Geek Trivia

The Skinny Tie Entered American Culture As A Result Of?

Wartime Shortages
French Designers
Chilean Military Uniforms
The Beatles
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Answer: Wartime Shortages

When reaching back through history, it would be easy to think the skinny tie made it’s debut with musical acts like The Beatles and crooners like Frank Sinatra, both of which played a large role in popularizing very slender ties around the mid-20th century.

Decades before the British Invasion and Rat Pack singers, however, skinny ties were a fashion staple in America. After World War I, there was a strong emphasis on austerity, eschewing flamboyance, and minimizing what you used. As a result broader silk ties were scaled down, patterns were simplified, and more economical cloth like cotton and wool was used in tie manufacturing. Although ties expanded slightly in width in the years following, they stayed fairly conservative in size and designs well into the 1940s.

Just like war had inspired people to change their ties the first time around, World War II also influenced men’s neckwear. After the war ended and Americans enjoyed a period of intense economic growth and prosperity afterwards, ties grew in size. During the mid-to-late 1940s American ties ballooned in size; it was possible to purchase ties 4-5 inches in width and in bright colors with elaborate patterns.

Eventually the novelty of enormous ties wore off and that, combined with the chilly and conservative climate the Cold War ushered in, Americans again shifted their tie preference. The 1950s ushered in an era of very conservative slender ties that were, again, crafted with darker fabrics and more subtle patterns.