Most fashion pieces have their hidden and interesting origin story. Cravat, better known as a necktie, is one of them.
Regarding fashion, there are a few items as iconic and versatile as the necktie. This simple accessory can take an outfit from drab to dapper in just a few seconds, and it has a rich history that spans centuries. But did you know that the necktie has its roots in Croatia? That’s right, the cravat, as it was called then, was first worn by Croatian soldiers in the 17th century, and it has since become a staple of men’s fashion around the world. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the history of the cravat, how it has transformed over time, and its significance in modern culture.
From Croatia to the world
The cravat’s fascinating history dates back to 17th-century Central Europe’s 30-year war. To Paris, to be more exact. Croatian soldiers sent to help the French side wore red scarves around their necks as a part of their military uniform, which caught the attention of King Louis XIV. The king was so taken with the soldiers’ attire that he made it fashionable at the French court, and so the cravat was born. The French army even founded a particular regiment called the Royal Cravates, which included Croatian soldiers who, naturally, wore cravats. That historical moment was the moment when “Cravat fever” started. The trend quickly spread throughout Europe and eventually across the world. Today, the cravat is known as the necktie, and it remains a staple of men’s fashion.
Fashion styles come and go, but the tie stays, seamlessly and naturally adapting to the ever-changing contemporary esthetics. Over the years, the necktie has undergone many transformations in style. In the 1920s, ties were thin and straight; in the 1960s, they became broader and more colorful. In the 1980s, power ties were all the rage, featuring bold colors and patterns. Today, ties come in all shapes and sizes, from skinny ties to bow ties, and in a variety of colors and patterns. In recent years, there has also been a trend towards more sustainable and eco-friendly tie materials, such as bamboo and recycled polyester.
Necktie’s cultural significance
The necktie has a remarkable cultural significance, particularly in corporate culture. Wearing a tie is often seen as a sign of professionalism and respect, and it is a common requirement for job interviews and important meetings. In dating culture, a well-dressed man wearing a tie used to be seen as more attractive and put-together. In wedding culture, the necktie is an essential part of the groom’s attire, and it can be matched to the wedding party’s colors. The necktie can also be a symbol of status, with designer ties from luxury brands being particularly sought after.
World cravat day
Every year on October 18th, people worldwide celebrate World Cravat Day in honor of the cravat’s Croatian origins. This day was first celebrated in 2003, and it has since become a popular holiday for tie enthusiasts. On this day, people wear their favorite ties, attend tie-themed events, and celebrate the necktie’s rich history and cultural significance. World cravat day is celebrated in Croatia and in various cities around the world, including Dublin, Tokyo, Sydney, and many others.
How to tie a tie
Learning how to tie a tie can be a daunting task, but it is a skill that every man should master. There are several ways to tie a tie, but the most common are the four-in-hand knot, the half-Windsor knot, and the full Windsor knot. Each knot creates a different look, so it’s essential to choose the right one for the occasion. It’s also important to ensure the tie is properly tied and adjusted in a way everything is smooth and neat.
For example, here are the steps for the four-in-hand knot, the most common tie knot:
- Drape the tie around your neck. Cross the wide part of the tie over the narrow end. The wide end should extend about 12 inches below the narrow end of the tie.
- Turn the wide end back under the narrow end and continue wrapping the wide end around the narrow end by bringing it across the front of the narrow end again.
- Pull the wide end up and through the back of the loop.
- Hold the front of the tie knot with your index finger and bring the wide end down through the front knot.
- Tighten the knot carefully to the gills by holding the narrow end N and sliding the knot up. Center the knot.
For the Windsor-style knot and for those who are more into video instructions, you can check out this great YouTube tutorial.
The cravat has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a uniform military accessory. Today, the necktie is a staple of men’s fashion worldwide, with a rich history and cultural significance. Whether you’re looking to make a statement at an important meeting, dress up for a wedding, or simply add a touch of class to your everyday, there is no miss with a necktie.
If you like exploring Croatia, the birthplace of the cravat, you can’t go wrong. Besides rich history and beautiful nature, our country has much, much more to offer.
But for those days you plan to spend without a tie and a suit, we invite you to visit one of the most beautiful nature spots Croatia has to offer — a camping village Šimuni. Feel more than free to contact us if you have any doubts or questions; we are here to help!