hurry to drop standards

  • 152.
  • At 07:11 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • angel bacon wrote:


That said , David Goodhart and Tom Nuttall both looked delicious on University Challenges the Pros. Indeed, I doubt any dry clean only garment - let alone a tie - is worn within 500 yards of Prospect HQ ?

Conclude : a case of when in Rome ?

  • 153.
  • At 07:20 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Bob Goodall wrote:

Dear Mr Paxman

Perhaps you could invite Jon Snow from C4 to discuss this, I think he talked about this at one point,
I was looking through some comics from my childhood which had some furistic designs for menswear of the future,

Thunderbirds etc, Fireballl XL5 etc but progress slow, perhaps a different type of shirt might reduce the need for a tie?

perhaps there is a need to conform at any costs in the workplace and no one wants to stand out, wearing a tie is the least of it? this extends to being afraid to leave the office until very late,

perhaps the unwillingness to do without a tie might link in with bigger issues to do with independence of mind

perhaps tielessness and originality are connected and ties and lemming likeness go together like a...,
I would like to see a world where people think for themselves more and are more objective and independently minded

perhaps when more people do without ties it will be wear one

best wishes
Bob Goodall

do they wear ties on BBC radio now they have webcams? Does the BBC have a view on this?

Ties are the main opportunity a man has to get a bit of individuality into their business/ formal outfit. Ties add a bit of colour and are fun. Keep the ties.

  • 155.
  • At 07:29 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

Wearing a tie sends out many signals and messages: I'm ready for work ( or indeed Wark!) I have gravitas, I mean business, I care enough to 'present' well. Not wearing a tie to me indicates you are casual, 'down the pub' and 'not taking this too seriously. Which is all fine if you are 'down the pub' but you are emphatically not when presenting one of the few quality news, analysis and comment programmes left on air! Cheers!

  • 156.
  • At 07:29 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Andrew Rickler wrote:

I usually wear 'smart' casual to work (i.e. t-shirt with collar, trousers and shoes) however am always amazed when told that I am looking very smart if I wear a shirt and the tie is normally Homer Simpson or one of the other Simpson's clan! How can the fact that I am wearing a cartoon character albeit in the form of a tie make me smart?! It appears that wearing any material around your neck equates to smart.

  • 157.
  • At 07:30 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • J and J Krankie SNP Country wrote:

Lederhosen maybe next ?
Yes please Paxo


  • 158.
  • At 07:45 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • PD wrote:

A Pratt (Steve Eggleton - 121)? On Newsnight? Perish the thought.

  • 159.
  • At 07:47 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Alex Marshall wrote:

I gave up wearing a tie in 1985. I wore a cravat for a long time, until my son said "Dad, that's a seriously Gay statement." So I've stayed open necked ever since. And it's so much more comfortable.

  • 160.
  • At 07:50 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Paul Mason wrote:

Here's my considered take on ties. Because I am not posh in a heredetary sense, I sometimes judge a situation so in need of power dressing to make people take me seriously that I wear not only a tie but one of those high-camp ones that people in powerful jobs wear: bright pink, or dazzling bronze. I am talking here about people who measure their income compared to mine in multiples of ten. However over the last three years I have noticed a lot of the power-people turning up open-necked. In my world (that bit of it that involves breakfast at Simpsons on the Strand etc) this is a definite trend. Here is another one - the revival of a tradition started by Peter Mandelson of dressing as boringly as possible in order to soften one's immense power. Mandelson often wore checked shirts with wooly ties in his latter years in the Commons: no Armani in sight.

Now the person who seems to have resurrected this par-excellence is Cameron. I met Cameron the other day and he was wearing a fairly hideous green tie with a knot he certainly did not learn to do at the Bullingdon Club. So take it from me - out there is the land of people who do things like read GQ, lead the Tory party, schmooze each other at London restaurants, drive Maseratis - the tie is dying.

However careful viewers will notice what has not died out: bespoke tailoring. Both Mr Brown and Mr Cameron, up close, look very respectably tailored. The actual faux pas, the real "just about to be sentenced by the beak" look is when you wear a bad, ill-fitting suit. A third item is becoming quite important: an garishly striped shirt. These were pioneered by the fashion brand Etro and copied by everyone. They have gone out a bit now to be replaced by flowery, Liberty-type shirts but no male news journo I have met has the bottle to wear one of these on air. So we are stuck in a world of stripes.

Stripes are good for 2 reasons: they put the colour back that is lost by losing the tie and in the unfortunate event of having to shed your tailored jacket, and the true body shape impact of all those breakfasts at Simpsons on the Strand become apparent, the stripes help.

Yes I have not anything better to do than write this, but if you were reading this in GQ or Vogue Uomo you'd have to pay for it.

Another reason I think the tie *is* dying out: as politics enters the "hi-vis jacket" era, and politicians turn up on your doorstep to fix your drains, rather than simply issuing promises that someone else will one day fix them, backed by a privately-commissioned film crew, they know that anybody who wears a hi-viz jacket *and* tie in real life is probably about to arrest you, and they need to soften the look.

  • 161.
  • At 07:53 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Antony Jacubs wrote:

I cannot understand why the "deacadent west" is supposed to be symbolised by the tie. How about the other way around? The tie together with a suit is part of the way of our life here in the west - decadent or not. If the tie is to be considered "old hat" as indeed the hat has now become, then let us discard other items of mens clothing for the same reason. How about socks? they are hardly ever seen and only become smelly and full of holes. Then we could include gloves, shoe-laces, braces (almost gone anyway), belts, top pockets etc. etc.
No, I believe ties are essential to a man's appearance, especially in a suit - even if he is decadent.

  • 162.
  • At 08:23 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Pete wrote:

If the tie is a symbol of 'Western' decadence lets keep it! Surely dressing traditionally (without going over the top) allows us to assert our national (or European) identity which deserves some recognition.

A sensible implementation allowing the tie to be worn sensibly was demonstrated when I worked for the Royal Navy. The officers had to and civilians were encouraged to wear a tie with a long-sleeved shirt and not one without. This allowed it to be kept for important occasions (meetings, presentations, interviews) but ditched for more practical purposes.

  • 163.
  • At 08:30 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Annie Clark wrote:

Perhaps I'm wrong, but is this piece the first e-mail missive that Jeremy Paxman has seen fit to contribute to the Newsnight mailers? He is relentlessly sarcastic when making reference to anything web based pertaining to the programme....but at last it seems, he stirs his stumps to rattle on about.... TIES???

Get over it, Mr. Paxman. Things are not that bad

I don't usually wear a tie so when my three year old son saw me put one on he asked me if I was going to work at the BBC. He had only seen men in suits on the news on BBC World.

  • 165.
  • At 08:58 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Steve Ratcliffe wrote:

Don't do it!!
This is the last of the serious current affairs programs available to us.

First the tie then down the slippery slope to join This Week.

  • 166.
  • At 09:03 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Pat wrote:

Hi Jeremy,

It is really fortuitous that this subject comesup now,as for the past few weeks I have been wondering what has happened to 'the tie' which has always been expected of Newsnight@ and other news programme presenters.

I heard (don't know if true) that the reason so many programme presenters had stopped wearing a tie was down to the fact we wanted to appease the Muslim population, who apparently do not wear ties, and that this was to show some type of solidarity with them and to let them see publicly that we are supporters of their culturPersdonally, I feel quite strongly that all news presenters and programme suppliers of whichever colour should wear ties, really it is so much neater and gives a ;finished;look to the presenter. Not all things are bad just because they are something that has always been done. I think we should still do it and it does mean something to I would think most viewers.

Looking forward to ties, and more ties.!!

Best regards

  • 167.
  • At 09:12 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Alec wrote:

I work outside. I find a tie keeps you very warm in the wintertime.

  • 168.
  • At 09:20 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Matthew wrote:


As one who complies with the traditional business attire, I must agree with a number of the above comments. Wearing a suit and tie does, indeed, have a significant impact upon my self confidence, when meeting clients. However it is the entire wardrobe, not just the tie, which gives me a sense of "business" purpose.

That said, the organisation for which I work allows staff to "dress down" on Fridays and I cannot say that I've ever consciously felt any other way whilst in the office.

  • 169.
  • At 09:21 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Steve wrote:

Ties should not be worn on television as it demonstrates public acceptance of a sexist double-standard.

ANY manager who insists that their male staff wear them is breaching sex discrimination laws - unles of course they insist that females wear specific clothing items such as a skirt. Which they don't.

You should set a good example of equality and refuse to wear ties Jeremy.

  • 170.
  • At 09:24 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Malcolm Minino wrote:

Time to do away with formal attire - whatever the occasion. E.g. royal and Lord Mayor's banquets always look like black comedy to me, and when snooker players appear on tv more trussed up than a Thanksgiving turkey - it's laughable! You know what they say - 'clothes maketh the ham'. It would be refreshing to see Newsnight presenters in casual dress. C'mon Pax, give it a go!

  • 171.
  • At 09:31 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Bedd Gelert wrote:

Paul, what you have to remember is that some of us live so far outside the M25 that some of the things we are wearing are about to come back into fashion !!

However, although I think if one is wearing a suit one should wear a tie, and not wear a tie if one is dressing 'business casual' with a jacket and chinos, my opinion doesn't count for a hill of beans, once one sees the fashion disasters Iain Dale sometimes pulls out of the woodwork. Many of his ties are quite tasteful [coloured check ones] whereas some are so shocking they would make Jon Snow think he was watching that Olympic logo video..

