Over the years, I\u2019ve noticed a troubling trend in men\u2019s neckwear. Ties you buy on sale at Christmas are generally out of fashion before Santa gets back to the North Pole. They\u2019re either too thin or too wide, too conservative or too flashy. I think it\u2019s a conspiracy by the fashion industry. It reminds me of supermarkets that cut the price of yogurt that\u2019s about to expire ... which I can\u2019t resist buying although my wife says not to. I suspect that most men \u2014 especially fathers and husbands \u2014 spend the weeks after Christmas returning their neckwear to get underwear or software or silverware. Whenever I got a tie for Christmas, it was usually about to go out of style, but I knew if I held onto it long enough, it would be fashionable again, assuming I lived long enough. Neckties, you see, are as volatile as the stock market and no one knows why a tie is fashionable one season and not the next. Long ago, I concluded it wasn\u2019t wise to give your neckties to Goodwill even if you needed a tax write-off because it was cheaper to keep them until designers resurrected that style. The fashion industry is as fickle as Apple, which is notorious for redesigning its products every few months \u2014 so often that I have a collection of obsolete chargers in my desk, which I plan to drop off at Goodwill. In the interests of historic preservation, I also have a collection of vintage neckties. Some of them are from my father\u2019s era. They\u2019re wide and short, and whenever I wear one, I look like a character in \u201cPride and Prejudice\u201d or \u201cGreat Expectations\u201d or possibly a member of Al Capone\u2019s gang. When I was a teenager, I bought my father a tie for his birthday that was handmade from Italian silk and cost so much that I missed a car payment to pay for it. The tie was so wide, he could have used it as a vest. Being a carpenter, the only occasion he had to wear it was a wedding, wake or funeral. Unfortunately, he got spaghetti sauce on it, and from then on, it served as a bib whenever he ate pasta. Nowadays, young dandies wear ties that are so narrow you can use them as dog leashes. They\u2019re usually black and worn with ill-fitting black suits that are tight enough to restrict the flow of oxygen to your brain. This style of dress was popularized by Hollywood celebrities because no one in the corporate world has worn a black suit since 1976 when John Molloy, author of the bestseller, \u201cDress for Success,\u201d said they were the kiss of death for your career. Maybe at GE, but not at the Grammys. This much I know: Never give the boss a necktie or you might not get the generous raise you deserve, and you certainly won\u2019t land a corner office or an invitation to his birthday party. My advice, which I didn\u2019t get from John Molloy, is that it\u2019s safer to give him underwear ... preferably tighty-whities. Early in my career, all my ties were earth tones. I didn\u2019t realize until I read \u201cDress for Success\u201d that brown ties and suits were acceptable attire for geology professors, podiatrists and Ronald Reagan, but not for up-and-comers in the corporate world. I eventually gave up on neckties \u2014 narrow and wide \u2014 and switched to bow ties. However, bow ties can be bad for your image, too. People associate you with Pee-Wee Herman, Jerry Lewis, Sigmund Freud, Orville Redenbacher and the Cat in the Hat. At least that\u2019s what my daughters told me, although I\u2019m convinced they know nothing about how men should dress for success because they got their fashion sense from Anna Wintour and the Kardashians, who know even less about menswear. Before you know it, they\u2019ll have me dressing like Kanye West or Elton John ... and I\u2019m sure John Molloy wouldn\u2019t approve. Joe Pisani can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.