The silly old necktie has surely had its day.
I only mean as a "requirement"; if someone wants to hang silk (or dacrose or polyester) around his (or her) neck that's a choice that should not be quashed or monitored or discouraged.
Each to his/her own on neck adornment but I don't believe it should be used as a criterion for acceptability or respectability.
I have a dozen or so ties and I must say I feel some of them are quite stylish – sartorial even.
But I'll only draw on one when the situation ties me down with a request such as, "Gentlemen a tie" ("Ladies a plate" - though how they are going to wear a plate one shudders to think).
American journalist Linda Ellerbee summed up my view once when she said, "If men can run the world, why can't they stop wearing neckties?
How intelligent is it to start the day by tying a little noose around your neck?"
I was only a teenager when I started questioning the practice. I remember one answer from an adult – but it may have simply been a misguided flight of fancy – was that it was designed to cover your shirt buttons.
I may have been strange but I had never been embarrassed about people seeing my shirt buttons. Even today I can leave my buttons exposed to the world's gaze without blushing.
True to form, Donald Trump seems to take that idea one step further. He wears his ties so long that they can also hide his fly.
There was a time when gentlemen who wore a tie also wore a matching handkerchief in their breast pocket.
I don't believe this was intended for nasal hygiene and we could use that as evidence that the whole thing was a sham.
Evidence that the necktie might be in decline can be found in the fact that many of today's teenagers do not even know how to knot a tie. Some just resort to using a granny knot. Of course, they've never heard of the Duke of Windsor.
Two people who probably needed to get out more were Thomas Fink and Yong Mao. The pair used mathematical modelling to work out that there are 85 possible knots (and that's with limiting the number of "moves" involved to nine). You may be interested in seeking out their 1999 publication '85 Ways to Tie a Tie'. I'm not.
Interestingly enough, there were tie knots which were excluded from the publication because they involved more than nine moves. The Ediety knot, for example, involved the narrow end being tied over the wide end but it involved 10 moves so was outside the parameters of the duo's book, a careless slip-up if the creators wanted publicity.
Certain behaviours seem to become traditions.
When I was a youth I was taught that, if I was walking with a young lady, I was to walk on the side of the footpath nearest the road. This apparently was to protect the damsel from muddy splashes that might be caused by horse-drawn carriages passing through puddles beside us.
The reason for the behaviour can disappear but, for some reason, the tradition seems to continue.
There needs to be a practical and explainable reason for required behaviour. For an expression of practicality, it's hard to go past the words of American actress and comedian Gilda Rayner, who said, "I base my fashion sense on what doesn't itch".
So, in my view, the relaxing of tie rules in parliament is a sensible move.
I will respect a politician because of his/her words and deeds regardless of neck adornments. Let's not be tied down by tradition.