But then, he isn't a journalist ;-]

  • 172.
  • At 09:32 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Clapham left wrote:

166. At 09:03 PM on 06 Jul 2007,Pat

Great post Pat says it all x

  • 173.
  • At 09:42 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Tom wrote:

The debate is definitely with merit, in my experience very few professional institutions are requiring their employees to wear a tie.

I think when it boils down to it the tie often gave an uninspiring journalist a form of 'automatic authority'. Mr. Paxman is and has always been a superb, uncompromising and professional journalist. A tie is not necessary for this to be the case.

The words are image enough.

  • 174.
  • At 09:49 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Martin Tapsell wrote:

I am a retired librarian. The convention we had in public libraries 10 years ago was no tie, inner city, maybe a tie outer borough, and yes a tie in the county library. It all depended on chiming in with what your readers looked like and not alienating them. I only keep 6 favourite ties now, but with broadcasters I would advise them to check how the majority of the viewers think, and if they are pro tie, get a few in a charity shop, if your shirt still does up at the neck that is!

  • 175.
  • At 09:59 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • madeline leslie wrote:

carry on wearing the tie Jeremy and I just hope that you don't spend too much time deliberating on the subject ,you were meant for more serious things! As for the referendum on the weather forecast ,the way you made a mockery of reading it we got the impression you hated it that's why we voted it out.

  • 176.
  • At 10:15 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Mich O' Phull wrote:

If you're not going to wear a tie you could at least wear a cravat. Otherwise you'll look like Richard Madeley.

  • 177.
  • At 10:30 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • walzing matilda wrote:

I'd like to see Jeremy crowned...
and his integrity retrieved
to build Jerusalem and restore
England's green and pleasant land.

  • 178.
  • At 10:33 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Alex wrote:

Good riddance to the tie. I've long felt it offensive that some jobs and promotions are only open to those wearing a tie, or in other words willing to show their putrid servility to their "superiors". The tie is nothing but an absurdity in almost all circumstances.

  • 179.
  • At 10:50 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Joshua wrote:

This argument was inevitable and I’m so glad it’s finally upon us.

Wearing a necktie is to subscribe to the establishment and silently call for preferential treatment.

They're worn out of dishonesty or weakness.

The reasons others have given here FOR donning one are snobby, comic or superstitious.

Let us judge you for YOUR true character and not what the bogus testimonial badge of “respectability” would have us believe.

  • 180.
  • At 11:17 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Gavin wrote:

Ties represent the 'old school'. What is important here, and is missed so often, is that people should be judged by what they say and not by what they wear.

  • 181.
  • At 11:26 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • David wrote:

If something matters, like physical presentation for a TV presenter for instance, it's worth doing properly.

I always suspect those who make a thing of not wearing ties are just trying to cover up their lack of imagination, style, co-ordination skills etc etc. A bit like the chap who tells you something is rubbish, just because they're rubbish at it themselves!

Come on Jeremy don't let 'em pull you down to there level, you're better than that!

  • 182.
  • At 11:29 PM on 06 Jul 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

Tie-less is for the young and hip. The rest of us are better off sticking with convention, otherwise it looks a bit sad. Jon Snow might be able to pull it off, though.

Dr Blockbuster says keep your tie on Jeremy for god's sake :smiles: Dr Blockbuster likes his Half-Windsor and your knot going to change that :roflmAo:

I stopped watching the BBC when THEY stopped wearing dinner jackets!

  • 185.
  • At 12:25 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Roxof wrote:

Why oh why shirts? They certainly leave an Inherent Design Problem which must be addressed by ties of some sort (even the Texan ties consisting of some rope and metal dongles speak volumes!) / or dickies / or cravats - unless in places where they're regarded as "Crusader symbolism", in which case omitted. Anywaybesides, this naturally leads on to suits (up-buttoned without ties in some parts of the world where it must be hot!). The whole of this can be avoided with easy-wearing, comfortable polo-necks. Universally offence-free, cutting across all of the old "class" and "Empire" nonsense and they can readily be accepted worn with a fine blazer, a D-J or whatever if necessary. Only problem is being occasionally being mistaken for a Person of the Cloth. Meanwhilebesides again, a good-quality pair of wellies can instantly leave the footgear issues behind too. Just remember always to wear sturdy trousers too and the world is still, if must be, "the man's".

  • 186.
  • At 12:25 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Paul Mason wrote:

Now there is another issue: knots. I personally try whenever possible to wear the (mark of a traitor) Windsor Knot - not the Half Windsor but the full Monty - or should that be the full Moseley? Anyway it makes the tie look good.

  • 187.
  • At 12:31 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Bedd Gelert wrote:

I must admit that the interview and film below had completely passed me by until I was trying to search for this post again...

Gosh, this was 2 years ago, Mr Paxman, and you are still no nearer the end of your quest. You may well be right, and that the end of the tie is unavoidable, but let's not see it go without a fight, eh.. ??

Wonder what Kirsty, Martha, Stephanie, Emily and Madeleine would make of this lengthy debate about ties ?

A collar without a tie is like horse without a jockey! Do we want to see that? Absolutely not! Not yet!!

However, we should not rule out a tie less Newsnight altogether.

What about a smooth transition in time for the Olympics in 2012.

  • 189.
  • At 04:00 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Leslie Ian Jones wrote:

If someone wants to wear a tie, then wear one. I never wear a tie, but if I had to wear a suit I would not do so with a open necked shirt like so many politicians and 'politics show' presenters. If you want an example of how to wear and suit and open neck shirt, and still look smart, then look no further than the film Doc Savage. In that film, the actor Ron Ely looked great in a suit....and not a tie in sight!!

When I worked in our Fire Service, we
all had to wear ties. I knew how to do a windsor knot and as soon as I got to work, undid the button at the neck and loosened the tie, till knock off time.

One of the shows here called "Today",
the boys wanted to take their ties off while still looking nice in their suits. But management must have hammered that one and now they're back in ties.

In Queensland, which is more hot than cold, just about everyone who works in an office, the doctors,
etc. etc. wear ties. Surely doctors could just throw their stethoscopes around their necks, to settle the patients down.

Way back in the 70's men sought liberation from the tie and in came
the safari suits. The coat was short sleeved and usually the boys wore a very prettily coloured shirt
no tie. Occasionally, you would see
some misguided fools wearing tires in
90 degree heat.

Ties are here to stay I think, even the blokes, most of them, look quite dapper with suit and no tie.

  • 191.
  • At 07:25 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Arnold Grayson wrote:

As a Senior Citizen of 78 years of age it I am amazed that an intelligent person as Jeremy Paxton
suggests dispensing with the tie for formal occasions & business use.This Country was always one of the best dressed nations in the world,but since the end of the sixties we have gone completely the other way as in most other conventional practices.A dresscode is necessary looking smartly dressed is part of life which today's youngsters no nothing about.All they wear is a shirt outside their jeans which thanks to the so called Celebrity Pop Stars is today's fashion.It is pathetic almost as bad as no discipline in schools,lack of respect for older people which is quite normal for today's living in the UK.

  • 192.
  • At 08:24 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Alan Ashton wrote:

No no no Jeremy you are completely wrong. It is a tie that gives youthe authority. I hasve already castigated Jeremy Vine and Donovan, the South East's political correspondent for not wearing ties. As a radio editor, now retired, O insisted my reporters all wore ties in case they had to interview some one of importance. I would still stick to that rule today. Let the BBC at least keep up standards.
PS Even the Sky sports commentators wear ties - John Inverdale and co. please follow suit......

  • 193.
  • At 08:25 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Kenneth Lamper wrote:

Ties are an essential for of recognition. We have school ties, club ties, association ties in fact ties and bow ties for alamost every thing including fancy ties for christmas and ties that make comments about various things that happen in life. There are ties which make a statement, both social and political. There are ties that most people would give their eye teeth to be entitled to wear. e.g. the MCC tie to name just one.
Please keep wearing your ties and complete you turnout.

  • 194.
  • At 09:02 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Flower wrote:

Having enjoyed the pleasing images of Jeremy Paxman without ties and in a range of casual outfits, I have slowly sobered up enough to give the matter a bit of proper thought.

Isn't the wearing of ties, the 'formality' of the dress code and the compulsion to look like Westminster politicians, business supremos and 'important' members of the establishment a straightforward case of bias? Isn't it an endorsement of the values of business? The besuited commentator who dissects political speeches and economic issues does so from within a framework which accepts its uniform and the ranking and hierarchies that the uniform implies. The journalist who talks about high finance and political manoeuvering while dressed in country tweeds shows that he is no 'insider'. The one who wears jeans and a T shirt to address those same issues shows that he is either officially on holiday and temporarily unaccountable, or an 'alternative' thinker.

'Power' dressing is not an unfamiliar concept. It is a way of showing how at home an individual is with the values and working 'ethics' of business. When journalists dress in that way, do they not undermine their credentials as independent? For the whole BBC news and current affairs department to do it says something deeply uncomfortable about the BBC itself.

No wonder the issue of ties keeps coming up. They strangle more than just Jeremy's neck.

  • 195.
  • At 09:07 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Keith Mossman wrote:

Standards, dear boy, standards. Keep them. You'll be advocating trainers next.

  • 196.
  • At 09:16 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • R Jackson wrote:

What ever happened to standards.
Paxman should know better, wearing a suit and tie on TV reflects a respect for the viewer; dispite the BBC being a leftwing, toading outfit that fawns after the present discredited Government.
Can we please adopt a convention that ALL those appearing before the cameras (that the public pay for) wear what is still regarded in this country as as conventional dress.
Or does he thing that a disdash or kaftan more suitable.

