How our Dress Code is Impairing our Academic Abilities


By Eric Myskowski, Senior Reporter

A recent study published in the scientific journal Neuroradiology has shown that wearing a neck tie reduces blood flow to the brain by 7.5 percent, something that can lead to a loss in productivity and minor health problems.

The idea of wearing a neck tie started in the 1600s, when France hired Croatian mercenaries in the Thirty Years’ War who wore strips of cloth around their neck as part of their uniform. These ties were practical in tying the top of their jackets and aesthetic in that they were decorative. King Louis XIII liked the style and made them a mandatory part of the French uniform. From there, they became popular throughout Europe. These ties from the 17th century looked somewhat different from today’s ties, but came to have the same purpose. In the early 1900s, new knot styles were created and that, combined with new designs on them, led to the sort of neck tie we have today. Since they originally became popular among the upper classes in Europe and then America, they became the normal formal attire and have been ever since. Now though, attitudes are changing in that many companies no longer require employees to wear neck ties, and this practice is now being backed up with scientific evidence.

In the study mentioned above, scientists doing research at the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein in Germany had one group of fifteen volunteers wear neck ties and another group of fifteen not wear them. The people were then given MRIs and the group wearing the neck ties had 7.7 percent less blood flow to the brain. The ties were tied tight, but only to the tightness that most people wear them at, so the tightness could not have interfered with the survey. Reduced blood flow, even a little bit, is known to impair the cognitive ability of people, so it can be concluded that neck ties actually hinder academic performance. Neck ties are known to cause other problems as well. In a study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, researches noted that neck ties cause a significant boost of blood pressure in the eyes, something that is known to lead to glaucoma. So next time you get an 89 instead of a 90 in a class, you may be able to blame your tie for it.