Do you know the power J. Crew wields? With just one sentence, tucked deep into the October catalog, the retailer triggered a veritable online panic about the death of the skinny tie.
The popular clothing retailer informed customers that "We widened our ties by ¼ inches to keep up with today’s changing proportions." In response, Bloomberg proclaimed, "Sorry Hipsters, the Skinny Tie is Over." Men's fashion stalwart Esquire went with a more level perspective, telling us: "Don't Freak Out, But Ties Are Getting Wider Again."
For the past few years, ties around 2.5 inches (but, in some cases, as thin as just a single inch, per CBS News) have been commonplace among a certain set of tie-wearers, but J. Crew's ties will now be going from 2.5 inches to 2.75 inches.
But, as both outlets are quick to remind us, skinny ties were really only a thing for the ultra-hip, young crowd. For those not in that demographic, 3 inches to 3.25 inches is standard, so most men won't even have to adjust their outfits at all to fit in with this brave new world J. Crew is heralding — a world that makes sense, Bloomberg notes, since skinny ties go best with skinny suits, and skinny suits are going out of style in the fashion world.
"We’ve definitely seen the change in what the consumer’s buying," the CEO of one fashion retailer tells CBS. "We’re seeing them go wider now, but not as wide as they once were in the '90s. I don’t think we’re going back to the wide Italian ties."
For those who have spent the last five years stocking up on ultra-thin ties in every possible color, take heart in the old cliche: fashion is cyclical. (It's also surprising: Meet the 18-year-old Mormon who's also a supermodel.)