  • 197.
  • At 10:18 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

I started reading these comments and then realised I'm never going to get through them all. So stopped.

I've added this comment as a congratulatory wink to all those of stamina who manage to get this far.

Well done indeed, sir (or madam).

  • 198.
  • At 10:19 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • T Barfield wrote:

Dear Jeremy,

Please think of the common people, or namely those of us who either cannot afford a personal trainer or who live in forgotten corners of the country and, unlike London, don't have access to gyms and fitness suites. The tie is a wonderful distraction from incipient double chins or the bobbly neck. What's more, if worn correctly (i.e. not tucked into your waistband), the tie will also hide the paunch. For the self-esteem of men everywhere, please keep our self-defensive statement of elegance.

Also, if men drop the tie, the particularly unconscionable of them will start wearing loud shirts to compensate. You have been warned!

Best sartorial wishes, Tom

  • 199.
  • At 10:22 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Ralph wrote:

Yes give up the tie. BUT do not do as David Cameron and others do, that is, wear the same shirt as usual open neck. They wear shirts intended for ties, the ones they already have and they look awful. So obviously someone who has just gone tie-less for effect. SO GET NEW OPEN NECK TYPE SHIRTS, with soft collars.

  • 200.
  • At 10:39 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Tim wrote:

You are correct that ties serve no functional purpose, but the same argument could be made against almost any item of clothing. Surely you don't want to present Newsnight in a hessian sack?

  • 201.
  • At 11:10 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Steve Olson wrote:

Looks like Jeremy was watching (as well as appearing in) the episode of "The Thick Of It" on BBC Four last week, in which ties - or rather the lack of them - were one of the subplots.

  • 202.
  • At 11:15 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Sam G wrote:

I'm from Australia, and in a warmer climate like ours, wearing ties indoors means that more air-conditioning is needed, which uses more energy and creates more greenhouse emissions. Seriously!

It's funny to see many of you Brits posting here seem to be very uptight about your beloved ties, but for this Antipodean, they are just an uncomfortable, energy-inefficient relic.

  • 203.
  • At 11:48 AM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Nick Thornsby wrote:

Jeremy this has provoked quite a reaction!! I watched you at uni challenge the other day and I actually did notice that as soon as you were finished the tie was straight off!! I think it is smart to wear a tie and adds some colour- we can't see if your wearing some nice bright socks but a tie is a symbol of ones persoanlity- In Jon Snow's case perhaps he is lacking in some way and feel he needs to make up for this with overly flamboyant ties!!! Try going tieless one night and then let us decide Jeremy!!! Anyway I thought you wanted to get rid of the weather forecasts- or if that was a display of affection I dread to see your display of contempt!!!

  • 204.
  • At 01:54 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • george wrote:

Today's TALK ABOUT NEWSNIGHT is a general global topic related to all the male members.I think any man looks more handsome if he wears a tie!But no one should be forced to wear it.Particularly, when the weather is very hot and sunny .Some people wear it while travelling by public means of transport also eventhough getting suffocated.One more thing I don't understand is why a poor boy right from his childhood is forced to wear it as a part of his school uniform that too in a hot climate daily.Later, after his schooling, he never wears it in his lifetime!May be bacause being a boy ,he might have to wear it in future.But I just don't know why girls are also forced to wear it as a part of school uniform during their school days.May be because both boys and girls are equal only in their childhood! According to my opinion,wearing a tie should be optional or for some special occations.It should never be made compulsory that too daily.It is just a waste of cloth, time and money and nothing else.I think the person who will be wearing it and the person who will be watching him getting irritated both will feel uncomfortable!That should not be the reason to wear a tie.The person who wears it should feel more comfortable (like in a cold climate he might get warmth)and more confident (like in a function or party to show off his unique style of dressing)after wearing a tie.

  • 205.
  • At 02:13 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • marcus falmer wrote:

Your photo attached to the piece shows why men should wear ties. It breaks the line of the shirt and protects the perception of slimness. Take the tie away and you look much scruffier and, I fear, portlier. Also, they add a little varierty to the standard Ble/blac/grey suit and blue/white short combo.
Casual fashion will date. There is nothing to it.

  • 206.
  • At 02:23 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Ken Patterson wrote:

Bite the bullet man. I can't believe you haven't got the backbone to ditch your neck tie if you so wont to.

This all decries a complete lack of character on your part Jeremy.

  • 207.
  • At 03:59 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Michael Parker wrote:

No, BBC news "anchormen" should not go tieless. It is not informal: just scruffy. This has become the norm with BBC sports commentators, a change in style accompanied by a sharp drop in the quality of what they say. The comparison with the commentators on Sky Sports could not be more marked - smart, formal and fully informed. Even the American news channels have not gone down this path and the idea should be resisted.

Very tenuously connected to the Jon Snow/Paul Mason/Moseley strands, you only have to look at pictures like this to realise how fantastically subversive the suit and tie can be. A case of 'Look at me would-be Emperors, I'M wearing the bleedin' clothes!'.
Still works today.

  • 209.
  • At 04:16 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Richard Watson wrote:

Ah the great tie debate...I feel I must strike a blow of the tieless. I haven't warn one on the programme since I first joined up in 1998. I don't think it's much of an issue, unless you're interviewing the Prime Minister. Still I guess if the story is very serious then it might be appropriate enough. Personally, I think it's time to ditch the razor too but that is still more controversial and can lead to the backwards through the hedge look described in post number 29!

  • 210.
  • At 04:20 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • henneke wrote:

i read this piece while evading work on a saturday. it made me laugh. thanks paxo. keep it up

  • 211.
  • At 04:42 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • The Fashion Police wrote:

Adam Boulton has the best ties,then there's Peter Sissons who wishes he kept a spare black one.
No - ties make a statement about the quality of the News reporting and it's the first thing I look at.

To quote Mr Paxman : "So we’re condemned to do what we’ve always done, because we’ve always done it."

Who was it who said something along the lines of "In order for evil to succeed all anyone not evil has to do is .... nothing"?
Why not start talking about the REAL reasons behind tie-wearing and other 'symbolism' and meta-meanings of clothing.
That would at least be an effort to get off the inertia 'bench', wouldn't it?

  • 213.
  • At 05:15 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Trevor Wood wrote:

This debate is not new, but I now see it in a new light; it is surely part of the trend whereby (some) men are dressing in a more feminine way (following shirts not tucked in and shoulder bags).

They see a tie as a burdon do they? Poor dears!

Vive la differance! (thank God).

  • 214.
  • At 05:15 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Graeme Sloan wrote:

Grow up and get a new job. You are not fit for your present one. With so much death and destruction and important issues you worry about wearing a tie.

Lack of a tie in a formal interview or setting is a lack of respect. You dress according to the situation.

Regretably the PM as Chancellor showed he had no respect for the city in insisting on wearing a lounge suit to a dinner where the rest were in formal evening dress. Another Mr. Foot in the making?

It seems the BBC are more interested in image and not the message.

  • 215.
  • At 05:17 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Terry Moody wrote:

I get fed-up with all the dumbing-down which is going on all around us. I certainly expect a Newsreader to look smart, and a collar and tie are part of that. The fact is, most men look a lot better wearing a suit and tie.

If things carry on like this, we'll have our bank manager turning up for work in a T-shirt and jeans. Or even worse, wearing shorts ! Ugh !

Incidentally, why is it that with the first sign of spring, a lot of men can't wait to get into shorts ? And they are ALWAYS the men with varicose veins or horrible hairy legs. Looks like a carrier bag with two sticks of celery sticking out at the bottom !

Let Jeremy P wear what he likes at home. But in front of 20 million viewers a nice suit and tie are de rigeuer !

  • 216.
  • At 06:13 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Neil Mennie wrote:

Definitely ditch the tie, Jeremy. Never mind the discomfort and unnecessary expense, they are the most blatant phallic symbols ever invented. A tie even looks like a pahllus. Do you really want to sit there interviewing someone with a big phallus around your neck?

  • 217.
  • At 06:19 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Rich wrote:

I think the 'suit' does need a face lift, perhaps some outragous shoulder pad and collar designs are needed like Star Trek.

  • 218.
  • At 06:24 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Jon Preston wrote:

I've always thought you have a fine collection of ties Mr P. Indeed, you have, on occasion, been my sartorial role model. I've now switched allegiance to Jon Snow who is my new god (leave him well alone please).
Aunty expects; so please do not abandon your tie when in the studio or you may uncover the slippery slope to polo shirtdom. And then where would we be? If you crave informality, how about a dashing cravat when you 'hit the road'?

  • 219.
  • At 06:25 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Brian Balfour-Oatts wrote:

Ties are an absurd anachronism - leave them to aspiring fools and those who consider themselves elite. What hope would arise from the mass abandonment of tie wearing - Britain's entrenched middle masses might begin to realise then that changing the constitution is not only possible but absolutely necessary and, further, that the age of unquestioning respect is over. Royals - earn your respect rather than expecting it to bow before you - a tie does not make a man, it's merely a blindfold that has slipped a bit.

  • 220.
  • At 06:34 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • David Nettleton wrote:

I wonder how many of those who posted a comment was wearing a tie at the time?

I certainly was, as I am now.

  • 221.
  • At 07:08 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • angel bacon wrote:

Thumbing through some of these fiesty comments , I remain convinced that JP posted this tie breaker as the perfect two ciggs up spoof to the Stasi party BBC employee who insisted he contribute a blog ; when OBVIOUSLY the poor fellow has , sadly , more ghoulish images to think about.

