Miss Manners

Subway Necktie Routine Just Fine

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a gentleman who is required to wear a necktie at my job. I love my job, but hate wearing a tie.

Most of my morning commute is spent riding the subway in the metropolis where I live. I leave my house with my tie around my neck and under my collar, but not tied. I know the correct point on the subway to begin tying it, so it is in place when I reach my stop.

My wife opines that this constitutes going out in public “not fully dressed.” I believe that because I am wearing a shirt, pants, and shoes that are appropriate for my job, and that each is correctly buttoned, fastened and/or closed before I leave the house, then I meet the standard of being fully dressed. Perhaps not fully accessorized, but certainly fully dressed.

Is this a matter of manners, or of fashion? As long as I don’t inconvenience (e.g. elbow) anyone else in the process, is it rude to wait until I am riding the subway to knot my tie?

GENTLE READER: When was the last time your wife rode the subway? You might take her for an outing, just to show her the modern definition of not being fully dressed.

If that doesn’t persuade her to approve your current practice, Miss Manners advises you to leave the house while she is otherwise occupied.

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