Cravate history & 10 interesting necktie facts

Croatia is home to the cravate, which is also its national cultural symbol. Even the word comes from the Croatian word for Croat (hrvat). So it’s no surprise that Croatia takes this tradition seriously!

The country also boasts an academic institution to research the history of the necktie, a history that dates back to the Thirty Years’ War, when Croatian girls knotted scarves to tie knot around their lovers’ necks before they left for battle, as tokens of their devotion. The ties attracted the attention of the French cavalry and the look caught in trendy Paris, which developed the tie into an international staple of clothing.

Time passed and this style crossed the channel to England, where gentlemen found their clothes to be more fashionable with some sort of fabric around their necks. These neck cloths or cravats were worn in such a fashion that the man could move his head without turning his entire body around.

necktie [nek-tahy]
1. a band of decorative fabric worn around the neck, under the collar, and tied in front to hang down the front of a shirt or to form a small bow.
2. any band, scarf, or tie fastened at the front of the neck.
3. slang – a hangman’s rope.

Necktie definition from

Neckties became an important part of a man’s wardrobe across Europe, and before the Civil War, they reached across the Atlantic. At the beginning of the 20th century, the American ties were in competition with those in Europe. Unfortunately, there was a decline in wearing neckties in the 1960s, as formal wear went against tradition. However, in the 1970s, wearing ties was popular again.

No other thing in a man’s wardrobe has improved as much as ties. From the 1960s to the early 1970s, neckties grew 5 inches in width, and then the fat necktie became trendier than the skinny tie. Today, the proper width of a tie, which will never be out of style, is 3 inches. Actually, as long as the proportion of men’s clothing remains true to his body form, the width of the tie will also be properly balanced.

For the best neckties in Croatia, head to Croata!
Croata is a famous fashion house, selling the kind of clothing worn by dignitaries and celebrities, but also by regular people. Go to one of their shops for cravats, novelty ties, scarves, and shawls made from the finest silk, with beautiful designs inspired by local heritage. (I went to their store in Dubrovnik and bought a beautiful tie for my dad’s birthday. Unfortunately, it got stolen from my checked luggage when I flew with Air Serbia.)

interesting necktie facts

Interesting facts about neckties

  • In 1993, Mary Beloff invented a wooden bow and maintained that termites and fire were the only things one needed to worry about while wearing it.
  • British ties generally had stripes extending from the top left to the bottom right, while the pattern on the American striped tie ran from the top right to the bottom left.
  • At some point in history, merely touching a man’s tie was a cause for a duel.
  • The English had created neckwear so thick that they could even avoid the sword.
  • Today, you can purchase a bulletproof necktie that can stop a 9 mm bullet.
  • Americans spend more than $1 billion a year purchasing a staggering 100 million neckties.
  • The Bolo Tie is the official necktie of Arizona, USA.
  • Approximately 110 silkworm cocoons are required for a good quality silk necktie.
  • Around the world, the necktie is considered to be the most popular gift for fathers.
  • Black tie stands for formal dress code, normally a black bow tie worn with a dinner jacket.
  • A person collecting neckties is called Grabatologist.

About the author

Mirela Letailleur The Travel Bunny

Mirela Letailleur is a Romanian travel blogger living in the South of France. She writes on The Travel Bunny travel blog about affordable travel in Europe, creator of unique free travel guides, local travel expert. Problem solver. Wannabe coffee guru.

Read more about Mirela Letailleur

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