However, enough knocking Jon Snow's enticing neckwear which clearly marks him out as a man of vision and taste . Anyone in doubt about ties worth their silk need only recall the recent French election - the incomparable quality of Sarkozy's widescreen bib prob-ab-ly got him in.

  • 222.
  • At 07:17 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • M. Fernandez wrote:

Well, if you got rid of the tie, you'd look like mideast terr..., ehem, 'militants', rather than just mouthing their propaganda.

Go for it. Make the transformation complete. Truth in advertising would be refreshing.

  • 223.
  • At 07:23 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Sam wrote:

Ties if used in conjunction with a good shirt look smart. Im 20 and i wear slim black tie with a slightly open neck occasionally as it looks a bit smarter, typically british even.
Media standards such as the news and newsnight should keep them, whats wrong with looking smart. Just none of these cartoon ties now people

  • 224.
  • At 08:08 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • scott wrote:

Jeremy, the world is falling apart at the seams, a fascist regime is in the process of scaring us all into submission and you decide to debate the niceties of a Masonic hangman’s noose, touché. Man, you're out of a job when we see through this web of lies, have fun while you still can hey.

  • 225.
  • At 08:25 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Dave Chamberlain wrote:

Further dumbing down from the same generation that taught us permissiveness.

  • 226.
  • At 09:09 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Drewzz wrote:

What's wrong with ties!

Take them away and you end up with scruffy "cattle" We all want to wear them at special occasions like weddings - what is wrong with wearing them to make you feel good!

  • 227.
  • At 09:49 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Joseph Monk wrote:

Dear Jeremy

Please do discard the tie...& the shirt, the cuffs, the belt, the suit...why not try a pair of red briefs, an orange tan & a blingtastic medallion a la Sexy Beast - all in pursuit of serious political debate. Of course, should you do this it's likely that David Cameron will swiftly follow suit...& Gordon Brown...& (gulp) Sir Menzies Campbell. Strip off now, take the lead...

  • 228.
  • At 11:11 PM on 07 Jul 2007,
  • Matt wrote:

Newsnight is one of the few outlets that still deals with the important events of the day. Are we now seriously debating wearing neck ties of all things? Why don't we get a celebrity panel to debate the issue and conclude with a public phone-in to settle the issue once and for all!

  • 229.
  • At 01:16 AM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • Peter Taheri wrote:

As my family come from Iran, having escaped the Ayatollahs to a land where we may (among other things) choose to wear our ties in peace without hassle, I am saddened to read your thoughts on this matter. This is actually something I feel strongly about. These days, I gladly take any opportunity to wear a tie, which, being a lawyer, means wearing one quite often. Far from being a symbol of imperialist decadence, it is a symbol of civlisation and of decent values. If anything, those ghastly shirts they wear in Iran make them look like backward fools.

Two points: One, as you already hinted at yourself, JP, it gives men the chance to express themselves and add a bit of colour to otherwise boring daily dress. This is something to be cherished. Two, it looks good. People today, perhaps more than at any other time, care about their appearance. There is no doubt that men look better dressed in suits, and suits look better when decorated with elegant ties. Ties that speak of the wearer's individuality, character and taste. Please let's not have the 'modernist' fascists make us all dress the same.

Even though you may be too lazy to do one up every day, you look better wearing one. And part of your job is to look good in front of a camera.

But don't wear a tie because you have to, wear one because it's a pleasure to do so. Some things become conventional for good reasons.

  • 230.
  • At 08:10 AM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • Paul Wheeler wrote:

The tie should be banned for health reasons! What purpose does this uncomfortable ligature around our delicate necks serve? However, smartness should stay. Female presenters can and do achieve satisfactory levels of smartness, so what the hell Jeremy, go for it!

  • 231.
  • At 10:04 AM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

If we get rid of the tie, then why don't we also get rid of the other anachronism that goes with the tie - the collar. I work in a company where men are expected to wear collared shirts but no tie. Surely this is a contradiction since the only purpose of a collar is to keep sweat off the tie. You would launder a collar more often than a tie. No tie, no requirement for a collar...

  • 232.
  • At 10:12 AM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • Tim Abernethy wrote:

Ties are an abomination. Having had to wear one of the dreadful things most of my working life, I totally resent the da*n things. They also look as ridiculous as the dreadful things Elizabethans wore around their necks, and future generations will laugh at how absurd we look.

  • 233.
  • At 10:24 AM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • Alex wrote:

How can any man wearing a suit look smart without a tie?

If you look closely at the cut of any traditional suit you will note it is designed to uphold the wearing of a tie.

The thought of older men exposing scraggy necks, and shirt collars bedraggled and creased below the weight of a formal jacket is abhorent!

Perhaps wearing a larger collar sized shirt may be the answer to all the whimps out there complaining about strangulation!

It's about time men started to learn about the art of style and dress and not to be influenced by the promotion of the dumbing down of men's dress codes by those of the grunge fashion world.

  • 234.
  • At 11:22 AM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • BlackLondonMum wrote:

yes ditch the tie but please add abit of bling and what about an earring or two nice

  • 235.
  • At 11:33 AM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • mkirkland wrote:


  • 236.
  • At 12:26 PM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • Fred wrote:

You can't get into the Garrick or the Atheneum without a tie.I think the Oxford and Cambridge Club sometimes makes exceptions-take your pick.

  • 237.
  • At 01:18 PM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • Diana Brooke wrote:

Oh please don't! Its such a little thing to ask, to look tidy and smart. It all adds to the presentation and interest of the programme. It is a bit like tea out of a bone china cup, infinitely more enjoyable than a thick pottery mug. Where will it end? No jackets? Then no shirt? Just shorts? Why do standards keep dropping? What is wrong with being correct? Why is everyone so determined to be sloppy, uncaring, lax and careless? Maybe it is a collective lack of self esteem. I really do despair.

I couldn't agree more. I've always thought that the tie is the most absurd and useless item of a man's wardrobe.It should go the way of trouser turn-ups, if anyone can remember those.

Please set a good example by abandoning yours on air,Jeremy.

  • 239.
  • At 03:22 PM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • angel bacon wrote:

Comment 234 is priceless . On a slightly less frivolous note , it also reminds one how woefully few Black newsreaders there are - tied or T shirted - on the BBC

Many of us are still shaking our saddened heads at the absurdly misguided sacking of the brilliant , black & beautiful Moira Stuart.

Come on Newsnight - get with the beat !

  • 240.
  • At 06:53 PM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • Clapham left wrote:

I came home tonight switched on the radio and a presenter was talking about this very blog.

To me this makes two points Blogging is a media vehicle these days,and that when Jeremy speaks people listen, regardless of the subject matter he is the :
*Nations trusted Broadcaster* and BBC are very fortunate to have him.

If a Dimbleby sourced this piece I wager very few comments would be recorded.
Long live Paxo.We need him.

  • 241.
  • At 07:08 PM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • Jean-Jacques Trousseau wrote:

'Man was born free, and yet everywhere men are in ties.'

  • 242.
  • At 08:10 PM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • Peter Palladas wrote:

You can stop wearing a tie if we may call you Jez.

  • 243.
  • At 08:15 PM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • Anne O'Connor wrote:

We listen to your interviews, comment on how grey your hair is getting. Ties are an age thing, get back into sharp interviewing of yesteryear and dump tie

  • 244.
  • At 09:31 PM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • alun wrote:

How can anyone possibly be relaxed and natural with that constant pressure on the throat? Those who think it makes them look 'professional' just want to maintain a pretence that they're in some way better than others. Yes, do it Jeremy! Dump your tie and free us all!

  • 245.
  • At 11:32 PM on 08 Jul 2007,
  • Malcolm Parker wrote:

In the context of business attire, I don’t think you can consider the tie as an independent item of apparel. If you wear one, the implication is that you are formal, serious or traditional, if you don't wear one; you are equally making some kind of statement – I am a relaxed guy, I’m open to new ideas, I’m senior enough to dictate what I wear.
The suit is really the issue; nobody has made any radical breakthrough in formal men’s wear for the best part of two hundred years, and because of that it is now a uniform that’s universally recognised for what it is - work clothes for white collar workers. Whatever statement you are trying to make; or even not make. Without a tie, a suit rarely looks complete and without a suit and tie, nobody is sure of what you are.

  • 246.
  • At 12:07 AM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • RJ wrote:

Well, tie wearers do produce a much better standard of work in many walks of life, than do the abstainers!
In my own profession of driving instruction, for example, tie wearers are proof positive of high standards, whereas those who do not are invariably operating at the lower end of the market, their own sweaty T shirts,torn jeans and smelly trainer shoes being their trademark. Their customers get exactly what they pay for, cheap poor quality driving lessons culminating with the purchase of half a dozen driving tests before being able to pass.
The customers of tie wearers very rarely need to take more than one test, as they too get what they pay for, which is top quality instruction. Much more cost effective in the long term.

A Gaudy Noose.

If it's a choice it is an item of decorative attire. But it is not, it is mandatory, it is imposed. So scrap it or enjoy your display of obvious bondage.

  • 248.
  • At 04:54 AM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Dayaratne wrote:

Tie is a terrible pain in the neck

  • 249.
  • At 09:41 AM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Graham wrote:

Keep the tie. I wear a tie most days of the week when working. When casual with shorts and a Tee shirt on then I don't wear a tie. Going tieless whilst wearing a suit looks scruffy. Next you'll have your shirt hanging out and be pushing your jacket sleeves up.

