I READ Helen Mead’s obituary for the declining practice of tie wearing (The Press, March 31) with some sympathy.

I sometimes wear a tie as an act of defiance against an increasingly tieless world. But it is going out of fashion. Men no longer want to signal their middle class status by wearing ties. Those who persist will become social fossils.

Ties were first worn for the practical reason of keeping warm the throats of those riding horses. Fox hunters, in particular, found them invaluable on cold winter days.

The middle classes, ever keen to ape the practices of their social betters, adopted the practice, even though they lived in town and did not ride horses on cold days. And though I sometimes wear a tie, I have never gone fox hunting.

David Martin, Acomb

Star Trek tie-in

Thank you Helen Mead for inspiring me to count my ties.

I am your late father’s generation, so my total of 50 plus four bow ties won’t surprise anyone.

In my collection is everything from a weathered Macdonald tartan to one with the London Underground map on it. I once had to say no to an Italian railway engineer offering £50 for it!

Is it time for men’s shirts to evolve into a new form?

A suit worn without a tie doesn’t look casual; it just looks plain sloppy, as if you have forgotten something and enjoy a cold neck.

What we need, Helen, is a new male garment to wear with a suit. It should give warmth around the neck, be thin and close fitting and, above all, be stylish. It could even have a tie printed on it!

I always thought Star Trek was ahead of its time!

Quentin Macdonald, Nether Poppleton, York