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Why I wear a tie to work

When did I start wearing a tie each day?

For me, feeling truly aware of the habit began when I worked at Michigan State University, I felt lucky to be at a place where people had worked collaboratively since 1855 to advance education, research, and innovation in ways that shape and change our world. Each morning, I drove 79 miles from my home in Kalamazoo, MI to a vibrant place full of tradition, culture, and a sense of purpose. Each of my colleagues and the leaders of the organization endeavored to do their best every day.

I believe that it is important to respect and honor those I encounter

I’m thankful that my teachers in high school took the time to teach me that one of the ways I can show respect is to be deliberate in the design and selection of my attire. For me, dressing in sneakers, shorts, and a t-shirt doesn’t show how I feel about my organization, colleagues, or the people we serve. I choose to wear brown or black leather shoes, wool blend trousers, a button down shirt, and a tie.

No one at work told me that I must wear a tie

It’s something I choose to do because I believe it is right for me. In addition, wearing a tie feels like a small way for me to walk in the footsteps of my heroes who inspire me with their grace, kindness, and patience.

Wearing a tie doesn’t make me a better person

Also, the attire I choose to wear doesn’t entitle me to judge others or for others to judge me. The tie is just my way of expressing that I care about and respect you as another human being. So, I hope when you see me in a tie you smile—you’re in on “the secret” and know its not just about putting some fancy cloth round my neck each morning in order to be “in,” “elite,” or “cool.”