If you are not careful Newsnight will descend into a frivolous chat show with presenters interviewing "contestants" via the "diary room".

The UK is dumbing down daily and its about time the process was reversed. Newsnight should set the standard to aspire to not drop to the lowest common denominator.

  • 250.
  • At 09:44 AM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Clapham left wrote:

So now this blog gets a whole page in the Daily Mail
Who'd have thunk it ?

  • 251.
  • At 09:50 AM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Ron Tocknell wrote:

Ties??? I thought this was Newsnight!


Oh! Pur-leeeeeeeeeeze!!!!!!!!

  • 252.
  • At 10:28 AM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Marc Psarolis wrote:

As the boss of Duchamp i thought it would be nice for those in favour of wearing ties out there to hear Duchamp's Tie sales are growing from strenght to strenght. We believe our Ties which are all hand made in the UK are a great point of interest and give the wearer the feel good factor and a point of difference in all walks of life. The fact that many TV personalities choose to wear our Ties is brilliant as well as we dont advertise but sell in over 35 countries worldwide and 300 stores.

Long live the Tie.

  • 253.
  • At 10:50 AM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • John J. Phillips wrote:

As a younger man, I wore (cravat) ties only by convention, on required occasions and in expected settings. As I matured, I found them uncomfortable and increasingly constrictive to my breathing. Unconsciously, I would inevitably loosen the tie as the day wore on, increasingly appearing sloppy. To add to the argument, I could never seem to achieve the perfect knot; anything short of that seemed a statement of failure or a display of carelessness. Yet in a world that frowns on the casual look in serious circumstance, I felt something amiss when I doffed the cravat. I also longed to make a personal statement of style and color in an otherwise boring world of masculine apparel. All this nonsense stopped the day I discovered the bola tie that is popular in the American western states. These slender braided cords capped at the ends by sculpted long metal tips, brought together and highlighted below the neck by ornamental brooch-like sliding jewelry -- available in an endless variety of shapes, colors and sizes -- easily slip over the head to provide a bit of simple elegance while assuring the comfort of the wearer.

  • 254.
  • At 10:51 AM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Denis Fearnley wrote:

Been away for a few days, - missed your enthralling tittle tattle.

However, I am prompted to growl at you.The type of non tie wearing media [- do let's talk about each other] slack set up, individuals who - like Gordon Brown, choose to dress down, - continue the sloppy unsmart training of all but particularly children not only fail to be smart but justify their existance by being jolly good retail consumers, - only.

What a future with that type at the helm. Ye gods and little fishes!

Invite me on your programme if you dare.

  • 255.
  • At 11:01 AM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Sonia wrote:

I dont mind them going without ties, just as long as they dont have very hairy chests.

  • 256.
  • At 11:14 AM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

As Yoda might have said - Wear or wear not, there is no tie.

  • 257.
  • At 11:14 AM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Dafydd Lewis wrote:

I have always hated wearing ties, mainly because of the need to button the shirt right to the top. Wearing a tie with the top button open only results in comments about being laid back. Ridiculous really. I suggest that Newsnight presenters discard their ties for one week and see how that affects the ratings. Maybe they would go up as people began to think that here is a programme more interested in news and analysis than the presenters making fashion statements.

  • 258.
  • At 11:19 AM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Tim Smith wrote:

My employer, an unnamed corporate bank, insist upon men wearing ties, even in the stifling heat of summer, while women can breeze about in vest tops and various semi-casual garments. Is making men wear ties sexist?

  • 259.
  • At 11:32 AM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Peter Ostacchini wrote:

They make us a slave to a ridiculous convention and Paxman is right to raise it. Anyone working in a profession in the UK, unlike their European counterparts, is forced to wear a tie. We are long overdue a change.

  • 260.
  • At 11:49 AM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Carl Davies wrote:

Why not ditch the tie

Your news reporters are already scruffy and unshaven tramps.
I watched as one of your muppets tried to get MPs to talk to him.
they refused , I expect it's because the bbc news has become infantile ,cheap and tacky.
And the reporters carry less punch then an half drowned kitten

  • 261.
  • At 12:05 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Teacup wrote:

I spend my day at work and at university -after work- dressed/stressed in a tie and shirt. It would be really a great idea to sit on my sofa at the end of my stressful day watch newsnight and not see its presenter tied in a tie and shirt -- take it easy and take it off! Regards,

  • 262.
  • At 12:14 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • shabz wrote:

Take it off and leave it off. Will you still wear a suit though? I enjoy wearing suits, just not everyday.

  • 263.
  • At 12:20 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Dave wrote:

I'm part of the group that only wears a tie for weddings, funerals and job interviews. I think they're an anachronism and should be dropped as being so last century. Having a history of asthma and a general dislike of anything that could interfere with breathing might have something to do with the dislike, but then I hate wearing suits as well (also normally only brought out for weddings, funerals and job interviews).

So, drop the tie and encourage its demise!

  • 264.
  • At 01:06 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Simon wrote:

Bring back the cravat!

  • 265.
  • At 01:12 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • D. Gorman wrote:

As someone who wears a suit and tie to work everyday, as all the men do (and where some of the women at times come in in jeans!!!), I have to say I enjoy trying to look smart and seeing others looking smart. In Dublin, where I'm from originally, some girls even dress in pyjamas while out and about. Frankly I would prefer that the BBC keep up standards instead of starting a trend of creeping casualisation.

  • 266.
  • At 01:29 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Trevor Clarke wrote:

Wearing a tie does add authority and a smarter appearance. Jon Snow adds a colourful and acceptable individual style. Don't knock him. To remove it on Newsnight would be a sign of going downmarket. Paul Mason does lose authority and gravitas by not wearing one. He gives the impression of casualness in approach to the subject matter, and I do take him less seriously. Surprising that Jeremy Paxman, of all people, should be making an issue out of wearing a tie. What is revealing is his apparent contempt, or low opinion of his 'baby faced' Newsnight team.

  • 267.
  • At 01:31 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • K Alderslade wrote:

It's very odd that we get excited about what to wear, I would have thought that the requirement to wear a tie as part of a job description was enough. I rarely wear a tie, but when the occasion arises when I am expected to wear it, what the heck, it is only a tie. Quite frankly, where presenters are concerned, I think one should be worn to maintain a consistent form of dress. If the tie goes, what next?

  • 268.
  • At 01:38 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Catherine Keal wrote:

Carpe diem Kipper!

How else is a woman to grab a man, make him sit down and tell her all the daily news?

Don't let the tie die!

To hold a man in place by his collar would never do...

If you want to be taken seriously, you sit still and hold the head high.

Some women require a method of keeping their Dogs in control!

  • 269.
  • At 02:15 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Alex Liang wrote:

It's ridiculous to say that the tie is 'an utterly useless part of the male wardrobe'. Paxman should look at the way women dress and maybe he can start criticizing the numerous 'utterly useless' accessories that serve no purpose but to accessorize. What is wrong with accessorizing? It is by choosing these different items of clothing that we create a look that expresses our personality. I am a man who adores wearing a tie because it helps completes a look and an image - it's extremely useful in that aspect. I've got over 1000 ties and have lost count, you could say I'm the Imelda Marcos of neckties.

  • 270.
  • At 03:16 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • max smith wrote:


  • 271.
  • At 03:27 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • chris wrote:

I stillwear a bow tie and I am not in one the groups sneered at by Paxman. It is quick and easy to tie, looks fine, and does not dangle or blow about.

Bowties are not just black, they are patterned and can be fun - I like my flying pigs one.

If Paxman does not want to wear one that is his choice - just stop campaigning to make up rules for others based on his own narrow beliefs and desires. Freedoms in this country are limited enough

  • 272.
  • At 04:24 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • NIgel Heffernan wrote:

"the dead hand of convention"

The hand of convention is alive and well in all fields of commerce and the professions where a man expects to be taken seriously.

Going tieless is fine for advertising and media types, who do nothing of any particular importance durng the working day, and for sinking a pint in the pub after work with your pals.

Going tieless is not the done thing when you are discussing serious money, deciding the future of someone's business, or offering a professional opinion on someone's health or prospects in a court of law.

I would like to think that the BBC news, and your flagship news & current affairs programme, were a serious examination of the issues of the day. Television being a visual medium, they can only be presented as such if the they use the visual cues and symbols.

Deal with it. And find out who's pushing this in the BBC hierarchy: get them out of the insular culture and into the real world of serious work and serious decisions: looking the part is an essential part of being the part, and wishing it could look 'fun' is something we left behind when we took on real responsibilities that affect peoples' working lives.

If you want to lighten up the news with a cuddly-animal story at the end of the programme, fine. Some days, we could all do with a bit of light relief. But if you want to make News & Current Affairs a franchise of 'Light Entertainment', even by appearances, that is not fine - and not by a long, long way.

Let's be blunt: if you don't look like serious news, you won't be treated seriously. For people who run their own lives, and other peoples' lives in companies and in government, that means that you will cease to be a trusted source of information. For the rest, they will take their cue from the presentation, and come to regard all that is broadcast as news - however seriously it affects them - as just another light entertainment channel.

  • 273.
  • At 04:46 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • James wrote:

Having recently emigrated from the UK to Canada, it is interesting to see how the Canadians put far less emphasis on the clothes you wear as a measure of your worthiness. At work I am respected for the work I do and not what I wear, which is the way it should be. Wearing a tie is just a method for conformism, and really, what does it do apart from get in the way...? I'm all for having it banned from the workplace!

