Leave it to the Croate Poet...

Some early, very fashionable, cravats.

Some early, very fashionable, cravats.

So at Neckitecture, we’re sort of crazy about history. Ever wonder how the necktie came to be?

Here’s the lowdown:

Flash back to the mid 1600’s when scientific discoveries were being made all over Europe, baroque music topped the charts, and European men were first sporting small, knotted neckerchiefs. The earliest painting of someone sporting a cravat around his neck was a famous Croatian poet named Ivan Gundulic in 1622. You could say he sought the hot cravat.

Jump to 1646 France the young King Louis XIV wore a lace cravat, paving the way for a new fashion craze to take over Europe. Throughout the next few centuries, cravats, jabots, stocks and other similar neckwear were seen all over the world. Cravats could be found in every imaginable fabric, color and style. Ruffled collars, lace, ribbon, cotton, tassels and more were seen around the necks of men, regardless of status or class. The cravat was the must-have fashion accessory for men, eventually making its way to the United States, dominating men’s fashion in the 1800s. A look at portraits of the American presidents over time is a study in neckwear.

The language also began to transform at this time, and the term “tie” was first gaining steam, due to the fact that the cravat was tied around the neck.

The Industrial Revolution helped lead the way to the modern necktie.  Workers were seeking a fashion solution that would be much more comfortable and far less elaborate, especially as men worked on factory floors. However, it wasn’t until the 1920s that the modern tie was seen. New York tie maker Jesse Langsdorf first cut the pattern for the traditional 45-degree-angle you see on a tie today (along the bias of the fabric), which allowed the tie to drape elegantly along the body without twisting, even when tied in standard knots.

This tie also made the tie more comfortable by providing more give and elasticity when tied snugly (gulp) around the neck.

Over the next few decades, the tie itself began to find its own place in history. Thick ties, skinny ties, short ties and long ties all found their place in fashion over the years. The colors and patterns would change, as would the thickness and length of the tie, but the style itself has basically remained the same ever since Langsdorf first imagined it.

In other words, no morph from Langsdorf.