In December, we honor the most required, yet maligned strip of cloth that’s an essential part of business attire – behold, the tie. Neckties give a man the chance to add a little spice to his classy, professional look. Let’s be honest ladies, a good lookin’ necktie speaks volumes about a man’s sense of style and even gives us a little look at his personality. So this month, give a little extra respect to the men who are professional, classy, and trendy in their favorite ties.
- Neckties originated when Croatian soldiers wore silk scarves; at the time, they were called cravats.
- $220,000. Believe it or not, that’s the price of the most expensive tie ever made. It was created by Satya Paul Design studio and contained 271 diamonds and 150 grams of gold. Talk about a class act. *insert wide eyes and jaw-dropped face here*
- There was a time in history when touching a man’s necktie was cause for a duel.
- Ties aren’t at their height of popularity anymore, but the year that they were, American’s spent over 1 billion on 100 million ties.
- You can buy a special tie that will block a 9-millimeter bullet from piercing your skin. (Hopefully, though, you don’t have to.)
When my husband and I met, he wore a tie everyday. He still has quite a collection and wears them on dressy occasions. I have decided I really like the professional look. In a world dominated by the laid back, dressed down style, those who wear a necktie still stand out.
Different versions of the tie go back at least as far as the days of the Roman Empire, where soldiers wore them for decoration or identification. The beginning of the modern necktie traces back to the Thirty Years War where Croatian mercenaries were celebrated for their cravats (see above). The French, most notably King Louis XIV, began wearing them in the mid-1600s.
In the early 1700s, a variation called the “stock” enjoyed popularity, notably among horsemen. The stock was made of leather and wrapped around the neck to help the rider hold his head up. (How crazy is that?!) Portraits of prominent soldiers such as George Washington and Civil War general William T. Sherman show them wearing versions of stocks.
The modern version of the necktie was developed during the Industrial Revolution, as more people were seeking neckwear that was comfortable and easy to put on. Colored, hand-painted neckties came into prominence after World War I.
Bow ties and ascot-type ties also enjoyed varying levels of popularity during the 19th and 20th centuries. The bow tie was developed originally as a smaller version of the cravat.
HOW TO CELEBRATE
Use #NationalTieMonth to post on social media. Guys, (or girls!) take a selfie in your favorite necktie and post a picture of yourself rocking that business-professional-with-a-little-bit-of-edgy-personality look! If you don’t know much about neckties or why they’re a staple in men’s (and sometime’s women’s) professional wear, you’re about to find out!