Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bangla Desh Bans Neckties

The Prime Minister of Bangla Desh, Sheikh Hasina has taken a novel approach to lowering energy costs. He has banned men from wearing suits and ties. The Christian Science Monitor reports as follows on the innovative measures promulgated by Prime Minister Hasina.

"In an inspiring display of sensibility, the prime minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, has ordered male government employees to stop wearing suits, jackets, and neckties.

In addition to eliminating pointless and uncomfortable decorative elements from men’s clothing, the move will help minimize the need for air conditioning. Accompanying the government’s laudable decision was an order not to turn air conditioners in government buildings below 75 degrees F."

If it weren't for the hot, humid weather and the monsoon rains that periodically flood the country, getting away from suits and ties might make Bangla Desh an interesting place to live.

The more I read about Sheikh Hasina's new rules the more I like them. Consider the following.

"Under the new dress code – which applies even to the highest levels of government – men may also wear their shirts untucked, instead of stuffing the bottom portion into their pants for no good reason other than to conform to some arbitrary display of professionalism."

I have my own issues with neckties. It was a part of my school uniform for six years. I associate them with my own clashes with authority back in the sixties. To the people of Bangla Desh, India and Pakistan, the necktie represents slavish imitation of colonial masters. Indigenous clothing from that part of the world is loose fitting and lightly coloured, which is suitable to the heat and humidity. Energy shortages in bangla Desh are propelling a move towards common sense and national pride in clothing choices.

The origin of the necktie is Croatian. Croatian mercenaries hired by French King Louis XIII wore knotted kerchiefs which later evolved unfortunately into neckties. It is not surprising that France, a country that eats snails, frog legs and turtle would think a necktie to be high fashion. Looking at the bloody wars that beset Croatia in the 20th century, it does not surprise me that they might want to spread some of the misery around by making us all wear neckties.

I have one thing to say for the necktie. It serves as camoflage when I spill coffee on my shirt. For the practically minded, the solution is obvious. Wear dark coloured shirts.

I have a number of fashion peeves. Some pertain to women's clothing and others pertain to men. In no particular order they are as follows.

1) Tube skirts. I have seen women who were forced to walk in small steps because their legs kept banging against their skirts. Why should anyone suffer like that?

2) Polyester. Wearing a polyester shirt is like wearing a garbage bag. No thanks.

3) Spike heels and platform shoes. These two fashion atrocities cause back problems and terrible ankle injuries. It is painful to look at them.

4) Shirts with cufflinks. If the manufacterer is too cheap to put buttons on the cuffs, then why are they so expensive?

5) Tight pants on anyone. They look uncomfortable, and they are bad for circulation.

In general, my first consideration in clothing is that it be comfortable. How it looks to everyone else takes second place. I do not want to look disheveled, but I will not torture myself to look good.

I wish Bangla Desh success in doing away with the necktie. It makes no sense for them to wear neck ties. And it makes no sense for the rest of us.

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