And it didn't need to be an old school tie. It might have been a University tie, a regimental tie, a Rugby club tie, or even a gentleman's club tie.
Whichever and whatever, a neatly knotted tie, nestling beneath a crisp white shirt from Turnbull and Asser proclaimed you as a member of the ruling classes, a good egg, a fellow who could be relied upon.
Which is precisely why I never wore one. I hated the things and the fuss about whether to tie a narrow knot or a Windsor. I loathed standing before the mirror trying to work out whether the long bit went over twice, or under once.
And in this business I didn't need to. No one needed to wear a tie. Well maybe the boss wore one when there was trouble in the newsroom, but it was a horrible soup stained apology of a thing, that dangled round his neck and only proclaimed the fact that his wife had given up on how he looked.
Every now and then, some smart faced youth tries too hard and the tie makes a brief comeback on camera, but the world has moved on and although my Grandmother, bless her, would spin at a rate of knots in her grave at the thought that her beloved Grandson had forgotten how to knot a tie, my be-denim'd generation has at last been proved right.
Because my dear friends, your tie can kill you. Worse, your tie can kill half the neighbourhood. And we're not talking a Hitchcock thriller here, it just has to hang around your neck to be lethal.
The British Medical Association has just announced that neck ties are repositories of filth, can spread disease and in particular the hospital so-called superbug MRSA -- and it has called for doctors to stop wearing the things. And they're right.
Gentlemen, think in your darker moments of where you have taken your tie and what you've done with it. I'll bet that tomato soup isn't the only thing clinging to it. And then you have the nerve to hang it in your closet along with your newly cleaned and pressed shirt?
No America. Your tie can kill. Your tie is a federal offence hanging around your neck. Your tie is a danger to society, and should be in Guantanamo Bay.
Book it Danno.
by Simon Bates