The infografic below gives a quick overview of when different necktie styles were invented. For more detailed information on the history of different type of ties, please read below.
If a "tie" is a neck-wear accessory for clothing, then the history of this article of clothing may be traced back to the beginnings of weaving and spinning because scarves have been worn for thousands of years as a form of cold-weather protection. The first roots of a tie that is solely beautiful rather than utilitarian can be traced to France in the 17th century. During the 30 years war (1618-1648) Croatian mercenaries came to France to support King Louis XIII. The Croats used a piece of cloth to tie the top of their uniforms. King Louis found liking in this type of scarf and adopted it as a mandatory clothing accessory for Royal gatherings after the war was over. To honor the Croats he gave it the name "La Cravate" – a name still used in France today.
The best and most artistically decorated textiles were used to create these early cravats, which were solely decorative. These early ties appear more like bow ties than like a contemporary necktie. The Four-in-Hand necktie knot was created in the late 19th century, much later than the necktie as we know it today (for more information on this style of knot, please see our tutorial on How to Tie a Necktie). According to legend, British riders who were holding the reins of four horses in one hand and a scarf around their neck fashioned the present necktie knot.
Several types of decorative pieces of men's neckwear originated during this time-period such as the bowtie and the ascot. The modern necktie derived from the ascot and became popular around the 1920s. Since then, men have worn neckties, and although the width of ties has changed depending on current fashion trends, ties are still worn the same way.
The modern necktie's ancestor is the ascot tie. It is a style of tie that resembles a hybrid of a silk scarf and a contemporary necktie. The tie has the same width on both ends, unlike a contemporary necktie. The knot is often held with a decorative pin, and the tie is tied much looser than a contemporary necktie. Visit our article on How to Tie an Ascot to learn how to tie this particular knot.
The ascot originated during the later part of the 19th century in Britain. It is named after the exclusive horse race "The Royal Ascot" - an event at which men were required to wear this type of tie in combination with a tailcoat jacket (also known as a morning coat). Today ascots are rarely worn but still spotted at very formal events and formal weddings.
The Bolo is a completely different type of neckwear that is mostly associated with Western/ Cowboy wear. The bolo is typically found in Texas or Arizona. It is made of braided pieces of leather that are fastened around the neck with a decorative clasp.
around Arizona around the middle of the 19th century, the bolo tie first appeared. Victor Cedarstaff, a silversmith, created it in the first decade of the 1940s. Mr. Cedarstaff was reportedly riding his horse, according to the tale. The pricey silver band that adorned his cowboy hat kept blowing off in frustration, so he decided to take it off and wear it around his neck rather than risk losing it. He thought they were attractive and began producing what came to be known as the "bolo tie" kind of necklace.
Over the next few decades, the bolo tie gained much popularity, and in 1971 it was made the official neckwear for the state of Arizona. Then, in 2007, New Mexico followed suit making the bolo their official neckwear.