January 31, 2024

From Houses to Honors: Understanding the Power and Purpose of School Ties

There is no doubt about the importance of school ties. School ties are probably the most important part of the school uniform.

You may ask why and I will gladly tell you!

School ties are of huge importance for several reasons.

  1. School ties represent the school for which to tie is manufactured.
  2. School ties represent the houses of the school.
  3. School ties represent the various sports and interests within the school.
  4. School ties represent seniority, for example, matric ties.
  5. School ties represent the hierarchy within the school, for example, prefects, head boy and head girl, vice head boy and vice head girl, monitors etc.
  6. School ties are also extremely instrumental in bringing to notice such things as academic achievement, colours, half colours etc which in many schools are not only shown on a blazer but also on school ties.
  7. School ties indicate to a non-school member, where the school member is from, so in other words, school ties tell a story of where the wearer is from.
  8. School ties are not only worn by students, they are also worn by teachers. Many schools have a special tie that is made to be worn by teachers to create uniformity and a sense of belonging.
  9. School ties can be in the form of achievers ties that are given out to anyone in the school who has achieved something really special.

It is this uniformity, recognition of achievement and sense of belonging that makes school ties so important. So much so that these factors are probably what will ensure that regardless of the rest of the uniform, school ties are here to stay in one form or another.

School ties have been around since pretty much the first school was established. They may not have looked like they do today, having been made up and worn almost in the form of a cravat or men's scarf but quite frankly, it's immaterial what the tie looks like, it's way more important for the wearers of school ties to understand the actual importance and why it is that the school ties hold so much significance in the life of a school and a student.

Fast-tracking back when school ties were first made, as I said in the previous paragraph, at that time, it was not as easy by any stretch of the imagination to design, brand or manufacture school ties the way they are made these days.

They didn’t have the fabrics or the print processes or the design capability, so as a result, ties were worked out based on colour, which very often then automatically became the school colours or vice versa if the school was on top of things and had planned for such things as school ties, then the school ties would follow the prescribed colours.

Typically, if a school was known for having a majority maroon colour complement, then most likely, the school ties would be maroon to follow suit.

So generally then, the basic tie or cravat would be made of plain maroon with perhaps a stripe or two somewhere if all colours featured as school colours.

In essence, regardless of their evolution over time, school ties transcend mere fabric and design – they're emblematic of unity, achievement, and a shared narrative within every school's story. Their enduring significance in fostering identity, camaraderie, and pride ensures that school ties will remain an integral part of school life, embodying the timeless values of tradition, belonging, and accomplishment.

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