We just loved men (and women) in cravats and we are doing our part to show this isn’t just a style of past but belongs firmly in the present! The cravat, the ancient ancestor of the tie and the distant relative of the bow tie, is having somewhat of a renaissance. But where did it come from?
The cravat originated in the 1630s and like most men’s fashions at the time it was of military origin. The cravat was first seen on Croatian mercenaries enlisted by the French who knotted cloths around their necks, from linens worn by the soldiers to the fine silks worn by the officers. The word cravat comes from the french word ‘cravate’, which came from the mispronunciation of the word ‘croate’ meaning Croatian.
During the French Revolution and Directoire periods at the end of the 18th century, stylish men were all about enormous exaggeration and the cravat was no exception. As cravats entered the 19th century, it became fashionable to wear two – a white one wrapped around more tightly around the neck and a colored cravat wrapped on top and tied in a decorative manner. Soon after the standard white cravat was replaced with a high linen collar. Innovation was not limited to technology in the 19th century, and cravats were being tied in every imaginable way.
By the middle of the century, cravats could be tied in small, narrow bows – the very first bowties. Although by this point the cravat was made of black or colored fabric, a white cravat was always worn for formal occasions (this is why ‘white tie’ is dressier than ‘black tie’). By the end of the 19th century, the cravat had evolved into the tie we all know today. At first the tie coexisted peacefully with other styles, including the popular ascot style, but eventually the tie dominated fashion and became the standard for all men.
Feeling inspired? Add a little flair to your outfit with one of our colorful cravats! 22 1/2″ long.