Have you ever wondered why the man was wearing a tie? Where did this custom come from and what was its original form? After all, it’s just a decorative accessory. It doesn’t help to keep warm or stay dry and has no benefit in terms of comfort. Despite this, the male seems to have adapted to this required element of the formal codes of society to even appreciate. In many professional settings, it is also impossible to do without. Out of curiosity, we invite you to read this article about the tie history.
In 1974, in the Xian region of China. The researchers allegedly extracted terracotta statues depicting soldiers from a very distant time. Indeed, these replicas located at 210 BC would be those of the army of the first Chinese emperor, Qin Shih Huang, who at that time wished to be buried alongside his soldiers so that they would be his guardians in the beyond. Fortunately for these men, the emperor advisers would then have convinced him to opt for replicas at the size of a man instead.
Louis XIII and the Croatians
Now come to the most common story about the origins of the tie because it’s what we remember for the name of this band of cloth tied around the neck. Let’s go back to the 17th century under the reign of King Louis XIII. At that time, Europe was torn apart by a conflict that remained under the name of the Thirty Years War and the King of France was forced to appeal to the Croatian army to help him in his battles. The hussars of the army then they wore strips of colored tissu around their necks, which pleased the French soldiers, at least more than the rigid collars of their uniforms. Beyond its decorative function, this accessory allows them to protect their shirt and buttons.
After that, and especially during the accession to the throne of the following king, the “Sun King” Louis XIV, a great esthete for whom fashion had a certain importance, France began to become familiar with and even appropriate the port of this pageantry. It became commonplace for the military officers and the king’s court to wear this strip of white cotton or linen fabric now called “tie” by deforming the word “Croatian”.
Although the old tie was considered as a precursor to the modern tie, today as a fashion accessory, it would take hundreds of years to evolve it in the form of a narrow strip of fabric. Tied around the neck. In its form then, significantly spread when Charles II, king of England exiled claim his throne in 1660, bringing with him all the pleasures of European courts including fashion. The tie then becomes the accessory of the well-dressed man and his form begins to change: pompons, collars of all kinds, ribbons, embroidered linen, cotton and many laces.
The trend continued into the next century and ties became popular among all men, regardless of their social status. The black tie, from the late 1700s was considered the pinnacle of elegance. It is also the period when English began to call it “tie”. The knot took on this a higher dimension with the release of the first books around the tie: 1818 with The Neckclothitania in a very satirical spirit and 1828 with The Art of Tying the Cravat with 16 lessons and 32 different styles.
Above all, it was during the industrial revolution between the 18th and 19th century that the tie definitely took the shape we know today. The workers of the time were then looking for ways to lighten their excessively elaborate dress and fancy ties too difficult to tie, had no place in the factory or office. Then was born the simple knot or “four-in-hand” in the language of Shakespeare, leaving hanging the two ends of fabric on the front, a much simpler method than before required to wear a tie, but creating a knot surely tied .
The birth of the Modern Tie
In the 1880s, ascot became a standard for accessorizing the formal day dress. In fact, it came from the then King of England, Edward VII (also known as Bertie), who wore this large silk tie around his neck when he attended horse races. His name, and this accessory both took them to one of the most famous races of the kingdom: The Royal Ascot.
For years, the ascot remained the choice number one for formal menswear, until the 1920s. The latest major evolution came from Jesse Langsdorf, a tie maker from New York. His idea was to cut the fabric on either side at a 45-degree angle and sew the two ends at the back. Once tied normally, this prevents the tie from twisting.
Over the years, this shape has been preserved and all the ties that we see on the market today are inspired by Jesse Langsdorf’s model. The tie has not changed significantly since then, except some variations in fabric and shape (length and thickness), despite this, the style remains similar to the original.
Wearing a Tie today
Once its millennial history is told, we understand that the role of the tie traditionally was only of social significance, its original purpose wasn’t so much to protect from the cold or to keep the shirt in place, but only to add a decorative touch. The tie is also a form of respect and a way of harmonizing the outfits, giving everyone a level playing field.
Photos credit: commeuncamion.com