To start things off, we promise this won’t be your typical yawn-worthy history lesson. This one is worth reading, trust us. Plus, if it weren’t for some Croatian wearing silk, you may have been stuck wearing plaid kilts for evening wear.
Most scholars debate over the exact origins of the necktie but we here at Bird Dog Bay have done our homework (showing that college tuition does indeed pay off), and believe that the best necktie story starts in Paris (and no, it’s not a ‘chick-flick’ love story so no gagging, please).
In the 1600’s, the style savvy Croatian soldiers came to Paris to enlist and support King Louis XIII for the Thirty Years War. Part of the Croatian traditional military garb included silk scarves (known as a modern cravat) tied around their necks in a way that the French men had never seen before (and there was no way they were giving up their ladies to those guys because of some silk). Their response? King Louis and the French stole the style and made it their own (come on, how many times have you tried to replicate a Brad Pitt-like look. Give them a break). Hence, “La cravate,” is just a fancy sounding French word (aren’t they all) for necktie and derived from “La Croate” (the one from Croatia).
By the 18th century, “la cravate” had evolved into the slender, rectangle with a diamond shaped tip that we associate with neckwear today and became increasingly referred to as a “tie.” It wasn’t until the 1950’s and on that the necktie became a binding obligation (or blessing, as we like to think), so men wear them at the office, evenings out, and family occasions. Not surprisingly, the tie disappeared for the 1960’s and 1970’s (think more tye-dye, not ties). Fortunately, the tie assumed its rightful place again in the 1980’s as a must-have item for all men’s closets.
Today, the tie continues to be the ultimate ‘chick magnet’ and symbol of style. Worn by business CEO’s, rock legends, and regular guys (like us) alike, the tie fits all lifestyles, occasions, and destinations.