CIVIL SERVICE TIES have gone to the wardrobe in the sky, joining old friends Bowler Hat and Neatly Rolled Umbrella who went before them.
The unmistakeable badge of buttoned-down respectability came unknotted as society's values shifted around it. It is survived by its estranged neighbour, Open Necked Shirt.
The sad announcement came as the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Andrew Turnbull, himself a long-time Tie Man, told civil servants that "as long as they looked smart, they needn't wear a tie".
He made it plain, though, that there was still no room for "Blue Jeans" or "Trainers", still considered barbarians by many.
Friends of the Tie will have foreseen its demise during an industrial tribunal last year in which a male civil servant claimed sexual discrimination for having to wear a shirt and tie
even though his female colleagues did not.
Some mourned its passing, saying the demise was a symbol of declining standards in the modern world.
But its departure was welcomed by others, including a civil servants' union. "Oscar Wilde once said that a well-tied tie is the first serious step in life," said a spokesman, adding that times had "changed, thank goodness, and it's only right that civil servants be allowed to leave their wool jackets and ties at home".
Others may feel that not being able to send a discreet signal about one's school or club will become the Tie's true epitaph.
Knot any more
Mark, Brighton, UK
The tied of fashion moves on
So, civil servants need not wear ties any more.
Women, you see.
Ruth Saunders, London
Not fit to be tied
Candace, New Jersey, US
Cravats your lot
Phil, Nīmes, France
Taking a final bow?
Kip, Norwich UK
Tied and gone to heaven.
Customs and Ex-ties
Caroline, Southend, Essex, UK
Luke, Oxford, UK
Some you windsor some you loosen
Adam , Gateshead
It's old noose.
The Windsor change.
Jonathan Marriott, Jacksonville, FL, US
(That's enough tributes, thank you.)