STORES Magazine - July 2008 - (Page 10)

CONSIDER THIS / EXECUTIVE EDITOR’S PAGE StORES® Tie One On BY SUSAN REDA STORES Magazine 325 7th St. NW, Suite 1100 Washington, D.C. 20004 202/626-8101 appear to be among the small (and shrinking) minority that feels choked up about the sharp decline in the number of men who wear ties to work. I’ve been told by every man I’ve ever met that ties are uncomfortable, useless, annoying the list goes on, but there’s just something about a guy in a crisp dress shirt and a smart tie. Wearing a tie projects a more business-like image. It says, “I’m willing to go the extra step.” It seems to finish an outfit. And yes, I’ll admit it; I think men look more handsome when they wear a tie. The reason I’m tied up in knots on this subject was the announcement last month that the Men’s Dress Furnishings Association, the trade group that represented American tie-makers, closed its doors after 60 years in business. Membership had declined dramatically since the power-tie era of the 1980s, ushered out by the business-casual revolution and a younger generation that believes ties are optional. The number of men who wore ties every day to work last year was a record low 6 percent, down from 10 percent in 2002, according to a recent Gallup poll. Adding insult to injury, NPD Group reports U.S. tie sales were $677.7 million in the 12 months ending March 31 –- down roughly half from a peak of $1.3 billion in 1995. Why are men so down on ties? And why are they getting away with not wearing them to work? What if women decided en masse that they would no longer wear pantyhose to the office? Pantyhose, like ties, are frequently a dreaded part of a woman’s business attire. Still, women acknowledge that they’re a finishing touch. Wearing pantyhose allows you to slide your foot into a great pair of high heels; they provide an even tone for a pair of gams, and in many cases, the control top variety helps to rein in the tummy just a touch. Most women agree that pantyhose, like ties, are not very comfortable to wear. Sure, some are silky soft to the touch, but if you’re blessed with large thighs or a lower half that isn’t quite as proportional as the chart on the hosiery package, binding and sagging can occur in all the wrong places. And, because pantyhose cover a woman’s legs from waist to toe, I dare say women endure more discomfort in the name of professionalism than men do by wearing a tie. Look, I work from my home full time, which probably means I have no right to espouse a point of view on office attire. It’s fair to say that a lot has changed since I worked in an office setting, and being of a certain age, I cling to tradition. Still, having an opinion is a woman’s prerogative, and mine is this: More men should wear ties to work. Feel free to loosen the knot a bit, if you like; that’s O.K. in my book. I RICK GALLAGHER Publisher Vice President 202/626-8103 FAX: 866/640-8136 E-mail: SUSAN PATTERSON Assistant Publisher 202/626-8102 FAX: 202/661-3042 E-mail: EDITORIAL SUSAN REDA Executive Editor 516/437-1245 FAX: 866/640-8138 E-mail: HARRY LISTER Managing Editor 202/626-8199 FAX: 866/640-8137 E-mail: EMINE BEHNAM Production Manager 202/661-3047 FAX: 866/235-1939 E-mail: MARY ALICE ELMER Copy Editor LUCY D. REDDAWAY Creative Director ADVERTISING & MARKETING MIKE GRIBBIN Advertising Director 410/893-8003 Kim Daniele Molly Deise Therese Draddy Dan McClure Tim O’Connell Executive Publishing Inc. 900A Main St., Suite 103 Bel Air, MD 21014 410/893-8003 FAX: 410/893-8004 E-mail: CIRCULATION ELENA CAIOLA Senior Director, Circulation and Information Management 202/626-8146 FAX: 866/640-8139 E-mail: DORIS MASON Circulation Assistant 202/626-8172 FAX: 866/640-8140 For article reprints, including e-prints, please contact our Reprint Coordinator at Wright's Reprints 877-652-5295 or At STORES, we appreciate hearing our readers’ thoughts and comments. Please address your correspondence to, or contact me at (516) 437-1245. 10 STORES / JULY 2008 WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - July 2008

STORES Magazine - July 2008
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Dearth of Retail Creativity
What Shoppers Think
Wow, Is That a Wawa?
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Merchandising Strategy
Point of Sale
Human Resources
Top 100 Retailers
Store Design
IT Operations
Systems Managements
LP Vantage Point
Cover Story
Emergency Response Systems
Background Checks
LOEB Retail Letter
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
Last Laugh

STORES Magazine - July 2008