  • 274.
  • At 05:17 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Geraint wrote:

I'm a 26 y.o. media lawyer working in the City. I very rarely wear a tie. There is a place for them. If attending court for example. Some clients somehow telepathically let us know that they expect it too, and it does not hurt to oblige.

Most of the time though, even when meeting clients, we sport jackets and open necks. I don't think it looks 'foolish' at all. It is slightly sad that victorian dress has slowly eroded piece by piece: canes, hats, waistcoats, wing collars, pocket-watches, bow-ties, ties etc.
But I'm sure the world will not descend into anarchy if ties fall completely out of fashion. Nor will we forget how to respect oneanother's opinions or professions... any more than has always been the case.

As an outside observer I cannot fail but see "the art of understatement" becoming The statement (at least in some quaters) need for that Jeremy. Trust me, you are the man one way or another!

  • 276.
  • At 06:13 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • rosalind duhs wrote:

I'm intrigued by the person who wrote about fashion evolving from the Elizabethan ruff to the current tie.
Could Jeremy introduce a truly innovative neck-decoration for men? A range of prototypes could even be produced by some of our excellent designers.
Any suggestions?

  • 277.
  • At 06:32 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

By all means dispense with the tie if you must, but only on condition you do not wear a suit. Alternatively, as you suggest, wear a high neck collarless shirt if you insist on wearing a suit.

The conventional western style shirt is designed to be worn with a tie and while an open neck shirt can look fine, even smart, without a jacket, under a jacket it does not lie well and makes the individual just look plain scruffy.

So if you want to join the scruffy brigade and lose respect and respectability, go ahead.


  • 278.
  • At 09:12 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • david kelly wrote:

Respect is for the person and the quality of the person - ties are not causes of respect.

  • 279.
  • At 09:13 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • girl wrote:

ties are sexy. and very beautifully designed nowadays - id encourage men to be more adventurous in the professions which are bland & collegiate & suspicious of too much flamboyance. ties rock. its long sleeved shirts and jackets in summer that i pity. allow linens for men

  • 280.
  • At 09:13 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Chris Jenkins wrote:

Keep the tie on Paxo. We English are expected to look smart when on TV. Lets not get all scruffy I mean whats next turning up to work with your jeans hanging low so people can see your underwear!.

  • 281.
  • At 09:52 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • Brian Miller wrote:

Ties are unnecessary. Not wearing one allows me to think and behave more freely instead of feeling constricted around the neck.

  • 282.
  • At 11:26 PM on 09 Jul 2007,
  • David wrote:

Finally someone stands up for equality for males in the workplace!!

I was at a wedding the other day and I wore a colourful shirt while all the rest of the guys were sweltering in shirts and ties, and what for?

To comply with convention.
Well I say why should women have all the fun.

The tie is an example of the inequality between Men and Women nowadays, I say if we have to wear ties then women should be obligated to do so as well and wear a shirt buttoned all the way up.

What a useless, timewasting sweat enducing rag,

There needs to be a reality check where males are concerned with conventions like this.

The problem with men and the fact we still comply with stupidity like this is because we're afraid to stand up and be counted.

Well said Jeremy now have you the balls to put it into effect!

  • 283.
  • At 08:14 AM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

I have never liked wearing the stupid garment, though I had to wear one at work. However it was put on each day at the last moment before I walked in and removed as soon as I walked out. Nevertheless it had its use ... as I had to have this bit of rag hanging around my neck it came in handy for cleaning my spectacle lenses.

  • 284.
  • At 08:34 AM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Mark Dawson wrote:

Dear Jeremy

The male tie is one of the last tenants of individual expression available to the common or garden male (UK circa 2007). I work in a large head office in the financial sector and here the female of the species is available to dress in a multitude of hues and colours and still appear smartly attired, whereas the male is left bereft of any formal attire of variety, bar one. Thus, it is left to the humble tie to perform this one duty of expression of individuality. If News-Night and co, transform the wearing of a tie into some sort of fashion faux par where will that leave those of us who seek to be both ‘armoured in our suits’ and carrying our ladies favour? I would see myself as half dressed at best, my masculine independence likened to some poor knave left destitute after the death of his Knightly squire. Please, keep wearing the tie – do not let them strip away any more of are masculinity. Please, no change for changes sake News Night is a bastion of all that is great and good in this country and needs to present an air of professionalism, how would JP and Co appear interviewing…. and so we ramble on into the distance.

As a PS, a straw-pole of the women around the building revealed that 95% thought the tie should stay. Maybe they like us to carry their favours after all?

  • 285.
  • At 09:09 AM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Richard wrote:

Bring back the cravat!

  • 286.
  • At 09:22 AM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Kate wrote:

284 people with nothing better to do in the early hours of the morning but to rise to Jeremy's mischeveous
item on ties! Well done Jeremy, you've distracted some folks for a while from the awful stuff happening in the world.

I'm self-employed and don't need to wear a suit or tie any more. I miss it. I would hate to wear a work outfit without a tie.

Ties will come back into fashion, no doubt, once this latest splurge of Trendy Wendies stops trying to 'relate' to the people and starts talking with them instead. Until then it'll be up to Jon Snow, Paxo, Andrew Neill and a few men with the gravitas to ignore the drivel to keep wearing them.

  • 288.
  • At 10:16 AM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Chris L wrote:

I like tradition and have a sense of pride in what I wear but the tie is just a fashion curiosity. I never liked wearing one, it always seemed pointless. A smart jacket and a shirt is what I wear when I want to impress. Fortunately my company (a large multinational) has been out of wearing suits & ties for some years. What people wear is irrelevant, as long as it is not scruffy, people now concentrate on what others say & do as opposed to what they wear, it's very liberating & is more effective!

  • 289.
  • At 11:07 AM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Chris Godfrey wrote:

Ties look awful. One day we'll look back on them and wonder why we ever bothered.

  • 290.
  • At 11:13 AM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Ali Ford wrote:

I thought a tie was to hide the buttons on a shirt! I also think men enjoy dressing up and taking a pride in their appearance - and why not - women do. Another good reason for keeping the top button buttoned is to hide those hairy chests that come up and poke out the top of shirts and to cover old necks which nobody particularly wants to see!

  • 291.
  • At 11:26 AM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Jamil wrote:

I find the garment quite useful in for cleaning my glasses when there is not suitable alternative close to hand.

  • 292.
  • At 12:09 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Davey wrote:

So many comments, and I'm about to add to them! Many city offices give workers the option to 'get rid of the tie'. It's just pandering to the masses who want to look cool and trendy with open necked shirts, or look even trendier with casual shirts and trousers. The tie is a statement of professionalism, not of convention or stuffiness.........and there are so many lovely ones out there. Keep them!

  • 293.
  • At 12:10 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Michael wrote:

The problem is that if you don't wear a tie and do wear a jacket, then you look an absolute prat. It's so untidy and slovenly around the neck. It wouldn't be so bad if the open necked shirt was a button-down. But these seem not to be 'fashionable' at present. Dressing down is precisely that. You are degrading yourself to follow the masses. Look at Cameron and Blair. You CANNOT want to follow that particular herd, surely?.

  • 294.
  • At 12:15 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Irving wrote:

Dear Jeremy

Ties are smart and serious, and you know it makes sense to look both smart and serious. Please don't dumb down because you think it may be cool!

  • 295.
  • At 12:20 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Clapham left wrote:

Yes Andrew Neil does that no tie jacket routine Michael is sooo.. very right

Nearly 300 posts but my parting shot maybe Jeremy should present Newsnight wearing only a tie ?

The ratings would go through the roof

  • 296.
  • At 01:09 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Jim wrote:

Ties are amazingly unhygienic - almost never cleaned and sometimes worn for years. They should be banned as a public health risk!

Considering the half a million you mulct out of the licence-payer every year, wearing a tie is the least you can do, Paxman.

  • 298.
  • At 02:03 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • angel bacon wrote:

I highly commend Peter York's chirpy contribution to this morning's BBC R4's Today programme

York wears ties because : " it gives me a bit of pleasure " adding : " we shouldn't go to the wall about it " although he admits to wearing them :
" at all times of day or night with double-breasted pyjamas "

If all the world IS a stage - then why not ? Ever since I first heard that the wearing of socks with sandals is de trop for fashion folk, whenever possible - on informal occasions - I adopt this happy 'style' with glee

( Your reward for reading this far : Clark's own brand ' Springers ' are exceptionally good for avoiding the disappointment of public transport )

We must unite and sock it to these increasingly bullying, supercilious what-not-to-wearistas that ' Britons never nver never will be slaves '

However , there's a time and place : e.g. open-necked shirts on either sex might possibly invite viewers not to listen carefully but to think about something else instead ( no need to elaborate )as the new Home Secretary appears fully aware

  • 299.
  • At 02:14 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Laurence wrote:

At last, someone high-profile enough declares war on an out-dated, sexist and useless piece of cloth!

Worn to comply with conforming school uniforms, business groups, and golf clubs, anywhere else they just serve to provide a 'sheild' to 'mask' a person's lack of self-confidence.

Besides the stylish Iranian shirts, there are the Indian 'Nehru' collar shirts and the Thai-style collar-less shirts to consider; all equally acceptable wear, avoiding what one female correspondent above referred to as 'those hairy chests'...'which nobody wishes to see'!

This 'horror' of bodily hair reflects as a desire amongst human females to view males as 'cute' and to have smooth skin all over; just like they once had; as babies (read Dr. Desmond Morris - 'Manwatching')

  • 300.
  • At 02:22 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Barrie Redfern wrote:

I remember working in a production office of a big tv company (not the BBC!) when the boss declared he was not giving a job to one candidate he'd interviewed as he was wearing a suit and tie! To him it apparently meant the poor man wouldn't be creative enough. So, you see, you can't win.

