According to the Internet, the Ancient Romans were the first to wear neckties - and they've been around more or less ever since. The sheer number of websites dedicated to psychoanalysing a man’s personality based on the colour and design of his tie is mind-boggling (search: “what does the colour of your tie mean?” and you get around 72,000 hits on Google).
But really, are those pieces of silk or polyester a necessary part of the planner's uniform? Or are they an outdated sign of corporate oppression, as companies such as IKEA, (which has banned its staff from wearing ties) seem to think?
Management advisor and business analyst Max Franchitto says there isn't a lot of point in ties for some professions.
“I haven’t worn a tie to work in a long time. It’s like guys that drive four-wheel drives – they’re making up for something that’s missing! I think, if you’re going to a breakfast or a luncheon where there are going to be a wide variety of business people, then it’s a good idea.”
But not so fast. Franchitto believes it's a different matter when it comes to financial planners.
“Financial planners, they tend to be a little more, you know, conservative. You’d be astonished if you went and saw your accountant and he was in a T-shirt and jeans. Financial planners are in that space.”
So without further ado, here’s what your tie says about you (according to high-end American tailors, Balani Custom Clothiers):
“It’s called the power tie for a reason, and by wearing a red tie you are implying that you mean business. Just like golfer Tiger Woods wears a red shirt to convey dominance, the red tie is a reaffirmation of strength, authority and dominance within the professional world. For a less aggressive approach, switch out your vibrant red for a softer shade of burgundy.”
“Yellow is the approachable cousin of the power tie. While still conveying authority, intelligence and positivity, yellow is the subtle version of a red power tie. This is the perfect tie to wear for a first interview, because it shows you are confident and not afraid of a challenge.”
“Conveying trust, stability and confidence a blue tie is perfect for client facing or public speaking. That being said, it’s no coincidence that politicians and salesmen are frequently seen in blue ties. The lighter blue shade is softer and appears more approachable. A darker shade of blue represents seriousness and matter-of-factness.”
“This colour symbolizes practicality, reliability and implies being down-to-earth. Brighter shades of green will imply that you are balanced, fresh and energetic. For a conventional look, darker shades of green are more appropriate and will imply that you are stable and serious.”
“Orange is the wild card of tie colours. A bright, orange tie will imply that you are enthusiastic, open-minded and adventurous. It is the perfect tie for making a memorable first impression and creating a sense of excitement within the workplace.”
...But really, argues Franchitto, what it comes down to in the end is style.
“You’re asking an Italian; I’m more worried about whether the colour of the tie matches the shirt and the suit, rather than what it says about you. I’m not going to wear a red tie just because red says I’m ‘feeling confident’, if it doesn’t match my outfit!”