Fashion and the Market

The global economic slowdown has had an upside for some people. First, it was debt consolidators and private security firms. Now, necktie companies are reporting a boost in sales as the unemployment rate rises, the Telegraph reports. The (questionable) theory is that employed men want to look sharp and thereby stay employed.

To think — just last October we were wondering whether or not the tie might be on its way out.

What other fashion trends can be linked to the ups and downs of the stock market? Skirt hemlines, of course. But in this curious slideshow, The Times‘s Bill Cunningham wonders if the Dow might also be dragging down the already sagging pants of New York’s youth.


The rise in tie sales are from unemployed folks buying them for interviews


I'd wager it has nothing to do with employment figures. My guess is that it's just because the tie is coming back in vogue. The NYT had a big article on the tie's resurgence last fall.


Additionally, the graduation of a new class of college graduates leaving their sweatshirts and donning shirts and ties for the first time might provide an increased demand for ties this time of year. This goes along with comment #1. People will want to look nice for interviews.


I agree with Steven, there is obiously more people going on interviews and having to wear ties with their suits as a result of the increase in unemployment.


The surge in the sale of ties could be due to a combination of comment #1 and the theory that employed men want to look sharp and thereby stay employed.


Ties are a substitute good for new shirts/suits. You can make an old white shirt look like a new one if you put a new tie on top of it. Much much cheaper alternative.


I think the theory of employed men wanting to look sharp and stay employed is actually the wrong way to look at the surge in necktie sales. To me, it seems with a higher unemployment rate, you have more people job hunting. The unemployed are purchasing ties to look nicer at interviews, as most of these people didn't wear ties at their prior jobs.

Laid Off and Looking

After I got laid off, I immediately went out and invested in a new suit, new shoes, and a tie. All for interview purposes, of course. I didn't need them at my former job, where I was a full-time telecommuter and dressed more casually than I am willing to describe here.