Backstage at the Burberry menswear spring/summer 2016 runway show Backstage at the Burberry menswear spring/summer 2016 runway show

How to wear a tie in 2016

This classic menswear component is being rationalised and restructured by leading designers.

It’s small, and beautiful. With a jacket, it gets you in just about anywhere. It’s like a business card in that it opens doors, and it also tells people a lot about you. Nonetheless, ties seem to be on the way out, because menswear is increasingly casual, or perhaps because the sexes are gradually merging fashion-wise, tending to exclude this male classic. In many of the spring/summer 2016 collections, the standard garb for men is trousers in one colour, jacket or peacoat in another colour, and shirt – whether tee, wide-collared, deep V – in yet another. Often neckline decoration is relegated to a long scarf. There are exceptions: in Moschino and Gucci the tie becomes a flower or a bow, an ingredient in a new dandy fantasy, and in a more traditional brand such as Ralph Lauren it retains its classic look as an essential accompaniment to a sharply-tailored suit. Versace’s ties are traditional, their very long shirts definitely not. Several brands – notably Burberry and Etro – replace ties with motifs integrated into the shirts – saving time in our temporally-challenged lives.

Related: Summer 2016: the return of stripes