IT is a common sight to see someone in a full suit, complete with coat and necktie, on the streets.
But it makes me wonder how they can bear it in our 36 degree Celsius weather.
A doctor in my hometown wears a tie at his clinic and he has been wearing it, from morning until night, without fail, for more than 30 years.
I have seen him sweating and struggling with his tie in the hot weather.
Although history shows that coats and ties were used as a fashion symbol, they were also invented in cold countries to retain heat in the wearer's body.
In some countries, the tie began as a handkerchief or scarf that was tied around the shirt collar and became popular as it prevented chilly air from coming into contact with the body.
As time passed, ties became a fashionable apparel used by westerners.
Later, it became a powerful symbol for professionals, businessmen and successful people.
The overcoat was used to retain heat and prevent the body from being exposed to the cold weather.
That is the reason you see beggars in cold countries wearing coats.
These apparel came into Malaysian culture with the Portuguese and British, who imported them into our culture, sometimes by force.
However, the longer the westerners stayed here, the more they neglected the culture of wearing a tie or coat, mostly because of our hot weather.
It is now Malaysians who are embracing the suit and tie.
The suit and tie are inevitable when working in corporate organisations, as they symbolise professionalism. They also serve their original purpose, as we are exposed to air conditioning in the office for hours.
However, can we be more sensible and not wear them when we are out on the streets under the scorching sun.
Vigneswaran Kannan, Sitiawan, Perak New Straits Times Letters to the Editor 13 July 2013