HISTORY OF THE NECKTIE
The origin of
neckties is not just a fashion story but a part of world history. This seemingly
useless accessory of clothing that men either love or hate has taken quite a
path through the ages. Men's ties have evolved through the unique influences of
events that have affected men's fashion in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
Modern ties are a form of self-artistic expression.
Earlier neckwear? The Terracotta army dressed in ties...
Between 101 - 106 BC, the Roman Military is seen in paintings with neck wear worn as a random uniform. Although non-Roman soldiers were probably the only to wear a "necktie" as it is common thought that the fashion rule of Rome kept necks free of cloth.
Fast forward to the 1600s…
Besides the Croatians, the necktie or cravat was only noted by the French - and not accepted as a fashion style. Only after two decades, did King Louis XIV of France, 1638 - 1715, fancy the cravat, but it was not "accepted attire" at court as old standing customs governed fashion. That changed when the Queen Mother Anne of Austria ( born in Spain ) died. When King Louis XIV took the throne, the wearing of a cravat became acceptable. It’s said that King Louis XIV’s necktie collection was extensive, made from fine fabrics and styled by the most revered fashion designers of the time. He had his own "cravatier" who would lay our several cravats each day for the King to select which one he would wear. With-in one year of King Louis XIV acceptance of the cravat, London's elite became enamored by the fashion and King Charles II of England the British spent fortunes on expensive lace from Venice to have his neckwear made.
The Windsor Knot – what most people today use to tie their tie comes to us from England and the Duke of Windsor. This British Royal made famous, to the World the beautiful and symmetrical Windsor Tie Knot. The most popular necktie knot "The Windsor Knot" was named after the Duke of Windsor against his wishes. Folklore has it that his father King George V passed down this knot (but not the tie) along with the crown jewels. In 1936, after just a one year reign as King of Britain, Edward the VIII abdicated his throne to marry Bessie Wallis Warfield Simpson an American divorcee. His brother took the throne and the title ‘Duke of Windsor’ was given to him. Edward captivated the world with his sacrifice of the throne for love. He sported the symmetrical necktie knot and he was given for the Windsor Tie Knot.
The necktie reached its present form in 1924...
And the modern tie as we know it evolved from this form. The necktie shrank or
expanded in width every 15 years or so in accordance with shirt collar and lapel
width and shape and the shape of a jacket opening.
In the 40s a tie called affectionately, the
"Belly Warmer" with a hula girl and palm trees becomes sought after – although
they were introduced at first as a joke. The became an American style statement
worn by actors Bob Hope, Alan Ladd and Danny Kay. Soon after, naked girls or a
"Pin Ups"on the reverse side of a tie was accepted as fashionably correct, as
the world was no quite ready for naked or near naked women displayed on a tie
hanging from a man's neck.
After the Millennium necktie design turned conservative taking a turn back to rep stripes. And after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, neck wear retailers and manufacturers answered the call of patriotism with patriotic ties. The seriousness of the state of Geo-political climate attributed to conservative dress. However by 2009, recession and the casual dress trend that started a decade earlier had taken its toll on the necktie industry, especially on unique and novelty ties that were costly to manufacture and risky to venture into. The design of ties became a casualty as often fashion is influenced by outside forces other than designer whims and ideals.
Not only have ties have become tradition, they are an important element of men's fashion - using color and pattern to create a means of a man's self-expression. If the King of France, King Louis XIV could have ever imagined what he started…
References: Necktie History - Wikipedia|
TIME Magazine - a brief history of the Necktie
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