Hi, Trot . . . great thread! One of the big problems with 'transition' periods, is that no protocol or benchmarks, exist. It's come what may. I am a traditionalist, but not to the point of preferring 'bookish,' straight laced, looks. I still prefer the classic, butterfly bow tie, with a tuxedo. It's more festive than a necktie, with a tux. Our paragon of style, Tom Ford, wears a butterfly bow with his tux . . . about this, I agree with him. I could do without the gardenia in his lapel, but obviously he thinks it looks good. As for my 'rule' about a tie being darker than the shirt, that goes wayyy back to traditional, white shirts. More than any other color, I still think a white shirt makes a man look best. It lights up the face, and sets off a dark suit. If a darker shirt is worn, a light colored tie with it, might look great to those who choose to wear these combos; to me it's lower end gangster. No impolite criticism, intended. But a white tie with a black shirt, or even with a dark blue shirt, etc., is too flashy for my taste. I am not a big fan of the monochromatic scheme, either. Blue shirt, tie of same coloration, etc. I think that's boring, and verges on being a 'no brainer.' Also, the monochome look can be devoid of discernible dimension. A man can end up looking like a 'flat,' cardboard figure. If you mix textures, then the monochrome scheme works better. Trotsky, it's like every other trend: most of them, go in and out of fashion; classic prevails. What's worth waiting for, is to see which trends, become classic. The women's pantsuit, for example. It became classic at once, after YSL invented it, because the time was right. Neckties can be uncomfortable, especially in hot weather. Does that mean that men should give them up? Who knows . . . only time will tell. :-?