  • 301.
  • At 02:30 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Tahseen wrote:

Well you do come across as an estate agent sometimes!....pushy, arrogant, rude. It appears you have answered your own question. Have'nt you got anything better to do? Actually keep it on it appears you need something to do. What does your mate Gavin say?

Surely not wearing a tie for work is 'cool dad' syndrome. It is expected of Richard Madeley, but not Jeremy Paxman.

Too many things are changing for the worse nowadays, one tradition that should live on is the wearing of neckties. It just looks smarter and in my opinion does put you in the frame of mind for work.

If the necktie goes, what next... judges wearing polo shirts? Your doctor wearing a t-shirt with his favourite band's name on the front?

  • 303.
  • At 03:09 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • barrister wrote:

I'm an attorney in New York City. I wear a suit all the time for two reasons. First, your dress shows the respect you have for the people that you come in contact with. Second, if I am in my bespoke battle gear and you have your Hugh Grant open collar/blazer ensemble (or better yet a "stylish Iranian" shirt) who do you will be taken more seriously? Come to the table tie-less and I will eat you for lunch.

  • 304.
  • At 03:17 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Danny B. wrote:

Too many times we see men on TV that look like they are talking about because they are wearing a tie...I say strip all of them of their ties...and let's find out how smart they really are...without this "male authority enhancing accessory" hanging around their necks.

It always amazes me the amount of people who reply to blogs with something on the lines of "yawn! Haven't you anything better to do..." as if they have got something better to do.

Hypocrites, the lot of them... myself included.

  • 306.
  • At 03:32 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • PJM - Kent wrote:

I sometimes do and sometimes don't... It depends on my mood and what I'm wearing and whether my client's workplace is formal or not.
But... The other day I was wearing one and a young lady approached and complimented me on not just wearing a tie but on having used a Full Windsor knot. I have to confess, I do assess those who do not have a balanced knot sloppy, so they are better off without.

  • 307.
  • At 03:41 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Jaspar Casey wrote:

I'm currently working in my first proper job, in a hotel in New York. Everyone I work with wears full suits, which means I've had to follow suit, so to speak, to the tune of $200 just for something to wear to work! Picking out a tie is the only form of individuality allowed in our dress. And it helps separate people with good sense and those with poor taste, whereas everyone wears the same suits.

However, I wouldn't be saying this if I worked at a financial firm. Chinos and a patterned shirt with the top button undone would be the norm.

  • 308.
  • At 04:55 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • AH wrote:

I like ties for the reason most have already mentioned... style.

  • 309.
  • At 05:16 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Curtis Bartlett wrote:

I'd go even further frankly. Women can wear a nice t-shirt under a suit jacket and this should apply to men in a business environment as well.

Other wise there is an apparent double standard here. I may well be inviting comments on all kinds of issues here but it is simply a statement of fact. So my answer is ditch the tie and the stuffy business shirt along with it.

  • 310.
  • At 05:23 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Jason wrote:

I love you Brits!

  • 311.
  • At 05:39 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Good American wrote:


  • 312.
  • At 07:12 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Kimberly Shields wrote:

Forget ties...bring bowties back in! I LOVED Jimmy Stewart!

  • 313.
  • At 08:48 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • nic wrote:

The only 2 newsmen that need ties are John Stewart and Steven Colbert. They are the only news I follow. I couldn't laugh at them if they wore sweatshirts.

  • 314.
  • At 10:03 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Chris wrote:


I am genuinely gutted by this article. I would expect this from ITV but not the BBC. Ties provide one of the few opportunities for men to add a little individuality to their otherwise bland attire. They also make people look far more attractive, trustworthy and professional.

I currently work in the City and it saddens me to see all the generic suits with unbuttoned collars and cheap rucksacks. What happened to canes, bowler hats and proper briefcases?

Incidentally, I am 22 so not some old fart living in the past.

  • 315.
  • At 11:24 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • A. Howlett wrote:

Keep the tie, Jeremy. Going open-necked is trendy and scruffy and shows a lack of tidyness.

  • 316.
  • At 11:28 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Jim Wellington wrote:

No ties? I thought that went out with the 90s. But if you insist.

And while your add it, trade in the Savile Row pinstripes for overalls (a business suit without a tie looks stupid). Stop shaving. Take off those fancy handmade brogues and silk socks and do the news in your bare feet. Forget the expensive wristwatch, and the starched white shirt.

Now you are ready: the dumbing down of the news is complete!

  • 317.
  • At 11:31 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Te Kairangi wrote:

I've always found it amusing that the Iranian
politicians refuse to wear 'western' ties, which is fair enough - but then they make the statement wearing western style suits.

  • 318.
  • At 11:41 PM on 10 Jul 2007,
  • Lionel Tiger wrote:

As a fallic accoutrement, I resent the imposition of ties. I find them wholly irritating, constrictive, and plainly impractical. Whilst they still retain a niche in the market for formality, I feel their common use has been long outstayed. Why can't modern society banish the horrid danglers to history, along with the bowler hats. If women find themselves wooed unexpectedly by a prime silk prior, then so be it, but the modern man in the work environment has no necessity for the likes of such attire.

  • 319.
  • At 12:01 AM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • tom of covent garden wrote:

I have been carrying out hundreds of vox pops for a gender research experiment, and one of the questions I ask is "Should male news readers wear ties, or not?"

Most people shirk, and say, 'it doesn't matter', or that they 'don't care'.

If newsreaders want the choice, they should get it.

One Dutch respondent said that in Holland, a head of state publically removed his tie in an act of revolt, and now Dutch mps don't wear ties in their houses of parliament.

The progressive answer is - no tie.

  • 320.
  • At 12:48 AM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Owen D.L. Barstow wrote:

My father always wore bow ties - most of which he made himself using off-cuts and samples of exquisite Sari Silk from the various Indian and Pakistani market stalls in his native Bradford. (He was of Anglo-Saxon ethnicity, and a proud Yorkshireman, and manifested a considerable degree of individuality).

I very, very rarely wear any kind of tie and at 41 years of age, have a mere eight of them in my wardrobe. Most of these were business-related gifts. I find ties impractical and uncomfortable and prefer a simple, double cuffed English shirt, open at the neck. The collar works perfectly well with a jacket if collar stiffeners are inserted.

I notice that the current trend in ties is toward the thinner, more elegant, 1930s/1960s/1980s look (along with the return of the spear-point collar). This might tempt me to wear one more frequently. In any case, I have to reiterate an earlier comment: If one is going to wear a tie, it simply has to be tied with a full Windsor knot and worn with a cutaway collar.

All those in need of further sartorial guidance to acquaint themselves with David Saxby’s column in The Chap Magazine (

That said, shouldn’t we be more concerned about what’s coming out of someone’s mouth rather than what’s around their neck?

  • 321.
  • At 12:49 AM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Lionel Tiger wrote:

The shirt with which we are familiar is made for the tie. How should the void be substituted ? I imagine the shirt will adapt into a tieless form. The collar should form a better unity at the front, possibly taking a slightly lower arc, negating the need of top button usage. To retain general acceptance in the workplace, it is still necessary to avoid unwanted masculinity from emitting its influences with inappropriate hair exposure without the inherent prevention of such sobriety provided with a tie. Maybe the upper chest area should have greater detailing and buttressing possibly in a different colour to the main portions of the garment to provide definition to compensate for the lack of a tie. What could be made of the waistcoat and tank top ? The latter now a severe fashion victim rarely considered either formally smart nor kitsch. Could a more modern form exhibit suarve and integrity in the way the tie has done ? The legacy of the tie is complex, its absence will require significant adaptation. Before such an abhorrent appendage is executed, we mush fathom a rehabilitation and development plan for the enslaved shirt. Can you imagine the consequences of the civil disorder the shirt will experience from tie removal ? Yes, the integrity of the shirt and the accepted criteria that constitute an acceptable appearance within the masses must never be ignored.

  • 322.
  • At 12:53 AM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • edward lawrence wrote:

Whatever next?....your shirt outside your trousers a la The Thick of It? (it's the old life imitating art syndrome)

  • 323.
  • At 01:49 AM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Rich wrote:

Agreed. The necktie represents the shackles of convention, a formal, starched, button-down world long gone (and good riddance in my opinion!) and were a woman expected to wear such a pointless, uncomfortable and impractical piece of attire there would rightly be cries of sexism.

From a personal point of view I find ties irritating and a liability. They dangle in your dinner, and somehow you always manage to drip something all over them regardless of how careful you are. They're hot and constricting; at this time of year on overcrowded, poorly ventilated public transport there are literally legions of men panting and sweating as the temperature climbs ever higher.

I'm a big lad, with a wide neck, and the absolute last thing I need is something tied around it cutting off what little airflow there is in the average bus or train carriage. Maybe those who think ties look professional should consider what signal a guy covered in Tony Blair-esque perspiration marks with shirt sticking to his back sends out to customers.

Believe it or not, after everything I've said I do wear a tie in the office, and I work in a council job where they're not even mandatory. The main reason for this is (as others have mentioned) throwing on the traditional garb requires next to no thought; being able to pull off the 'business casual' look (one that suits me even less than the shirt-and-tie thing) remains a mystery to me!

I vote for shorts, T-shirt, sandals as compulsory summer workplace attire - who's with me!?!

Haven't you all got anything better to talk about?

  • 325.
  • At 10:32 AM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • wes wrote:

323 comments about ties, and when to wear them -- or not.

