In the 1990s, a menswear store used to sell three dozen ties a week. Now they sell roughly a third of that, as workwear becomes "more casual".
The requirement for formal attire at work came into question recently, after Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi was booted out of Parliament on Tuesday for refusing to wear a tie.
Richard Harford, owner of Harford Menswear in Wellington's Lambton Quay, said tie sales are maybe a third of what they were in the 1990s.
"Gone are the days where we would sell three dozen ties a week. Now we would probably sell, on a good week, a dozen," he said.
"Suits have waned a lot but we still sell quite a number, it just depends on the customer you have at the time.
Although his store catered to corporate dressers in the CBD, he had seen attire become "significantly more casual".
He said New Zealand was following fashion trends seen overseas.
"If you follow the fashions overseas, you'll see – depending on the country – that ties are not worn as much. And New Zealand will just follow suit."
But they were starting to observe the younger generation taking an interest in ties, which could result in what was known as "cyclical fashion".
"We're finding quite a few young guys like wearing ties because they can be a little bit different," he said.
"As generations change we're seeing younger people want to be different than the older generations so they try to set trends."
Regardless of fashion trends, he said ties were a great point of difference and allowed men to stand out.
"We always encourage somebody, if they're going to an interview for the first time, depending on the job of course … we always encourage them to wear something a little different in a tie."