Before coming across "the pond" I’d read that business behavior in the UK can be a bit more formal that our relaxed US ways. So I was surprised to see that one flavor of business outfit quite common here, especially with younger guys, is a nice suit but no tie. I can understand a sports coat and no tie but a nice pin-striped suit with a dress shirt and then no tie looks really odd to my eye. Not that I’m a clothes horse or fashion hound in any way, mind you, far from it, but the combination of formality (suit) and informality (no tie) seems more relaxed than a pair of jeans, in a business setting.
I went over to Windsor (yes, where the Castle is) last Tuesday to meet with our business accountants and put on my own Navy Blue, pin-striped, Evan Picone suit and burgundy tie and felt quite good about it. I fit right in other there with the CPAs and, who knows, I may just do it more often.
By the way, and speaking of Windsor, I’ve always been aware of 3 ways to tie a tie (four-in-hand, Windsor, half-Windsor), but I found that Wikipedia says there are 85 possible knots! Who knew!