I can't believe I wasted my time reading about 40 of these comments before I realized these people are really serious!

O.K., I'm serious, too. Wear what you want, and damn what others might say or think!

Personally, I prefer to comment about the new (to me) practice of many young ladies to wear short skirts with no undergarments! Now THAT is an interesting subject! And an interesting VIEW, as well, when one may get so lucky.

  • 326.
  • At 10:36 AM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Sandy Lean wrote:

Interviewers wear ties for the same reason officers wear uniforms: to address the enemy

  • 327.
  • At 01:12 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • A C Finn wrote:

Some 25 years ago I went to work for a large well-respected corporation. We were all graduate traineees and had been selected after very stiff and prolonged competition. After a few months my boss decided that it would be better for we trainees if we were to "look more professional". He translated this to us as meaning "wear a tie".

Sadly he was right. In my case I found that from then on people I spoke to in the corporation looked at me in a different way. I suddenly found that I was treated with a subtle form of deference which formerly had been lacking.

The name of that organization ?
Why, none other than our old friend the Broken Biscuit Company.

You know who you are...

  • 328.
  • At 02:34 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Misbah wrote:

I just want to comment that I suppose the tie is a bit like a noose.

  • 329.
  • At 02:51 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Joan Watson wrote:

Mr Paxman, you absolutely cannot stop wearing a tie with your lovely shirts and suits. Next you would be discarding those in favour of 'something more comfortable' and before we know it you would be in track suit & trainers, like the millions who had the same thought before you.
So stop being silly, pull yourself together and buy some gorgeous new ties. Apart from Jon Snow, Huw Edwards would be someone to get advice from.

  • 330.
  • At 03:34 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • Simon Long wrote:

Interesting the number of women who prefer men to wear ties. Women's dress codes are laughably slack workwise in comaparison to the strict suit and tie regime for men.

You'd be less quick to insist on formality if it applied to you, I'd wager.

  • 331.
  • At 05:18 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • James Meehan wrote:

men should be allowed to wear what they want why should we be forced to wear stupid suites and ties it shows how men fashion is so dull and borning we dont have any choice and every man in the world wears the same clothes get rid of all this stupid men fashion why should we have to wear it grow up men and make new clothes for yourselves we are all the same and men look stupid and how can you wear suites in hot countries

  • 332.
  • At 06:34 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • James Price wrote:

Why do we bother with anything any more? Let's not bother with bits of cloth round our necks. Let's not bother with bits of paper saying we are married (an old one). Forget proper spelling, who needs it? Press your trousers and iron your shirts? Don't make me laugh! Have some respect for our elders? Stuff that. Look - the traditions we observe weren't invented by Focus Groups last week. They evolved over decades, or centuries. Neckties, for instance are a good idea as they keep an otherwise sagging shirt collar neatly together, and help conceal an otherwise sagging neck. Have some respect for your elders you untidy slobs. We know better!

  • 333.
  • At 09:36 PM on 11 Jul 2007,
  • andrew wrote:

Please can Emily Maitlis wear a tie, I think she would look rather good in one !

  • 334.
  • At 01:34 AM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Steve Sparkenickle wrote:

I wear them as they point to the package. My friend Mr. Limpet only wears bow ties because he is a freak.

  • 335.
  • At 04:15 PM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • cw wrote:

This topic is absolutely pathetic, just like Newsnight and Jeremy.

Bunch of amatuers pretending to be professionals.

  • 336.
  • At 06:34 PM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Bob Goodall wrote:

Dear Newsnight

this is a silly post but........
if a tie is really big enough, when does it stop being a tie and become something else ie like a coat?
Does size or shape dictate what is a tie and what isnt?

best wishes

  • 337.
  • At 09:15 PM on 12 Jul 2007,
  • Tim Reveaux wrote:

Of course the irony of this discussion is that it unfolds beneath a photo of Jeremy himself looking both dignified and professional: decked out in a very expensive suit, starched shirt, (I assume) expensive shoes and - shocking - A DAPPER AND CLASSY NECKTIE!

So apparently he has not yet decided to parade his unclothed neck here on the site.

Would he look better without that tie?


Case closed.

  • 338.
  • At 02:02 PM on 13 Jul 2007,
  • Christopher wrote:

Bugger that. I like ties.

Why not get rid of socks?

Utter b*****ks! Here are some pictures of Jeremy earlier this year

interviewing Paul Staines aka "Guido Fawkes" in a darkened corner of the studio

I'm with you Christopher!

If socks are required we need to think twice -

Tie wearers of the world, UNTIE!

  • 341.
  • At 11:37 AM on 15 Jul 2007,
  • Mike Carmel wrote:

There are a number of issues here:
1. Ties don't get washed often and therefore carry lots of horrible germs which is a good reason why doctors should NEVER wear them.
2. Ties when worn sloppily look worse than ever.
3. Children should NEVER be asked or expected to wear ties as they can be dangerous during playground games.
4. A lot of men don't know how to knot their ties properly.
5. Ties are sexist as it is usually only men who are required to wear them.
6. An excellent replacement is to be found in the Philippines where men wear formal barong shirts instead of ties.
7. Most men in their 40's+ hate ties just because they were forced to wear them as schoolboys.

  • 342.
  • At 07:11 PM on 15 Jul 2007,
  • JJW wrote:

There's definitely something cool about ties now that boring, middle-aged types are ditching them. They're useless, as Jeremy says, but so is Champagne.

  • 343.
  • At 05:28 PM on 16 Jul 2007,
  • JJ wrote:

Jeremy Paxman thinks he looks young and relaxed and cool and free without his tie. He is kidding himself.

This must be the most idiotic trend since the nehru jackets of the late 60s. The theme is the same: middle aged professional men trying to look young.

Keep the tie on, Jeremy. Those who go tieless are just making fools of themselves. Don't kid yourself.

  • 344.
  • At 10:03 PM on 19 Jul 2007,
  • Ed wrote:

Boring. Who cares. The BBC should be about substance not style. Newsnight: about news content not what people wear. Especially in light of the Queen and the Phone-in debacles. Or is the problem with the BBC, really, that it is just obsessed by short-term ratings instead of long-term respect and loyalty?

  • 345.
  • At 10:29 PM on 19 Jul 2007,
  • Ed wrote:

Postcript. Don't mean to be rude. But the BBC has being going down the dog-house regarding quality television since Mr Birt. It doesn't seem that Mr Thompson has cottoned on to the fact that the BBC is not about ratings but about more subliminal things such as long term respect and loyalty. On the BBC's official biography of the Director General it mentions his success over the years in terms of 'ratings', and ratings versus the 'competition.' The BBC doesn't have any competition because the BBC shouldn't be in or isn't about being in the same playing field as the competition. The competition are answerable to shareholders and advertisers. The BBC is just responsible to the public. The BBC's job is to broadcast programmes / quality of programmes that cannot be found on commercial channels - programmes that are creative, innovative, original, truthful and so on - quality television. Seems, from Mark Thompson's BBC biography that he is carrying on in basically the same vein as Mr Birth. That he is more of a policy man, in fact, than a programme man (even though he has made programmes in the past). It is ratings / the BBC regarding itself as being in competition with commercial broadcasters, that is causing the BBC to take short cuts, focusing on sensationalism instead of creativity etc .. Of course the BBC still makes decent television, but is it making enough in light of all the debacles over the year (stretching back to Vanessa Feltz, and before). If you think i am exaggerating then just listen to what a lot of the public have to say, and the commercial broadcasters who see the BBC as being propped up / unfair monopoly, and many politicians both right and left (Mr Kaufman, for example) who would love to see that back of the BBC, and have it sold off. This would be a disaster. BBC management must fight back, by focusing on quality programmes, substance over style, creativity/innovation/originality/integrity over style. If it does this then the BBC could go on to have a long and interesting future.

  • 346.
  • At 01:26 AM on 21 Jul 2007,
  • bernie moss wrote:

Dear Jeremy
I can understand where you are comming from but if you are going to interview your successor would you give the job to somebody with a tie or one with piercings,tattoos,long hair etc etc!!

  • 347.
  • At 10:30 AM on 22 Jul 2007,
  • Minna wrote:

Clothing is not simply about comfort and convenience otherwise we'd all wander about in wipe-clean adult romper suits.
I am dismayed by the middle class British male's wholesale adoption of a 'Gap' style uniform of smart casual(boring boring boring). My local blinged up hoodies pay more attention to their dress and look at least interesting.
I'm not saying anyone should be forced to wear something that they truly hate, no one would force me to wear hold-up stockings. But dropping something because it is an anachronism? Ties, cravats and scarves are flattering items and are an opportunity for men to look, well, less bland. Much like the completely pointless and utterly anachronistic high heeled shoe whose death throes are constantly announced but which we women are loathe to stop wearing because they look right.
It is a shame the suit and tie have become a convention of business/formal dress only, I wish men would wear them more.Mr Paxman definitely looks better in a tie. Surely that is reason enough to wear one?

  • 348.
  • At 09:17 PM on 13 Aug 2007,
  • Alan wrote:

The prejudice against the tie has become an epidemic! If a tie is uncomfortable, the collar's too tight.
By all means wear a completely casual outfit, but don't send mixed messages by wearing a suit (formal) with an open-necked shirt (casual). A suit worn with an open-necked shirt is simply sloppy, unfinished, incongruous and vulgar.

  • 349.
  • At 09:32 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • jacqui wrote:

hello smiles u go and keep smiling ther love u all jacqui xxxxxxxxx xxx

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