The History of Neckties



For more information be sure to check out our Blog post series on the History of the Modern Necktie

221 BC: China's first emperor, Shih Huang Ti, and his "terracotta army" were buried in an underground tomb in Xi'an. Each life-size militia member-replica wore a neck tie. 

113 AD: Early Roman orators wore neckerchiefs to keep their vocal cords warm. 

1650: The Croatian scarf, which was a part of that country's military uniform, came to France and was embraced as fashionable attire in King Louis XIV's court. The French term for tie, "la cravate," which many believe to be derived from the word "croat," was used to describe the accessory. 

1692: The steinkirke, a neck cloth with long lace ends and which is worn in a disheveled manner, became popular. It originated at the battle of Steinkirke, when French soldiers tucked their neck scarves into their buttonholes because they were caught by surprise by the enemy and had no time to properly dress. 

1784: Beau Brummel, an authority on men's fashion in Regency England, was said to be the first person to associate a neck cloth with individuality and self expression. 

1800s: According to the Neckwear Association of America, to touch another man's cravat in this decade was taboo and a catalyst for a duel. 

1818: Neckclothitania was published, a book that illustrated 14 different ways to tie a cravat. Its publication marked the initial usage of the word "tie" in reference to men's neckwear

1840: "Tie" replaced the word "cravat" on a mass scale. 

1864: The first mass-produced ready-made tie was patented and became widely popular throughout much of Germany and the United States. 

1880: The British military abandoned brightly colored uniforms in an effort to camouflage; however, their original colors remained on the stripes of neckties, which became a signature part of their new uniforms. 

1880: The first Club Tie, a tie bearing the printed or woven emblem of a club, organization or institution, appeared when members of Oxford University's rowing team took the striped bands off of their rowing hats and tied them around their necks. 

1920s: French fashion designers invented the first variation of a "designer tie," which was made from more expensive materials and decorated with patterns inspired by the Cubism and Art Deco movements. 

1920s: The Macclesfield tie became popular among wealthy Americans. This variation features a geometric pattern that was a specialty of this London area's textile mills at the turn of the century. 

1926: American tailor Jesse Langsdorf created a new method of tie production that improved elasticity and the fabric's ability to return to its original shape. 

1936: The Duke of Windsor invented the Windsor, a wide, triangular knot placed on shirt collars. Also see The History of the Necktie: The 1930's

1940s: Neckties became wider and were adorned with unique patterns, further symbolizing freedom of expression. 

1947: A Grover Chain Shirt Shop employee in Montreal pleaded guilty to immorality charges for selling ties featuring pictures of naked women. 

1950s: Ties became thinner and less decorative. 

1967: Warren Beatty starred in the movie Bonnie and Clyde, which revitalized the American gangster trend of wearing white ties on dark shirts. 

1970: Elvis Presley stopped wearing his plain black tie and introduced the kipper to America, a tie known for its extreme breadth and garish colors and patterns. 

1971: The bolo tie, a type of necktie made of a piece of cord or braided leather with decorative metal tips, was named the official state tie of Arizona. 

1980s: Ronald Reagan wore a Windsor tie throughout most of his presidency. 

1983: Skinny leather ties became popular and were typically worn against paisley or pin-striped shirts. 

1986: Clothing company Ralph Marlin produced a tie in the shape of a fish. 

1998: Bill Clinton's tie made headlines because it was a gift from White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. 

2000: ABC Neckties was born. 

Today: Popular men's neckties are slightly wider than those of the 1960s, and they are more colorful. Today's neckties come in a vast array ofstripes, polka dots, solids and designs