The suit was actually born right after the French Revolution, when men put away the ruffles, brocades and high heels and replaced it all with a new representation of masculinity. Gone was the opulence of the Louis XIV era and in its place, tailoring in shades of grey and blue (not a lot’s changed in 200+ years. Captains of industry adopted this new uniform in an effort to find the middle ground between the disgraced aristocracy and disenfranchised peasants. It stated without words, “I am master of my own destiny.”

Of course, no suited man fit is complete without one finishing piece of flare: the tie. As it was then and is now, a necktie is an opportunity for any guy to inject some personality and individuality int to a look. Wearing one for the first time to a job is practically a passage into manhood (or a constraint imposed by “the man,” depending on how you look at it and how much flannel you’re wearing right now)

But in 2017, the rules of dressing have never been so loose. Today’s billionaire no longer tows the Gordon Gecko line, but that’s no reason to forgo “flair” entirely. The skinny tie is a modern take on a revolutionary concept. It can be styled casually, for work, or even black tie. It’s bowing to the traditions of menswear but not entirely; there’s always been something rebellious about a skinny tie, like wearing combat boots with a tuxedo. You can elevate any style with our best picks here, and each choice can be worn in a multitude of ways. Embody the current times as a man with an intentional sense of style, with a subtle nod to the resistance.

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