I don’t watch much TV, but politics in the UK got interesting recently and I have been tuning into Newsnight, and similar programmes. I saw Allegra Stratton, the political editor of Newsnight, wearing a tie. This she did at exactly the point when one of her competitors Robert Peston, the political editor of ITV, rails against them.
Peston claims he wears “an inner cravat” but can’t stand ties. Allegra says she “needed a bit of help tying it”. Really? I wore one for school for years and have no trouble tying one, on myself or on a man.
And although Allegra looked a bit messy with her soft collared shirt, untrimmed hair and bulky tie, I rather liked the look. It matched her “ballsy” personality.
I have a theory – that just as men are giving up on ties (and at my workplace no-tie is the norm, even for suit-and-shirt wearers) women are taking them up. Or at least having a go. This experiment by another competent woman journalist is less successful, but perhaps it has potential – maybe she could have chosen a more fitted waist coat and a smarter shirt to wear with the casual red tie. I don’t think the rolled and tabbed sleeves are quite right either. She looks like she has put on something from the “Oliver!” dressing up box.
Women in the public eye – as models and film stars – seem to have carried off the look superbly. But the message is always interesting. Is the idea to make the woman look more feminine than ever? Are women “sexier” when their sexuality is suppressed and hidden, rather than completely obvious (as Playboy has recently discovered)? Or is this an androgynous look that has universal appeal?
I would like to have a go with a tie myself, but probably won’t. The bow tie appeals more as it remains rather feminine. I like the idea of breaking the rules. I am angry that men can’t wear skirts, or women ties. I am sorry to say that the last time I tried on a tie to go out in (aged 14 or 15) my father said “You look like a Lesbian”. At the time this bothered me, and I took it off.
What about you? Would you wear a tie?