June 8, 2008 — -- Once a staple in the workplace and the quintessential Father's Day gift, the necktie has seen its popularity wane as many men have opted to ditch the decorative collar accessory in favor of a more laid-back look.
During the 1980s, neckties were a must to climb the corporate ladder, but now, many men have found less of a need for the formal wear. In fact, tie wearing is at an all-time low. Just 6 percent of men said they wear them to work daily, according to a Gallup poll.
"It's uncomfortable. It gets in the way. It's kind of antique, in a way. There's no necessity to it," said Petre Kenning.
"It feels so constricted, you're being choked every day," said Jobani Acosta.
The sentiment is vastly different from the attitude of the 1950s where neckties were common workplace attire, and even Ward Cleaver wore a necktie at home as the father that always knows best on the television show "Leave It To Beaver."
Now, the tie's situation has become so dire that the American Dress Furnishings Association -- the trade group that represents the tie business -- announced it was shutting down.
"You've got to make what people want. America has changed to be a casual place," said Joseph Abboud CEO Marty Staff, who was a member of the American Dress Furnishings Association.
While some men may question the need for ties, at least one retailer has seen its share of tie sales increase.
Brooks Brothers' tie business has gone up 25 percent in the last four years.
"It's like sunglasses for women, I guess. Now, there's an opportunity for designer sunglasses, to look different and express yourself. Men don't really have that opportunity; so ties are the way to do it," said Brooks Brothers CEO Claudio Del Vecchio.